SPIRITS of St. Petersburg
Dr. Brandy Stark started the SPIRITS of St. Petersburg in 1997, when she first started her academic research into the role of the liminal. She took her research to conferences and expanded into studying the lore and legends of Tampa Bay. She was able to utilize her connections at the University of South Florida to do her first official ghost hunt in 1999, which she later wrote up as an article for the USFSP student paper, The Crow’s Nest. From there, she did talks in the local community and met other individuals curious about the supernatural. She officially founded the SPIRITS of St. Petersburg paranormal investigation team in 2000, and it remains an active group today.
Over the years, she has done approximately 400 investigations locally, nationally, and internationally on her own and with her team. Stark’s goal is to involve the community in the research so that others can distinguish natural causes from those of more questionable origin. She has worked to create a reasonable and compassionate view of the supernatural world by integrating ideas and academic discussions of symbolism, cultural interpretation, and respect for others (dead or living).
She is the host for the Paranormal Pets podcast on petliferadio.com, now at over 110 episodes. Stark also authored two books, Supernatural St. Petersburg and Paranormal Pinellas: The Lesser Known Haunts Vol. 1 and II. In addition, she is the guide for the Shadows in the Sunshine walking ghost tour of downtown St. Petersburg. Tours are created upon request and kept to small groups. Stops are at locations that the SPIRITS of St. Petersburg have investigated over the past two decades.
Presently, she continues to explore the history of ghosts in St. Petersburg and surrounding areas. Her research has been utilized in several books including Ghost Stories St. Petersburg Florida (2004), Florida Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore (2005), Field of Screams (2010), Eerie Florida (2017), Haunted Florida Love Stories (2020), and she contributed a chapter for Hell Hounds, Spirits and Psychics (2019). She was featured as a local historian on Dead Files Season 10 Episode 13 (“Cursed Pinellas Park”), as a resource and narrator for the “Haslams” episode of Strange Petersburg, and as a guest for Share Your Scare on Amazon Prime. She has spoken to numerous organizations and podcasts including the University of South Florida, the X Zone, Eckerd College, the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and multiple Kuwanis groups.
When not doing research or talks, Stark has a bit of fun with the yearly “second Hallowe’en” event that she created: Valentwe’en. This pseudo-holiday takes place on Feb. 13 and mixes traditions from Halloween and Valentine’s Day. She utilizes the concept to host public events, such as book signings, movie screenings, and art shows since 2015, inviting local haunters, such as Dr. Paul Bearer II, to serve as MC.
Here’s where your SPIRITS have been up to:
09/14/2022: Brandy Stark and team member Veva Scott appeared on “Paranormally Blonde” in a “Meet the Teams” event leading up to the 2022 World’s Largest Ghost Hunt on September 24, 2022.
May 22: Brandy Stark was interviewed on X Force radio. Here the podcast here: https://www.spreaker.com/user/xzoneradiotv/xzrs20180522ep1embrandystark
2/18: PODCAST INTERVIEW: Paranormal Stakeout Radio Show from Feb. The link to the show will be posted the next day, but if you’d like to hear what they already have check them out here! http://paranormalstakeout.com/
1/26/18: Mystic Paranormal Podcast: Glad you had a blast! It is a great show! Here is the link
Also it is on our website www.mysticparanormal.net and click on Podcast. It also is up on iTunes, Googleplay, Tunein, Stitcher, Deezer, RadioPublic, Castbox, Audioboom, and I’m sure there are other platforms or apps that have it up.
10/2017: A Halloween article on paranormal pets did get published. I think my part picks up in slide 3 on. (Pugs aren’t dogs, though. They are people!) http://www.pawculture.com/lifestyle/seasonal/can-pets-see-ghosts-6-behaviors-to-watch-for/
10/2017: HAUNTED HERCULANEUM! My article (on WiseTraveler.com) is about a brief encounter I had in Herculaneum (Italy). I loved that trip. Sure, they lost my luggage and it was winter and there was no heat in the room….but the ghosts. Ah, the ghosts Link to article: https://www.thewisetraveller.com/Articles/view/?permalink=haunted-herculaneum-20171002154956
Check out the episode of Dead Files where Brandy Stark served as the local historian! Season 10, episode 13: https://www.travelchannel.com/shows/the-dead-files/episodes/cursed-pinellas-park-florida
October 2018: Paranormal Pugs Article Spotlight — Check it out HERE!
Media Mention 10/30/2018: The Beacon! Ghost investigators describe their favorite haunts in Pinellas!
Paranormal Presentation at St. Petersburg College; featured on the Sandbox here
Brandy Stark is featured on Season 1, episode 6, “Fatherly Love” on Amazon Prime streaming.
Special thanks to Nerd Nite St. Pete for a FANTASTIC TIME on April 24 2019! What great people, great atmosphere, and great speakers! We got this note from the coordinators: Emily, Holly and Brandy — You all were amazing last night! Thank you so much for sharing your nerdy passions with us and St. Pete. It has been fun collaborating with you! We hope this is just the beginning… 🙂 Keep up the great work! –Nerd Nite Bosses
April 2019: Brandy Stark is featured in a new podcast — Check out Ep. 5 of In the Basement
Check out this May 2019 podcast with Trippin’ On Legends Safety Harbor Mound
November 5 interview on X-Zone Radio!
Interview on St. Petersburg Catalyst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f_7K1DLhfg&feature=youtu.be
Article from the Northeast Journal: https://northeastjournal.org/local-ghost-hunters-spirits-of-st-petersburg/
The Patch.com came along on a ghost tour. See what they had to say! https://patch.com/florida/stpete/experience-haunted-side-st-pete-ghost-tour
Interview on the Paranormal Investigation 101 course at Eckered OLLI, presented by Channel 13: https://www.fox13news.com/news/anyone-can-be-a-ghostbuster-with-eckerd-colleges-virtual-ghost-hunting-101-class
Interview with the Tampa Bay Times on Instagram (July 1, 2021): https://www.instagram.com/tv/CQzTOrbik5x/?utm_medium=copy_link
On July 1, Brandy was interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times via their Instagram account. See the recorded interview here.
October media features:
Brandy Stark wrote an article about haunted St. Pete for Monsterlibrarian.com. Check it out here: https://www.monsterlibrarian.com/TheCirculationDesk/haunted-travels-saint-petersburg-florida/?fbclid=IwAR1A-LKIYTcgcU5XQEU5HHsVtUr7rcu-hfNyiqTpttVLEUbkw0lRVSKe7E0
Coast to Coast interview, Brandy Stark, March 23, 2022
“Paranormal Activities and Quantum Ghosts”
Thank you immensely, from all of us, and we would love to have you back again next year!