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 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.
In October of 2017 , Team mate Beth Gemeny expressed interest to join forces and partner together with Porter, The venture - to re-create the "Haunted Hearse Tours" - This meant retiring the 1988 Black Buick prototype and acquiring a newer, stronger hearse which will be transformed into a limo for future tours in the San Lorenzo Valley area. The marriage proved to be a fruitful one and a 1992 Brougham Cadillac Hearse was acquired and is currently under construction.
To date plans are still under way to bring Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters and Haunted Tours on location to the Brookdale Lodge once renovations are complete - meanwhile the S.C.G.H team still conducts investigations within the Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay areas.
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