The Haunting of Merci Hospital
Author: Tanya R. Taylor
Published: April 30, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Some patients never leave…
No one expects to visit a hospital for a non-life-threatening injury only to never leave again.
Merci Hospital, one of the oldest in the county, has served countless patients for practically decades. However, something is now very odd about the place as some who are admitted report seeing things that are not there and others never get to talk about it.
Catherine Lucene is fairly new at Merci, a highly regarded nurse whose reputation for excellence and compassion in healthcare precedes her. She gradually becomes aware of the inexplicably sinister happenings at the hospital, but the underlying cause of it all evades her. Will Catherine’s determination to uncover the truth help preserve the lives of those not yet lost, including her own, or will her curiosity of the “unknown” propel her into a horrifying state-of-being she never knew existed?
This is gonna be a simple review for a simple story. Believe me, I’d love to go on and on about the benefits of haunted hospitals and lamenting my lot as the wife of a medical provider who won’t take her up to the haunted floor of the hospital he works at … but I won’t, cuz y’all have heard it all before.
I really liked this book! It was creepy, unique, and even as a ghost story, believable. I liked Nurse Katherine a lot; she seemed to be that perfect nurse who cared and also knew her stuff. I don’t want to give away too much detail, but there were some pretty freaky stuff that gave me goosebumps! My only problem is that I want more detail. This felt a little more like the bare bones of a story versus a completed work. The haunting happened for a reason, but I need more detail about said reason! Where’s the background of the hospital?? When I’m lucky enough to find a book about a haunted hospital or an asylum or even a boarding school, it needs to be at least 300 pages with a complete history of said institution!!!! How hard is that really??? Ok I know, I’m being unreasonable, so acknowledging that about myself, I really liked this book and I recommend it to anyone looking for a simple horror story. It’ll definitely scratch the itch!
**This one made Kim’s Top 10 of 2020, but we ran out of days to have it posted, so fittingly her review for Dark Halls is our first review of 2021! **
Author: Jeff Menapace
Published: October 31, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Highland Elementary has a dark and disturbing past. . .so disturbing that locals ultimately burned the school to the ground.
Years later, Pinewood Elementary is the future, and for new teacher Ryan Herb, a chance at a fresh start. But the townspeople don’t believe that rebuilding the school and changing its name is enough. They believe that whatever evil inhabited the halls of Highland still dwells at Pinewood.
Ryan is a realist and isn’t the type to be affected by local lore. But when Ryan begins to experience horrifying visions of past tragedies, he starts to question his own beliefs. Something in the school is reaching out to Ryan for help, a potentially lethal request as something else – or someone else – in the school is keen on keeping the evil therein very much alive.
Can a skeptical Ryan unearth the origins of the evil’s true source and put an end to it? Or will he, like many before him, become a permanent resident of the school himself?
Rife with supernatural terror and intrigue, ‘Dark Halls’ blurs the lines between horror and mystery – a whodunit that, when solved, proposes the even greater question of: How do you stop it?
Creepy AF! I was attracted by the cover, which I didn’t include in the 2020 tournament cuz I knew no one else shares my love of the creepy horror covers. Then the description pulled me in and was it worth it!! I was creeped out from the beginning! Barely 20 pages in and I was scared. Spirits appearing, kids with abnormally large smiles and white eyes, murders and suicides, a haunted school … is anyone really surprised that I read this book? (Shout out to Alana for getting it for me for Christmas!) I wouldn’t call the story predictable, even though I guessed the identity of the villain relatively early. The easy reveal was in exchange for an engaging plot and crazy atmosphere! I’d even say the ending is considered open, yet I was happy and fulfilled with it! I read this book quickly and easily and it held me till the very end! I would absolutely recommend Dark Halls to anyone looking for a good horror book!
One for Sorrow
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Published: July 18, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.
Another chilling tale from Hahn! My gosh she is the queen of kids’ horror! This one seemed appropriate for the times since it takes place during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Seems a bit more romantic than covid, but I guess we’ll take what we can get.
I really liked this book. The atmosphere of Baltimore in winter and the cemetery in the snow and the mental hospital were vivid and interesting. The story was unique and satisfying and it gave me goosebumps in several places. And considering how annoying I find kids, I actually really liked Annie. She seemed sincere and relatable. My one issue is my complete and utter discomfort caused by Elsie! Hahn does this thing where she puts the nastiest kids down on paper and I spend half my time wishing they never existed! I know the point is to make them unlikable and downright unbearable … but dang, sometimes it’s just too much! But her horribleness added to the story so I was mostly ok. I would definitely recommend this to horror fans and even to kids who like the scarier stories.