Book Review: A Haunted Life by Debra Robinson

9780738736419Title: A Haunted LIfe
Author: Debra Robinson
Genre: Non-Fiction / Ghosts & Hauntings
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon, Llewellyn, B&N
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Debra Robinson faced haunted houses, terrifying psychic encounters, shattered dreams, and a battle with evil. But nothing prepared her for the death of the two most important people in her life.

Born psychic and raised in a religious family, Debra Robinson felt conflicted all her life about using her gifts. And when, at an early age, she attracts something evil with a Ouija board, she embarks on a lengthy battle with darkness. With her career as a professional musician taking her on the road, she experiences brushes with fame and heartbreak that serve to strengthen her resolve. Struggling to come to terms with her psychic gifts, the tragic deaths of her only child and her beloved father–and their visits from the other side–finally leave her with a sense of understanding and the strength to love herself.

A Haunted Life is a tough book to review. It’s not just about ghosts and hauntings here. The author, Debra Robinson, lost her son in a terrible accident, and she’d had various sense of foreboding in the past and a few signs that something was out to get her son, James. His car was totaled twice while standing in front of their garage – in a normal road, so they could’ve hit any car – and once nearly burned down due to faulty heating in the car. She had a sense something bad was going to happen days before James’ accident, but couldn’t figure out what or who it would involve.

It’s impossible for me to understand Mrs. Robinson’s loss, but I had a better sense of understanding after reading her book. It must be terrible to lose a child, in any and all circumstances, especially if you feel like it may somehow be the result of your own struggle with the darkness, of your own psychic powers. While I understand the guilt and the pain (although not really, like I said, impossible to understand for anyone who hasn’t lost a child themselves, I’m quite sure of that) this isn’t the first time I’ve heard psychics blame ‘the darkness’ for major tragedies in their lives, and it always makes me frown.

First of all, I’m not sure why a psychic would be a better catch for the devil than any other regular person. I get tired of everyone blaming demons or the devil for what goes wrong in their life – unfortunately sometimes it’s just bad luck or destiny. Secondly, we all try to find reasons why. Why did this person I love have to die? But blaming “the darkness” never truly helps. All it does is make one afraid, come up with an imaginary struggle between good and bad, makes us believe that if only we fight for the good side, bad things won’t happen to us. It makes psychics afraid to use their gifts because they fear they might get drawn into the dark side.

That was the only thing that bothered me about this book though. Apart from that, it was an enjoyable, although at times saddening read. Debra Robinson portrays a lot of courage. She survived a haunted house on Fifth Street that tormented her day and night, she survived relationships with abusive boyfriends, the loss of her son and father and living with psychic gifts she never asked for. She’s a strong, admirable woman. I liked the passages about her clairvoyance and about the spirits the most, and sometimes they were much-needed breaks inbetween the sadness going on.

The sense I get from this book though is that it’s all true. People who’ve read my other reviews for ghosts and haunting books know that I tend to take these books with a grain of salt – some are just so spectacularly written that they make the plot of Poltergeist seem like an innocent ghost playing. But I got none of that here. Debra tells the story like it is, in a down-to-earth way that makes me relate to it all the more. The ghosts she describes, the clairvoyance she talks about, those are the kind of things I can believe in.

Just one warning before you start on this one though: keep the tissues ready.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this particular book, I was keen to see how you felt about it as it piqued my interest upon seeing it featured in your It’s Monday! last week.
    As fascinating as the book sounds, I think it may be too far on the emotional side for me… Thanks for the review ūüôā
    My Book Bubble

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