NewburyImages courtesy of Jorge Montero

For the past three years, SCAD graphic design professor Jorge Montero has been working on Ghostpedia, an entertaining and informative website about the paranormal world. This week the site went live.

It features a blog, dictionary and gallery as well as ghost stories and a store with t-shirts, pillows and stickers available to purchase.

Montero’s interest in the paranormal and his desire to create a new style of illustrations motivated him to create this site. With some help from fellow graphic design professor Louis Baker, Montero was able to make this paranormal site possible. Baker was instrumental in strategic planning and the creation of the dictionary of paranormal terms and written stories, while Montero focused on the illustrations.

“Professor Montero is the creative force behind Ghostpedia,” said Baker. “He has a unique illustration style that is perfect – frightening, while at the same time cute and cool.”

_IMG_9966All of the depictions of ghosts were created by Montero, using a small messy brush and ink. He creates shadow-like figures in a chaotic style that captures ghosts in what seems like ease. He has sketchbooks filled with these images. Then he scans his work and touches it up in Photoshop, selecting different shapes and adding detail to create faces.

To help on the technical side of things, they hired Michael Todd, a graphic designer who graduated from SCAD in 2010, to build the website to incorporate Montero’s unique illustrations into the design of the page. This venture initially started with a focus on the hauntings in Savannah, but after traveling abroad for much of 2012 and 2013, Montero decided to expand.
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“It’s not just Savannah,” said Montero. “Ghosts are part of the culture, everywhere in the world.”

Montero’s interest in the paranormal began when he was a child. Wherever he looked, he’d find faces – on granite counter tops, in stone walls, eyes in traffic lights. But it all started when he first saw what appeared to be a demon on the door to his parents’ house.

“I remember on my parents’ door,” said Montero. “I saw a demon and I was super scared.”

Montero took those fears and used them to create his illustrations and designs, but that isn’t the only place he drew inspiration from. Montero recalled old ghost stories and tales from friends about their encounters with the paranormal and he continues to seek out stories of supernatural encounters.
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“The plan is to have something like Wikipedia about ghosts,” said Montero.

This site is aimed to become the go-to place for all things ghosts and he doesn’t hope to achieve that on his own. Collaboration has been key for Montero in this venture – working with friends, co-workers and even alumni to create a community for those who are interested in the supernatural.

“What we want is to create a community of people who believe in the paranormal world,” said Montero. “And give them a place where they can get together to share experiences and the knowledge they have.”

Jorge Montero has taught graphic design at SCAD since 2003. He has also taught at Georgia Southern University and the Universidad de Los Andes in Venezuela. He has had exhibitions in Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Cuba, South Africa, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.