Paranormal Caught on Camera delves into some spooky home videos, tackling haunts, UFO sightings, and demonic possessions, among other occurrences. The ever-changing panel of hosts spends the episodes commenting on the footage, hoping to turn skeptics into believers with irrefutable proof of the supernatural.
The Travel Channel original has become one of their top 2 most-watched shows since it first aired in 2019, but audience reactions to Paranormal Caught on Camera remain mixed. Are the hosts passing off falsified footage genuine to capture viewer attention, or are there this many paranormal sightings worldwide? Let’s explore…
Paranormal Caught on Camera Air Date
Paranormal Caught on Camera aired on the Travel Channel on February 13th, 2019. The first episode, The Seedy Texas Motel Poltergeist and More, featured five clips the host dissected.
With an IMDb rating of 6.7 for the first episode, it seems it took a while for Paranormal Caught on Camera to hit its stride. Though the format has changed slightly since this episode, it laid the groundwork for the series and introduced viewers to the concept.
The Creation and Production
Since there is very little on-location shooting necessary for what is essentially a clip show, Paranormal Caught on Camera has quite a compact crew. Despite this, the show has 18 main producers, spelling good things for the production quality.
Executive producer Jason Clio has worked on other paranormal offerings such as The Osbournes Want to Believe. He mostly works as a producer on shows like Road Wars, Clickbait, and Chaos in Court.
Some of the other producers include:
- Bryan Odom – Supervising Producer
- Paul Kaup – Series Producer (Paul also acts as the narrator for the series)
- Alex Potter – Associate Producer
- Chris Kipiniak – Associate Producer
- Nick Blake – Show Producer
- Michele Gouveia – Archival Producer
Since Paranormal Caught on Camera relies on home video and other archival footage, a team of researchers is also working on the crew. These include Madison Schaper, Joey Siegel, and Nat Roberts, among five others. The editing department is the next biggest, with Patrick Devers supervising post-production and 19 others working on varying numbers of episodes.
The series also has a few individuals working on music for specific episodes and a sound department consisting of Matt Foglia and Cameron Teel. Still, many crew members only joined the team for one or two episodes.
Paranormal Caught on Camera Cast Members
Rather than having an investigative cast, Paranormal Caught on Camera has a team of rotating experts. Many of these hosts are switched out between episodes, but some of the most prevalent are:
Brian J. Cano
A paranormal analyst for 120 episodes, Brian is Paranormal Caught on Camera’s most longstanding host. Though he never experienced an isolated incident that turned him onto the paranormal, he credits his fascination with the mysteries of our world to Leonard Nimoy and In Search Of…, as well as Ghostbusters, which showed him how much technology could assist with paranormal investigations.
After spending 11 years working at an ad agency overlooking the Ghostbusters’ firehouse, Brian finally took his investigations on screen with The World Within documentary in 2010. He’s appeared in a few episodes of Most Terrifying Places in America and Scared! But to date, Paranormal Caught on Camera is his longest-running project.
Co-founder of “Weird NJ” magazine, Mark Moran, has long been fascinated by local legends and weird locations around New Jersey. What started as a zine circulated among family and friends has led Mark to publish a book, Weird US, and produce and star in a TV show of the same name. The magazine is still going strong today, with its own amateur investigation department.
Mark also hosts lectures wherein he teaches the public about the supernatural and how they may be able to catch a glimpse of it for themselves. After appearing in The Holzer Files and Trending Fear episodes, he found a home in Paranormal Caught on Camera, acting as an expert in 117 episodes.
Other “hosts” include Sapphire Sandalo, Derek Hayes, Lynne McNeill, Aaron Sagers, and Natalia Reagan.
Primary Focus of the Show
Paranormal Caught on Camera deals with a huge range of paranormal occurrences. If it’s terrifying, the experts are open to reviewing it. After a lengthy introduction, the narrator introduces us to the first video with a short overview.
Often, the individual who captured the footage is interviewed, explaining the context of the activity and anything they’ve done to investigate themselves. Instead of showing the whole video, most clips are cut up to compliment Paranormal Caught on Camera’s narration and narrative.
The hosts appear in talking-head segments, sharing their initial opinions and any doubts. Different hosts commentate depending on the nature of the paranormal activity, offering various specialist opinions.
Sometimes, the history of the locations captured on video is shared, but this is rare. Footage shown is not discussed between two or more paranormal investigators, and no advice is provided to those who captured the footage about how to investigate further. Most episodes deal with around 6-8 videos, leaving little time to conclude on any of them.
Paranormal Caught on Camera’s Impact
It took a few episodes for Paranormal Caught on Camera to develop a dedicated viewer base. However, 13.2 million total viewers were recorded by the end of the first season in 2019, a 50% increase on previously noted viewership for the time slot. Though the last episode to air only boasted a fraction of those viewer numbers, the show remains the second most popular on the Travel Channel.
Fans of the show praise its dedication to believers and the agency it affords them. “It doesn’t try to debunk the videos, but rather lets the viewer make up his or her own mind,” one reviewer mentioned. Even skeptics like the show for its lack of debunking and subsequent entertainment value, with another viewer commenting, “The show would be maybe a minute long if stories were debunked. So watch it for the vaudeville act that it is.”
Most viewers take a balanced approach, noting that the show isn’t entirely fact or fiction. “Some of it I seriously side-eye,” explained one viewer. “Some of it I can’t find a rational explanation for but those are the ones that keep me coming back for more.”
When it comes to critics, Paranormal Caught on Camera is commended for highlighting the prevalence of paranormal occurrences without overdoing investigations. Nine Entertainment commented, “shows like this are important, and can often leave a lasting impact or, at least, make you think some pretty deep thoughts.”
Paranormal Caught on Camera’s Seasons and Episodes
Paranormal Caught on Camera currently has 6 seasons, with the sixth still airing. The episode counts are as follows:
- Season 1 – 16 episodes
- Season 2 – 27 episodes
- Season 3 – 26 episodes
- Season 4 – 26 episodes
- Season 5 – 26 episodes
- Season 6 – 2 episodes released as of July 16th, 2023
The Most Popular and Well-rated Episodes
According to IMDb user ratings and reviews, the best episodes of Paranormal Caught on Camera are:
- Season 2, Episode 6 – “A Shadow Creature in Maine and More”
- Season 2, Episode 13 – “Uninvited English House Ghoul and More”
- Season 4, Episode 15 – “Las Vegas Demon and More”
- Season 2, Episode 2 – “A Basket Full of Ghosts and More”
- Season 2, Episode 10 – “A Texas Ghost Attack Draws Blood and More”
- Season 4, Episode 1 – “Kentucky Poltergeist and More”
- Season 4, Episode 10 – “Minnesota UFOs and More”
- Season 5, Episode 2 – “Philadelphia UFOs and More”
- Season 2, Episode 11 – “Insanely Haunted Hospital in Michigan and More”
- Season 1, Episode 7 – “A UFO Spotted Over the Pentagon and More”
Famous Guest Appearances
Though many paranormal experts featured on Paranormal Caught on Camera act as hosts, they come in to give their opinions briefly as guests on other investigative shows would. There are a couple who appear only for a single episode, including:
After having a near-death experience as a child, Todd didn’t realize his connection to the paranormal until he explored an abandoned building with his friends. Upon hearing a disembodied voice speak to him, he was inspired to discover more about the world beyond our own.
In the years since he has honed his investigative skills and founded Detroit Paranormal Investigations. He appears in Destination Fear and Fright Club and the Paranormal Caught on Camera episode “Insanely Haunted Hospital in Michigan and More.”
Known for various appearances on paranormal TV shows, Ross is the founder and president of the Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle-Tacoma. He has been investigating the paranormal for over 30 years, traveling the globe, and visiting countless infamous haunted locations.
Ross also teaches a class at the University of Washington, Ghostology 101 – Becoming a Ghost Hunter, based on his book of the same title. He appears in Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, and the Paranormal Caught on Camera episode “Shadow Figure and More.”
Controversies and Criticisms
With a concept that revolves around presenting paranormal clips and the significant amount of falsified paranormal footage out there, it’s no surprise that Paranormal Caught on Camera has been accused of fakery many times.
Of the very first clip shown in the first episode, AITP Comics contributor Kenny Biddle wrote, “In my opinion, this is one of the worst “poltergeist” videos to be uploaded to the internet, yet Paranormal: Caught on Camera kicks off its series with this poorly-executed hoax.”
As discussed previously, many viewers like the show despite the hosts’ undying belief that everything they’re seeing is true evidence of the paranormal. However, for the majority, this is where the show becomes slightly condescending.
“It’s fun but they need to debunk stuff better. I watched one last night with a “fairy” cryptic that was obviously mating dragonflies,” a viewer stated. Another agreed, “Was a fan, then I saw the clip of the lady in the office alone and the chairs moving. Obviously so fake. Ruined it for me so I stopped watching.”
More harsh criticisms call into question the impact surface-level shows such as Paranormal Caught on Camera have on the genre as a whole. “Travel Channel is undermining the paranormal community. The new series Paranormal Caught on Camera is a prime example how,” The Haunted Librarian wrote.
“Hopefully, they will hire a new slate of “experts” and writers who actually vet and verify these stories.” Summed up succinctly, the worst criticism comes from reviews that describe the show as “Attention seekers pretend they have footage of ghosts and dummies believe them.”
New episodes of Paranormal Caught on Camera are currently being released weekly on the Travel Channel. With a relatively cheap-to-produce concept and a significant viewer base, it doesn’t look like the show is going anywhere anytime soon.
Shows such as Paranormal Caught on Camera are fun opportunities for investigators and fans to come together to discuss footage. However, the issue is that Paranormal Caught on Camera doesn’t facilitate discussion or satisfy the need for actual investigations to attract the widest mixture of believers and skeptics. This is why it’s so interesting that this title is one of Travel Channel’s most popular offerings.
The show’s easy-to-watch editing and unintentionally humorous lilt can draw in skeptics, hate-watchers, and die-hard believers. However, should these, admittedly popular clip shows drown out their investigative counterparts altogether, it may remove any credibility from the genre and lead to its end on network television.
Paranormal Caught on Camera is great if you love to watch various paranormal videos and don’t just want your supernatural shows to stick to ghosts, ghouls, and hauntings. But bear in mind that if you like some degree of impartiality from hosts, the show may leave you disappointed and wanting something slightly more substantial.
If you’ve already seen every other paranormal TV show, Paranormal Caught on Camera is an easy way to waste a few hours. With a refreshing lack of haunting sound effects and shrill screams from hosts, the stylistic elements are high-quality and almost documentary-like in aesthetic. Unlike documentaries, though, it won’t leave you with any conclusions – you’ll need to come to those yourself.