‘Author’ was not a title Anita Jo Intenzo ‘74 expected to add to her resume, but living with ghosts forced her hand.
Intenzo’s second book, “Dark Transference,” is about poltergeist activity that begins in her 1800s-era home after she cleaned out the house of a good friend who had died. The book is a sequel to “Estate of Horror,” which details paranormal activity Intenzo first experienced at her friend’s house in 2009.
“The story continues because crazy stuff was happening at my home,” said Intenzo, who earned a degree in Art Education from Moore.
Intenzo’s brush with ghosts began when she became executrix of her anthropologist friend’s estate. During the 10 months it took to get the home ready to sell, Intenzo and her son, Chris Levis, experienced some spooky incidents.
“We started to get objects thrown at us, things were displaced, there were strange noises,” she said. “I had no idea when I started to unlock these things in the basement that it would become like a nightmare or something from a movie.”
Levis caught some of the incidents on video, which can be seen on YouTube.
TELLING HER STORY
Intenzo’s family encouraged her to document her experiences.
“They said to me, ‘If you don’t write a book about it, no one is ever going to believe it,’” she said. She never thought of herself as a writer, but she took inspiration from a Humanities teacher she had at Moore.
“She said, ‘You know, Anita, this isn’t bad, you got an A on your one-act play,’” Intenzo recalled. “’Maybe one day you’ll be a writer.’ And I said to her, ‘I’m too busy being an artist!’”
“Estate of Horrors” was published in 2014. “Dark Transference,” published last fall, begins with pings and bangs Intenzo and her son heard on Christmas Eve 2009 in their home in Delaware County, just outside of Philadelphia.
“My friend left me many artifacts and I brought them to my house,” she said. “Within two months after we left his house, we started having paranormal activity.”
Besides old coins flying across rooms and hitting walls, Intenzo said they saw unexplained handprints on mirrors and shadowy figures, and they heard footsteps and voices telling them to get out of the house.
“We have paranormal things happen on a weekly basis,” she said. Early in June, Intenzo said her son was putting the cover on the grill after barbecuing when he felt a small hand trying to hold his hand.
“He heard a voice say, ‘Come play with me,’” she said. “It freaked him out.”
Intenzo runs her photo preservation and restoration business, Past Images by Anita, out of her home, and tries to deal with the ghosts with a sense of humor.
“When you have a client in your studio and you have coins hitting against the hall wall, and the client looks at you like, ‘What is going on here?’ ‘Oh, by the way, the house is haunted,’” she laughed.
But Intenzo says she’s also been attacked by the supernatural, including having objects thrown at her and unexplained scratch marks on her stomach. She has had her house exorcised, and keeps crosses and holy water in the home.
Intenzo’s ghost stories have been featured on television shows about hauntings, and she’s hoping to work with a screenwriter to turn the books into a movie or TV project.
“My goal is not to make you a convert,” she said. “It’s for people afraid to come forward, to let them know this can happen to anybody. I was just a person doing a good deed, taking care of an estate, and now I’m in this crazy scenario with the paranormal.”