Hi! I’m Jan Olandese, and my page is about ghosts and the paranormal, as well as funny, very irreverent haiku, stories and verse. (“Well, I Thought They Were Funny” :).  I have written two collections of short stories, both about ghosts/horror:

*Death Be Not Loud: Ghosts  Haunts & Tall Tales for Restless Nights

*Rest In Fleece   Ghosts  Tall Tales & Horror Stories

*A nonfiction, illustrated book on the subject of ghosts called, aptly:  About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook

*Two  collections of funny haiku: It’s Your Funeral:  Dead Funny Haiku, and Pasta La Vista, Baby:  Mob Haiku to Die For.

*Infectious Ghosts: Contagious Magic in F. G. Cottam’s Dark Echo and The House of Lost Souls

* Love in Bosch’s Garden: Profane and Sacred Love in the Medieval Imagination

These are  available at amazon:   Jan’s Amazon Page

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I occasionally teach classes (online seminars at  oates.org)  about the spirituality of ghost stories, and the paranormal and spirituality.  My blog here is devoted to discussion around these topics and the questions they pose:  about justice, life after death, the unknown and our attitudes to it, what ghosts mean, and more.

I’m a retired Episcopal priest and Board Certified Chaplain.   (MDiv from Church Divinity School of the Pacific at UC Berkeley, CA and Ripon College-Cuddesdon at the University of Oxford, UK; MA in History from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, BA in History from California State University at Northridge.

As a former columnist, I addressed the paranormal: I interviewed people who had had inexplicable experiences and found that many readers responded with stories of their own. It seemed the paranormal was more “normal” than “para.”  🙂

Ghosts have intrigued me since childhood, but I got more curious about such manifestations after my own brushes with the supernatural.  I wanted to better understand what I’d seen or heard.

Ghosts have been with us always. Every culture, every era, every place: they’re in there! And almost everyone has a story to tell (or a story from their family or friends).

I welcome hearing from you about your own stories of the unknown.

And if that’s too serious, you’ll get a laugh out of my stories and haiku.  Thanks so much for visiting!


201 thoughts on “About

  1. Thank you for visiting, would love to know as former priest and chaplain, how you view things like ghosts – although im sure your understanding may not be identical with Anglican and Catholic viewpoints

    Having about six months ago lost my dad – am struggling a little. It wouldnt seem strange to me that peoples presence are left behind, both in a good or bad way in places very familiar to them

    A little while after my father died, my son and i drove past the hospital by accident because of an accident on the main road – we really didnt want to be there because he was still there and i got a very strong feeling/smell of his presence with us as we drove away – right until by accident we found ourselves at Ikea in Croydon and then it seemed to leave us. I think his spirit was fed up being in the hospital (he did get impatient) and we somehow facilitated him on the first leg of some sort of adventure he was making. I almost felt, events happened to bring us there. maybe he wanted to see my son again.

    This happened a few more times in other places when we were going for drives – i felt he joined us.

    But perhaps this is my own way of coping.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks so much for your remarks. My views are probably along Anglican lines (that means “nothing definite” 🙂 — thanks for relating your fascinating story – you could indeed explain it as coping, or as a presence. If your son also smelled/felt the presence, that would be corroboration (I had an experience once when I saw something, the other person didn’t, but we both heard music and saw light. (And no, it wasn’t a Night Out :). Fascinating. It’s hard to say “there’s no such thing” when so many people report seeing or sensing paranormal phenomena. Thanks again for your story!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My take is that we can’t explain away bad things – they are as much a part of life as good, and they do not necessarily happen to those who “deserve” them – they are usually quite random. (Religious perspectives can be unhelpful – they can turn into cliche like “God never gives you more than you can bear” said to someone who is totally overwhelmed! Or, sometimes implying, like Job’s friends, that you must have done something to deserve your fate. So unhelpful. I do think angels look out for us, too – and often at those times when we absolutely doubt they exist!

        Liked by 3 people

    • Jan, there is more to this life and world than you could possibly imagine. Thank you for reading my blog, it’s not the most mainstream subject, but I do what I can to show the world that there is another side and anyone who chooses to can see it.

      As for your accidental driving by the hospital, there are few accidents. Most things are subtle nudges that we never connect to one source. If your dad is still at the hospital that means that he chose to stay there and not move on to what’s next. It wouldn’t be imprudent of you to just go and sit outside on the bench near the parking lot and just be still for a while. If he wants to connect with you, he will.

      I recently dealt with a departed soul that was trapped here, a child. Interesting what you can find if you choose to look…

      Liked by 5 people

      • Thank you for writing, the incident above wasn’t mine but was shared by a reader of the blog. Your blog looks fascinating, and thank you for visiting mine 🙂


  2. Fascinating topic! As one who takes the Bible as true, I completely believe in the spiritual world, although I believe we are instructed to avoid intentionally engaging with any ghost besides the Holy Ghost! 🙂

    Some of your titles are really cute word plays. You must be a very bright, creative person. I wish you joy in your journey and many wonderful experiences with the God of light and love!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m lov’n it all, Jan! This is a fantastic blog. I am a huge lover of the not so para,paranormal and spirituality. Your Haikus are greatly appreciated as well, I love a good chuckle with a little tongue in cheek thrown in.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi, Jan! Thanks so much for following The Write Edge Bookshelf. I hope you find the reviews interesting and informative and that you might even find a new read there. All the best to you on your writing. Hope you have a great day and week!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Very interesting. I think there are many different ways to enter the spiritual respectively to express and describe it. The most important thing is that we try to access it because it is finally what makes us human. Maybe a more human world means also a more ‘normal’ view on the still so-called ‘paranormal’?!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. It’s true. You woke up and found yourself in Uncle Bardie Country. Now that you have followed Uncle Bardie, you may find yourself at that fork in the road that you have to take. With Uncle Bardie for a guide, you can be comforted that you may stub your toe on a pun, find you can’t resist laughing at those things you never thought funny, and wake up to wonder what Uncle Bardie is up to. It’s okay. That itch can be scratched. Simply tune in to the next Post, It could very well be a doozy or not. Either way it will be coming from the whacky mind of Uncle Bardie. So thanks for following Uncle Bardie’s Stories & Such. It beats bananas any day. Unless…but that’s a whole ‘nother thang. And one last thing. Have a great day (or night, depending on your perspective).

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Thanks for sharing, very interesting background! Thanks also for the ‘follow’! Look forward to seeing more of yourrs! Apologies for my tardiness, I am catching up on reading and am a few months’ behind! Peace and blessings! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jan, thank you for your blog. It is probably semantic, but I have no interest in the “paranormal”, yet I am aware that angels are always on my shoulder. I am moving from recognizing them only when I need them, to a more universal acceptance that each of my living moments have gentle guidance.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. As I saying before the gremlins (?) took over, we have a resident ghost at home who makes his presence known at the oddest of times, his favourite being when I am on the lap top, a button gets pressed and stays stuck. He sucks the energy from my lap top and gets quite annoyed sometimes. He delights in scarying the lastborn kitty.
    🙂 No lies


    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thanks for the follow – now I’ve found you. 🙂
    I have a story for you. I work as a event manager for a major catering company. In 2010 my boss & company founder passed away suddenly from heart failure. Our sales manager purchased the business from his widow, life went on. 6 months later his widow decided to sell the building, we were looking for larger premises anyway so no hard feelings. Widow agonized over her decision, departed husband bought the building 20 years earlier and built a thriving business from scratch. Regardless, realtors began showing it to potential buyers.
    A few days later we had rare occasion to finish work late afternoon. Premises were empty and alarmed when the security company called our operations manager to say the alarm had been triggered. Ops manager wasn’t far away so he circled back to investigate. Sure enough, he found a finnicky side door hadn’t latched when shut. He swung door open, went inside to look around.
    He was about to leave when a large Hawk flew inside. The hawk wasn’t afraid or aggressive, it flew around a corner into the kitchen. It hopped from counter to stove and dish pit before settling on the handle of a 3 tier cart. Ops manager slowly rolled cart outside, hawk flew away.
    To put this in perspective – it was 5 pm on a hot summer afternoon along a busy street in the heart of Vancouver. Insane! Hawks don’t enter buildings in the city! WTF?
    Next day the widow stopped by, we told her about the hawk. She started shaking, needed to sit down. What’s wrong? Seems that shortly after her husband passed a friend convinced her to visit a psychic. Psychic said he would always watch over her in the form of a hawk or eagle. Hawks don’t fly into buildings in the middle of a city. It had to be him taking one last look before she sold the building. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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