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Paranormal State: My Journey into the…
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Paranormal State: My Journey into the Unknown

by Ryan Buell

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My interest in this book was based initially on my own interest in the paranormal and paranormal experiences I have had. I did not have any pre-conceived notions of what the book was about. I had seen the show and while I was skeptical about the show, I viewed for purely entertainment purposes.

This book was a pleasant and unexpected surprise on many levels. I know there has been some issues with Ryan Buell in terms of missed shows or unreturned refunds, I feel that while Ryan may be a good paranormal investigator, he is probably not a very good businessman. I would add to that my belief that the overwhelmingly favorable response to the show, overwhelmed the team and Buell. I don’t think he is shady – but he is probably under skilled in running business side of show biz.

That being said, the book is an excellent look into the formation and structure of the Penn State group. It is equally as enlightening into the way reality tv, regardless of network, machinates events into 22 minutes and leaves out huge chunks of what actually goes into reality.

Buell is a skeptic. The first order of business for him is to debunk or explain rationally any event that a client is reporting as paranormal. A lot of work goes into that process and its interesting how willing the producers were to make the leap to demonology when regular old mental health, electrical causes or grief were the root problems. Buell and his team did a great job of pushing back in an attempt to keep it real.

The investigations took weeks, and sometimes months. All of this was condensed and cut to what the producers deemed the best 22 minutes. Buell points out that there were events and occurrences that provided much more substantial proof and belief than what made the cut.
There is a lot of really great information about the first season of the series and Buell takes great pains to share the accolades due the team as well as people he brought in like Chip Coffey and Lorraine Warren.

For fans of the paranormal who have an interest in going into investigations, this is a great primer for how it should be done. There is a healthy respect for and work with the Church, psychologists and other mental health professionals, research both current and historical to confirm or deny facts as well as a look at what electronic equipment is worth using and what is merely money making scams.

Paranormal investigation is an imperfect science. There are so many things we simply cannot measure or quantify through the scientific method. Belief is a personal measure of any individual and Buell does a nice job of leaving the information open to all kinds of interpretation.
A surprisingly thoughtful and direct book on the subject. ( )
  ozzie65 | Aug 21, 2016 |
Not what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very personal and insightful, a good supplement to the series. The members of PRS became real and relatable, and the danger of what they do on a regular basis really hit home. I now find myself praying for them pretty often. ( )
  AuraNefertari | May 27, 2012 |
Ryan Buell, leader of the Paranormal Research Society based at Penn State and 'star' of the hit show Paranormal State, takes readers through the first season of filming the show. I was a little disappointed that he didn't explain more about what happened to him as a child, but this focuses more on the cases they investigated during that first season - the ups and downs; what went wrong; what got left out of the show; how they learned to work with the crew and still conduct their investigations in a manner they were comfortable with.

I found it really interesting, though, to learn about his Catholic views and how they relate to what he does. The book gives many people's opinions and doesn't really seem to be pushing the reader into one corner, although Ryan makes his opinions clear. However, the whole field is about unknowns, so it's difficult to 'prove' anything and he stays away from completely discounting anything - although he has his preferred methods.

I enjoyed the parts where terminology would be defined and differences explained. That was very helpful and informative. I also found Ryan's disbelief in physics to be fascinating and like that he 'tests' them before trusting them. I can see why there are a couple that are invited back time and again, because they have proven themselves on several occasions.

This book is definitely for fans of the show - I think it would be a bit confusing without having seen the episodes that he is describing. I'm looking forward to going back to watch them again, with more insight. ( )
  horomnizon | Jun 30, 2011 |
First and foremost, if you haven't watched the first season of A&E's Paranormal State, don't bother picking this book up until you do. If you've watched the show and enjoyed it, you'll find that the book is really an in-depth and behind the scenes episode guide to Season 1. I found the book to be thoughtful, well written and interesting, which is more than one can say about a lot of books that are born from a television series. Along the way, Buell gives the reader a sense of what it's really like to be a member of PRS and what it was like trying condense long investigations into a 22 minute episode. ( )
2 vote FireandIce | Sep 28, 2010 |
Ryan Buell is the lead investigator and founder of the Paranormal Research Society (PRS),a student organization of ghost hunters out of Penn State. This book serves as a companion to the first season of the A&E show Paranormal State and provides some interesting insight into what goes on behind the scenes. Buell goes into great detail on what went into creating the show as well as the challenges of not compromising his paranormal integrity with moderate stardom on the horizon. It was of great interest to learn that though psychics and mediums play a large role on the show that Ryan himself is very skeptical of their abilities and warns others not to blindly trust those offering to help you with your spiritual "issues".

Hands down, this book is written for followers of Paranormal State. A reader with no familiarity with the show will get very little from the book and may even be confused as the author frequently references investigations without providing context. Overall, this book serves more as the "bonus feature" DVD than a standalone paranormal research text. As a fan of the show, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to others who enjoyed the first season of Paranormal State. ( )
3 vote JechtShot | Sep 27, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061767948, Paperback)

Ryan Buell, star of the hit A&E series Paranormal State, takes us behind the scenes of his most intense supernatural encounters.

Follow Ryan Buell on his extraordinary journey as he seeks out the truth behind terrifying demonic disturbances, hauntings, and paranormal phenomena to solve unexplained mysteries that have been plaguing frightened families who have nowhere else to turn.

In Paranormal State, Buell gives readers a chilling, in-depth look at some of the most disturbing cases—including some that have never been aired—revealing startling new facts and incredible new discoveries. Buell relives the origins of the Paranormal Research Society—discussed here for the first time—and the strange path his life has taken since the show's beginning. With unparalleled candor, Ryan discusses the intriguing mysteries, the difficult decisions, and the struggles with questions of faith, sanity, and the very concept of reality.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:46 -0400)

"Follow Ryan Buell on his extraordinary journey as he seeks out the truth behind terrifying demonic disturbances, hauntings, and paranormal phenomena to solve unexplained mysteries that have been plaguing frightened families who have nowhere else to turn. In Paranormal State, Buell gives readers a chilling, in-depth look at some of the most disturbing cases--including some that have never been aired--revealing startling new facts and incredible new discoveries. Buell relives the origins of the Paranormal Research Society--discussed here for the first time--and the strange path his life has taken since the show's beginning. With unparalleled candor, Ryan discusses the intriguing mysteries, the difficult decisions, and the struggles with questions of faith, sanity, and the very concept of reality"--P [4] of cover.… (more)

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