SANTA CRUZ - Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters plan to launch a new series of events starting in March.

Maryanne Porter, founder of Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters, said her nonprofit organization has purchased the rights to Santa Cruz Haunted Tours. The price was undisclosed.

Sara Czarnecki, an entrepreneurial teen, started Santa Cruz Haunted Tours, offering weekend walking tours last spring of spooky locations in Santa Cruz such as Sunshine Villa and Evergreen Cemetery.

"For a 17-year-old, she came up with a really great idea," said Porter, 40, a Santa Cruz native.

Porter, who majored in criminal justice and has been a legal assistant, has been looking for work but finding few jobs. She decided to create her town jobs by taking over the haunted tours.

"Santa Cruz County is filled with enchanting ghostly stories," said Porter.

She is teaming up with local photographer Aubrey Graves, author of the new paperback, "Supernatural Santa Cruz."

Its website, www.santacruzghosthunters.com, lists several of those stories, such as the Mystery Spot tourist attraction, the 1961 incident in Capitola that inspired Alfred Hitchcock to film "The Birds," the never-solved killing of a 12-year-old from Aptos and the 2010 slaying of a 37-year-old woman in Felton.

Porter and Graves are discussing what type of tours to offer. The walking tour is an option, along with a paranormal hunt and a mobile tour.

"A set price has yet to be determined however the walking tour will likely remain at the $15 rate for adults," Porter said.

"We would like to involve the community," she added.

Anyone with a ghost story as well as owners of businesses with significant history to contact [email protected] or [email protected]




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