Almost every ghost hunter who’s graced our screens had their passion peaked in childhood with unexplainable experiences. Jack Osbourne is no different, and though we’ve seen him investigating highway ghosts and portals to another realm, we’ve never heard his ghostly origin story.
Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming sees the famous investigator returning to his childhood home in Buckinghamshire, England, to find out whether all those supernatural experiences he had can lead somewhere. Hoping for some kind of resolution, he investigates alongside spiritualism expert Kate Cherrell.
It’s unusual for a paranormal team to investigate their own childhood experiences, immediately providing Haunted Homecoming with a unique and intimate viewpoint. But are Jack’s childhood memories of ghosts taunting him simply the result of an overactive imagination, or is there more to these stories of things that go bump in the night? Let’s find out…
Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming Air Date
Discovery announced Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming as part of their 2022 Halloween season programming. The series was added to the Discovery+ streaming service on October 2nd, 2022.
The first episode, “Welders House,” sees Jack investigating the manor in which he grew up. Very quickly, he and Kate find out that rather than being connected to the house, the spirits seem to be specifically targeting Jack.
The Creation and Production
The Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming crew is quite a bit smaller than those of other paranormal TV shows. Unlike other shows he’s starred in, Jack does not claim an executive producer credit, with this instead going to Dierdre Dowling.
Other producers include:
- Tom Hagwood – Development Producer
- Lexi Rose – Development Producer
- Hannah Brown- Supervising Producer
- Nicola Breadin – Line Producer
- Sean Doherty – Series Producer
- Jamie Carriban – Assistant Producer
Production was overseen by Jonny Ross and co-ordinated by Florence Rosen. Nathaniel Bullen and Toby Wilkinson both acted as director of photography, with Matthew Wright and Will Harris as lighting camera operators. Natalie Alderson and Alex Bridgewood handled the camera equipment alongside boom operator Sam Staples. As for post-production, Damien Largey oversaw the editing team that was made up of Adam Harvey and Steve Matthews.
Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming Cast Members
It’s no surprise that Jack takes center stage in Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming, but he does get help throughout the three episodes from spiritualism expert Kate Cherrell. Here’s a little more information about the pair:
Jack is perhaps most well-known as the son of Ozzy Osbourne. But in the last decade, he has made a big name in the paranormal sphere. His fascination with the occult stems from his father, and he has always been interested in the world’s mysteries thanks to shows like The X-Files and In Search Of… In 2012, Jack hosted four episodes of Haunted Highway before setting up his production company, Osbourne Media.
He returned to paranormal investigation in 2019 as the co-host of Portals to Hell and since then has kept up the habit with multiple one-off documentaries and mini-series. Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming is the first time he has shared his childhood paranormal experiences with audiences.
Dr. Kate Cherrell
Kate completed her PhD in 2021 with a focus on 19th-century spiritualism. She uses her history and paranormal expertise as a behind-the-scenes contributor for multiple TV shows and conducts lectures on the subject for UK-based paranormal fanatics.
Her passion for the supernatural is clear, as she helped found the UK Paranormal Society in 2022 and writes regularly on her blog, Burials & Beyond. Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming was her first TV appearance in the paranormal genre, and she appears in all three episodes of the first season. She is also set to appear in Spectre or Spectacle: A History of the Paranormal, which also stars Jack’s previous co-star, Katrina Weidman.
Primary Focus of the Show
Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming gives us a look into the investigator’s childhood and the events that shaped the rest of his life. We also get the impression that Jack is trying to vindicate his young self, whose experiences were brushed off, rather than gather evidence of a specific haunting. As Jack says in “episode 2”, “I’m not trying to prove the existence of ghosts, I’m not trying to dispel the existence of ghosts. I’m just trying to document weird things that happen.”
Thanks to Kate’s expertise in Victorian spiritualism, the pair use some unusual ghost-hunting tools and techniques not commonly seen during TV investigations. These are scrying, looking into a mirror and willing a vision to come forward, and spirit boards, the infamous board marked with letters of the alphabet that spirits can use to spell out answers to the investigators’ questions.
They also make use of some well-known equipment, such as:
The pair welcome a psychic medium, Ryan Griffiths, into the home. He picks up on a lot of information that’s a bit too specific for Jack to write off as a coincidence. He suggests using Jack as bait for the spirits, and that night, when Jack reaches out to whoever or whatever is haunting him, he becomes too scared to continue.
After Kate visits the local archives and finds out that Welders House was once a lunatic asylum, hospital for women, and hospital for soldiers with PTSD during World War I, it becomes clear who is attached to the house. After concluding the investigation in “episode 1”, they expand their search to the rest of Buckinghamshire, investigating locations where Jack spent significant time in his childhood.
Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming Impact on the Paranormal Community
Viewers tuned into Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming more so to learn about Jack than to see haunted locations in England, although this was a definite draw in the second and third episodes. Due to its setting, the show had the widest impact in the UK, where the investigations occurred. The Mirror, Belfast Telegraph, and Bucks Free Press jumped on the show, but instead of providing reviews, they were more interested in recounting Jack and Kelly’s experiences to get readers’ clicks.
This was after the show had been added to Discovery+, and comments such as “So excited!! Not sure how I missed this” under the trailer on YouTube perhaps hint that the show was not given enough marketing in the run-up to its release. However, viewers’ reactions were mostly positive once the show was released. “I hope there’s going to be more than just three shows…I liked the show enough to want more,” one stated.
Due to the intimate nature of Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming, other audience members shared interesting stories of their own experiences with Welders House. “I grew up at Welders and had the same experiences frequently,” one viewer said, while another added, “I spent a few weeks in [Jack’s] house tiling Kelly’s and [Sharon’s] bathroom. I always felt something weird going on. And I mean like feelings of I wasn’t alone when there wasn’t anyone in the house.”
The Show’s Seasons and Episodes
There is one season of Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming, with three 50-minute episodes.
The Most Popular and Well-rated Episodes
According to IMDb ratings, the most popular episode of Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming is the first. “Welders House” earned a rating of 7 stars.
Famous Guest Appearances
Considering there are only three episodes of the show, Jack and Kate do bring on quite a few guests. Other than eyewitnesses, the most well-known guests are the psychic and spiritual mediums from whom they seek assistance. These are:
Ryan has been a psychic medium for over 20 years, traveling the length of the UK to showcase his connection to the other side in live shows. As well as performing one-on-one readings for clients, he has appeared on TV shows such as Katie Price – My Crazy Life and Spooked Scotland. He appears in Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming “episode 1” to perform a reading in Welders House and give Jack an insight into the kinds of spirits he may have been contacted by.
Inbaal claims to have had psychic experiences her whole life, honing her skills using tarot cards once she reached adulthood. She spends the majority of her time giving private readings to clients, but is no stranger to the small screen. She has lent her talents to shows such as Mystic Challenge and Most Haunted, and she joins Jack and Kate to investigate Missenden Abbey, providing a reading of the monastery.
Controversies and Criticisms
Much of the criticism of Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming is directed at Jack himself. This is to be expected, considering the show revolves almost entirely around his experiences.
One viewer commented that the fakery in Jack’s previous investigations contributed to skepticism when watching this show. “I am afraid that ever since I saw the Portals with Katrina…they heard knocking and Katrina looked at the passageway and you heard a knock, Jack kicked the sideboard with his shoe,” the viewer recounted. “I just know there is a reason why other paranormal investigators say very little about him.”
Others were more direct with their criticism of Jack, stating, “This is stupid. Imagine if every family blamed their house for any or all of their problems they’ve had in life. They’d be viewed as crazy. Who knows, maybe the house is what helped give Jack a career when it looks like he has nothing to offer?”
The editing is the other area of the show that drew a significant amount of criticism. Multiple viewers mention the volume of the sound effects as distracting and unneeded. “An interesting concept, but the oh tormenting ‘spooky noises’ are just too much and unnecessary, surely,” one viewer complained. Another agreed, “The background music and noises need to be toned WAY down. It’s very hard to hear anything while they’re investigating.”
As with most of Jack’s projects in recent years, Haunted Homecoming appears to be a stand-alone series. Though it hasn’t yet been outrightly canceled, it’s unlikely there will be a second season. The second season of Jack Osbourne’s Night of Terror is the next of his projects, coming to Travel Channel in October 2023.
Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming is an original concept, given that it uses the host’s experiences as the foundation for investigations. This lends the episodes a refreshing feel, thanks largely to never-before-seen locations, and creates a bond between Jack and the audience. As the series is so short, the structure and methodology of episodes never get overplayed.
Though the concept is unique and the hosts are interesting, Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming doesn’t add anything new to the genre. Almost every viewer has something negative to say about the tired editing tricks and distracting sound effects, making audiences wish the ‘less is more’ philosophy had been applied in post-production and to episode number.
If you’re a fan of Jack Osbourne’s paranormal shows, Haunted Homecoming is worth a watch, given that it won’t take up too much of your time. The focus on Jack sometimes seems slightly arrogant, perhaps explaining why other famous hosts haven’t tried something similar. But they bring the series back with engaging investigations of local hotspots.
I found that, although the series was fun to watch and included all the necessary elements of great paranormal programming, it still felt as if something was missing. If you want a series that builds on its concept through multiple seasons with hosts that try and disprove their findings, Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming may be a miss.