From inspiring Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho to being the stalking ground of serial killers, Surf City, USA, has a spooky history with a West Coast twist.
Though generally a peaceful coastal city, the dark stains from Santa Cruz’s past still linger. A former Spanish Mission, Holy Cross Catholic Church harbors a dark history of a brutal revolt of native Ohlone people that killed the cruel Fr. Andres Quintana. Frequented by mobsters and celebrities in its heyday, the famous Brookdale Lodge’s most talked-about guest is the ghost of a little girl who died nearby in 1892 after nearly drowning. Terrorized by three different serial killers during the 1970s, the city earned the nickname of “the Murder Capital of the World.” Local resident Alfred Hitchcock derived inspiration for his iconic film Psycho from the haunted mid-nineteenth-century Hotel McCray. Tracing the city’s eeriest incidents back to their roots, historical researcher and paranormal investigator Maryanne Porter details these and many more stories of local legend and lore.
“[Porter] vividly retells the darker aspects of Santa Cruz history, and shares recorded experiences, including some of her own, at popular local haunted sites like the Brookdale Lodge and Sunshine Villa.” —GoodTimes