About Ghosts and Things that Go Bump

I’ve written three 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 collections of funny/irreverent haiku: “It’s Your Funeral: Dead Funny Haiku, and Pasta La Vista, Baby:  Mob Haiku to Die For,”  and “More Pasta: A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For.” In addition, there’s “Infectious Ghosts: Contagious Magic in F. G. Cottam’s Dark Echo and House of Lost Souls, and Love in Bosch’s Garden:  Profane and Sacred Love in the Medieval Imagination.

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!

https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75

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!

capturenewA

Advertisements

Ghosts: A Jinn in Time

Readers, this is a strange but true accounting of a Jinn’s action in a family’s life.  It’s a strange tale of being in one spot and being somehow transported someplace else.  Read more at Quora via A Jinn in Time

Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved
To learn more about real ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook.  For some great ghost stories, please see Death Be Not Loud, Rest In Fleece, and Sepia Seepage.  To learn about ghosts in modern fiction, please see Infectious Ghosts. And so much more, at: Jan’s Amazon Page
 
capturenewA

Mob Haiku: What Pile Is This?

Found Gino’s stash, ripped
off from the crew.  We sang “O
Come All Ye Wrathful.”
Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved

For more Mob Haiku, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For, and More Pasta: A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For, and other fun books at Jan’s Amazon Page

capturenewA.jpg

Ghosts: A Protective Spirit

Readers. have a look at this post, from Quora, copied for you below. It’s an unusual kind of ghost, and the author came to feel it had the family’s safety in mind. That’s interesting because the ghost responds to the living in an intelligent way, it’s not a “filmstrip” of the past (when one sees a ghost which appears unaware of one’s presence), and its actions appear, upon reflection, to have meaning. Read on below for more: 
Gene Rick, former Steel Worker, Janitor, Educator, Judge. Retired!
When I was in my late 20s, my wife and I bought our first home, which was a very old home that needed major renovations. When the wind blew, the curtains actually moved away from the walls… despite the old storm windows that were installed. The previous owner had been an elderly lady who fell down the basement stairs and eventually died, after laying down there for several days.
The bedrooms in this house were all on the 2nd floor, but the only bathroom was in the basement. That made it necessary to go down two flights of stairs, including the steep, rickety ones leading to the basement. Our young children established a buddy system for overnight bathroom trips, so they never had to go alone or wake us up. One night, as they began their descent down the uppermost stairway, a small matchbox car (that our son had left out at the bottom of the stairs) literally flew up the stairway and hit him in the forehead, according to his older sister. They were so terrified that they went back to bed and waited until morning to use the bathroom. He had a large welt on his forehead, as evidence of the story they shared with us during breakfast.
Not long thereafter, I was suddenly awakened from a sound sleep, by a sense of terror. I sat up in bed, wide awake, in total darkness. Across the room, appeared a glowing image of a partially-decayed, floating head. It was that of a very old woman. I closed my eyes and rubbed them in disbelief, only to see that she had actually moved closer when I reopened them. In panic, I jumped out of bed and turned on the bedroom lights. She was not there, so I scurried around the house, turning on every single light. She was nowhere to be found. I had to explain this to my bewildered wife, whom I had awakened, but I made some lame excuse to the kids because I didn’t want to panic them.
A few days later, I replaced the basement stairs with ones that were neither steep, nor rickety. After that, we had no other incidents of flying toys or floating head images. Despite previously not believing in paranormal activity, we were convinced that the home’s last occupant was trying to protect us from the unsafe stairs.
Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved
To learn more about real ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook.  For some great ghost stories, please see Death Be Not Loud, Rest In Fleece, and Sepia Seepage.  To learn about ghosts in modern fiction, please see Infectious Ghosts. And so much more, at: Jan’s Amazon Page
 
capturenewA

Mob Haiku: You Better Watch Out

Cheech, gone: Witness Pro-
tection? Hah! We knew where to
bring Christmas presence.
Photo: public domain, U S Marshalls Service via wikipedia
Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved

For more Mob Haiku, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For, and More Pasta: A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For, and other fun books at Jan’s Amazon Page

capturenewA.jpg

Ghosts: The Lady in White

Readers, here’s a first-hand account of what turned out to be perhaps a guardian spirit?Who knows? Intriguing to me because more than one person witnessed the ghost.  This story comes to us from Occult World, via Lady in White

 

Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved
To learn more about real ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook.  For some great ghost stories, please see Death Be Not Loud, Rest In Fleece, and Sepia Seepage.  To learn about ghosts in modern fiction, please see Infectious Ghosts. And so much more, at: Jan’s Amazon Page
 
capturenewA

Mob Haiku: Greensleaze

Momo sold pre-need
plots, but also rented some:
called them Lease On Earth.
Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved

For more Mob Haiku, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For, and More Pasta: A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For, and other fun books at Jan’s Amazon Page

capturenewA.jpg

Ghosts: A Collection of Creepy Tales

Readers, here are more scary tales of ghosts and strange encounters. These are first-hand accounts, and I found them on The Lineup, via Ghostly Tales and Strange Encounters

Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved
To learn more about real ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook.  For some great ghost stories, please see Death Be Not Loud, Rest In Fleece, and Sepia Seepage.  To learn about ghosts in modern fiction, please see Infectious Ghosts. And so much more, at: Jan’s Amazon Page
 
capturenewA

 

Mob Haiku: In Excess Gloria

Vito’s Christmas feast:
filet mignon, cannoli.
Lobster claws are coming to town.
Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved

For more Mob Haiku, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For, and More Pasta: A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For, and other fun books at Jan’s Amazon Page

capturenewA.jpg

Ghosts: A true ghost story — Sue Burke

Readers, here’s a short tale from the blog of Sue Burke.  It’s interesting – and makes sense, in a way. See what you think at the link below: 

Since it’s Halloween, let me tell you a true story about a ghost. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I want to believe in this one. It happened quite a few years back when I was living in Milwaukee and I went to visit a friend’s house in the Bay View neighborhood. I didn’t know […]

via A true ghost story — Sue Burke

Copyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved
To learn more about real ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook.  For some great ghost stories, please see Death Be Not Loud, Rest In Fleece, and Sepia Seepage.  To learn about ghosts in modern fiction, please see Infectious Ghosts. And so much more, at: Jan’s Amazon Page
 
capturenewA

Mob Haiku: With Bells Off

Guys snuck in to blow
the lock off that bank vault. Called 
it O Tannenbomb.
opyright © 2018 Bookemjano – All rights reserved

For more Mob Haiku, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For, and More Pasta: A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For, and other fun books at Jan’s Amazon Page

capturenewA.jpg