About Ghosts and Things that Go Bump

I’ve written two collections of ghost stories.  (“Death Be Not Loud” “Rest In Fleece,” and “Sepia Seepage,” at amazon)as well as a nonfiction book on the subject called “About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook,” and two collections of funny/irreverent haiku:”It’s Your Funeral: Dead Funny Haiku, and Pasta La Vista, Baby:  Mob Haiku to Die For.”  I teach seminars occasionally about the spirituality of the ghost story, and about the paranormal in literature.  The subject matter is intriguing in many ways:

  1. We speculate about the Other Side, and there are countless theories about it.
  2. Our fear of the unknown.
  3. So much is written off as “wives tales” or legend, but actually,  running up against ghosts, hauntings, ESP, voodoo, the Bermuda Triangle, and more, happens to people quite often. Working as a priest and as a chaplain I heard countless stories from so many individuals: and prior to that, as a columnist, I interviewed those who had had supernatural, inexplicable experiences.
  4. In literature, one can play with the concepts:  what about life after death?  Is there anything to do or is it boring?  What about justice, is retribution from beyond the grave possible?  Do the boring, banal and obnoxious ever get the karma they deserve? If so, how can ghosts help out with that?
  5. Ghost stories have been told round the campfire as far back as, well, there have been campfires!  Legends continue to intrigue us.
  6. There are common elements in ghost stories that cross cultural and geographic lines:  does this reflect some universal observations made by mankind over the eons?
  7. What are some of the themes in ghost stories?  There are a few standard ones:  retributive justice as mentioned above is one.  Then there’s the unwary and somewhat careless person who pokes at something he shouldn’t and what happens as a result.  There is the curse theme:  someone curses someone else – personally, I like it when the curse bounces back on its maker, who usually is quite deserving!  Ghost stories also play out ideas of magical thinking:  if I do this, then that will happen.  Or, if I imitate this I can get it to happen over there, to them.   Of course there is the twilight zone between death and life.  And of course, monstrous beings of different kinds.  Ghost stories, too, often reflect cultural, social, psychological and spiritual ideas of a time and place.  But it’s still fascinating how universal some of those ideas are.

The above categories offer food for thought about the ghost story and why it’s more than just entertainment (although we who write them do hope they entertain!).  I was led to explore this subject partially because of my own strange stories;  and  when I realised so many others had stories, too.

Have you ever seen a ghost?  Or experienced other paranormal “inexplicables?”  Sit down, make yourself at home, feel free to share!


If you enjoy my blog, please share the link with your friends – and please check out my books (on amazon at the link above).   Thank you!



Ghosts: Another Strange Personal Story

Readers, I recalled another story from my experience, but it was so long ago I’d forgot all about it.  See what you think:
When I was in graduate school, I visited a midcentury modern home.  It belonged to an art professor.  It was quite beautiful, full of paintings and sculpture.  A friend was house sitting, which is how I came to visit occasionally.
The thing with this house was, whilst no one ever saw anything, one would after a short time inside, start to feel a slight sense of unease. This increased incrementally until it became scary and unbearable: one simply had to leave. I felt it more than once and the only time the house felt neutral was during a party with lots of other people present.
There was this cognitive dissonance: the lovely interior vs the sense of darkness.
I later asked the house sitting friend how he could stand it.  He said he was quite terrified during nights and even took the homeowner’s dog into his room at bedtime – and he was not a dog person.
There was menacing energy at that place. I was always struck by the contrast between the beauty of the house and decor and the miasma of dread one felt.
Have you ever been to a place like this, or experienced this kind of creeping fear in a house?  Please discuss/share in comments if you like – it was a terribly strange and unsettling experience.
For more ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook, and more, at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75

Mob Haiku: Will ing

Sue whacked Ray: ink still
drying on the forged trust, so
she’d avoid pro bait.
For more Mob estate issues please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75

Ghosts: A Blogger Shares Her Experiences

Readers, I feel sure you’ll like these eerie true events from the life of blogger Nicolle Bryson of Paranormal Magazine!  Read on:

By Nicolle Bryson. So last week I did the first Spooky Sunday and it was quite popular so I’ve decided if I get enough stories, to make this a regular thing. 1,358 more words

via Spooky Sunday 2!  — Paranormal Magazine

For more ghosts and haunts, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75


Mob Haiku: Nerdtroglycerin

Jay, computer-smart,
remote-bombed the club. Beware

of geeks bearing gifts.

For more Mob dweebery, please see Pasta La Vista Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75


Ghosts: Paranormal Intruder

Readers, this is the title of a compelling and well-written book by former police officer Caroline Mitchell.  (It’s free on amazon unlimited at this time).  The story is that of a terrifyingly persistent poltergeist with evil intent.  The increasingly eerie phenomena were witnessed not only by friends and family, but by many of Mitchell’s police colleagues, all of whom are trained to be careful, scientific observers.  Mitchell has a blog here called Caroline-Writes, where you can read some of what she has written about the paranormal and this book (she has gone on to write several successful suspense novels). Here’s  a link to videos on her blog with witness interviews, for those who are intrigued – and I do recommend the book, Paranormal Intruder, as a well-documented and articulate story of a family dealing with frightening and ongoing paranormal events.  https://carolinewrites2.wordpress.com/videos/

For more ghosts, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75



Mob Haiku: La Scale-a

Rosie got so fat,
we all told her, “Honey, be-
ware the wides of March.”
For more weighty Mob matters, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby – Mob Haiku to Die For, and more at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75

Ghosts: My Own Personal Ghost Sighting!

Readers, today I’ll share my own, brand new ghost story!

A friend and I went to visit another friend, someone I’d never met.  The house is said to be haunted, the residents often see a ghostly man on the stairs, and have experienced and seen things upstairs.  Some folks wouldn’t go upstairs to find out!

We walked into the kitchen. The house has a warm, inviting energy.  One could see through a passageway into the next room and the bottom part of the stairs.  I saw someone there, at the foot of the staircase, getting ready to go outside. It was an old woman, who resembled someone from the forties and fifties.  She wore a wool dress coat and a scarf around her head.  I assumed she was a relative who lived in the home, and thought no more of it. It was only later that I realized the only (living) people at home were us, the friend, and her husband. No old ladies. Nor had any female ghosts been seen there. And no one went outside.

I called to share my story with the homeowner, who got a kick out of it – she had never seen the woman I described, although she often saw the man on the stairs.  She thought a moment and said it sounded like her grandmother, who wore a scarf on her head every day.  She asked me what the energy felt like when I walked into the house, and I said “Warm and fuzzy.”  So she was pleased, and I was, too … I’d seen a ghost!

Note: the ghost appeared solid and real.  The one odd thing was when we came in, it didn’t turn to look our way, as any living person would do when people come in.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it!

Do you have a ghost story you’d like to share? If so, I’d be glad to post it here – you can send it via my contact button. Thanks in advance!

For more ghosts, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75



Mob Haiku: Lie-brary

Vito passed himself
off as a priest: can’t judge a
crook by his cover.
For more Mob disguises, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75

Ghosts: The Lady in White

Another great ghost story about a woman in white from the excellent Tripping on Legends blog:

via The Lady in White | Tripping on Legends

For more ghosts and scary things, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75


Mob Haiku: Upstaged

Vinny, so late to
pay, learning the hard way all
about “Break a leg.”
For more Mob tasking, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75