Ask any believer in the paranormal, and they’ll have their own story of a ghostly experience. Perhaps they heard spooky whispers in a spare room in their house or had a door slam with no explanation. Skeptics can easily brush these phenomena off as tricks of the light, rogue gusts of wind, and a strong desire to believe.
But some supernatural experiences are a lot darker and less easy to ignore. Some people tackle demonic possessions, alien abduction, and constant taunting by malevolent spirits fit for a horror movie. My Horror Story, another of Travel Channel’s paranormal TV shows, brings these stories to the spotlight, told by the individuals who experienced them.
Paranormal TV shows that replace investigations with anecdotal evidence are becoming increasingly popular. My Horror Story uses this format to illuminate some of the creepiest stories of hauntings that may never be told otherwise. But, with no tangible proof, these shows often pit skeptics against believers in the constant battle of paranormal fakery.
Can we trust these experiences? Should we believe what we see? Let’s take a look at My Horror Story and find out.
My Horror Story’s Air Date
My Horror Story first aired on the Travel Channel on October 7th, 2019. The first episode, “Home Sweet Hell,” featured two stories from new homeowners who’d made the wrong move and bought houses that were already inhabited by supernatural presences.
The episode was generally well-received but doesn’t seem to have been seen by a particularly large audience. It remains one of the highest-rated episodes of My Horror Story and sets the scene for the remaining nine episodes.
The Creation and Production
Since My Horror Story uses editing to engage audiences in the stories they present, reenactment actors aren’t needed. Instead, the cast is simply the individuals who have shared their experiences.
The show has a team of 17 producers. Robin Berla Meyers, the supervising and story producer, and Vaibhav Bhatt, the executive producer, have experience in reality TV but not specifically in the paranormal genre. However, Rob Saffi, who is known for The Holzer Files, Fright Club, and Paranormal Lockdown, did act as a co-executive producer for 9 episodes of My Horror Story.
Other producers include:
- Rob Shaftel – Executive Producer
- Julie M. Fernandez – Line Producer
- Drew Griffner – Archival Producer
- Jennifer Ligsay – Associate Producer
- Alissa Collins – Supervising Producer
- Allison Blecker – Story Producer
- Helena Greenwald – Post Associate Producer
Since the only camera work required for My Horror Story is filming the ‘talking head’ segments, all cinematography was overseen by two individuals, Jamie Knights and Sam Weinstein (who also worked as a camera operator on Paranormal Lockdown), with four camera operators. Additional photography was completed by Steve Organ.
The post-production department is by far the biggest. It was overseen by Diane Denzer, the post-production supervisor, Tanya Kateri, the executive in charge of post-production, and Jake Williams, the post-production coordinator. There were 14 assistant editors who each handled one or two episodes, with Adrian Hernandez working on all 10 episodes.
My Horror Story’s Cast Members
Paranormal TV shows that focus on stories from real individuals often don’t feature much on-location investigation. However, some do include paranormal investigators and experts who appear to provide their takes on the stories at hand. My Horror Story features neither investigation nor input from experts in the paranormal scene, rendering their cast devoid of hosts or a core team.
The individuals who make up the show’s cast appear for one segment in one episode wherein they share their stories. However, it works in My Horror Story’s favor that most of these people have never appeared on TV before or since. Some have other reality TV credits, such as Chris DiCesare appearing in the episode “Run, Ghost Boy, Run.” He has also appeared as himself in Paranormal Afterparty and School Spirits, which may lessen the credibility of his appearance in My Horror Story.
Primary Focus of the Show
My Horror Story doesn’t have a specific focus and features stories about ghosts, ghouls, demons, cryptids, and alien abductions. The segments usually provide a short section of context on the storyteller, diving into their lives and history before they became part of a horror story. These segments are overlaid with stock footage and actual photographs of the individuals in their childhoods.
This leads into how they came to be targeted by paranormal forces, and how the hauntings progressed. Once the stories have come to their end, it’s up to the storyteller to come to their own conclusion on what the experience meant and how it affected their lives in the long term. Viewers aren’t given any history of the location/haunting or explanation for why the supernatural forces targeted this individual in particular.
The absence of paranormal experts means My Horror Story focuses on the individual rather than the horrific elements of their story, which can lead to some quite emotional reactions from viewers. This is especially true when the editing and music are included to heighten the overall feel of the story, without playing into ‘jump-scare’ moments. But, this means the show is not necessarily as outrightly terrifying as some of its counterparts.
My Horror Story’s Impact on the Paranormal Community
To be frank, My Horror Story doesn’t seem to have had a significant reach within or impact on the paranormal community as a whole. Nowadays, with so many paranormal TV shows out there, it’s understandable that some may fall to the wayside. This is not to say that My Horror Story didn’t have fans or at least an audience who appreciated what it had to offer.
“My most favorite out of all paranormal shows I’ve ever watched is this one,” one YouTube commenter wrote, while other reviewers praised the stories for being “interesting” and sticking in their minds long after the episode had finished. However, it seems most viewers were left wanting more after watching My Horror Story.
My Horror Story’s Seasons and Episodes
My Horror Story ran for a single season, which featured 10 episodes.
The Most Popular and Well-rated Episodes
As there are only 10 episodes of My Horror Story in total, let’s recount the top 5 highest-rated episodes according to IMDb reviews and ratings. These are:
- Season 1, Episode 8 – “Encountering the Devil”
- Season 1, Episode 4 – “Run, Ghost Boy, Run”
- Season 1, Episode 1 – “Home Sweet Hell”
- Season 1, Episode 2 – “The Devil Inside”
- Season 1, Episode 9 – “Unreal Estate”
Famous Guest Appearances
As there are no guest appearances in My Horror Story besides the storytellers, famous guests aren’t a part of the show. Perhaps you could count on one storyteller, Terry Lovelace, who appears in the episode “Total Recall,” among famous guests, as he has told his story of alien abduction on various TV shows, including Alien Experiences and UFO Witness, and written a book about it.
Controversies and Criticisms
My Horror Story has its fair share of critics. To start, the editing has been lambasted by viewers who feel reenactments would greatly improve these stories’ impact. One such review reads, “This show felt like a podcast more than anything. I don’t see the point of it being a show if you’re not going to have scary scenes to tell the story visually.”
Other reviewers have critiqued the editing for including music, stating, “it is impossible to watch and a waste of time because you cannot hear what the people are saying because of the OVERLY ridiculous music and sound effects!!” This same review also mentions that the format of the show, switching between two stories in four total segments, is confusing for viewers. Subsequent reviews corroborate this, with one commenting, “At least play it out better so we can get a better sense of what they went through. Plus, the switching of the stories is a pain to keep up with.”
However, apart from the standard accusations that the storytellers are paid actors, the most problematic critique is that My Horror Story is not readily available on streaming services. “After searching for over an hour it is impossible to find,” one person eager to watch full episodes advised. “Any streaming service that say they have it will make you pay then say it’s no longer available. Give up now guys. Trust me.” With only one season of My Horror Story out there, none of these criticisms were ever addressed.
My Horror Story was canceled by the Travel Channel just over a month after it began airing, suggesting there may have been more than 10 episodes of the show that were intended to be shown. However, Travel Channel does regularly upload clips from the show to its YouTube channel, and they receive a fair deal of engagement. But, this only seems to anger viewers more as they want to watch the full stories but struggle to find them on streaming services.
Paranormal TV shows that seek to highlight individual experiences of the supernatural are hard to get right, but they can definitely find significant success. Having said that, these shows need to make up for the absence of hosts and evidence gathering with high production quality, expert analysis, and engaging reenactments to satisfy believers, skeptics, and chance viewers looking for a scare. Though the stories featured on My Horror Story are worthy of a platform, it appears the show did not do enough to keep viewers hooked and do the stories justice.
My Horror Story is not a bad addition to the swathes of paranormal TV shows that grace our screens, but it falls short of its full potential. The format is bland and requires embellishment in the form of specific details, charismatic storytellers and cast members, historical information, and attempts to disprove the events, all of which the production team just didn’t seem to add.
If you don’t tend to like paranormal TV shows that involve investigators potentially pretending to find ghosts, then My Horror Story might be the change of pace you’re looking for. However, some shows out there set out with the same aims as My Horror Story and achieve them in much more effective ways. Although it’s easy to binge and a great way to waste time, it may be worth giving My Horror Story a miss.