Listening to Dan Aykroyd in the narration booth gave “Hotel Paranormal” producer Sarah Zammit goosebumps.
Zammit, who works with Blue Ant’s Saloon Media, has worked on paranormal shows like “Haunted Hospitals” and “Paranormal Witness” in the past, but there’s nothing quite like having the voice of Canadian paranormal pedigree share the tales of those experiencing the uncanny.
“He’s extraordinary. He’s really brought a level to the series that you just can’t ask for more,” she said, during a May phone conversation. “We put a lot of care into storytelling and hearing Dan Aykroyd excited about the stories, feeling passionate about the stories, asking questions about the stories, and really engaging and wanting the show to really resonate with people, that was, without a question, the big moment for me.”
“Hotel Paranormal” premieres on T+E on May 15 at 9 pm, and it’s not his first foray into ghostly phenomenon for Dan Aykroyd.
The 67-year-old hosted the 1990s TV series “Psi Factor”, which was also written by his brother Peter, starred in Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters films and his grandfather, Samuel Augustus Aykroyd was a fixture in the Canadian spiritualist movement.
Saloon Media was able to get Aykroyd on board after he lauded T+E for its programming — specifically “Haunted Hospitals” and “Paranormal Survivor”. Executive producer Michael Kot reached out to Aykroyd, and he was brought on board.
“Hotel Paranormal” focuses on the ghostly encounters of those spending the night at inns, hotels, motels and hostels. Though they cover a broad swath of locations, there are two encounters that take place in Canada.
One story involves a security guard from a hotel in Western Canada, who shared the experiences of others, as well as his own.
“It was a very emotional interview,” Zammit said. “He did not come to the table as a believer in any way, shape or form and witnessed people having paranormal encounters.”
His experience, however, had him witnessing the tables and chairs in a room he was in closing in the pathway he’d just walked through.
“He still hasn’t quite come to terms with what he saw, and the impact of that experience still resonated even in the interview chair,” Zammit said.
To remain fresh, with the abundance of supernatural series, Saloon Media took the storytelling seriously.
“I’m really looking into what it is people experience, why they experience, how they feel and how this changes them,” she said. “I’m very much interested in the journey from the non-believer to the believer, or from a believer into someone with a deeper or richer understanding of the paranormal.”