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Welcome To Santa Cruz's #1 Rated Ghost Tour

Santa Cruz Ghosts invites you to discover the city’s horrifying history responsible for the waves of tragedy and death that pummel Surf City.

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Join Santa Cruz Ghosts as we unearth the spirits of the beach and boardwalk, where vengeful Native spirits lurk and entities born of unfathomable tragedy anxiously await the next group of victims.

Santa Cruz Ghosts

All tours meet at Boardwalk Bowl at 115 Cliff St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tours last 1 hour across a 1-mile walking distance. Ask about the bonus extended tour to additional haunted locations!
Tours are held nightly
Simply bring your ID. You do not need a printed ticket or passes.
Visit for the most up-to-date parking info.

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Front of the Boardwalk Bowl in Santa Cruz, CA
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Preview The Most Haunted Locations In Santa Cruz

Welcome to Santa Cruz Ghosts

The boardwalk attractions that draw masses to this California resort town sit atop the remnants of a brutal era known for death and carnage. The lost legends and souls of Santa Cruz’s disastrous past dwell in the eerie mist of the Pacific, waiting to latch on to the living.   


Portals To Hell In Haunted Hotels 


The strange and unusual are synonymous with the Northern California coastline. While known for its cartographic beauty, Santa Cruz has hosted some of the nation’s most deranged characters, with some seemingly pulled straight out of a horror movie.


In the land of cinema, nearly every location has a story, and Santa Cruz Ghosts is going to introduce you to one of the most infamous. Venture to the Sunshine Villa, a building with such a storied past and ominous appearance, Alfred Hitchcock used it as inspiration for the Bates Motel. But the unhinged character that remains a horror icon isn’t so different from the real-life, ungodly sinners that inhabited this Santa Cruz staple.


Satanists, serial killers, and psychopaths all took refuge in this Victorian manor, and some never left. Join Santa Cruz Ghosts to lift the veil on this notoriously haunted building as our expert guides give you a glimpse into the terror that stalks the residents, sometimes forcing them out of their rooms.


Learn about the serial killer that once roamed free in the hallways of this portal to hell. Voices in his head commanded him to kill. But where did they come from? Many believe the truth lies in what’s beneath the building, a pit that reaches deep into the unknown, ripe with the stench of tragedy and death. Learn the truth on a ghost tour with Santa Cruz Ghosts. 


What Will I See?


Visit Santa Cruz’s Most Haunted Locations, Including:


  • Golden Gate Villa – The Victorian home of an American hero who lost everything in a failed investment and grew increasingly reclusive. Grief took him to the brink of despair when he murdered his daughter, painting their spirits forever into the walls of the home. 


  • Sunshine Villa – Santa Cruz’s home to serial killers, Satanists, and unruly spirits, its hallways have seen higher residual activity than nearly anywhere else in Monterey Bay. And its menacing appearance was a source of inspiration for one of the most well-known horror films of all time.


  • Santa Cruz Beach – Historic floods through the year swept dozens of poorly prepared souls out to sea. Many were never found. Something strange pulls at the legs of beachgoers, and those spotted offshore seemingly disappear before rescue and are never to be seen again.


Secluded Mansions Full Of Phantoms 


People have traveled to California from the far reaches of the earth to claim their fame and fortune, a tale as old as time. But when these prospects fail, many succumb to the dark side, ending up on the wrong side of history. 


Soak up Santa Cruz’s spooky atmosphere on an exciting ghost tour with Santa Cruz Ghosts, and visit the Golden Gate Villa, where one such tragic tale replays the horror of those who venture inside the historical landmark. 


Experience chills as you hear the sordid saga that was a former American hero’s life and the shocking end that left two people dead and one sorrowful soul that isn’t quite ready to leave this world. Hear how this tortured spirit makes herself known, sending chills down the spines of those who encounter her. Victorian mansions dot the landscape of Santa Cruz, but none carry the burden of such a brutal tale that left spiritual activity spewing out of the once respectable home. 


Who is this spirit that roams the halls of this Victorian-style home? And what transpired that made it impossible for her to leave? These hair-raising answers and more can be found on our intriguing ghost tour of Santa Cruz. 


A Sea of Revenge 


The blood coursing through the salty waters of the Pacific created a curse that touches everything that lines its unassuming shores. Journey to Neptune’s Kingdom as Santa Cruz Ghosts introduces you to the ill-fated pool attraction that became a watery grave for some poor, unfortunate souls.


Ghost stories along the Beach Boardwalk are plentiful, but one in particular is so sinister it’s believed to be repercussions for the area’s disturbing past. Cold spots fill the air inside the Mini-Golf mecca by the sea, reminders of when entertaining merriment was cut drastically short by floating bodies in the water, and the resulting screams filled the salty air. 


Listen closely, and you might hear the phantom voices that have led so many others to their doom at the bottom of The Plunge. Feel your heart rate rise as we introduce you to stories of the terrifying specters that remain tethered to the place that claimed their lives. 



Why is Santa Cruz so Haunted?


Bowling For Spirits


Rage has soaked the earth beneath Santa Cruz since the Spanish abused and pillaged the Native population centuries ago. The scars left by the missionaries and military of the Spanish crown appear in almost every corner of the city. 


Stay vigilant, as you may hear the sounds of bowling pins cascading into each other well after closing at Boardwalk Bowl. Here, however, the sounds aren’t as innocent as they seem. Explore the years of horrendous treatment and unrelenting bloodshed that now manifests as wrathful stares, laying their vengeful eyes on anyone intruding into their world.


Find out what causes the dull and heavy thumps every employee hears while closing this seaside bowling alley on a thrilling ghost tour with Santa Cruz Ghosts. 


Train to Nowhere


Death and disease pushed out the Native population, and the railroad quickly found its way into the heart of Monterey Bay. Happy campers from all over soon arrived in droves, expecting the sunny skies and breathless views of the Redwoods. 


Feel the refreshing sea breeze on your skin in front of the Casino Arcade. But check weather conditions. Unexplained breezes often befuddle visitors standing near the old railroad track. 

Tragedy struck the Santa Cruz community when a harrowing last-minute decision turned into the death of over a dozen train passengers. Apparitions of these hauntings now walk along the careening corridors of the old track, startling passing trains in the night. 


Listen closely, as you may hear the hint of the train whistle that alerts casino-goers when it is time to depart from the bright lights of the arcade. But when they step outside, many find nothing but an eerie breeze on a still day, the residual haunting of a train long past its prime. 


What’s so Special About the Santa Cruz Ghosts Tour?


See The Edgy Side of Surf City


Santa Cruz’s Beach Boardwalk is known for its carnival of rides, attractions, hours of entertainment, and fun for the whole family. However, there is a darker side to the boardwalk’s bright lights and big thrills. 

Pull back this sun-soaked veneer as we reveal the best ghost stories in Santa Cruz at the Boardwalk Sign. Accidents happen, and the ghostly riders of California’s oldest roller coaster, The Giant Dipper, can attest. Their screams ring out into the night from high above the water, warning others of the peril waiting at the end of the ticket line.


A Once-in-a-Lifetime Journey Into Santa Cruz’s Dark Past


Generally spared from the terrors of piracy, the land of milk and honey isn’t known for swashbuckling tales of glory and ruin, but one man stood alone. Learn about California’s only pirate and his restless spirit outside Cap’n Jack Flint’s Pirate Ship. 


Squint towards the horizon, and you may make out a haze traveling across the blue crest of the Pacific. A phantom ship seldomly appears in the mist as a tribute to one stubborn soul’s path of destruction, which takes him back to Monterey Bay to pillage his fortune yet again.


Be a Part of a Growing Ghostly Community 


Search for a mystique found only in California and come home with so much more. Others are on a quest for the same unusual, unexplained activity you seek! The spirit world doesn’t take a prejudice against anyone willing to peer behind their veil. Just ask the ghosts of the Plunge and The Giant Dipper, forever surrounded by visitors like yourself.  


Make new connections on one of the best things to do in Santa Cruz, a ghost tour with Santa Cruz Ghosts!

* This is a walking tour and we do not enter privately-owned buildings or private property *



1) You Want To Hear The Darker Side of California History


California’s coast hides a plethora of dark, hidden secrets waiting to be revealed. Come on a ghost tour with Santa Cruz Ghosts and dive into a history full of discovery, mystery, and the unexplainable paranormal phenomena that followed. 


2) You Want To Step Off The Beach

The golden glow from Santa Cruz’s world-class beach can be captivating, but there is much more to do! Take a ghost tour with Santa Cruz Ghosts and enjoy a world of spooky entertainment not available anywhere else so close to the shore. Our meeting location is right by the beach! 


3) You Need A Break From The Rides


Are you feeling a little dizzy after your third or fourth ride on the Giant Dipper? Regain your equilibrium and plant your feet firmly on the ground. While you prepare for your next boardwalk ride, hear the best ghost stories from Santa Cruz’s haunted past. 


4) You Are Looking For Things To Do Near Santa Cruz Boardwalk


The Santa Cruz Beachboard Walk is world-famous, but it doesn’t mean it is the only thing to do in Santa Cruz. Our ghost tour takes you along the boardwalk’s edge and into the surrounding area for a unique Santa Cruz experience. 


5) You Are Looking For More Family Fun


Bring the whole family along! Santa Cruz has been a family destination since its founding; our ghost tours proudly embody that attitude. Show the kids that there is more to the boardwalk than cotton candy and carnival rides!

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