Thursday, August 28, 2014

{Book Review} The House Where Evil Lurks: A Paranormal Investigator's Most Frightening Encounter by Brandon Callahan

The House Where Evil Lurks: A Paranormal Investigator's Most Frightening Encounter
by Brandon Callahan
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Released: September 8th 2014 by
Genre: Non-Fiction- Adult: Paranormal investigation, ghost
How I got it: NetGalley

This is not a Hollywood tale; it is a true account of the most malevolent home that Brandon Callahan and his team have ever investigated. A former funeral parlor, the demon-infested property had a dungeon and a sinister past that included murder, suicide, and vile rituals.

When Brandon Callahan answered the homeowner's plea for help, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. A monstrously tall entity in a dark-hooded cloak moves through the embattled home it considers his domain. An expressionless phantom follows one of the investigators home. Innocent bystanders and paranormal investigators alike are plagued by physical attacks and bleed-through phenomena: inhuman laughter, bloody scratches, disembodied shrieks and growls, horrific nightmares, and escalating threats. The House Where Evil Lurks is Brandon Callahan's terrifying true story.

Review: I'm kind of torn by this book, I liked a lot of things about it yet was also skeptical on others.
I really liked that Mr Callahan just offers up the information he basically say here's what I did for better or for worst. He's not preachy or says this is how it must be done, just that he did things this way and maybe others can learn from what he did. I found this very refreshing as well as how he took most things with a "grain of salt" until the proof was staring him in the face. His tone and way of writing make it feel like he is right there telling you this amazing story. He brings his fellow investigators off the pages, making them feel real. This probably doesn't make sense, but sometime when reading or watching something the characters just feel fake. I didn't get that from this book.
I'm always skeptical about EVP's and the ghost box. I just feel that it's to easy to hear what you want or to want proof so bad that you hear something from nothing. There seemed to be a lot of EVP's and focus on the ghost box, yeah it's cool but hard to believe unless you can hear it for yourself. I don't know, maybe it's me but between this and the KII meters these ghosts just seemed way to chatty. There were a few other small personal issues, including what I felt was a stupid experiment. The Ganzfeld experiment is controversial and wasn't developed for paranormal investigation. I'm not going off on a triad, but I will say I thought it was dumb.
I did find it interesting that unlike many books and shows, this took place over several months of dealing with the same house and entities. Also the case is still open, they didn't banish or exorcise what ever was in the house which is usually how these books end. Despite my own personal quirks about things, I feel this is one of the best representations of an actual paranormal investigation I've read.


  1. Thanks for the great feedback. I'm Jason from the book and it's nice to see a real review on likes/dislikes rather than someone either praising or ripping the book apart. Rather refreshing review, really. We definitely know that the experiment was not meant for paranormal, but since the family moved out, we had permission to do some research. Rather than perform research of this nature in a populated home, which would have been foolish, we opted to do it in a location that would not subject others to anything that may have been agitated or called forth from it. I hope this helps a little on why we did it. Brandon didn't expect much from it, but we figured, "What the heck." The place was active...too active... at times, and no longer a residence, so-to-speak. All of these points made it great for research. 99% of locations are not like this. We documented the experiment and placed it in the coffers. For better or worse, we tried it to see what would happen. :) Regarding the ghosts being too chatty, we thought this as well. Frankly, it was surprising. I have been investigating for over 15 years and never experienced communication and general evidence like we saw there. This is kind of one of the reasons Brandon decided to write the book. The resulting book was never intended to feature the house as the sole subject, or scare, for that matter. It was meant by the author to be more about a personal journey of discovery between the between himself, the home, and his interactions with the living and the world of spirits. I believe some internal healing came from his writing and publishing the book. Brandon is a humble and loyal guy and I'm proud of him for opening up about some pretty personal stuff. I know of few, if any, that would toss out what happened to him in the last few chapters. All that I've said here is personal opinion and insight. None of which was endorsed by Brandon. I simply wanted offer my thoughts. Thanks for your time and have a great day!

    1. Jason, Thank you for stopping by and giving us this insight into the book. I'm glad you liked the review. It's good to hear that Brandon was able to use this book to bring him some peace.

    2. You are quite welcome! I can tell you went in thinking, "It's a book, I shall read it." That's certainly the right attitude! Yes, writing the book gave Brandon much peace-- and fulfilled a dream. I think we all, Brandon included, could agree that it needed a good scrubbing by an editor, but many folks know that working with publishers, you lose some power. Still, Llewellyn helped make one of his dreams come true, so I am grateful to them for that. Brandon never intended on trying to entertain the readers by making something up or changing the story. He relayed all of the facts to the reader and did not change anything (aside from names to protect certain people). His intention was not so much to entertain as it was, and is, to allow people into our lives to share events that had occurred to us. I am always appreciative of reviews and comments that are not hateful or rather one-sided with pre-conceived notions. So, thank you again. Please feel free to hit me up on FB:

    3. Thanks for stopping by again. To be completely honest Jason going into this book, I may have been a little jaded. I had already read several paranormal flops before getting to Brandon's book. But like I stated in the review, he just put the facts out there and said this what happened to me believe it or not. I really liked that. Yes I totally understand how publishers take some of the power.


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