Business – Getaguru Soap Shop

July 14, 2001

Tarpon Springs, Florida

The eclectic town of Tarpon Springs holds many fascinating things.  Descended from Greek settlers, this area is rich with historic flavor, where cultures combine in a melee of bygone and modern eras. Yet, there is more to this city than meets the eye: invisible people still lurk about, hidden among the hubbub of the tourist traffic and the salty scents of freshly plucked sponges drying in the sun.

For Eleni Simeon-Oakley, owner of the Seahorse on the Docks, a long established store in the heart of downtown Tarpon Springs, the paranormal activities started with the all-too-familiar feeling of being watched.  Often, while she worked alone in her shop, which sells fragrant hand made soaps, the works of local artisans, and a variety of metaphysical items, Eleni sensed that she was not alone.

“I am an artist, myself.  The shop is also a studio of sorts for me.  I used to paint in here a lot.  I noticed that whenever I was in one particular area of the store, sometimes I would swear that out of the corner of my eye I saw something.  But, it was always just a “flash” image, never anything more than that.”
The building housing the storefront was a machine shop until 1934 when Eleni’s grandfather bought it.  After renovations, he opened the Seahorse on the Dock.  Eleni’s grandmother reworked the backyard into a spiritual center, which remains to this day.  Inside the store, many images stand sentry against the influence of the evil eye, including garlic hanging by a back doorway, and a large stained glass eye in the back office.

It has also drawn its share of interesting customers. One woman, claiming to be psychic, used dowsing rods in the store.  She believed she found a vortex of negative energy running diagonally through the location, coming from a wall shared between the shop and a local restaurant.  She advised doing a mental grounding, symbolically forcing the vortex down into the ground where its energies would be neutralized. 

The SPIRITS team also felt some unusual things were going on inside the store.  Almost immediately, several members were drawn to a particular area, which we later determined was the notorious “vortex wall”. 

We tested the wall, first, using a standard Boy Scout compass.  The compass, sensitive to EMF (electromagnetic energy) changed directions when held up to the wall, shifting 3 to 4 degrees away from “true north”.

The EMF meters also confirmed this unusual energy fluctuation.  The SPIRITS explored the surrounding area, thoroughly checking the wall.  Since the wall is shared, several team members examined the side belonging to the neighboring restaurant.  No outside influences could be found to explain our readings.

As the investigation continued, a second area of activity was found.  A side door, outside of the shop’s office, lead to the garden outside.  Two members walking in the area paused beside the door.  One person felt a wave of dizziness pass through her, while nearly a second later the other reported chills.  EMF was not detected through the meters, though the compass again lost true north in this area. 

The post investigation interview revealed that this was an area of anomalous activity.  Every afternoon, the owner’s black lab stands at the door.  At 4:00 the dog barks, though no one has determined who – or what- is the object of his attention.

Eleni has had a strange experience in the store involving the door. A woman, dressed as a tourist, seemingly manifested near the “vortex wall.” She walked through the shop area, passing by the periphery of the cashier counter, and vanished as she reached the door.  She has not been seen since. 

Currently, this door remains a point of contention.  Employees who go out into the garden beyond return to find the door locked.  The door locks only from the inside, the store is closed and locked, and no one can be found inside the building.  The build of the handle does not allot for accidental latching, either. 

The post-investigation interview also revealed other points about the area.  One possible culprit for the haunting may be a deceased friend of Eleni’s, who is still keeping an eye on her.  Several months after his death, and during the height of activity in the store, she witnessed a picture of her friend leaping off of the wall where it hung.  

“It did not fall down, like a picture would if the string broke, or the nail weakened.  It moved out away from the wall, then down.  I examined it afterwards, and found the frame and wire sound, the wall and nail OK.  I really do not know how or why this could have happened.  There were no unusual events in the area that I knew of.”

At the time, Eleni was going through some tension with the store.  She thinks her friend was letting her know he was there, as a means of comforting her.

Eleni and her husband, Russell, both who have had interactions with the paranormal, believe there are many ghosts that travel through their location.  Both feel that Eleni’s grandfather still watches over the storefront.  Often, they feel his presence by the front door, near his picture.

These days, the activity has quieted down considerably.  Occasionally, in addition to messing with the door, employees report that a mischievous spirit pulls a book or two from the shelves lined against the “vortex wall.”

As the SPIRITS wrapped up the session and prepared to leave, Russell revealed that he had sensed that we were being watched as we did our investigation.  He indicated that the entity was above us in the store, and felt amused by what we were doing.

Photographs taken by one team member later revealed a small orb of light arching across the ceiling.  Others showed several pin points dancing across the walls.

Could it be that this store is part of a supernatural highway, a vortex of energy traveled by a variety of happy-go-lucky afterlife adventurers?  Or does the shop have its own beneficial protectors, established by the first generations of a historic Greek family?

Either way, the Seahorse on the Dock remains as yet another enigmatic presence sheltered on Tampa Bay’s waterways. 

For more information on this store, call (727) 937-8193 or go online at

Thanks for sending the article and for all of your correspondence that has kept
me completely up to date every step of the way. I apologize because I don’t
think I replied to your last note even though i fully intended to. I LOVE the
things you wrote-you are indeed ‘She of all things pithy’ you are a wonderful
writer and thorough examiner. You as well as your group have done an impressive
job in your coverage of this story/ghost hunt. I haven’t seen any on television
presentations that are anymore professional that you all. You should do your
own show. Have you ever thought about it?
All in all I have to say that this has been a really wonderful experience and I
thank-you all for doing this.
The photos as well are excellent.
I now have your site bookmarked so that now I can keep up with all of your
investigations 🙂
All the best,


In a message dated 4/15/01 9:59:21 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

hello brandy,
wow, this sounds interesting-i will tell you our experiences with ‘ghosts’
etc. and you can decide if it is important/interesting enough for you to
check out.  it started years ago with just a ‘feeling’ that i would get that
someone was in the shop when i was here alone-i would get this feeling that i
was NOT alone-always in the same area of the shop sometimes i could swear
that out of the corner of my eye i would see something-but just as a quick
i am an artist/painter as well-and i used to paint in here alot-in fact is
was a studio of sorts, well, i was working on a painting in the summer of
’97. the paintin g is called ‘the alchemist’ as  i was making this painting
liquid started dripping out of it as though it was sweating-much like the
icons in the church-that was strange because it WAS an icon of sorts-i used
gold leaf as well-at the time i thought that maybe it was a reaction with the
oil paint-but i have used gold leaf many times and this never happened-before
or since……..the painting has since been sold but i have photos of it and
there is even a drip mark that was left behind by the liquid. one strange
thing about this painting is that it was about an alchemist-changing one
thing/form into another (simply speaking)-and that is what
happened……alchemy! i

many psychics/sensitives have told us that there is a prescence of some sort.
this was even before  a very good friend of ours who worked here as a
designer for over ten years was murdered……..
after this strange things really started happening.
i don’t know how long you have lived in this area but this was a well known
local designer-who was murdered and left in a dumpster across the river from
here-it was needless to say very, very, tragic-especially for us.  a few
months after he died i was in the shop alone,  his photo hung on the wall-it
was perfectly still in here when the photo popped off the wall!  stranger
still was the fact that i didnt break although it fell about 5 feet and is
behind glass-also when i checked the nail it was in there tight and also
stuck out so far that there is no rational explanation as to how the wire
could get over that nail.  the next week a wall collapsed in the shop again
there was no explanation for this. since then we have had books pop of the
shelves and the icon section which we think of as our friends area-and the
only area in the shop that we havent changed since he designed it-has also
there are other little things-strange things happen in this shop-i do know
that. chance meetings
like i said at the beginning of this note-i don’t know if any of this is
important enough for you to check out or not. i should tell you also that our
great-grandfather who was a high ranking mason-opened this business in 1934
so it makes us the oldest shop down here.  my husband used to read tarot
cards in here-he also has his own opinions on this subject.  best of luck to
you in your studies and do let me know what you think-

best wishes,
eleni simeon-oakley
p.s.-just an extra little thing-i astral project and i HAVE seen ghosts in
those realms.
get a life-getaguru

hi brandy,

you are welcome to come!
it has been quiet tho’ lately and nothing of interest has happened for at least
a couple of weeks….but you never know when something will. i hope you all wont
be dissapointed.
anyway, june would be good for us because we are quiet then and we don’t have so
much going on.
….you would probably rather have the shop shut i assume…so could it be
either before 11:00 am or after 6:00 in the eve?  it is totally up to you, as
far as im concerned you can come at any time but those are hours before or after
business. wed. are good-but weekend is fine too. so i would leave that up to you
if you need to speak to any of us-the tel. is 727-937-8193-you can speak to me
or jackie who manages the shop for us.
let us know if there is anything we can do to help. the shop is a mess in back
so if we know ahead of time we can clean!
take care,

Hi Brandy,

Yeah sure-july is fine too. summer is such a slow time for us that just about
anytime in the next few months would be ok. just give us a few days notice so
russell and i can be there to meet you!
thank you, and have a great trip!


cool beans – meet here at 2;45 ish? The gate combo is *1234 and the elevator
combo is 12345…..

Hi Brandy,

The 14th or 15th of July sounds fine. It really is up to you guys. After July we
may be getting busier-but those dates are ok with us.
Perhaps as the day that you decide on gets a bit closer you can go over this
with me again, as far as what you will be doing, to let me know if you will be
needing us to do anything….like move things around or whatever space
accomodation you might be needing or whatever….I am sure you have told me but
i have alot on my mind and tend to be forgetful anyway-so if you can do that for
me….like i say, when it gets closer to the time.
Thanks, take care,

PS-it has been really quiet around here lately as far as any “activity” is
concerned….i keep expecting something to happen and  we are very quiet. maybe
all the remodeling???

hi brandy,

after 6:30 is fine for us. i don’t know what all is involved but let me know if
you need us to do anything for you before you arrive.
here are directions from us 19:

head north from any point that you get on 19 all the way to tarpon ave. then
take a left. head west and you will come to a light at pinellas ave. (aka alt.
you will be at tarpon and pinellas ave. take a right on pinellas ave. the next
light you come to you will be at st. nicholas greek orthodox cathedral….go
thru this light to get to us. go to the next light which is a mile or so…you
will be at pinellas and dodecanese blvd. you will see a huge restaurant
(pappas). take a left at this light and you will be at the sponge docks.
we are on the west end of dodecanese blvd. go past athens street. our address is
777 dodecanese blvd. we are on your left about 5 doors down from the sponge
exchange (an open mall) we are a BRIGHT LIME GREEN building with a handpainted
sign that says ‘seahorse’ on the building.  the address is also on tile on the
building but it is smaller. as for parking….at that time of day-you should be
able to find something by driving past us to the end of the street where you
will find a round about, to your right is a little plaza type thing called
‘riverwalk shops’. now instead of going around the round about, go right past
this building. in other words as you are going around the round about just go
right instead of around. you will be behind the shops at riverwalk where you
will find a parking lot. usually there is plenty of parking back there. parking
is usually a huge problem but you may not have any trouble anyway at this time
of day. brandy, if y’all need a back entrance maybe !
call or write me and i can tell
you how to come in that way. it is kind of complicated and i dont want to
confuse anyone any more than i already probably have.
i guess thats about it. we look forward to seeing you all.  happy hunting.

best wishes,

hi again brandy,

i almost forgot….there was a guy in the shop one day when i was’nt in. he
spoke to jackie, and left a flyer that says:
“do you see dead people?” he apparently is a ghost hunter and working on a book
or something. to tell you the truth i havent had time to read it all thru. we
have been very busy. much busier than i thought we would be. anyway, is he one
of you? do you know who i mean?
i do hope that you are not disappointed. ever since you have talked about coming
over we have been strangely quiet. then again, i have been in and out and like i
say, maybe too busy to notice, so i guess that actually doesnt mean
anything…the dog does bark at nothing every day at around 4:00 in the
afternoon, our shop clerk, jackie tells us and i also have noticed it….but
anyone would notice that. haha…

hi brandy,
yes of course you can post the e-mails. even tho im a bit lax with my
punctuation in my notes.
the address of the shop is 777 dodecanese blvd. tarpon springs, fl. 34689 the
original/legal name is seahorse curio shop…curio shop is such an old fashioned
thing to call a store. i dont think the term is even used anymore, i kind of
like it.
i can tell you some stuff if you want. my great grandparents i think were the
second or third tenants starting in the early 1930’s. it started of as a machine
also, according to what i read on your web site we arent supposed to say
anything about any of the happenings/hauntings to any of the others but i dont
really remember how much i have told you so please let me know if you want any
further info on this.
and finally, i went to the one page that you sent the url to but it looked like
there was probably more and i couldnt get to it. is there a homepage address? i
would love to read more.
i find this all very fascinating and really am looking forward to it. it will be
a welcome break from doing business all the time. later that evening we go over
to citrus park towne center to set up our new kiosk, so it should be an action
packed evening for us.
speak to you soon,

hi brandy,
ha ha ha, i sat reading it for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon when i was
supposed to be working!
it is very interesting especially when comparing things to things that have
happened at the shop. we have had all of it…the phones ringing, the shelves
collapsing, seeing things out of the corner of ones eye. i actually saw or did i
sense?…a lady in a flowered dress floating/walking by once years ago…she was
like a typical tourist but she wasnt really “there” know what i mean? anyway,
all of those things have happened and then some.  more than one psychic has
mentioned  a vortex. one showed us where.
…so i thought it was a very intersting site.
later, eleni

       Prior to 1934 the store was a machine shop that made parts for boats and
before that a fueling station for boats. These two businesses encompassed
the present store with the restaurant next door. The original floor from
these was kept and built over. The present shop opened in 1934 by E’s
grandparents and it has been passed down through the family. In July 1999
the shop was divided off into separate retail space for lease. The dividing
wall has since been removed to make the shop it’s current size. E’s grandpa
was a Mason and it’s believed he picked the name and location of the shop.

       In Jan. 1999 E’s good friend was murdered and she had a pic hanging up of
him in the shop. In July 1999 she was alone in the shop with the dogs who
were asleep and the pic flew off the wall. Upon investigation she found the
nail firmly in the wall and undisturbed. This was near the arch in the
office area in back of the shop. Two days after this all the shelves on the
wall in the leased space collapsed and caused the renters to leave hastily.
       On the west wall in the front of the shop in the area of the archway to the
front window many people have felt energy coming from this area. One psychic
said it was a vortex and feels the entire shop is sitting on a vortex. E has
seen dark shadows from the corner of her eyes from this same area. She also
feels as if someone is watching here from there. One day she became aware of
a woman she described as looking like a “tacky tourist” walk from this same
area and proceed to the back door in the office area in the rear of the
       A couple of months ago books flew off the shelves from the case on the west
wall. Also around this time the Icon in the back of the shop fell off the
wall for no apparent reason after having been there for years.
       An employee when in the shop alone, and always around 4:00 p.m., has phone
calls with no one on the line. At this same time in the afternoon the dogs
bark/get excited at seemingly nothing and usually at the back door in the
office area.
       R, who is psychic, feels the shop has a strange center of energy and has
felt rather than seen the spirits. He feels most of them are friendly,
discreet, and respect the couples privacy. He also thinks that the spirits
are possibly family members.
       The Greek dress on the east wall is from that country and is over 100 years
old. E’s grandma picked it up in the late 60’s. A marble shelf sitting on
wall sconces fell as if it had been slapped from underneath. In 1999 the
couple set up a Ghost cam in the office by the eye on the wall that went out
over the Net. Several people reported seeing spirits on the cam and it was
taken off line in Feb/March 2000 due to technical difficulties. The couple
also read Tarot cards in the area.
       The back door in the office area in recent weeks has begun to lock on its
own. The couple are the only ones with a key for the top dead bolt and the
bottom lock is the doorknob you push and turn. They never lock this one but
have been locked out because of it lately.
       Most activity seems to happen when few people are in the shop and it’s
quiet. I.e. the couple doing their artwork. R felt during our walk through a
spirit move from the Icon to the Greek dress.

       Start time 7:25 p.m.
       7:33 p.m. West wall EMF reading of 2 for about 11 feet. Compass reading of
a few degrees in this area. No ELF reading. The area is from the front
window towards  the archway. Compass reading of 5 degrees by front window.
Neon tubes and tables are on the other side of this wall as the place is a
       7:40 p.m. Compass reading west back corner. EMF reading of 1.6 but no ELF.
       7:41 p.m. Compass reading of a couple of degrees in east front window . NO
EMF/ELF readings.
       7:45 p.m. Lee drawn to Greek dress on east wall and mirror on floor in the
middle of the shop. No EMF/ELF/compass readings.
       7:53 p.m. Back room at archway near office in the area of backdoor I had a
warm tingling feeling while Brandy reported feeling dizzy. No
EMF/ELF/compass readings.
       8:10 p.m. I asked if any spirits present would like their pic taken.
Several pics taken by team.
       8:16 p.m. Lee reported tingling sensation between display tables on east
side of shop. No ELF readings.
       8:45 p.m. Dowsing rods crossed at back door near office. Compass readings
but no EMF/ELF.
       8:55 p.m. I asked if any spirits present would like to make itself known
and the rods stopped moving by the end of my sentence. Same area as above.

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