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:
- 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 for your edification and vicarious shivers is a curation of locations hosting ghosts in New Mexico! So interesting! Read on, courtesy hauntedplaces.org http://www.hauntedplaces.org/santa-fe-nm/
For more ghosts, please see my amazon page – https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Readers, Nashotah House is a historic Episcopal seminary in Wisconsin. It was mentioned to me by the excellent blogger neatnik2009 of Sundry Thoughts blog – I know many people who attended Nashotah House (I went elsewhere :), but my college at Cuddesdon was certainly haunted, as mentioned previously in this blog and in my book, About Ghosts). So, had to find the story and Just Share! Thanks to neatnik for the hot tip! Read on http://www.destinationamerica.com/thehauntist/a-black-monk-haunts-wisconsins-nashotah-house/
For more about real ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook, and so much more, at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Marco pissed off the
Boss, who shoved him overboard:
“Time to feed the sharks.”
Readers, here is a weird story from a summer camp! Have a look! Brought to you by Ghosts and Ghouls.
“Last summer, my daughter and I spent the weekend at a local Girl Scout camp. I don’t want to name the camp and damage its reputation, but something seriously spooky happened to us there. 646 more words
via Reader Submission: Terror at Girl Scout Camp — Ghosts and Ghouls
For more about real ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook. For ghost stories please see Rest in Fleece, Death Be Not Loud, Sepia Seepage. Just 99 cents for now – get yours! https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Ray wore a wire
to the Sit Down. He got a
bolt out of the Crew.
Another great story from Charlene at Paranormal Hauntings. Read this one, Mr. Fuld’s death is quite bizarre. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it . . .
Helen Peters, a medium, coined the name OUIJA after conducting a séance on a board. She claimed that the planchette spelled out ‘OUIJA’ after asking what she should name it. 416 more words
via The Mysterious Death Of William Fuld: The Marketer of The Ouija! — Paranormal Hauntings
For even more ghosts and other things, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Joey’s wrong turnoff:
in the Borgo Pass. Got bit:
wrong neck of the woods.
Photo: Gianni Lunadei interpretando al Conde Drácula, en una versión televisiva del año 1980
Readers, these are good! Sit down with these chilling, real tales of all kinds of ghosts! Brought to you from The Guardian, via https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/31/ghost-cat-and-a-faceless-man-nine-ghost-stories-for-halloween
For other ghosts and ever so much more, please see https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75
Jane gained a ton on
that cruise: the food! The girls sneered,
For more Mob waistlines and other things, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For, and More Pasta: A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For – and if you love funny haiku, do check out It’s Your Funeral: Dead Funny Haiku (covering The Afterlife, what to wear to your funeral, heaven, hell, purgatory and all things related) and so much more, at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75