I’ve written two collections of ghost stories. (“Death Be Not Loud” and “Rest In Fleece,” 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:
- We speculate about the Other Side, and there are countless theories about it.
- Our fear of the unknown.
- 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.
- 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?
- Ghost stories have been told round the campfire as far back as, well, there have been campfires! Legends continue to intrigue us.
- 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?
- 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!
Readers, here are some scary stories of haunted objects! From Haunted Key West.
For more frightening things, see: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Santino: bald, but
dated all the girls. Told them
he was Dr. Phil.
Photo: Angela George [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
For more Mob social life, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Readers, check out this strange personal account of ghostly visitations. It’s quite unusual and intriguing! From Ed of the Bacon and Candy blog.
Alone, in my house, I know they speak to me. It’s the kind of confidence you can’t fake. When my daughter, Brody, says she scared, I tell her this, “They want you here. They want you to feel safe. They don’t want us to go.” Heidi will sometimes tell her, “There’s nothing to be afraid […]
via When the Dead Visit — Bacon and Candy
For more ghosts please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
When Giorgio cooked
you could smell the anchovies
10 miles downwind.
For more Mob cuisine, please see: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Readers, here is a personal account from a reader who purchased a car – the ghost was free of charge. 🙂 Read more on the link below, from Ghosts and Ghouls.
For more scary stuff, please see: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Angelo stole books.
Asked about his guilt, he had
a Cloud of Unknowing.
For more Mob intellect and other topics, please see: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Readers, hang onto your hats (or toupees). This is scary! A true account of warnings of death and a vivid near death experience. As a chaplain/clergy working often in hospitals and hospice settings, I’ve heard lots of NDE’s – but this one is highly unusual and quite strange. Do read on! What do you think? From Backpacker Verse.
For more ghosts, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Maria oft’ got
arrested: 12th Precinct. The
cops were so hot there.
Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/copsadmirer/6182639605 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
For more Mob mug shots, please see my amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Readers, here are some very haunted houses – for those who want Even More! Enjoy this repost from hauntedia.com
via Five Most Haunted Houses in Indiana to get spooked
For more ghosts and other scary things, see my amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Dee shoplifted from
the finest designer stores:
L. Vuitton: all gone.
For more Mob designs, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75