Ghosts of Riverfish: The Peculiar Haunting of Erin Petti

114 – Ghosts of Riverfish: The Peculiar Haunting of Erin Petti

First things first here’s a big announcement… our very own Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts was awarded the very first Wisconsin Paranormal Researcher of the Year award! Huzzah!

Allison Jornlin - Wisconsin Paranormal Reseaecher od the Year!
Allison Jornlin – Wisconsin Paranormal Researcher of the Year!

It really was a privilege to be part of the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference this last weekend. Wendy and I had a chance to lead the interview session with Paranormal Lockdown‘s Katrina Weidman and we all got to see a special never-before-shown preview of their 2016 Halloween special. It was fun and she was really down-to-earth. The whole convention was an ace mix of healthy skepticism, open mindedness,  and intellectual curiosity. It was great making lots of new friends and solidifying existing friendships with other paranormal lovers.

Speaking of new friends, this episode features an interview with our new friend, children’s book author Erin Petti. She’s just released a new novel called The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee. Much like we were just saying about the mix of healthy skepticism and open-minded imagination that we found in Milwaukee this past weekend, Thelma is always conducting scientific experiments while being close friends with a paranormal investigator.

After her father receives a strange jewelry box at his antique shop, he disappears, seemingly kidnapped by ghosts. Now it’s up to Thelma, an extraordinary unceasingly curious eleven-year old dynamo living in Riverfish, Massachussetts to solve the mystery and bring her father home.

Children's Author Erin Petti at the release of The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee
Children’s Author Erin Petti at the release of The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee

Sounds like a fun book, and if Erin Petti’s prose is as delightful as her conversation, then A Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee should be a big hit. Growing up near the Boston area, Erin caught the supernatural bug while reading Anne Rice’s classic Interview With The Vampire and that was her gateway into the wonderful world of genre fiction. In the interview we geek out on Lestat and even the Guns n’ Roses version of “Sympathy for the Devil” that featured in the closing credit of the movie.

brad pitt tom cruise interview with the vampire
The world’s studliest men wearing make up in 1994…

From being “the friend who loved the Ouija Board in high school” to working summers at the mansion in Salem that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables to the ghost stories of Emerson College, Erin Petti is extremely well-versed in the supernatural lore of New England.

And that’s one of the aspects of a great paranormal story. How many times have we talked about the original Ghostbusters on our show? Probably a thousand (in only 114 episodes!) But we consistently declare that it’s not just the classic comedy that keeps us watching, but Dan Aykroyd’s depth of knowledge of paranormal activity and psychical research. His affection is what makes it timeless for weirdos like us to keep coming back.

It’s this well of affection for New England (Riverfish is based on a small town that Erin had spent a great deal of time) and an understanding the traditions, folklore, and legends of Massachusetts that helps sell the tale. Great stories need memorable characters and those characters need to live in a world that people can relate to. This is true for paranormal stories even more than others, because they live and die (and then come back from the dead!) based on how ‘real’ the world feels. There needs to be some aspect of normal human behavior to contrast against the supernatural aspects. If Alice was as bananas as everyone else was in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll would feel more like Hunter S. Thompson!

Erin Petti's The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee

If you’d like to pick up a copy of The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee, you can grab it at your favorite book store or order it online right here.

This week’s Sunspot song was inspired by some “psychic vampires” that we’ve had to  contend with in the past. It also won the Madison Area Music Association Video of the Year in 2008, here is a little black and white slab of dark rock n’ roll, “Sweet Relief”.

I’m just a puppet in your hands,
a slave to your demands,
too terrified to live life on my own.
Soldier for your affection,
doll in your collection,
but you’ve got a mind I’ll never know.

Sweet relief,
why can’t you stay?
Just a moment longer.
Sweet relief,
your smile I’ll save.

Tied to my purse,
the martyr’s curse,
tangled in the Cat’s Cradle of your plan.
Spend all night on a call,
debating nothing at all,
thinking I can save what no one else can.

Sweet relief,
why can’t you stay?
Just a moment longer.
Sweet relief,
your smile I’ll save.
The vampires that prey on my conscience,
will trade my goodwill for my common sense.
Sweet relief,
why can’t you stay?

And this resolve is gone,
the eggshells I’ve been walking on.
Can I carry on?
Can I carry on?
When this freedom is gone,
can I carry on?
Being your servant and your boy,
your trifle and your toy,
drained until all that’s left of me is a void.

Sweet relief,
why can’t you stay?
Just a moment longer.
Sweet relief,
your smile I’ll save.
The vampires that prey on my conscience,
will trade my goodwill for my common sense.
Sweet relief,
why can’t you stay?

 

 

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