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Spiritual Energy That Leaps Off the Page

Scary (and true) ghost stories by Antonio Garcez

By Teresa Dovalpage
Published on LatinoLA: November 11, 2010


Spiritual Energy That Leaps Off the Page


I met Antonio Garcez during the 2010 Symposium and Film Festival in Angel Fire, The Lodge at Angel Fire Resort. The place was bursting with energy (normal and paranormal). Jerry Pippin was broadcasting live interviews with speakers, celebrity guests and attendees. Movie screenings took place; lectures and talks were going on in different rooms; authors sold their books in tables along the hall and practitioners set up camp all over the place.

You could have a consultation with naturopathic physician, medical intuitive and clairvoyant Rita Louise or have your aura photo taken by Fred Sayler. The snapshot and a six-page aura and chakra report package were a tempting offer.

And there I attended a talk by Antonio R. Garcez, writer and ghost researcher who has had more than fifty-five years of experience with the paranormal. Garcez is the author of ten acclaimed books about ghosts and hauntings in the American southwest, many of which have become best sellers. He won the New Mexico's 2008 Turquoise Book Award. Recently, Ted Turner Productions filmed the video Haunted, where two of Garcez's stories were featured.

His books, Garcez said, "are not about old ghost stories, the kind that are passed down from one generation to another. They are contemporary, the kind that anyone can identify with."

He has interviewed an amazing variety of people--a New Mexico State Senator, hospital administrators, doctors, nurses, business owners, restaurant workers, tribal chairmen and homemakers. "I am very respectful of their traditions and cultural sensitivities," he said. "That is the key to earn people's trust and to get to know their stories."
Such stories are well reflected in an array of books organized by location. Garcez has written American Indian Ghost Stories, Arizona Ghost Stories, Colorado and, naturally, New Mexico Ghost Stories. The latter was a winner of the New Mexico Book Award.

Mr. Garcez is tall and dignified, with a dark ponytail and expressive eyes. Before starting his talk, he explains that he doesn't believe in ghosts. "I am convinced that they exist," he said. "I have encountered them too many times to doubt."

He is also an example of an uncommon kind of writer, the ones who self publish their books and make money out of them. Adobe Angels, for example, sold two thousand copies in two months and a half. He has several distributors and has already built a loyal readership.
Answering a question from the audience, Garcez admits that the recent increase in paranormal experiences could be caused by the many disturbing events going on nationally and globally. "Our ancestors may want to warn us against pollution, wars and lack of reverence," he said.

The story he chose to read involved two girls, a Ouija board and a sexual encounter with a ghost. I won't give details here but it was truly scary. The audience let out a few gasps while the reading took place.
Garcez is a prolific writer. He is currently working on a book about gay and lesbian ghost stories and on another about people in the medical profession, including hospice workers. "I am always looking for new and unusual themes," he said.

He also designs his own book covers, which are intended to capture the spirit of the stories. His books contain personal stories that he has transcribed directly from interviews of people who have had first-hand encounters with ghosts. They are told in the first person and the narrators maintain their distinctive, very own voices.

This is one of the main achievements of Garcez's books. "I wanted to give these people a voice," he said.

The 2010 Symposium and Film Festival was presented by the Alliance Studying Paranormal Experiences (ASPE), a non-profit organization. "We are committed to examining paranormal experiences and sharing them with others of similar interests and open minds in a safe environment," said its founder and president, Janet Sailor, who has worked tirelessly for months, organizing and promoting the symposium.

Sailor can feel satisfied. The event was a success and several visitors were already planning to attend the 2011 symposium. "I'll be here next September," said Marianne Sanders, who came all the way from Las Cruces with her two children. "It is an educational experience, with great movies and lectures. And it is fun."

To find out more about Antonio Garcez and his books, visit his website
http://www.ghostbooks.biz/author.htm

To find out more about the Alliance Studying Paranormal Experiences go to
www.aspefiles.org

About Teresa Dovalpage:
Teresa Dovalpage is the author of the English-language novel novels A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004) and Habanera, A Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010). She has also written and published three Spanish language novels.
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