TITLE: Haunted Healthcare
AUTHOR: Richard Estep
AGE RANGE: Adult
Many of those who have chosen the medical profession are no stranger to the paranormal. Ghosts walk the hallways of hospitals both old and new, haunting the wards and operating rooms. Join Richard Estep, paramedic, paranormal investigator, and cast members of TV’s “Haunted Case Files” and “Haunted Hospitals,” as he talks to EMTs, nurses, medical professionals, and patients alike, documenting their most intense and chilling encounters with ghosts and spirits. Dare YOU walk the hallways of some of the world’s most haunted medical facilities? Welcome to the world of Haunted Healthcare…
Get knocked down. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Get on with the job. No matter what, that’s just what nurses do.
I went into this expecting a fun book full of spooky encounters, but what I got was so much more.
Full disclosure: I’ve worked in a handful of medical settings when I used to do medical record-keeping for jails and hospitals, and I’ve had a couple of creepy and odd encounters of my own (including working the overnight shift in an urgent care where one particular hallway was definitely haunted), but more importantly, my mom (who is one of my best friends in the world) has been a nurse since I was a kid, and I have so much love and respect for nurses thanks to seeing some of the things she’s dealt with.
This book fully doubles as a love letter to nurses and medical professionals and I adored that aspect of it. Quotes like the one I added above warmed my heart time and time again while reading these stories, and the author strikes me as such a kindhearted soul that it was impossible not to enjoy his writing.
I know most of you are looking at this review to hear about the ghost stories, though, and let me tell you, they didn’t disappoint! There was a mix of creepy tales and odd experiences intermingled with incredibly sweet, touching stories about families and patients who were ready to move on, and I loved the fact that we got to see both ends of that paranormal spectrum.
This book also tackles mental health quite a few times, particularly in one chapter where the author discusses the long-going conversation between believers and skeptics regarding mental illness and paranormal experiences: does a person see entities because of a mental illness, or does an ongoing negative spiritual encounter cause trauma (which we all know can lead to depression, anxiety, and more)? As someone who has mental illnesses and has had traumatic paranormal experiences, I thought Estep handled the conversation with a lot of care and respect, and it meant a lot to me.
Finally, I can’t talk about this book without talking about Kyle, the final chapter’s subject. Estep devoted a massive chunk of the book to a cancer patient he befriended and his experiences as he nears end-of-life, and it is equal parts heartbreaking and touching. I’m a very strong believer that spirits come to us most frequently not to frighten or harm us, but to deliver messages and to comfort us, especially for people who are nearing that big step from this life into whatever lays beyond, and I loved hearing about Kyle’s late friends visiting and taking care of him.
This review ended up being a lot longer than I meant for it to be, but I really cherished every single page of this book. I never expected Haunted Healthcare to warm my soul so much (though it did give me chills a few times, too!) and I’m so happy that I picked it up. I will absolutely be reading more of Richard Estep’s books in the future and very highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys nonfiction about spiritual encounters.
WARNINGS (click to expand):
discussions of terminal illnesses, medical trauma, death, grief, cancer
— destiny ♥