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Carlsbad company offering scary stories on the beach

CARLSBAD — Spooky stories, bonfires and vegan s’mores are now available for some Halloween fun and beyond.

A Carlsbad-based company, Beach Genie, which provides customers with a pampered beach day experience, is now offering year-round scary storytelling events on the beach in time for the Halloween season.

Jean Walker, who owns the company with her husband, started their business earlier this year. The local startup is just one of a few active businesses licensed by the state to reserve spaces on several North County beaches, including Cardiff, Tamarack, Carlsbad, Torrey Pines and Silver Strand state beaches, and Oceanside Tower 10 and Harbor beaches,

The Walkers partnered with professional storyteller Marilyn McPhie, the president of the Storytellers of San Diego and Pacific Region Director for the National Storytelling Network, in the hopes of elevating beachgoers’ experience.

McPhie’s tales of the Salem witch trials are connected to her lineage, as she claims to be a descendant of people on all sides of the trials — from the supposed witches who were hanged or escaped to their accusers, judges and clergy. In addition to witchcraft, McPhie also tells scary stories from the region.

“(McPhie’s) ghost stories are based in San Diego, Poway and La Jolla,” Walker said, in addition to the witch trials tales. “They are based on real events that people have reported.”

McPhie performs for 30 minutes and each bonfire session lasts two hours. Walker said the scary bonfire stories are not reserved solely for the Halloween season.

In preparation for Christmas, the company has Santa Claus join a holiday bonfire party on the beach for 90 minutes before “flying back to the North Pole.”

Beach Genie provides six chairs, umbrellas, a canopy, tables and a propane bonfire pit. Food can be ordered and Walker will pick up and deliver, along with providing vegan s’mores, she said.