While many of us believe in the paranormal, we can enjoy spooky TV shows and movies in the comfort of our own homes. Though we may sprint up the stairs to bed after turning the lights off or feel an eery atmosphere when we’re home alone, we know the monster under the bed is just our imagination.
However, for some individuals, these terrifying reality shows become their whole reality. My Paranormal Nightmare features these people as they recount their extended supernatural experiences, often accompanied by their family and friends.
It is another narrative-based show that uses storytellers and reenactment segments to illustrate their horrifying tales. Usually, these shows allow the audience to suspend their disbelief, but My Paranormal Nightmare just doesn’t seem to have held viewers’ attention. Let’s find out why…
My Paranormal Nightmare’s Air Date
My Paranormal Nightmare first aired on April 25th, 2020, on Travel Channel. While its first episode, ‘Haunted Grounds,’ didn’t perform exceptionally in the realm of paranormal programming, it still holds an IMDb rating of 6.7.
The 45-minute episode follows three individuals as they recount how their childhood nightmares uncovered something sinister living in their home. It introduces an interesting element of My Paranormal Nightmare in that these individuals will be joined by the people who helped them through their experiences.
The Creation and Production
My Paranormal Nightmare’s 10 episodes were directed by Sebastian Cluer, who also directed 7 episodes of Paranormal Nightshift and a host of reality TV shows. The series does have two credited writers, Andrea Scott and Shaun Boyd, who may have been responsible for re-working some of the stories to fit into a TV show format.
As for producers, they include:
- Sharon Lewis – Series Producer
- Vibika Bianchi – Executive Producer
- Samantha De France – Executive Producer
- Joe Houlihan – Executive Producer
- Simon Lloyd – Executive Producer
- Richard H. Campbell – Line Producer
Aside from the many actors who appear in My Paranormal Nightmare’s reenactment segments, the rest of the crew is surprisingly small, with almost all members staying on for all 10 episodes. Cinematography was handled by Elad Winkler with assistant directors Lauren Vesterdal and Austin Roberts. Ryan Buller and Jorge Eduardo Victoria were responsible for camera equipment on location and in interviews, respectively.
The series had original music composed by Joel S. Silver and art design by Lina Evans and Alec Bell. Amy Seidman was in charge of costume design, while Daniel Baker was the resident special effects makeup artist. Finally, editing was completed by Thomas Lieu and Brandon Vallee Ross.
My Paranormal Nightmare’s Cast Members
Many of the individuals featured on My Paranormal Nightmare appear for around 15 minutes and have not appeared on any other shows. However, the show does have expert guests who use their knowledge of the paranormal to shed some light on the experiences shown. The most prominent of these cast members are:
Dana has been working as a psychic medium for over two decades. As she puts it, “Being employed by the other side is a path you follow for life!” She graduated from the University of Metaphysics, an organization that works in association with the University of Sedona and has been offering private readings to clients ever since. She appears in 8 episodes of My Paranormal Nightmare and, to date, has not been featured in any other paranormal media.
Psychic abilities have been in Amelia’s family for centuries, with her great-grandmother accused of witchcraft in relation to her mediumship. Due to her Roman Catholic family heritage, Amelia was not at liberty to practice her gift until she reached the age of 24 and could ignore it no longer. Also known as ‘The Psychic in Stilettos,’ Amelia has assisted with a number of cold-case investigations and active murder cases. Like Dana, she appears in 8 episodes of My Paranormal Nightmare, and this is the only paranormal TV show she has been a part of.
Primary Focus of the Show
The show mostly focuses on malevolent spirits who reach out through children. Most of the stories featured originate in childhood, and the paranormal entities usually cause psychological or physical harm to the children and families they latch on to. The families try similar techniques, inviting priests into their homes to bless them and carrying crosses and holy water during their day-to-day activities.
The stories are told by two, three, or four individuals with a close relationship to the events that transpired. Having the parents of the children being haunted does provide a unique perspective, which we rarely see in paranormal TV shows. As a result, the stories are very emotionally charged and almost always have a concrete and somewhat happy ending; usually, the parents move the children away from the hauntings, and life returns to normal.
Along with narration from Tish Iceton, a cast of actors recreates the stories. Compared to other shows that do the same, My Paranormal Nightmare’s reenactments are often focused around the domestic sphere, and the small cast of each segment becomes as familiar to viewers as the storytellers. Despite this, no investigation is conducted into the stories, and experts appear only to give their opinions on what might have happened.
My Paranormal Nightmare’s Impact on the Paranormal Community
My Paranormal Nightmare hasn’t attracted too much attention during its original run on Travel Channel. However, since it became available on streaming services such as Discovery+ and Amazon Prime, more members of the paranormal community have had a chance to watch it.
As is usually the case with paranormal shows that center around individuals recounting their experiences, audiences responded to the spooky tone this creates. “I prefer hearing the stories about the paranormal directly from the people who experienced them,” one reviewer shared. Another agreed, “Love hearing the true live stories of people going through this.”
Other audience members offer some explanation for this, stating that it gave them chills as “The stories are interesting, and believable,” and they “think that the portrayed events are true and well-acted for the most part.” Despite these positive responses to the show, critical reception to My Paranormal Nightmare is almost non-existent.
My Paranormal Nightmare’s Seasons and Episodes
My Paranormal Nightmare ran for a single season, which features ten episodes.
The Most Popular and Well-rated Episodes
According to IMDb user ratings, the top 5 episodes of My Paranormal Nightmare are as follows:
- Season 1, Episode 5 – “Destruction”
- Season 1, Episode 10 – “Cursed”
- Season 1, Episode 6 – “Harrowing Hauntings”
- Season 1, Episode 7 – “Scarred”
- Season 1, Episode 3 – “Lost Souls”
Famous Guest Appearances
Again, famous mediums and paranormal investigators only appear on My Paranormal Nightmare to share their opinions and are not the show’s main focus. Some guests are:
As the founder of G.H.O.S.T, a paranormal research team in Ottawa, Dan is familiar with the scientific side of paranormal investigations. Interestingly, his expertise lies in debunking paranormal accounts, and his team has conducted several high-profile and independent investigations of haunted locations in Ottawa. He appears in 4 episodes of My Paranormal Nightmare.
Shane found fame in the paranormal sphere as part of Queer Ghost Hunters, a team of LGBTQ+ investigators who work in Ohio. Shane is one of the team’s founding members and appears in all 13 episodes of their self-titled show. As a paranormal investigator, he is passionate about Ohio’s LGBTQ+ history and authored the book LGBTQ Columbus. He appears in 3 episodes of My Paranormal Nightmare.
Controversies and Criticisms
While spooky stories can stun around a campfire in the dark of night, often, the tales don’t have the same effect when audience members are watching at home in their cozy living rooms. This is why paranormal shows consistently use scary editing tricks and sound effects to heighten the mood. Regarding My Paranormal Nightmare, viewers have picked up on this and aren’t always fans.
“The production was poor and the editing was laughable. Pass on this and watch a scary movie instead,” one viewer instructs. Others have gone more in-depth with their criticism of My Paranormal Nightmare’s production, commenting, “the quantity of children screaming at a high pitch was ridiculous. Is this the only trick these film makers know?”
Like many other shows in the paranormal genre, My Paranormal Nightmare has also been accused of fakery. Some were suspicious, citing that “the interviewees appear to possess no other descriptive words except ‘I started to get scared’ or ‘I began to get nervous.’” While others outrightly lambasted the show, “The stories themselves wreak of falsity, and many of the “victims” seem to be selling their services. Exaggeration doesn’t even come close to the sheer ridiculousness of these episodes.”
My Paranormal Nightmare has not yet been picked up for a second season. This is despite the many viewers who have called out for more episodes. It seems that the show did do enough in terms of ratings during its original run for Travel Channel to renew it, even if, since then, viewers have come to love it.
The lack of renewal is also surprising, given that audience connections to and belief in the stars of these shows are often stronger than to other, more investigative examples. This would seemingly be bolstered by the storytellers who appear in My Paranormal Nightmare, as they feature alongside their family and friends who can corroborate their experiences.
My Paranormal Nightmare still maintains originality in its willingness to add some contextual backing to these stories. This is much more than other narrative-based paranormal shows tend to do, and those shows often have little problem making it to a second season. It’s a shame the show didn’t take off as much as some other shows that utilize a similar concept have.
Though My Paranormal Nightmare does have some unique facets, overall, the show includes the same spooky editing and tired sound effects as others in the genre. The lack of investigation does dull the show slightly, and perhaps some more well-known names from the paranormal community could’ve extended its influence.
The decision to feature three stories per episode and have reenactments does work in the show’s favor, making for entertaining viewing. However, it gets a little draining after a while because it is so full-on, and many of the stories retread similar ground.
If paranormal experiences are scarier when told by the individuals who lived through them, My Paranormal Nightmare is another show to add to your watch list. But if you need something more substantial from paranormal TV programming, you can miss this one.