A Unique Journalist: William Seabrook

We at The Logic will do our best to get a good story for others to want to read, but some people go above and beyond the expectations to get a unique story for their readers. William Buehler Seabrook, an American journalist, author, traveler, and explorer was one of these people. He used his strange life experiences and wrote about it for all to read.

He was born in 1884 and attended two colleges in America and one in Switzerland. He received his masters degree and studied philosophy. He married three women in his lifetime, all of which he divorced.

When he was 31, he joined the army and served in World War I. A year later, he was gassed, but survived and was awarded a medal.

A year later, he became a reporter for the New York Times. He loved travelling the world and trying new things so that he could write about it. In 1920, he met a cannibalistic tribe in West Africa. He wanted to participate in their cannibalistic rituals, but they did not allow him. So instead, he got samples of human meat from a hospital and cooked it himself. He wrote about these experiences and the people he met in his novel, Jungle Ways.

He went into many third world countries and lived as they did. In these countries, he picked up the practice of witchcraft and felt that it was the only thing that could explain science. He said that everything he saw had a rational explanation, and this compelled him to write Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today (1940).

With the help of some of his friends, he sent himself to an insane asylum (for acute alcoholism) and stayed there for about half a year. Then he wrote a completely non-fictional book about his experiences there and called it Asylum.  In Asylum, he writes about his troubles and addiction, empathizing with himself and others. He writes about finding himself and the root of his drinking problems.

After a trip to Africa, he married his last wife, but she ended up divorcing him because of his alcoholism and witchcraft practices. She later wrote a book about him called The Strange World of Willie Seabrook which was published in 1966.

In 1945, he died from a drug overdose, leaving behind one son named William. In the 1930s, he was a very popular journalist across the world, known for his unique and strange stories.  Today, his name is probably not commonly recognized, but many people still enjoy his down to earth stories about his perspective on the world.

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