Travel Channel has hit the transcendental target with the release of it’s latest series Paranormal Caught on Camera! Each week a group of experts offers up analysis on eye-opening and oftentimes disturbing footage… yet choosing to accept the evidence as otherworldy is entirely up to you. Whether a skeptic or believer, I think we can agree that this show certainly invites some ‘spirited’ conversation. 😉
So how did Paranormal Caught on Camera come together? Shortly after its well-received premiere, Fan Fest News was given its own investigative opportunity with the show’s Executive Producer, Charles Nordlander.
Linda: How did the Paranormal Caught on Camera project develop? What was the creative inspiration?
Charles: Our world of cameras being everywhere now, and in everyone’s hands, has been a gamechanger in capturing paranormal phenomena on video as it happens. So we decided the time was right to create a series around these amazing clips that we were seeing posted online.
Linda: The show has a delightfully wide array of phenomena. How do you go about selecting the videos to be analyzed by your experts?
Charles: The first phrase in this question is actually the answer! A “delightfully wide array of phenomena” IS the goal in assembling the stories featured in each episode. As we go from story to story, we want viewers to feel constantly surprised and engaged by what’s coming up next. And of course, video selection is also guided by “OMG” visuals in the clip—viewers should feel amazed by what they’re seeing.
Linda: What are the deciding factors in choosing your experts? Will there be new guests stepping in?
Charles: The first things we look for, not surprisingly, are a passion for, and expertise in the paranormal—it’s essential for our guests to be credible to our viewers. Part of that credibility is asking smart questions and offering interesting theories about what they’re seeing in the clip, which you see them do regularly in the show. Another factor in how we choose is putting together an intriguing mix of experts in each show who offer unique points of view and differing styles of commentary. We don’t want our experts to all seem the same, and yes, there will definitely be new guests stepping in as we go through the season. We’ll see if any fan favorites emerge!
Linda: The show does a great job of being entertaining as well as educational. Do you feel that is important? Why?
Charles: First, thank you for the compliment and noticing, because we think delivering on that combination is essential if we want viewers to give us an hour of their time each week. We approach this in two ways. We think of the show as a fun playground for your imagination because the clips — in addition to the entertainment of “I can’t believe what I’m seeing!” visuals — also engage you in considering what’s “out there” that can’t be easily explained. And then our experts offer cool information and theories that you can’t get from the clips alone. For example, you may hear the historical background on a phenomenon and how it has recurred over the centuries. We want you to come away from each story feeling entertained and informed.
Linda: What sets Paranormal Caught on Camera apart in a field saturated by the supernatural?
Charles: The show takes the rawness and realness you get with user-generated content that’s shot in “the heat of the moment” when something paranormal is seen, and builds it out with the kind of great storytelling that only Travel Channel can deliver.
Linda: What has been the biggest challenge in producing the show?
Charles: There have been two main challenges. First, we’re always on the hunt for clips that are unbelievable to see, credible and have an interesting story behind them. That’s a high bar to approving a clip, but we’ve managed to keep clearing it. Second, we love getting a first-person interview with the individual who shot the video—it adds so much to the story. But that can be tough with footage shot in foreign locations, and sometimes people just don’t want to talk about their paranormal experience on-camera.
Linda: Of the videos shown so far, with which case were you most intrigued? Why?
Charles: Wow, that’s a hard question! There have been quite a few that have truly amazed me. But I’d have to say the most indelible impression was left by the baby who climbs the railing of his crib, stands up straight and balances on the top edge of it, and lets out this frightening roar. If that doesn’t look like a possessed child, I don’t know what does!
Linda: Have you personally had a paranormal experience? If so, could you describe it?
Charles: Yes, I have—it was what psychic mediums would call “a visitation” from my deceased father. It happened when I wasn’t looking for or expecting such a thing at all. And I’ll never forget it. It was the middle of a sunny afternoon and I was climbing into a taxi for a work trip to a production company. Work was the only thing on my mind. As the taxi pulled away, I suddenly felt my father’s presence alongside me and heard his voice call my name distinctly… “Charles.” He had a message to deliver to me that I won’t go into here. But I can’t emphasize enough that this wasn’t a “Hmmm, is something going on here?” kind of experience. This was undeniable. Palpable. This was happening. On scale of 0-10, “Is this real?” – this was an 11. And once my father had delivered his message to me, the feeling of his presence vanished as immediately and mysteriously as I had felt it arrive moments before. I’ve never heard from him since. That was my one and only visitation. I guess he said what he needed to say.
Linda: What do you feel are the biggest misconceptions regarding the paranormal?
Charles: Perhaps the word “paranormal” is the biggest misconception of all because it places these phenomena outside the realm of what we call “normal.” But if you talk to anyone engaged in a field of paranormal study, they’ll tell you that these phenomena are entirely part of “normal” in that they’re happening all the time. However, many choose to deny the existence of paranormal occurrences because they’re beyond the scope of current science to measure or explain. It’s worth remembering that throughout history, science has often lagged in its ability to measure and explain beliefs that later prove to be true. What’s great is that over the last decade, acceptance of the paranormal has become part of the mainstream.
Linda: For those unfamiliar with the paranormal field, what would you say to entice them to watch the show?
Charles: Just watch the show once, and I dare you not to come back for more episodes!
Many thanks to Mr. Nordlander for sharing his paranormal perspective. Be sure to check out Paranormal Caught on Camera Wednesdays at 10 EST on the Travel Channel. Will YOU believe?