About Ghosts and Things that Go Bump

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:

  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!

Death Be Not Loud:: Ghosts Haunts & Tall Tales For Restless NightsRest In Fleece: Ghosts  Tall Tales  &  Horror Stories About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook It's Your Funeral: Dead Funny HaikuPasta La Vista, Baby: Mob Haiku to Die For

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122 thoughts on “About Ghosts and Things that Go Bump

      • Love it! I wonder if the tv is haunted or the house is and the ghost just digs Days of Our Lives? Seriously…while it might be an engineering glitch there could be more. Keep me posted !! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • I felt it was the Ghost who wanted the TV, because I had the TV for a long time with no issues and then suddenly one night at 2 AM I heard noise in the living room. I asked my family if any of them had left the TV on, NO. I’d go out to run an errand and come back with TV on. If I didn’t want the TV to turn off and on, I started “unplugging it.” Now, I have given the TV to charity. WHO knows what Casper is up to now! Maybe there was a glitch in the TV… but it just seemed so odd. It was amusing. I would say, “OK, what are you watching now???”

        If I have another spiritual encounter in a different way, I will certainly let you know. I don’t believe I’ve read an article on your site that explains WHAT your spiritual encounters were. Maybe I need to find your book to read that.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ghosts As Visions in my blog is a true account that actually happened to moi. The story of the very haunted house I lived in is in the book, and several other “real life” experiences. There are so many!

        Liked by 2 people

      • They are all available on the amazon link on my blog posts. Only in libraries where my friends suggested it 🙂 as the books are all recent publications. About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook is nonfiction, my thoughts and educated essays about the meaning of ghosts, along with a chapter of true accounts. Death Be Not Loud and Rest In Fleece are collections of fictional ghost stories, and some are funny (esp. in Death Be Not Loud)…my fourth book is a collection of haiku called It’s Your Funeral: Dead Funny Haiku (like those here on the blog :). Feel free to hit the “contact” button to email me. Thanks again! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Such an interesting and fascinating blog that you have here. I can’t wait to read more. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and following me. I’ve never seen a ghost (thank goodness!), but I do write some scary fiction stories/poems from time to time. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the title of your blog :D. Thanks for visiting my place I am enjoying browsing yours. I think I’ve seen a ghost and I would like to see one again – odd when I know that I am too scared to watch horror movies haha.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks Jan O 🙂 I say I think I saw a ghost because it was late at night and I had to get up to address a call of nature. I walked in to my lounge room, on the way to the loo, and saw a lady standing at the table – she was grey and her clothes were grey. She never said anything to me and I never said anything to her and strangely, I wasn’t shocked or scared! I walked around the other side of the table and continued to my destination… am I awake I thought. After finishing the necessaries, I washed my face and hands and had a drink of water to ensure I was awake and went back into the lounge – she was gone and I never saw her again. Hopefully we meet again someday 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • And thank you for visiting my blog! I read your story with interest. The corroborative element (the smell experienced by both you and your girlfriend) reminded me of a very odd experience I was never able to explain in which there was a corroborated auditory experience…I saw it, my roommate at the time heard what I heard (music) but saw nothing. While this doesn’t explain what happened it does support that an event occurred! Thanks for sharing your story! It’s an intriguing one!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you. i thought my father left us penniless during the Depression, but in my 70s I learned that he was one of Seattle’s biggest builders. It has been fun to learn both about my parents and about Seattle history.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Quite a few, but all susceptible to a rational (if far-fetched) explanation. Except for the one when my grandfather saw a favourite nephew sit on his bed and smile at him one morning while he was getting up. He came down to breakfast ashen-faced, and said, ‘Teddy’s gone.’ It took a day for the news to come through that Teddy had, indeed, been run over by an ox wagon .

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for visiting and for your comment…that’s intriguing. I’ve often experienced the cold air you describe. There are various theories. In a haunted house in which I once lived, the coldest room in the house (and the most haunted) was situated right over a room with a huge Franklin wood stove – and open floor vents so the heat would rise above. No matter how long one had the woodstove fired, that room upstairs remained quite cold.

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    • I lived in a house where upstairs you’d hear footsteps and doors opening and shutting – sometimes when company was at the house – no one was upstairs of course! Thanks for sharing your story and stopping by!

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  5. Thank you for following me and the storyhounds! I’ll be following you back as I’m very interested in this subject. I know what it’s like to ‘poke’ the paranormal and get results, and I’m currently working on a children’s novel about a boy who does just that!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy them! I’m retired clergy/chaplain and did lots of funerals, thus the cuisine for thought out of which this all arose! Just commented on your photos and poetry re: Arizona – you nailed it! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I just retired from almost 50 years of teaching German in 2015 and enjoy hobbies on my own time and space. Since my teens I have been a music director/church organist/choir member in several states. When I played the organ at 13 and had to be excused from school to play for funerals, I found them to be very sad. Now, I celebrate the lives people have lived and the fact they have met their Lord at long last. Thanks for your kind comments.

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      • Thanks so much. I have devoured your books and love the haiku poetry. Since our daughter is an RN, I have her your collection and starred The Patient as something to read. In her hospital (probably others as well), there is a room dubbed the haunted room and no one likes to enter or send patients there. Such is life. You have such a great sense of humor, and your writing is stellar. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much – I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed my work! As for haunted rooms in hospitals – as a chaplain I was often called in to bless and/or “clear” such rooms. No doubt that something’s going on with that! Thank you again for writing – your kind words truly made my day ! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • It is good to make someone’s day I believe. It only takes a smile and a few kind words. I will let out daughter know about that hospital room. Next time clergy is thee, perhaps they can say a prayer to “clear” away the ghosts! Thank you for a thoughtful comment and enjoy the remainder of your Sunday! Have a good week ahead since I can’t recall your time zone. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Jan,
    Thank you for following my blog. I hope you will get some pleasure from the mix of photography and of history, ancient and modern. I take it that history would be your main interest – any particular period, aspect, etc? Des.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I’ve always believed in ghosts, but never seen one myself. Three of my four children ended up staying in an old hotel in Connecticut (they were attending a wedding) and their room / suite was haunted. I won’t go into detail but things moved around – a glass shattered, toilet paper came off the roll, and light bulbs burst. They were so freaked out that they went to the front desk at 4am asking to switch rooms. I know my kids, and I certainly believe them. To this day they will not watch a horror/ghost movie because of that encounter.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much for reading and sharing their story…wow. I posted a true account of a haunted house a few days ago (my own account!) – and in my book I share many true stories of others who’ve experienced ghosts.. Thanks again! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for reading and for the reblog! So glad it’s helpful! I love writers of that era – am teaching a seminar now using M R James and E F Benson (then I’ll make ’em read some of my stories :)….great to know about the women writers you mentioned! Thanks again! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I really wish I could take your course. Have you heard of A.M. Burrage? Ash Tree Press publishes his anthologies. His “Smee” is one of the most anthologized of all ghost stories.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for the heads up, will look Burrage! I’ll post the next time I do the class – especially if I do it on my own instead of via an institute (which I do now, so professionals can get accredited continuing education units for taking it).

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  8. Your post reminds me of Luke 24 where the risen Jesus re-appears to his disciples. They were startled, thinking they’d seen a Ghost.

    Jesus says a Ghost does not have Flesh and Bones. It would suggest that they do exist, but as a follower of Christ my desire would be to follow our Risen Lord, and keep a step back from the supernatural.

    I once had a very “creep feeling” listening to an old LP which my friend felt at precisely the same time, I’d seek to avoid any such recurrence!

    My favourite “Ghost” is the novel by Richard Harris, which is really about a Ghost Writer who seeks to write up the Primeminister’s biography.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I love ghost stories. I love to read them and I love to write them. Don’t know why, but maybe it’s because that feeling that we might not be the only ones walking this earth. Reading what other people feel is fascinating and inspiring 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I had a few strange experiences when I lived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. But I am not absolutely certain if I saw a ghost. All things considered, I certainly can understand how ghost/spirit stories begin.
    In October 2012, while visiting the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, I saw a young boy standing near a stone fence and pointing at the valley below. He was positive that there was a shadowy witch down there–flying over the colorful autumn trees on her broomstick. His mother quickly corrected him, and told him that the ‘witch’ he was looking at was just a shadow made by overhead clouds. BUT….who knows…maybe it really was a witch. Halloween night was less than 2 weeks away. 🙂
    https://storieswithnobooks.com/2012/10/20/mysterious-witch-of-shenandoah/
    (To me, the witch on the broomstick looks like she is trying to catch up with her 2 wayward cauldrons!)

    Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks! Just like the little boy, I have a tendency to see things created by lights and shadows. There is one photo that I took of tree roots that totally shocked me when I first pulled it up on my computer screen. I did not see the strange ‘wooden creature’ staring at me when I took the photo. It has an eerie (and rather evil looking) look in its eye. When I opened the photo and the image ‘jumped out’ at me, I had to get up and turn on all of the lights (it was 11:30 pm). Yikes! It took my breath away. It is the 4th photo in my blog story “Where Earth and Shadows Play.” If you don’t see the ‘wooden creature’, double click on the photo to make it larger. Tell me if you can see it looking at you! Many people who commented saw it too…but a few did not. https://storieswithnobooks.com/2014/06/18/where-earth-and-shadows-play/

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  11. Ghosts? Perhaps I have experienced encounters with a ghost, as have many who have lived at “The Farm”. I say perhaps because sometimes I wonder if our experiences are due to an anomaly giving access to another dimension. Could it be sounds from the past still resonating in the old timber homestead? Whatever the cause of the strange going-ons, I have definitely experience something I can’t explain.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. My house makes noises sometimes that are unexplainable, but not lately. I used to tell my son that the house ghost was moving around, or we’d hear a noise and he’d ask, “What was that noise?” and my answer, if there was no obvious explanation, was always, “It’s just the ghost – don’t worry.” He seemed a bit skeptical about this, since his exposure to media and Halloween had taught him to be afraid of ghosts. But I told him the ghost was friendly, which eventually he expected. It’s been several years since I’ve heard the ghost – maybe it “died” (died again?) or maybe my cat, which we adopted in 2013, chased it away! Now the only mysterious sounds in the house turn out to be the cat!!

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  13. A friend of mine in Port Elizabeth, South Africa saw the ghost ship the Flying Dutchman one night.

    I’ve since read an article that says Flying Dutchman sightings are based on the oceanic equivalent of desert mirages.

    But then another friend of mine- who’s an Anglican clergyman- says he saw a ghost lorry on one of Britain’s highways (the truck came out of nowhere, passed him and then vanished into thin air) and then saw a similar phenomenon- a ghost train- on a long abandoned railway track on another occasion.

    I guess highways and abandoned railway tracks are like the ocean subject to oceanic mirages too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Right! 🙂 Actually the road/train track question is interesting – some would say that these were built over old Roman roads( in the UK/Europe etc) – and that those were in turn build over ley lines or energy paths…so if that is even vaguely true it would account for the huge number of sightings at, say, crossroads. The sea things, well – lots of ocean sightings, too. I don’t at all doubt what your friends saw, and I don’t think they saw mirages – Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

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  14. Now there’s something we have in common. I’ve been writing ghost stories for several years now. In fact it’s what I’m best known for in Scotland, because they keep winning the annual contest at a particular literary festival here, and are read out to an audience by professional actors.

    Yep – I just came here to blow my trumpet.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Don’t know what to think about ghosts, cause I am not sure I have physically seen any, as it might be illusions, or perhaps I am one! I can’t remember the times I had vivid dreams of ghosts, some of which though long ago but I still remember. I have seen a lot of ghosts, ancient people and visited ancient graves in more than a thousand ghosts dreams! I have heard countless ghosts stories from people who swore they actually saw them. I once went to a village a little far from where I live and one of the villagers told me that everyday at night, ghosts move around in the village and no one talks with them. I was unable to see any, cause I didn’t stay up to night time!
    Aren’t we (living things) all ghosts when we die?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and for sharing – interesting comments and good question: are we all ghosts when we die? Some would say, only if we have unfinished business or are earthbound for other reasons – some would say, yes, we all are. In the blog posts I discuss, among other things, many different types of ghosts people have encountered. We can only ponder. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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