A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven (Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process) by Corey Taylor

book-funnythingwaytoheaven-corey-taylor-500Many people are familiar with Corey Taylor as the masked lead singer in Slipknot, or of the Generation Y’s metal answer to the Cure, Stone Sour.  But he is also a writer with a unique sense of humor and the meaty stories that fill the appetite of any hungry reader. Believe me, they are all thriller and no filler!

In Taylor’s second book, he explores the nature of his paranormal experiences that started haunting him from an early age. Refreshingly, he does not jump to conclusions to pass off everything that he has seen or heard as supernatural; rather he takes the time to look for rational answers as he explains his findings with paranormal research groups.

Apparently Taylor has been “sensitive” to the paranormal species his whole life. Every other chapter in the book refers to an experience with the supernatural that has occurred during his existence on this spec of dirt. In between he plots out his theory (yes, I said “theory”, as in scientific) as to the possibility of the existence of ghosts. I do have to say that he does give remarkable and well thought out rational scientific reasoning for the occurrences.

“The gist of this, if it is in fact plausible, is that if these various laws and theorems can establish reasonable evidence to support Near Death Experiences, the same can be done for ghost and spirits…Let’s look at the properties of light – more importantly, electron magnetic radiation, or EMR.  This is a form of energy that is emitted and absorbed by charged particles. This is a form of energy that is emitted and absorbed by charged particles. Electromagnetic radiation carries radiant energy through space, continuously away from its source. To me, that means that energy can exist autonomously from the body’s source.”

 Who knew that the lead singer of Slipknot could be not only so deep and intellectual, but also such a minstrel of written word? When not trying to validate his scientific research, Taylor writes as if he is having a direct conversation between himself and the reader. (Sounds kind of familiar; who else does that…who else? Oh screw it, I’ll remember when we’re done and then I’ll get back to you. Now where was I? Oh, yeah!)CT1

“I am no Stephen Hawking, but I would say I lean toward a decent side of the fence. Then again, maybe not – I do say fuck a lot, and apparently using coarse language is a sign of a limited intelligence. Well fuck you too, dick breath. “

On the downside, one may get weary of his long drawn out explanation of his disbelief in religion. I think that it is important for him to shine light on how it is possible for him to believe in the existence of ghosts, yet deny the existence of a higher power. However, after reading (or having it drilled into me) this tangent from pages 14-44, I began to get bored of his lecture like I was a senior in high school in my last week of history class at 2:55 PM.  Don’t you believers worry; he attacks Christians as well as Jews, Islam, Mayans, and even the Egyptians.  Taylor, look, you’re an atheist. Cool, we get it. But I bought a book about ghosts, not about soap boxes, so make with the spooky shit.  I just don’t see the why it was so important to drive this home for 30 pages and then with the random tangents for at minimum,  one page every chapter after that until finished. Make your point and move on. Like I’m doing now.

Corey TaylorAnother complaint is that there are no pictures. Who in the hell writes a book about ghosts and haunted houses and doesn’t include any pictures? Well, to be fair there is a total five pictures of the haunted spots, but nothing that doesn’t look like it has been put through Instagram and cropped to show the shadow spaces, and seven pictures of Taylor from cover to cover. (Hmm…imagine that.)

Look, overall this is a really good read, and being that I consider myself a fan of the paranormal phantasmagoric entities that allegedly exist spontaneously into our human dimension that is a mere thin veil of time and space, this now gives me a new perspective that I have never considered before when the debate arises. After all, it alludes to a better rationale that “they’re stuck in the middle”, or “they’ve returned to the place they are most familiar with”, or my favorite “it’s because they had a tragic accident” (yeah, that’s it Egon).  Get it, read it, nourish it for what it is worth, and then pull it out to quote it the next time your drunken friends want to use a Ouija board to contact Elvis.


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Death once had a near-Renfield Rasputin-experience.