The Founding of Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters & Accomplishments
Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters (a.k.a S.C.G.H) has been dedicated to researching the unusual and darker historical provenance of Santa Cruz County since 2009. What started out as an interest between two best friends, Maryanne Porter and Deena Smith, to uncover the validity of spirit communication as was being shown on popular television shows. The two set out to either debunk or validate these ghost hunting claims. Once they got their first E.V.P (electric voice phenomenon) they were hooked.
The pair ensued on multiple ghostly adventures in the San Lorenzo Valley area, they began researching local history and lore, before founding the Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters website in 2010.
Sadly the pair parted ways, due to co-founder Deena Smith moving out of the area, and Maryanne Porter began to fly solo in the S.C.G.H endeavors working mostly with family members.
However the adventure did not end there, By 2012, Porter acquired the rights to Santa Cruz Haunted Tours, which was started by a young 16 year old high school student, who wanted to earn extra money for her college education. Her tours consisted of public walking ventures near the Boardwalk which detailed spooky haunted history of the local area for all to enjoy.
Although Porter loved the idea of the haunted tour, the whole walking idea just didn’t appeal to her. Porter, desired a mobile tour, but with what? – And then the suggestion was made, “Why not a hearse?” - Well why not? – In love with the idea, Porter made dozens of inquiries regarding hearses, until she found one that would meet her needs. The 1988 Buick hearse, which originated from New York, was delivered from the Sacramento area and transformed. After removing its casket holding innards and re-welding, replacing, re-carpeting and fitted with leather seats and seatbelts, Santa Cruz Haunted Tours, mobile hearse tour- was born. Porters desire to prove her concept “of a haunted investigative tour” was a successful one, in fact so much so, she could not keep up with the demand and realized she needed a specific location to regularly continue with these endeavors. - And so she chose to wait, until opportunity knocked....
Meanwhile within a few short years of acquiring the tours, a new Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters Team, slowly began to emerge. Each individual seeking Porter out, to voluntarily partake in the ghostly adventures, and each chosen participant proved to be more amazing then the next. Utilizing their personal every day professions to compliment there paranormal investigative skills, the S.C.G.H team became comprised of very talented individuals, from law enforcement officer to county researchers, professional audio expert, IT specialist, to even a cemetery preservationist - a professional paranormal team soon evolved.
By 2014 a new prospect came to light for Porter, and the tours. The waiting game was seemingly over and when the Brookdale Lodge found a new head master to over hall her walls, discussions were under way to bring Santa Cruz Haunted Tours on location to the formerly World Famous lodge, who's haunted reputation ranks to be one of the top 10 in the nation.. By 2015 another prospect opened its doors and Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, approached Porter with a request to write a book for their Haunted America series and by 2016, Porter’s first book, Haunted Santa Cruz, California hit the shelves.
By 2016 The University California of Santa Cruz, soon took notice of the Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters endeavors and invited them to the first Social Fiction Conference, live and on campus - after words, each year, S.C.G.H, has been invited back to U.C.S.C to conduct a presentation at Crown College UCSC, geared towards cultural education of Death & Dying, from a perspective of those who interact with those from beyond.
By 2017 Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters teamed up with the United Kingdom. Paranormal researcher, Don Philips and his team of American Supernatural, united with S.C.G.H, in a first ever local paranormal unification with the UK and US, in Santa Cruz County - A one week long filmed paranormal investigation took place at the once 'World Famous Brookdale Lodge" in the San Lorenzo Valley. The venture resulted in a full length feature that was brought to the public in 2019 and debuted at the Brookdale Lodge, after Don Philips, once again returned bringing with him, the completed feature of 'Brookdale Lodge Uncovered' to the screen. A 2 feature event debut ensued, bringing in nearly 200 guests to the lodge event, including unexpected guests actress Katherine Kovin Pacino and husband actor William Lashbrook who stayed to enjoy the film.
By 2018 The venture - to re-create our Haunted Hearse and once again "Haunted Tours" arose- And the prospect of acquiring a new hearse unfolded. This meant retiring the 1988 Black Buick prototype and acquiring a newer, stronger hearse which would be transformed into a limo as our theme car & for future tours in the San Lorenzo Valley or Santa Cruz area. The decision proved to be a fruitful one and a 1992 Brougham Cadillac Hearse was acquired and the modifications commenced. However after the devastating CZU Fires, desiccated some of our common touring sites and Covid 19 shuttered the majority of our local businesses our ability to venture forward into our tours has been on temporary chopping block. By 2019 Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters, was noticed by LA & New York producers this time featured on Haunted Routes 666, WickedWest Coast, and as a result a Las Vegas Telly Award, was won by the producers of this show. As a result, Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters, was invited & nominated by Shock Fest Film Festival for Excellence in Paranormal Media Productions - and invited to the Shock Fest Film Festival extravaganza in Las Vegas.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT REQUESTING A PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION PLEASE SEE OUR F.A.Q (Frequently Asked Questions)