St. Cloud GhostStop Owner to Appear on Ghost Hunters in October

St. Cloud GhostStop Owner to Appear on Ghost Hunters in October

Posted by by Emily Bean, Saint Cloud in the News on May 1st 2014

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!