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!


202 thoughts on “About

  1. I actually worked in the kitchen, of of three jobs, at Church Divinity School of the Pacific at UC Berkeley, CA. I was a student many years ago now at PLTS on the hill and have certificate in theological studies (long story as to why I did not obtain my MDIV. Anyway, love your site thus far. Thank you for visiting my site as well.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hi Jan. What a great idea for a blog – not to mention your books. Ghost stories are so popular and, as you say, seem to have been around since the word ‘Go’. I’ll look forward to following you and I’m certainly adding your books to my reading list.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks so much! I appreciate your enthusiasm and hope you enjoy! Your blog is amazing! (BTW: We have both written stories about a lawn ornament!). I see you’re from Southport, same as one of my favourite contemporary authors, F. G. Cottam. It’s a setting in some of his books!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your garden ornament sounds intriguing, Jan, and I’m guessing it’s presence in the garden has a very spooky feel. I do love a good ghost story! How interesting, too, that you’ve read the books of an author who writes about Southport, my lovely home town. I’ll have to look him up as well. 🙂
        I’m looking forward to reading your books, and will probably start with the non-fiction one. I’ll be downloading a copy from Amazon as soon as I have a spare moment. I’ve just got home from a few days in Wales and need to get myself organised.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks, Millie! Please feel free to email me at the ‘contact’ button. Fortunately, my ghostly lawn jockey is part of the fiction collection! If you like ghost stories you’ll enjoy Cottam. His book Dark Echo is partly based in Southport (and the Southport of the past!).


  3. Hello again, Jan! I’ve just downloaded a copy of ‘About Ghosts’ from Amazon.co.uk. Unfortunately, I have a long TBR list, which I’m working my way through, so it may be a while till I get to your book. I try to review most books I read and I’ll let you know as soon as I do!
    I’ve just looked up Cottam and see that he’s written a lot of books! Perhaps I’ll manage to read some of them…eventually. 😀

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Your blog sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to read more posts. Thanks for following Oh, the Places We See. We’re just hoping we don’t see any of the paranormal sightings you’ve had or read about! Best wishes for continued success! Rusha Sams

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I love the humor in the titles of your books. Your blog is delightful. I am a retired Presbyterian Pastor. I went to McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. I discovered my love and gift of writing poetry only recently. Thanks for visiting my blog and following.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I am intrigued. I grew up Episcopalian. I also grew up seeing ghosts in one form or another (but of course, mainly kept quiet about it). I’m looking forward to reading your posts and getting an education, and perhaps a further look into the paranormal. Thanks for finding me at Roughwighting!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I too was raised an Episcopalian. Misled about my father, I only learned about him in my 70s. Until then, my mother’s family was also a mystery. It has been a joy to solve a few of these family mysteries. Whether it is immigration, family ghosts, or DNA through the generations, I feel the presence of these past lives. They have brought me to the magnificent Northwest!! Thank you for the follow.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Love the Northwest – I’m originally from Seattle (Magnolia Bluff). How unusual your path, to learn about your family so late in life – and how fascinating! You said it so well! Thanks for visiting!


  8. Thanks for following my writing studio. Henry James is a favorite of mine, and you probably know why. I’m about to publish the 2nd edition of Through the Glass Darkly, a collection of my short stories, which are on the dark side of the spectrum. The Typewriter is a novella I recently completed about a haunted typewriter and hapless author. Working on Part II of that. ‘Predicate your visit and the follow.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Thank you again for the like! Yesterday i went with daughter-in-law who frequently notices something I never have. When she looks at her watch she sees the date of her birth! Granddaughter has noticed this too. Perhaps I am just not observant, although 8-9 is too close together.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. hi jan – thanks for reading and following my blog. looking through yours, i am fascinated. i’ve always been interested in the paranormal and have had a few experiences myself. i look forward to following and reading your blog. best, beth

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I love this site! Thank you for your interest in my blog and I look forward to checking more of yours out. So far I have only read about the mob and I look forward to also reading about some ghosts. I’m sure there are enough skeletons in the closets in the mob tales, too, however! 😉 Also, I think you would love to hear some of the stories of visitations here!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I think most of us have been touched by the supernatural but so many are afraid to admit it. I have fond memories of my encounters. Thank you for following my blog. I hope you enjoy your visits.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Jan, you been visiting my way for a while, but! I been writing & posting & optimizing. Have not been visiting much. No matter, Your delightful picture has lit me up every time you visit. I finally came to visit and find such a delightful personality matching your picture. I enjoyed reading your posts. Your sense of humor is right up my ally. What you think about the posts you like penned by me? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Hi Jan, Thanks for visiting my pages and your comments. I’ve added about the Klagenfurt Lindworm! with practice, effort and experience I hope to be able to write more interestingly and sound less mechanical!
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Greetings, Jan! Thank you for stopping by at A Sawyer’s Daughter. Appreciated!

    So, this isn’t so much a ghost story per se as just a very weird, freaky occurrence. It happened at the baby shower for my son who was born in 1976. When I received the next gift to open I read the card first and saw it was from my good friend Sue who was sitting beside me. I don’t know why I said this but the first thing that popped out of my mouth, in a jokey manner, was ‘What’s this? A pet walrus?’ I opened the gift and saw that she’d given me a onesie with a purple and orange walrus embroidered on the front. Mind you, Sue and I (or anyone else for that matter) had not ever discussed walruses, never had any private jokes about walruses, NOTHING EVER about walruses. Again, no idea why I even said what I did but there it was. The room got quiet and everyone agreed that was pretty strange. A doo-doo-doo-doo (cue Twilight Zone theme) moment for sure, one I’ve not ever forgotten!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much, Dina! Love yours, and your photos are marvelous! Thanks for stopping by! Closest I’ve been to North Norfolk is Walsingham – (other than Marmite, I miss England!! 🙂


  16. Thank you for visiing my blog and the follow…How fascinating is yours?….I have always had an interest in ghosts and second sight …..To many things have happened for me not to be interested and wanting to know more..my other half calls me a witch..lol..I have a broom also which he bought me…All in fun but with that element of something else…I have never investigated further, why I don’t know….I am off now to read some ghost stories 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. What an intriguing “About” page…I will go have a look around. I confess ghosts aren’t interesting to me particularly, but I suspect your take on them might be. My sister-in-law is also an Episcopal priest; certainly not the typical profession, especially not for a woman. Thanks for the follow!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. One of my favorite music artists was/is Janis Ian. Your name and headshot remind me of her just a bit. That’s neither here nor there. But I’ll give it ago re following since we seem to be simpatico in terms of genre.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. 19th August 2017

    Dear Ms Orlandese,

    Thank you very much indeed for looking at Clifford Hall’s painting of Deiniolen.
    It was an area used by Sir Kyffin Williams RA who produced many works in his inimitable style.

    I do so hope that there is something to look foirward to after I turn my toes up.
    Wouldn’t it be a terrible waste if there is not?
    My body will go off to medical science for people to try to learn something useful from, but sadly, it will be too late for them to learn how to cure me.

    Keep safe and well,

    Best wishes,

    Dai Oakley.

    Liked by 3 people

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