Paranormal Investigators Team Up to Locate Doorways to the Underworld.
Portals to Hell is an American reality television show focusing on haunted locations across the United States, looking for “portals.” Rather than strictly focusing on finding paranormal activity and interacting with it, the premise of this show stands out because the goal is to find these portals, otherwise seen as entrances to Hell.
The show is hosted by Jack Osbourne and paranormal investigator Katrina Weidman. Katrina previously starred in Paranormal Lockdown, another popular reality television show revolving around this topic. The unique premise and star power did make for a fairly popular TV show, and Portals to Hell did gain some recognition for this.
Portals to Hell Air Date
Portals to Hell made its debut on the Travel Channel. The first episode aired on April 26, 2019. But the first season was fairly short compared to the others; it only lasted eight episodes, and the last episode of the first season aired on June 14 of the same year.
Creation and Production
Released by the Travel Channel network, it’s not well known who the official creator of this show is; instead, it appears to be more of a team effort between the major producers and stars of the show.
And in fact, IMDB lists forty-two producers on the show! But of course, some of these people produced more episodes than others. And the main executive producers seem to be as follows:
- Peter Glowski
- Jack Osbourne
- Hannah Brown
- Jenny Daly
- Tom Forman
Unlike many paranormal reality TV shows, no directors or writers were listed on the show. And most of the show’s crew worked in post-production roles. The closest thing to a writer would be Ian Golding or Ezekial Walker, who were listed as story producers on several episodes.
There are two main cast members in all episodes of Portals to Hell. Aside from them, there were guest appearances from psychics and mediums, although none appeared on the show for more than eight episodes.
- Jack Osbourne — A producer and actor with various credits under his name, Portals to Hell was his first major paranormal venture, but he has had other paranormal projects and shows, such as Jack Osbourne’s Night of Terror: UFOs.
- Katrina Weidman — A producer and actress, she’s been in a variety of projects. But she was probably best known for starring in Paranormal Lockdown, which helped her make a name for herself in the paranormal community.
Primary Focus of the Show
Portals to Hell is unique because apart from hunting down and recording paranormal activity, the cast’s main objective was to investigate supposed doorways or portals to the underworld. Therefore, they would only travel to haunted locations that reportedly contained entries to Hell.
According to the show’s premise, visiting locations where there might be a portal to Hell had two “benefits.” First of all, finding such a portal would be a major discovery! But secondly, it’s assumed that areas around a portal to Hell would be hotspots for paranormal activity.
The team’s investigations resembled that of Weidman’s last project. They explored the locations, tried to find evidence that paranormal activity was taking place, and tried to find some proof that a portal to the underworld existed.
And, of course, they use the typical ghost hunting equipment to conduct these investigations. Although they mostly stuck to using EMF meters and spirit boxes and opted out of using other popular equipment for the most part.
Portals to Hell’s Impact on the Paranormal Community
Because the show’s premise had a unique angle compared to other series airing at the time, Portals to Hell did gain quite a bit of attention and quite a few fans. When talking of the paranormal, literal portals to Hell don’t come up too often, and normally content focuses more on ghostly experiences or hauntings.
But this show spotlighted a potentially more physical connection between the spirit world and this world, aka the entries to the underworld. And this caused many people to consider a completely different aspect of paranormal happenings.
But because reality television revolving around the paranormal has been around for so long now, the show’s impact on the paranormal community was minimal. Fans of the paranormal were still fans after the show aired, and skeptics are of course still skeptics.
Portals to Hell’s Seasons and Episodes
Portals to Hell only aired for three seasons before being canceled, to the heartbreak of the fanbase. But over those three seasons, the series did air forty different episodes. So there are still quite a few investigations to look back on, and it’s still available for streaming online.
- The first season ran for eight episodes, beginning in April 2019 and ending in June.
- The second season was aired in two parts, each with nine episodes. And this resulted in eighteen episodes for the second season overall. Part one ran from March 2020 to June 2020, and part two aired from March 2021 to May 2021.
- The third and final season aired from April 2022 to July 2022 and contained thirteen episodes.
All seasons aired on the Travel Channel.
Most Popular and Well-Rated Episodes
The ten most highly rated Portals to Hell episodes were as follows:
- “Savannah Theatre”
- “Victoria’s Black Swan Inn”
- “Frightmare In Connecticut”
- “The Stephenson Building”
- “Ernestine and Hazel’s”
- “Hotel Monte Vista”
- “Eloise Psychiatric Hospital”
- “Hotel Paisano”
- “Pamplin Historical Park”
- “The Old Paulding Jail”
Regular guests included other paranormal investigators and authors, such as Michelle Belanger, who would guest star on an episode or two, as well as mediums, and of course, the owners of each haunted location the crew was visiting.
Controversies and Criticisms
Surprisingly, Portals to Hell had no major controversies, despite most reality paranormal television shows subjected to at least a few scandals. This doesn’t mean that there were no criticisms of the show, however, because there will always be skeptics who share their opinion about these sorts of series.
One of the largest criticisms of the show comes from the fact that many viewers felt the show didn’t focus enough on the portals that the show was named. They felt that the show wrongly promoted itself by claiming to search for these portals when most episodes were about more typical paranormal activity.
Furthermore, people have also called out the use of stock soundbites and other “cheesy” effects that belittled the show’s credibility.
So as many fans of the show as there were, there was also a fair share of haters.
Although the last season airing somewhat recently may give the false hope that there will be more episodes in the future, it is unlikely since the Travel Channel officially canceled the series.
And even if the team could find another channel to host the show, the cast members have stated that they won’t be returning to Portals to Hell. So, all in all, most people believe the show will not return to television.
But all the previous episodes can still be found in various places online, so the show can still be easily viewed.
Portals to Hell was yet another reality/paranormal television show that had both fans and people that didn’t agree with the premise. The title allowed it to stand out during its three-season run, so it’s one of the more well-known paranormal shows that has aired.
I personally think that Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman worked well together, and even if you’re not a believer in the paranormal, it’s still a fun watch that might still give you the chills at certain points. So if you missed out on the show during its original airing, I think it’s a show you might enjoy streaming if you like this content.
And if you’re interested in more shows like it, then Paranormal Lockdown could be a great place to start since it also features Katrina Weidman. And the show Ghost Hunters is also a great series to check out within this genre.