Welcome to Homespun Haints, the podcast where our guests tell us about the true ghost stories they’ve experienced! On today’s episode, we interview Julie Penman Livesey. Julie is a professional animation artist, and also a writer of paranormal children’s stories. As in, paranormal stories for children, that are also about paranormal children. Listen in as Julie tells us ghost stories that pull at our heartstrings, just in time for the holiday season.

Episode Summary

While she is now an author, Julie’s resume includes animation work on several productions. Most of these are movies children of the ’90s would recognize. Her resume includes one of my favorite animated films, Anastasia. It’s no wonder Julie’s stories have ghosts as characters, considering some of the strange things she’s encountered in various locales throughout England.

Every one of the places Julie stayed in 1992 was haunted (except the one next to a cemetery, ironically). Julie felt electricity in the air when visited by her recently deceased grandfather. Her story raises an existential question. Can a deceased loved one’s spirit visit 2 living family members in 2 different places at the same time? After hearing about her year of spiritual visitations, we wonder if Julie feels an affinity for psychopomps because she just may have briefly served as one. Listen to the episode above and decide for yourself.

Episode Show Notes and References

What is a psychopomp?

Angel, god, or ferryman; a psychopomp’s job is guiding recently deceased souls to the afterlife. In spiritual traditions, a psychopomp can be an earthly creature, like a human shaman or an animal. I always think of crows, for some reason. Or it can be a being from another realm. Sometimes psychopomps are gods, like Anubis, from ancient Egyptian mythology. Other times, they are supernatural beings, like the Archangel Michael in Christianity. There are many more throughout various religions and traditions. Julie writes stories of children, both ghostly and earthbound, who ambitiously perform this special paranormal job.

Julie was inspired to write her tale of Annie Humble, the ghost girl psychopomp, based on her dead neighbors. No, really. Julie lived in a home that shared a wall with Brompton Cemetery. This is a beautiful Victorian cemetery dating back to 1840. It houses over 200,000 of the dead. Julie also lived in an understandably haunted terrace building in Islington by the Old Street tube station. That one was once a Jewish-owned tailor shop nearly destroyed during the World War II Blitz.

What is a TV aerial?

For the youth, this is what a TV aerial is. Ah, the endless frustration. If you have first-hand experience with these, you’ll remember the awkward game of Twister the whole family played with the goal of finding the best reception in any given TV location. Not only that, you’ll appreciate just how rude it is for a ghost to sabotage all that hard work.

Until next time, have a spooky day!