Investigate with us at the Italian ClubCome investigate with the experienced GhostStop team at the Italian Club (L’Unione Italiana) building in Historic Ybor City, FL. Bring your own investigation equipment and come explore the four floors of Italian Club built in 1918 after the original structure burned down. Having investigated the Italian Club for many years, we regard this building as one of the most active. It was also one of our first. So, we’re going back to our roots and invite you to experience it with us! First we will share our experiences from past investigations and claims of activity from people who frequent the building. Then we will begin our investigation with real equipment and professional investigators.
TICKETS and details at: FLGhostTours.com/IC
April 19, 2021
Welcome Jeremy to the GhostStop CrewJeremy is the newest addition to the GhostStop Crew. He comes to us with a strong background in advanced electronics manufacturing and prototyping. He's a family man and fellow gear head with a sweet motorcycle. We're excited to see where his expertise will help us create and grow our line of products in the future.
See more about whole GhostStop Crew
March 16, 2021
New Product: Phasm LightWe've recently announced a new light to the ghost hunting world. As long-time investigators we've used so many lights over the years, and built many of our own. We wanted to create something that solved more of the shortcomings that exist in popular lights and add a few features we've been dreaming of. So, as we do with any new product design, we got to the drawing board, drew up our grandest wishes and hoped we could get there. And we did in a spectacular fashion - far beyond what we had hoped for in creating Phasm Light.
The newest addition to the GhostStop lineup of ghost hunting equipment is a brilliant full spectrum and night vision light with full control over all the settings - and magnets. That's right, magnets. We had the idea many years ago as an easy way to mount lights together, throw some light up in areas that might be difficult to manage with a tripod. This also allows for easily mounting other accessories we're planning on for the future (wink).
Phasm utilizes powerful infrared, ultraviolet and color LEDs for a brilliant blanket of light for your investigations. All of the light is selectable and controllable independently. It's rechargeable with a lit display on the back and those oh-so-awesome magnets on each side.
More Info: Phasm Light
October 16, 2020
There's a new GAME in town.Whether you're a veteran paranormal investigator or a gamer-at heart, you'll love a new game called Phasmophobia. Luckily, we are both of those things. This new game puts you on paranormal investigations with a group of 4 fellow investigators. Using equipment we use on real investigations, you are tasked with collecting evidence and helping the client to determine what type of entity you are dealing with. This experience is about as close as you can get to what an actual investigation feels like - then add in a sprinkling of creepy chills and a few jump scares. But when it comes to the evidence collection involved, they nailed it. Plus, you get a high tech truck to work out of. My advice: don't play this alone. Happy hunting, investigators!
More Info: Game info and download
Video: Phasmophobia Trailer
Game Guide: Phasmophobia Tips and Maps
June 26, 2020
Welcome Bob to the GhostStop CrewWelcome our newest crew member, Bob, who will now be in Customer Service and Tech Support. Many people in the paranormal field know Bob well as a veteran investigator and an all 'round good dude. The first thing you'll notice about Bob is his passion for learning more about you and that hearty New York accent. We've known him for over a decade as an avid investigator who loves tech. Bob loves Supernatural, both as a field and the TV show. If you call up, ask him, "Sam or Dean?"
See more about whole GhostStop Crew
May 13, 2020
Ghost Hunting Gear Manufacturer Making PPE for Front Liners
By Julie Tremaine, SyFy
Even before the coronavirus pandemic shut down life as we know it, Shawn Porter’s “normal” life wasn’t all that normal. By day, he runs GhostStop, a company in Saint Cloud, Florida, that manufactures ghost-hunting gear. By night, he leads a team of paranormal investigators who go into rumored haunted places looking for evidence of supernatural activity.
GhostStop is a supplier and manufacturer of paranormal investigative equipment, building devices that aid in searching for supernatural phenomena, like K2 EMF meters that measure electromagnetic fields, 360-degree Ghost Cams to capture everything happening in a room at once, and laser grids to detect anomalies in a space. When the stay-at-home order came through for central Florida, though, Porter tells SYFY WIRE that “I thought it best to close down our shop to keep my crew safe and be part of the solution.”
But soon, he started hearing stories about equipment shortages from family and friends who work in health care. “It really nagged at me,” he says. “What can we be doing with our resources to help?”
Being an investigator by nature, Porter started looking into ways he could use GhostStop’s 3D printing equipment to make a difference. It turned out that the most help would come from providing personal protective equipment (PPE), which were in shortage, to local first responders. “I researched what could be made, and found some much-needed products that could be printed, and are approved for medical use by the National Institutes of Health,” he says. So he worked up some prototypes from publicly available specs and called in his crew.
GhostStop is now manufacturing PPE seven days a week, and to date has donated over 500 face shields and mask straps to central Florida hospitals, testing facilities, and first responders.
April 29 13, 2020
By Terrie Osbourne, Country Courier
>> View ArticleThe King William Fire and EMS Department received a generous donation from GhostStop.com. Normally a manufacturer of premier paranormal investigation equipment, GhostStop changed its focus to creating face shields for hospital personnel in Florida to help guard against COVID-19.
Upon realizing that a member of King William Fire and EMS was both a fellow paranormal investigator and a volunteer first responder, GhostStop.com donated a case of the face shields shipping them to the member in King William County. Having received the abundance of PPE, King William Fire and EMS Chief Laura Nunnally and the member thought it appropriate to share their good fortune. KWFR and the member, Terry Osborne, distributed the donation between all first responder agencies serving King William County and the Town of West Point. Featured are representatives from King William Fire and EMS, Mangohick Volunteer Fire and EMS, King William County Sheriff's Office, West Point Fire and Rescue, and the West Point Police Department. Virginia State Police Area 3 were also included but not pictured. Thank you to GhostStop.com for your help in keeping our first responders safe during this crisis.
October 9, 2019
Welcome Gavin to the GhostStop CrewWelcome our newest crew member, Gavin, who will now be serving as a Electronics Tech. He is an electronics wiz and a BMX bandit. On the weekends you'll probably find Gavin tearin' it up at the local skate park. On Monday you'll find him nursing a hellacious knee scab. But he does it all knowing that sometimes it takes a few scrapes to get the job done well.
See more about whole GhostStop Crew
May 14, 2019
Rook Gets a New LookIntroducing the NEW improved Rook EMF Meter design with tougher material, gripping matte finish, easy-access battery compartment and same useful functionality.
Over the last few years, the Rook EMF meter has become a popular device for paranormal investigations and ghost hunting. With that, we've taken some big leaps in manufacturing to provide our customers with a product you can count on. The prior versions were 3D printed and hand-made right here at GhostStop. This allowed us the flexibility to change up the design as we saw fit based on feedback and observing how investigators use the tool. While this process provides great flexibility until we were happy with the final product, it is also costly and considerably time consuming. Now that we are a few years into the successful launch of the Rook EMF meter, we are quite happy with the performance, functionality and design. With that, we've gone ahead and made the investment in professional molding with strong, long-lasting materials that also provide a sleek look to the design. We've also made some significant improvements to the battery compartment to allow easier access.
We are proud of the Rook and thankful for your support in helping us get to this point with our unique products. We couldn't do it without your support!
Details at GhostStop.com/Rook
May 9, 2019
We're Going LIVE! Facebook Q&AWe're going LIVE! Join GhostStop owner Shawn, Customer Service Tech Graham and Gus on our first Live broadcast Thursday, May 9 at 6pm EST on Facebook. Bring your questions about ghost hunting gear, general investigation tips and what it's like building and designing gear every day here at GhostStop. We like fun questions too :). Set your reminder via link in comments.
This is the FIRST of what we plan to be regular Live video sessions.
See our first Facebook Live session
Details on future Facebook Live sessions will be posted on our Facebook page.
May 2, 2019
Introducing the New Flux 2 Response DeviceFlux 2 is here with new features, sophisticated sensor technology and sensitivity adjustment. Seen recently on Travel Channel's Portals to Hell, the newest version of this paranormal response device utilizes all new sensor technology to provide clear responses you can see and hear during an investigation. Just set it down, ask simple questions and await a response. You can choose to ask a question with a Yes/No answer or any close-ended question of your choice. Responses will be clear as either Red or Green with a tone that indicates an answer to your question.
This new version gathers far more precise distance calculations using highly sensitive infrared laser motion and distance sensors. Now, using the Flux 2, we can learn not only if there was movement present but how close it is. It now gathers information including motion, distance and temperature all in one device. We've also added a sensitivity adjustment knob so you can dial in the distance you wish to investigate in allowing more flexibility so that Flux can adjust to the environment.
Details at GhostStop.com/Flux
March 27, 2019
Welcome Joel and Derrick to the GhostStop CrewWelcome our newest crew members, Joel and Derrick. Both are electonics techs with solid experience in electonics development from lasers to robots. We've got some super rad things on the horizon! Robots with lasers, perhaps?
See more about whole GhostStop Crew
October 29, 2018
Pumpkin Carving TemplateDownload, print and carve this ghostly pumpkin carving for Halloween. Click the button below to download the PDF template and print. Instructions are provided on the printout. Enjoy and we would LOVE to see your jack o' lantern. You can post it to our Facebook page. Have fun!
October 8, 2018
Introducing the SBox Ghost ScannerOur newest addition to the GhostStop family of products is the SBox Ghost Scanner. The SBox Ghost Scanner is a spirit box radio frequency sweep scanner and recorder for paranormal research. SBox includes many other features to aid in making your investigations easier while providing quality evidence documentation.
August 23, 2018
Introducing the FluxOur newest addition to the GhostStop family of products is the Flux Response Device. This ghost hunting device provides clear responses you can see and hear during an investigation. Just set it down, ask simple questions and await a response. You can choose to ask a question with a Yes/No answer or any close-ended question of your choice. Responses will be clear as either Red or Green with a tone that indicates an answer to your question. We are excited to see how investigators use this new product as there are a ton of opportunities for creative use of this tool.
July 19, 2017
GhostStop Celebrates 10 Years & New Location
GhostStop ghost hunting equipment shop celebrates ten years in business. This year on top of acknowledging a decade in business GhostStop is also celebrating the opening of their new shop and workshop Saint Cloud, FL.
GhostStop was started by Shawn Porter from a desk in his home office. Shortly after, this business outgrew the family home into a small office and shipping space. In 2012 this grew even further pushing a move into the heart of Historic Downtown Saint Cloud. Now, 10 years from a small desk GhostStop has grown into a manufacturing space with offices and shipping facility.
May 27th, 2017 GhostStop held a 10-year celebration and new location grand opening party at their new location in Saint Cloud. Family, friends, customers and fellow local businesses came to help celebrate. The party theme celebrated the 1920s era with a live period band, a doorman in character and amazing food. Almost every guest dressed the part and looked absolutely stunning, daddy-o!
Thanks to everyone who came out to help celebrate. It was smashing!
GhostStop 10 Year Party Photos
September 9, 2017
Welcome Amber to the GhostStop Crew
Today we welcome Amber to the GhostStop crew shipping department. Amber comes to us with a shipping background from Amazon and customer service experience. She's also a barista and already is keeping us well caffeinated and overfed with pastries from Starbucks. She fits in well with her welcomed geekery and we look forward to what she will bring to the GhostStop Crew.
October 26, 2016
Teddy Bears and Proton Packs in Ghost Hunting
By Jennings Brown, POPULAR MECHANICS Magazine
"One of the most sophisticated pieces of ghost-hunting equipment is a Teddy bear. Called BooBuddy, this teddy isn't for snuggling. Instead, the little bear registers changes in temperature, electromagnetic fields (EMF), and motion. If something touches the stuffed animal, it laughs "That tickles!" If the temperature suddenly drops, it bemoans, "Brrrr, it's cold in here." As it sits idly in a room, it calls out, inviting spirits to engage: "What's your name?... Do you want to be my friend?"
Shawn Porter, one of the industry's most influential inventors, got the idea for the BooBuddy during a paranormal investigation. Despite reports of a lot of unusual activity, the readings went quiet when Porter arrived. He wondered if it was because of his presence. Then Porter had a vision: a robot investigator that could perform these tests without causing any disruption. He hid the surrogate in a cuddly toy that might lure out youthful spirits, and the BooBuddy was born.
The interactive bear is a top seller at Porter's shop. Located in the quaint historic town of St. Cloud, Florida, just south of Orlando, GhostStop makes nearly all of its sales online. Even so, Porter likes talking with customers who walk in with their own ghost stories before walking out with a paranormal starter kit or EMF reader.
Porter and two hired engineers invent and manufacture the majority of the products in their workshop, a room crammed full of power tools, soldering irons, circuit boards, wires, and six MakerBot 3D printers. The store offers about 150 products, most of which are made in-house. Porter said he ships between 50 to 100 products daily to investigators all over the world. His fastest-growing markets are India, Australia, and the U.K.—countries where ghost hunting reality shows are finally taking hold.
That's not a coincidence.
The United States hit peak paranormal around the late 2000s, beginning in October 2004 with the debut of Ghost Hunters on the the SyFy channel. The first of what would be a flood of paranormal shows, Ghost Hunters follows the The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) founded by occult investigators and plumbers Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. After a decade of success (and even a South Park gag at its expense), the show will conclude its 11th and final season on October 26 with hopes of seeing life on another channel.
TAPS examined unexplained phenomena for 14 years before Ghost Hunters made it to TV, and before ghost-hunting shops like GhostStop existed, the team had to rely on equipment they could find at RadioShack and home improvement stores. "We had some big VHS camcorders that practically took two people to hold," Hawes told Popular Mechanics. "We were using cassette recorders. We were modifying security equipment; modifying regular cameras to be able to shoot night vision."
Hawes said it was his dedication to documenting everything that made TAPS stand out from other investigation groups: "Anybody can say a place is haunted. Where is the proof to solidify those claims? People are hurting the field if they can't back up their evidence."
In his quest to back up evidence, Hawes reached out to Porter for technical consultation soon after the series began. With experience as a programmer, videographer, and photo editor, Porter could check whether images and footage had been doctored. In 2006, Porter started helping TAPS modify equipment for investigations. "With my technical background, they realized that we needed some equipment that was more suited for what we were doing at that time," Porter said, "There was no such thing as a store to get ghost-hunting equipment...you had to go to Home Depot and get a multimeter and hack it to do what you needed it to do."
That experience inspired Porter to build a website where he could sell his own creations in 2007. His first product was the Laser Grid, which detects disturbances that might not be visible to humans. Now he manufactures and sells EMF meters, bracelet audio recorders that pick up ghostly electronic voice phenomenon, 360-degree ghost cameras, and even a remote-control car that films spots people cannot reach.
How to Become a Real-Life Ghostbuster
By Kayla O'Brien, ORLANDO SENTINEL
>> View Article and VIDEO On OrlandoSentinel.com
You’ve got a ghost. Who you gonna call?
I’m calling Shawn Porter. He ain’t afraid of no ghost.
Porter owns Ghost Stop in the historic downtown St. Cloud. The quaint shop was once a bank and now sells ghost hunting equipment. “Although we are skeptical and looking at things from a logical and scientific stand point, there are things we don’t understand,” Porter said.
The store, which also has a flourishing online business, makes most of their own hunting gear in a workshop within the store’s backroom. “We have essentially mad scientists that are building equipment all day long,” said Porter. 3D printers line the walls inside the small room where engineers who love the eerie tinker and toil with wires and knobs. “We can design something and have it by the end of the day,” Porter said.
The remake of the classic "Ghostbusters" that hit theaters this weekend inspired a renewed fascination in the paranormal world. “It’s not necessarily something everybody talks about but it’s something a lot of people have an interest in,” said Porter. Porter said he got involved in ghost hunting as a child when he began having interactions with the unknown. Now he designs meters that can detect supernatural energies, thermal cameras and even a teddy bear called Boo Buddy that attempts to interact with spirits. “Some ghosts could be intimidated by me and my equipment but everyone knows what a teddy bear is,” Porter said.
Besides the serious stuff, Ghostbusters in training can also buy some gag gifts and items related to the movie.
If you want to become a real life Ghostbuster visit the Ghost Stop website.
March 16, 2016
Welcome Juel to the GhostStop Crew
Today we welcome Juel to the GhostStop crew. Juel is a fine geekly addition to the team with technical wizardry and thirst for knowledge. Juel is going to school for aeronautics engineering - yes, building airplanes. If you need a plane built, we can probably make that happen. We look forward to what Juel will help us learn together as a new asset to our crew and the field of paranormal investigation equipment. We also look forward to him building the first GhostStop airplane :).
March 15, 2015
Welcome Justin to the GhostStop Crew
Today we welcome Justin to the GhostStop crew. Justin is a fellow geek and electronics ace. He came to his first interview with a prototype, head-mounted motion tracker he built from scratch. Bonus points. We look forward to what Justin's experience, work ethic and know-how will bring to our crew and the field of paranormal investigation equipment.
March 14, 2014
St. Cloud GhostStop Owner to Appear on Ghost Hunters in October
As St. Cloud is quite the historic community, there are hundreds of tales of spooky occurrences and eerie happenings all about town. This old Soldier City was home to many historical events, some that continue to be told today. Perhaps this is why the well-known GhostStop made St. Cloud its home.
Shawn Porter established GhostStop in 2006 out of his home in Orlando. With his extensive technological background, Porter began supplying paranormal teams all across the world with state-of-the-art equipment and gear. As the industry burgeoned quickly with the onset of television shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, Porter’s business quickly outgrew his home. He and his team of dedicated professionals opened a storefront in Orlando.
As GhostStop’s reputation grew, so did Porter’s status in the paranormal world. As a lifelong Florida native, he began to explore many of the phenomena he experienced as an adolescent. “I had some experiences when I was little,” Porter recalled. “As you grow older, you try to figure out a logical solution to it...I was taught a certain belief system that later on, I wanted to investigate a little bit more myself.”
Porter explains that even he is extremely skeptical when it comes to paranormal experiences. In many instances, the happenings can be explained by simple, logical answers, having nothing to do with spiritual entities or paranormal beings. However, sometimes the occurrences are not so simply explained.
“When you are a kid, the answers are pretty much either in books or talking to other people. Going to catholic school all my life, it was hard to ask those questions,” remembers Porter. “There weren’t a whole lot of people that you could talk to about this kind of thing.” He explained that his first encounter truly piqued his interest. “I had something whisper in my ear once in a completely deserted area. Was there a logical solution to that?” he speculated. “Was it somebody next door? Was it something outside? Or was it something paranormal in nature? I started investigating to find out more for myself.”
These encounters led Porter to begin his business. Eventually, he and his wife made the decision to relocate the business to St. Cloud in February 2012. While many may ask why, Porter explained that our quaint hometown was the perfect spot for GhostStop. “We were looking for more of a historic area where we could investigate a bit more freely and quietly,” Porter said in a recent interview. “It’s hard to investigate areas where there is high traffic. As we saw this downtown area, it was perfect. We wanted a place that was more historic in nature; a city that would have more locations with a story to tell!”
The GhostStop owner’s first official investigation became possible in 2005 through an invitation from TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society). TAPS is a world-wide society that dedicates it’s time to the investigation of paranormal reports. As there are thousands of claims each year, there are many family teams available all over the world in different regions to meet the demand. As in this case, a TAPS family team contacted Shawn to investigate an old cigar factory in the heart of Ybor City, Florida. Prior to opening GhostStop, Porter was a graphic designer. With this skill set, he became an asset to the local team. Porter would examine photographs of supposed encounters to decipher if they were true photographs or had been altered in some way.
“The team in Florida had contacted me because of my technical background,” stated Porter. “It was an old historic cigar factory in Downtown Ybor. It was pretty rundown and about four floors. It was kind of dangerous, as the stairs were rickety and bowing. But at the same time, it was like exploring a new area. The surroundings made for an interesting first experience!” While Porter did not experience any paranormal activity on this investigation, it opened his eyes to the many possibilities involving a scientific investigation. He thoroughly enjoyed the investigation and hoped to do more. He didn’t have to wait long.
The team invited Porter back to Ybor to investigate the Italian Club. Porter explained that this investigation was vastly different than the first and he witnessed what could only be described as “otherworldly.” As the club was founded over a century ago, a plethora of individuals, stories, and occurrences passed through the halls of this renowned club. First founded by Italian immigrants to assist other immigrants in times of need, the club grew over the last 100 years, preserving history, culture, and timeless heritage. The floors, ceilings, and furniture seemed to have history etched into their very fibers, making this the perfect place for possible encounters.
One wing of the club served as a tuberculosis and yellow fever ward during the outbreaks that ravaged Tampa in the late 1800s. It was in this room now serving as a conference room that Porter experienced something truly paranormal. He and another individual were the only ones in the room when Porter heard a definitive whisper: “Hi, how are you?” “Of course, I immediately turned and looked around in the room. There was only one other person on the entire floor and she was sitting in front of me,” stated Porter. “She heard the voice as well. Both of us pinpointed the directional location of the voice and realized that we had heard the same thing. Of course to look at the logical side, I looked for vents in the area to see if sound could have traveled from a different area up through vents or outside. But the room is in the very center of the floor with no vents and no outside noise, so I could not find a logical reason for the whisper.”
Porter went on to explain that other individuals in different wings of the building reported activity during this same span of time, further validating his own experience.
“My first experience was one of those cases where I had multiple pieces of evidence to tell the story. There was an audio recording, a video, and a personal experience of something whispering something with a witness that also heard the voice,” he explained. “For me, I have to have several pieces of the puzzle [evidence] in order for me to deem something ‘paranormal.’” Not long after this investigation, Porter started the GhostStop. He began building and selling equipment for many of the TAPS teams around the world. This partnership led to even more exciting news the company announced in a recent press release: Top paranormal television show, Ghost Hunters, will include Shawn Porter, owner of GhostStop Ghost Hunting Equipment as a tech specialist and guest investigator this Fall. Shawn and his team at GhostStop are the leading provider of ghost hunting equipment used by paranormal television shows, investigation teams, and enthusiasts around the world. Shawn will be bringing his knowledge and experience investigating along with some new prototype gear his team has been working on, This new equipment has been working on. This new equipment will be used as part of the case while Shawn investigates alongside the TAPS team. “Having worked closely with TAPS for many years, it is a natural progression to include Shawn on certain investigations,” says Jason Hawes, founder of TAPS and star of Ghost Hunters. “Shawn brings many years of skeptical investigating and technical knowledge to the cases.” “I’m proud to be a part of the show but, mostly, look forward to helping usher in new technology and answers for the clients,” Shawn says.
The show will air on the SyFy Network in October. Fans eagerly await the new season and now locals will be able to see one of our own on national television. Tune in and enjoy!
May 1, 2014
Ghost Hunters TV Show to Include Shawn Porter, Owner of GhostStop
By SYFY CHANNEL
Top paranormal television show, Ghost Hunters, will include Shawn Porter, owner of GhostStop Ghost Hunting Equipment as a tech specialist and guest investigator this fall.
Shawn and his team at GhostStop are the leading provider of ghost hunting equipment used by paranormal television shows, investigation teams and enthusiasts around the world. Shawn will be bringing his knowledge and experience investigating along with some new prototype gear his team has been working on. This new equipment will be used as part of the case while Shawn investigates alongside the TAPS team.
“Having worked closely with TAPS for many years, it is a natural progression to include Shawn on certain investigations,” says Jason Hawes, founder of TAPS and star of Ghost Hunters. Shawn brings many years of skeptical investigating and technical knowledge to the cases. “I’m proud to be a part of the show but, mostly, look forward to helping usher in new technology and answers for the clients,” Shawn says.
October 27, 2013
Local Ghost Hunters Have High-Tech Edge
By Erica Rodriguez, 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 the GhostStop Crew
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 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
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.