“Paranormal Paparazzi” is a new show on the Travel Channel that brings the celebrity/entertainment side of horror and the “real” side of horror together. They’re already opposite sides of the same coin anyway, why not bring them together in a catch-all travelogue that allows them to riff off of each other. Aaron Sagers hosts the show (in addition to writing for CNN and running ParanormalPopCulture.com).
I hopped on the phone with Sagers this afternoon to discuss how this new show differs from producer Zak Bagans’ “Ghost Adventures” and the general all-around hijinks they’ll be up to this year.
The show airs on Fridays so that means it will be play tonight, October 5th, on the Travel Channel with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 7p.m. ET. It will also beHead inside to check out the interview.
Let’s talk about “Paranormal Paparrazzi”. It’s on the Travel Channel and it’s produced by Zak Bagans of “Ghost Adventures” but it’s quite a bit different than that show.
My day job is as an entertainment journalist. I write for CNN and I run my own website called ParanormalPopCulture.com which focusses on the entertainment component of the paranormal. But I’m also the host and EP of this show. And I bring the paranormal pop culture sensibility to the show. Really what it comes down to is I’ve been a junkie for horror movies and paranormal movies since I was a little kid. So I created the website to feed into that.
So what people see when they see “Paranormal Paparrazzi” is a celebration of horror and the paranormal. And we go out there and interview these celebrities and everything. Last week we had Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”). So we talk to people involved in creating the entertainment aspect of it, and then we also go out and talk to the people who have had their own eyewitness accounts.
We’re not trying to say, “believe in this or don’t believe in this.” We’re trying to out the stories out there and have people decide for themselves. Let them have fun with it. So we don’t just talk about “The Walking Dead”, we also go to a zombie survival camp and talk to a real guy who is legitimately preparing for a zombie apocalypse.
If you’re interviewing people like that, what’s the craziest thing you have coming up this season?
You never want to say what the craziest thing is going to be. But each week we tend to have a lot. It’s a fast paced show so we go through a lot. And we do a lot of traveling. Whether it’s going to visit some guy in Texas who has a bunker or going to Horror Hounds convention.
Actually tonight we have a couple of solid stories coming up. One of them involves a tattoo artist to the stars and a legacy that he may have passed on to his daughters that is perhaps malevolent or perhaps benevolent but it’s a good story for us because it has a celebrity component and a spooky component. And afterwards you’re left wondering, “do you believe in that or not believe in that?”
Also regarding ghost hunting, that’s something that’s become very popular in the mainstream over the past couple of years. Now we tag along with different groups who say they have the best way to get the best evidence. And the takeaway could be comedic, but it could also be, “why the hell not?” Who’s to say it doesn’t work? If ghosts do exist, and we’re not saying they do, then why not this method of finding them?
I’m a skeptic about all of this actually, but I love the stories. When I was a kid, reading about real haunted houses or urban legends and things that supposedly happened, that was the same as watching John Carpenter’s The Thing for me. All of that stuff works together for me. I view them all as great stories that bring people together.
And how did you get involved with Dread Central for the show?
Professionally, Zak is friends with the guys from Dread Central and we always knew that we wanted to have a strong pop culture element. But, much in the same way Bloody-Disgusting is, Dread Central is part of the pop culture horror community.