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October 27, 2013Local Ghost Hunters Have High-Tech Edge
By Erica Rodríguez, Orlando Sentinel
>> View Article and Video On OrlandoSentinel.com
St. Cloud is home to a specialty store that provides ghost hunters the tools of the trade.
CLOUD — Shawn Porter, a tattooed 36-year-old Central Florida native
clad all in black, sips on coffee from a stout Harley-Davidson mug in a
back room of his ghost-hunting retail store.
thick-rimmed black glasses at the GhostStop, Porter and his tour manager
explain what wannabe investigators might find on their Friday night
tag-along with Porter and his ghost-hunting buddies.
hear a voice. You could hear a growl. You could hear any number of
things," explains Phil Costello, 36, who is heading a special Halloween
tour of the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce building, where workers report
experiencing unexplained noises and shadows.
Welcome to the world of modern-day ghost hunters.
tools of the trade, the two explain, are electromagnetic-field readers,
voice recorders and even a gadget called a "ghost box" that supposedly
allows paranormal beings to communicate via text messages on a
Porter — a self-proclaimed "skeptic" and
"geek at heart" — is quick to explain that none of his devices can prove
the existence of a ghost.
Many were adapted from technology
meant to detect movement, changes in room temperature or radio
frequencies. Some of the items he invented himself, and some technology —
such as the "ghost box" — he can't fully explain. None of that,
however, has halted his or fellow so-called paranormal investigators'
fascination and use of the flashy devices to document encounters with
"Is there a way to test that it's
actually finding a ghost? I wish there was," he said. "I think that's
why we do what we do. [It's] to try to find that validation for
Porter began his ghost-hunting-supply business in
2006 after being laid off three times in one year from advertising jobs.
He's a bit of a rarity in the ghost-hunting world because he's managed
to make a living from the field. Most so-called investigators have day
jobs and don't charge to investigate sites plagued by unexplained,
creepy sounds or shadowy figures. Porter does not charge for his
investigations either, but for a small fee, folks can tag along to see
how it's done.
In the GhostStop, one might find devices such as
$20 cellphone antennas designed to pick up changes in electromagnetic
fields that many believe indicate the presence of a ghost. One can also
find a $28 scope that projects green laser dots into a room to detect
movement or a $189 "shadow detector." Other devices such as cameras to
detect thermal energy and signal the presence of a spirit cost $1,180 to
Many of the devices are arranged in darkened rooms and
sit activated for hours during investigations. Porter and his team might
use a voice recorder while asking questions to see whether a ghost is
present and see what feedback they might get on an electromagnetic
reader. Sometimes they might catch a shadow zipping across their camera
lens, or someone may feel an unexplained touch from some invisible force
in the darkness.
Porter and other self-proclaimed paranormal
investigators credit TV shows such as "Ghost Hunters International" with
propelling their practices and gadgets into popular culture.
growing number of Americans stepping away from traditional religion and
looking for spiritual encounters might also fuel the interest, says
psychologist Andrew Nichols who studies psychic phenomenon in a field
known as parapsychology.
Nichols is an original ghost hunter,
having done more than 600 investigations into supposed hauntings and
poltergeists during his 30-year career.
"They want to experience things for themselves that they've been told all their lives cannot be," Nichols said.
to a Pew Research Center study of Americans' religious beliefs, 29
percent of those studied said they have felt in touch with someone who
was dead, up from 17 percent a decade earlier. Another report from the
same group also found 74 percent of adults believe in the afterlife,
while 68 percent believe angels and demons are active in the world.
interestingly enough, is not among those. Porter — who is quick to say
his practices are scientific and logic-based — believes "types of
energy" exist that he can't explain.
"I've had experiences that I
can't quite yet explain with logical means," he said. "But I'm not
necessarily going to say it's a ghost just yet."
people would be better off trying to understand supposed ghostly
encounters by studying the people who experience such events rather than
relying on questionable gadgets touted as being "scientific." Joe
Nickell, a longtime paranormal investigator and author of the book "The
Science of Ghosts," contends that many ghost hunters' supposed findings
can be explained by physical actions or equipment anomalies. Their work,
he contends, is even "fundamentally anti-science" and "misses all the
Porter acknowledges that the ghost-hunting field is rife
with a variety of perspectives. So much is unproved, so much unknown,
and he admittedly is no ghost expert, but business, meanwhile, is good.
Porter ships his gadgets as far away as Australia and the United
Kingdom. He plans on hiring two extra employees for the holiday season
and says he's been able to make a living from something he loves doing.
"I just find it hard to use the word 'professional' when it comes to a field like this," he said.
the end of the weekend investigation, Porter and Costello relax alone
in the Chamber of Commerce upstairs boardroom. At about 1:30 a.m. —
three hours into their work — what sounded like footsteps rattled a
empty downstairs room. The two scrambled downstairs but failed to find a
source. They thump an upstairs door, rattled shutters but failed to
recreate the sound. Whatever it was — like much of what Porter finds —
"Maybe one day we'll have some really
awesome proof that will really help validate what we're doing," Porter
said. "But at this time there's nothing that really solid."
October 21, 2013GhostStop Ghost Hunting Equipment Store News Piece
piece in Orlando and Tampa on the GhostStop ghost hunting equipment
shop in Saint Cloud, Florida. Discusses equipment, tours and building
gear. Aired October 21, 2013.
March 27, 2013TV’s Paul Bradford of Ghost Hunters International Joins GhostStop in Saint Cloud, FL
CLOUD, FL, March 27, 2013 – Paul Bradford, tech manager on TV’s Ghost
Hunters International joins GhostStop ghost hunting equipment shop and
ghost tour company in Downtown Saint Cloud, FL.
GhostStop, a supplier of ghost hunting equipment seen on television
shows such as Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters
International, moved their business to Downtown Saint Cloud, FL. With a
large following around the world, the new retail shop has already
brought new customers and curiosity into the area with their ghost
tours, special events and their loyal worldwide following.
March, Paul Bradford of TV's Ghost Hunters International joined the
GhostStop crew as Technical Architect. Having served as the tech manager
for SyFy's Ghost Hunters International television show, Paul has
developed and designed a number of tools used on the shows and by teams
all over the world. “We are excited to have Paul on board and look
forward to some amazing things we have in store for the future,” says
Shawn Porter, owner of GhostStop. “His creativity and technical
expertise will be a huge asset to us and our field of study.”
store is located at 1221 10th Street in Saint Cloud, FL. You can also
visit their web site at www.GhostStop.com
for more information on ghost
tours, investigations, classes, equipment and other novelty items.
is holding a Special Event Ghost Tour on April 19th, 2013. Paul will be
along with us on that tour. He will also be signing autographs for
those who join us on the tour starting at 6pm. Tickets for this special
ghost tour can be purchased at www.FLGhostTours.com
December 20, 2012
Over 1,050 Pair of Socks Sent to Saint Jude Hospital
just shipped out a LARGE box of over 1,050 kids socks for Saint Jude
Hospital that many people donated as part of the Silly Socks for St.
Jude organization. A wonderful woman and friend, Tessa, has taken this
goal on herself for many years. Last year we donated hats. This year
roughly 70 people got involved to put smiles on the faces of children
staying at St. Jude this Christmas Eve.
For more info on this great organization and how to get involved see here: https://www.facebook.com/events/408863702537633
. Thanks to all that helped!
November 1, 2012Happy Halloween!
is our favorite time of year! Last night over 2,000 trick-or-treaters
haunted the streets of Historic Downtown Saint Cloud. We were VERY happy
to see this tradition alive and well in Saint Cloud. So, we felt it was
a chance to give back - GhostStop Style...
We had a great time
last night giving the trick-or-treaters a little more TRICKS than
treats. We turned the old bank drive-through into a cemetery haunted by
the caretakers. With scares, screams and an equal amount of laughs,
crowds gathered to see the shenanigans. A frighted women barely catching
her breath said to us, "you should do this every weekend." We agree
It may be hard to top this year, but we're already thinking about topping it for Halloween 2013. Thanks to all who came out.
October 5, 2012Grand Opening in Saint Cloud, FL
to everyone that came out to our Grand Opening event! We are absolutely
humbled by the support and turnout of well over 300 people - even
despite the rain. Paul and Scott of TV's Ghost Hunters International
were on hand signing autographs, meeting with fans and had a great time.
They said they absolutely loved meeting everyone!
We had free
food, drinks, horse and carriage rides, live band and free giveaways for
all that attended. Thanks to the band who played our favorite Pink
Floyd covers. They were awesome. Thanks also to All Hitched Up for the
beautiful carriage rides throughout the night. The horse was such a
trooper in the rain.
Thanks to all who came out, had fun and supported us in our new shop. We truly appreciate it.
See you all at our next event!
See more photos from the event on our Facebook page
September 24, 2012New GhostStop Crew Member, Graham
like to welcome our newest employee, Graham Ober to the GhostStop team.
Graham is a technical wiz and long-time paranormal researcher. Graham
is one of the founders of TAPS family member team, Kissimmee Paranormal
Investigations (KPI) and one of the original supporters of the
Paranormal Information Association (PIA).
We are proud to have Graham aboard!
August 16, 2012Ghost Hunting Shop and Tour Comes to Historic Downtown Saint Cloud
CLOUD, FL, Aug. 16, 2012 – GhostStop opens its doors in Historic
Downtown Saint Cloud with ghost hunting equipment, ghost tours, classes
GhostStop, a supplier of ghost
hunting equipment seen on television shows such as Ghost Hunters, Ghost
Adventures, Ghost Hunters International, moves their business to Saint
Cloud, FL. With a large following around the world, the new retail shop
has already brought new customers and curiosity into Downtown Saint
Cloud. GhostStop has been providing investigation gear to shows,
paranormal teams and enthusiasts interested in all facets of paranormal
research from ghosts and cryptozoology to UFOs since 2006. Now you can
visit their new retail shop in Downtown Saint Cloud for a more hands-on
GhostStop will also be hosting ghost tours
including real investigations of reportedly haunted locations in the
area. The in-house investigation team also provides investigation
services to those families and businesses that may be experiencing
activity completely free of charge.
The store is located
at 1221 10th Street in Saint Cloud, FL. You can also visit their web
site at www.GhostStop.com for more information on ghost tours,
investigations, classes, equipment and other novelty items.
is holding a Grand Opening Bash in conjunction with crew from the
paranormal television show, Ghost Hunters International. Some of the
crew will be signing autographs and meeting with fans. Come for music,
free food, ghost tour, giveaways and much more. Details on the upcoming
event Oct 5th are here: https://www.facebook.com/events/278839288896932