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 a collection of funny/irreverent haiku called”It’s Your Funeral: Dead Funny Haiku.”  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!

73 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 !! 🙂

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      • 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.

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      • 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!

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      • 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! 🙂

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  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. 😀

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  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.

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      • 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 🙂

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    • 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!

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  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.

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  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 .

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    • 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!

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    • 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! 🙂

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      • 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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  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.

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  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.

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    • 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! 🙂

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