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When I was younger, reading about true stories involving the paranormal helped me cope with all the things I didn't understand. I didn't understand why my life was falling apart, why everything sucked, and why nothing really seemed to make sense.
It seems strange to think of, but I read paranormal non-fiction books for a reason. I was on a mission. I was searching for answers—and at the time, closure after seeing relatives pass away. In their own weird way, the books helped.
Reading (allegedly) true stories about ghosts, cryptids, high strangeness, and other unexplainable things gave me the courage to realize that I didn't need to understand all the answers. They gave me comfort, despite usually being written for the exact opposite purpose.
Looking back, it was strange that I would find so much closure in the paranormal and unearthly. Most people read these books for thrills or to just try to figure out what else is out there.
Regardless of what draws you to true stories of the paranormal, there's some pretty epic news. There are plenty of great books that you can read that are based on the strangeness that comes with the otherworldly.
Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates
Josh Gates was the star of the hit paranormal television series, Destination Truth. He and his crew traveled the world to some of the most haunted, UFO-riddled, and potentially cursed locations in the world.
His mission was simple: to try to find evidence of the paranormal. The show itself had several spooky clips that made audiences wonder what was really going on, but it seems like much of the greatest parts of the show didn't actually air on television.
Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter is a book that tells you fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about Gates and his travels. Sometimes it's funny stuff, other times terrifying. No matter where he goes, wild stories are sure to follow.
Hunt for the Skinwalker by Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp
Hunt for the Skinwalker is one of my most favorite paranormal non-fiction books of all time—and honestly, the movie based on the book isn't too bad either. It also happens to be the first book to really discuss high strangeness and one of the most paranormal places in America in such scientific detail.
This book tells the real life stories of people who worked on what came to be known as Skinwalker Ranch, famous for high strangeness and the efforts put forward by the team of scientists who were tasked with investigating all the paranormal activity that surrounded it.
Everything from skinwalker lore to cattle mutilations to strange goings-on involving Dire Wolves gets mentioned within these pages. Even if you're left nonplussed by regular ghost stories or UFO books, Hunt for The Skinwalker will leave you spellbound.
The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America's Most Haunted House by Frances Kermeen
Frances Kermeen is one of those authors who knows how to write a damn good ghost story, and she uses her talents to create amazingly well-written paranormal non-fiction books about famous hauntings.
My personal pick from her titles is The Myrtles Plantation, which zeroes in on the story of the most haunted house in America. This book will have you getting the heebie-jeebies, and may even get you wondering what kind of tragedies must have happened in your own home.
If you've been planning a trip to this paranormal hotspot you can legally visit in Louisiana, reading this will make you think twice.
The Book of the Damned: The Collected Works of Charles Fort by Charles Fort
Did you know that paranormal research is also called "Forteana?" It's a strange name that carries an interesting tidbit of paranormal history with it. Since then, many books like this have hit the shelves with Fortean research.
Charles Fort was one of the first people to make a serious effort to research, record, and catalog all the bizarre (and oft-unexplained) things that happen in life. His research became extremely popular and a main pillar of Ripley's Believe It or Not!
The Book of the Damned is one of the largest collections of Fortean research in the world, all of it coming straight from the desk of Charles Fort. No matter what kind of weirdness you enjoy, you'll find some interesting snippets in these pages.
The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerard Brittle
Ed and Lorraine Warren are two of the most famous paranormal experts in the world. As this book title suggests, they are a married couple who specialize in research involving demonic entities.
Through their illustrious careers, they tackled cases like the Amityville horror, Annabelle the Doll, and the Smurl Haunting. These two are so well-known for their paranormal investigations, they even were featured in The Conjuring.
The Demonologist is one of the best paranormal non-fiction books to look into the lives of people who seek out the unearthly and go face-to-face with it on a daily basis.
Walking Among Us by Dr. David M. Jacobs
David Jacobs is one of the world's leading UFO researchers, especially when it comes to alien abduction. During his years as an abduction researcher, he began to notice an unsettling pattern among abductee stories.
Jacobs began to realize that people were increasingly mentioning alien-human hybrids, and that many people claimed to see their offspring on spaceships. The more he researched this phenomenon, the more he felt like there may be an insidious reason for aliens to want to hybridize people.
Walking Among Us is one of many paranormal non-fiction books Dr. Jacobs has written on the topic of aliens, seemingly setting the stage for a covert invasion. It's spooky, and will chill you to the core.
Missing 411: Western United States & Canada by David Paulides
David Paulides made international headlines with the publication of his smash hit Missing 411 franchise. Missing 411: Western United States & Canada is the first of the absolutely massive series, and set the bar higher for all types of paranormal non-fiction books.
This massive tome looks into the strange, unexplained disappearances in state parks. With thousands of people who vanish without a trace, it seems very unlikely that they all of them involved bears or a random serial killer.
What makes this even more bizarre is the strange coverups that appear to be going on. If you've been wondering how safe the woods really are, you need to read Missing 411.
Monsters Among Us by Linda S. Godfrey
Did you ever wonder if monsters exist? What about monsters that have often been the subject of hushed conversations, or the basis of many conspiracy theories? Linda S. Godfrey is a writer who understands that curiosity well.
Monsters Among Us is one of the better paranormal non-fiction books to take a look at fringe cryptids that aren't always discussed in mainstream books. From the Lost Lizard People of Los Angeles to instances of real life wolfmen, Monsters Among Us is a great book for people who want to question reality.
Shadows of the Dark by John Zaffis & Brian McIntyre
John Zaffis has a paranormal expert resume just as recognized as the Warrens, and was even the star of Paranormal Collector on Syfy. Over the course of his career, Zaffis has penned amazing recollections of his supernatural experiences.
Shadows of the Dark might be one of the eeriest books on his list of publications, especially since all the stories have a darker tinge to them than most. The stories are creepy, and at times, downright tragic.
If you've wondered what it's like to see the terrifying and untold true story of a modern day exorcism performed in front of you, or what being a paranormal investigator can entail, this book should be the next you read.
The Uninvited: The True Story of the Union Screaming House by Steven A. LaChance
If you thought reading paranormal non-fiction books was terrifying, wait until you hear what life is like for people who have dealt with demonic entities in their home. The Uninvited is the true story of a family that was forced out of their house by a band of demonic attackers.
Steven LaChance was driven from his home, and upon hearing that someone decided to live there after him, he realized the new owner was in danger. The Uninvited explains the final showdown between LaChance and the dark entities that plagued his family—all in hopes of saving the new homeowner Helen from the torment he faced.