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 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: New Book Alert!

Readers!  My 15 page scholarly essay about the spirits and other elements in F. G. Cottam’s wonderfully chilling ghost stories is now available at my amazon link.  It is a helpful read for anyone who loves ghost stories, as it offers a literary analysis of the ghostly events in these superb books, and will help you see other ghost stories from a broader perspective. 

F. G. Cottam is in my opinion the finest contemporary author in the ghost/horror genre – my work will reveal why!  Cottam has written several subsequent books, all marvelous.  If you aren’t familiar with his work, you’re in for a treat.  As many times as I’ve read and re-read his books, I only crack them open during daylight hours – preferably when not home alone!  His work is original, brilliantly well-written, and do not disappoint! 


For this and more about ghosts (or haiku!) please see my amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75



Ghosts: A ‘P.S.’ from the Stanley Hotel!

Readers, you won’t want to miss this sighting from the subject of a recent post here – wow, sooo creepy!  From Ghosts and Ghouls blog.

A couple staying at the infamously haunted Stanley Hotel was shocked to see a black figure reflected in a hallway mirror. Could it be a ghost? 105 more words

via Ghost Photo: Man in the Mirror — Ghosts and Ghouls

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


Mob Haiku: Skewered

Sal put something in
the marinade.  Joey died.
Ah. “Baste not, haunt not.”
For more Mob menus, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For, and more at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75

Ghosts: Another Haunted Road!

Readers, here’s another collection of ghosts from a haunted road.  We’ve read about other highway apparitions – what is it about roadways that invites ghosts?  Some would cite the ley line theory (briefly, lines of underground energy); others would add that many people die in auto accidents and that many roads are adjacent to cemeteries.  Whatever the reason, I bring you this gaggle of ghosts, via New England Folklore blog. Enjoy!  

I always imagine that Labor Day weekend will be warm and sunny. You know, it’s the end of summer so we should spend one last day at the beach or have a big picnic. 755 more words

via Milton’s Ghost Road — NEW ENGLAND FOLKLORE

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


Mob Haiku: Forensicks

Rock, training the new
hit men, said “Don’t put all your
legs in one casket.”
For more Mob tips, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For, and more at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75

Ghosts: Annesley Hall – History and Ghost Sightings — Paranormal Hauntings

Readers, here’s a comprehensive post about the history and hauntings at Annesley Hall – from the excellent Paranormal Hauntings blog. 

History Annesley Hall is a location that over the years I have been extremely interested in and drawn too. Annesley Hall and Newstead Abbey are the two locations that growing up as a teenager myself and friends would often visit on a night to share the odd ghost stories or two. The two locations are […]

via Annesley Hall – History and Ghost Sightings — Paranormal Hauntings

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


Mob Haiku: Hear Say

“Order in the court!”
cried the bailiff. Sal replied
“Gimme a cheese slice.”
For more Mob short orders, please see Pasta La Vista, Baby:  Mob Haiku to Die For, and A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For, and much more at https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Olandese/e/B071FK9L75

Ghosts: More Haunted Antiques!

Readers, you’ll enjoy this article with stories of haunted items via Haunted Antiques and Jewelry in Your Home

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


Mob Haiku: Vince’s Wife the Intellectual —- and a New Mob Haiku collection!

Gina wrote a book.  
Loose lips sink ships. It better
be about lipstick. 
More Pasta:  A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For
Available now! Get yours!  An offer you can’t refuse! (Really. The Boss is taking names).  Almost 200 haiku, 100 illustrated pages of Mob chronicles: the ups, the downs, the social life.  
kindle ebook:
More Pasta: A Second Helping of Mob Haiku to Die For by [Olandese, Jan ]
Thanks for following the crew!  Here, have a cannoli!

Ghosts: A Ghost Visitor

Readers, this is a great story about a ghost who joined the family for Thanksgiving!  via The Ghost Post blog:

Thanks to Jessica from Florida for this story! Jessica met her best friend, Barbara, during their freshman year in college. They lived a couple of rooms down from each other. The two young women only had one class together, but they made efforts to meet up for meals and hang out. They hit it off […]

via A Spirited Reunion — The Ghost Post

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