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October 27, 2013
Local 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.

ST. 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.

From behind 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.

"You could 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.

The 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 cellphone-sized screen.

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 unexplainable phenomena.

"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 ourselves."

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 $5,000.

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.

A 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.

According 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.

Porter, 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."

Nichols says 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 points."

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.

At 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 — remained unexplained.

"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, 2013
GhostStop Ghost Hunting Equipment Store News Piece

News 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, 2013
TV’s Paul Bradford of Ghost Hunters International Joins GhostStop in Saint Cloud, FL

SAINT 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.

Last year 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.

In 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.”

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.

GhostStop 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

We 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, 2012
Happy Halloween!

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 wholeheartedly!

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, 2012
Grand Opening in Saint Cloud, FL

Thanks 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, 2012
New GhostStop Crew Member, Graham

We'd 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, 2012
Ghost Hunting Shop and Tour Comes to Historic Downtown Saint Cloud

SAINT CLOUD, FL, Aug. 16, 2012 – GhostStop opens its doors in Historic Downtown Saint Cloud with ghost hunting equipment, ghost tours, classes and investigations.

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 experience.

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.

GhostStop 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.

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GhostStop.com was formed by a paranormal investigator for paranormal investigators to help provide the best ghost hunting equipment available for the best prices. We have taken the time to test out much of our equipment and offer only what we consider the best equipment for ghost hunting. The 'Our Picks' section features a handful of ghost hunting equipment we use on every investigation.

We offer a wide selection of ghost hunting equipment from EMF meters, digital voice recorders (for EVP), thermometers, thermal cameras, DVR video systems with night vision, equipment cases, digital cameras and video cameras to paranormal magazines, books, DVDs, ghost hunter apparel and more.