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!

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Ghosts: The Windsor Hotel

Readers, thanks go to our excellent fellow blogger, Neatnik2009, who brought this interesting article to my attention.  Too good not to share!  Enjoy this creepy tale of a haunted hotel! (There are so many – I will be posting more!):  from Windor Americus at The Haunted Windsor Hotel

Photo: By Michael Rivera [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

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
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Mob Haiku: What A Heel

Dino whined: his shoes,
so scuffed, kicking late payers.
A brogan record.

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

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Ghosts: The George & Pilgrim Hotel

Readers, here’s a great post about the spirited George and Pilgrim, an ancient inn in Glastonbury.  Not to be missed!  Many sightings!  Much history!  Check it out at Gothic Horror Stories, via https://www.gothichorrorstories.com/true-ghost-stories/hanging-out-amongst-the-spirits-at-glastonburys-george-and-pilgrim-hotel/

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
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Mob Haiku: Ale’s Well

Gino, selective
about his beer, we said “Out 
of Lite, out of mind.” 

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

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Ghosts: Ghost Stories of the Alamo

Readers, a fellow blogger, GP Cox of Pacific Paratrooper blog fame mentioned the Alamo the other day and look what popped up!  Thanks GP for the pointer and all, enjoy these stories from the Alamo!  via http://texashillcountry.com/spooky-stories-haunted-alamo/

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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 my amazon page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B071FK9L75
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Mob Haiku: Ace in the Hole

Bobby Guns: a card!
When he whacked a guy he said
“Look – pine overcoat.”

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

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Ghosts: More Ghosts of Cape May

Readers, don’t miss these scary ghosts from historic Cape May, NJ!  Brought to you by http://www.capemay.com/Editorial/october06/favoritehaunts.html

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 my amazon page:  https://www.amazon.com/e/B071FK9L75
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Mob Haiku: Mobverbs

The Boss used to tell
us: “If you can’t beat ’em –  get 
your crew to do it.”
For more Mob sayings and other things, please check out my books at Jan’s Amazon Page
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Ghosts: A Grateful Spirit

Readers, here’s a wonderfully touching World War 2 ghost story – check it out!  From Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal Blog at the link below:

Nick Gromano wrote in to tell of his mother’s ghost experience during World War II: “My parents grew up in Italy during World War II. Superstition and supernatural beliefs played a big part in their childhood. 635 more words

via A Grateful Spirit — Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

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
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Mob Haiku : HR Issues

Joey Arm’s last hit
went south.  So the Boss said “Don’t
get Brad, get Steven.” 

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

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