Armen Kazazian is always up for talking spooky.
The 52-year-old producer of “Eli Roth presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life”, premiering during T+E’s Creep Week, opened up about Cream Productions’ return for Season 2 and shooting scenes in the homes of Ontario residents.
Private residences in Hamilton, Dundas, Flamborough and Rockton acted as filming locations doubling as the homes of those who shared their often-present haunting experiences.
Most paranormal television shows provide the audience with inactive or dormant ghost stories that seem harmless. But Eli Roth’s eye for horror, combined with active ghost stories, provides an unsettling atmosphere for those taking in T+E’s Creep Week.
“We begin our stories by interviewing the people where they live and where they are, we often go into their homes as they tell their stories,” Kazazian said, during an October phone conversation. “So, we look for locations that can visually match that, but then also give us a little more fear factor behind it.”
The diversity of architecture in the Greater Hamilton Area provided the backdrop for stories from Los Angeles, plantations in the South and the Midwestern U.S. states.
One such home in Dundas doubled as the setting for a story about a hereditary ghost that follows the line of women in a house passed down from generation to generation. The original house was a hacienda-style ranch and they were able to find something.
“There are a lot of unexpected gems that we get to go into and shoot,” Kazazian said. “And the homeowners are fantastic.”
The chance to work with horror Hollywood royalty — Eli Roth — was also a great experience.
“He is a fantastic leader. He’s obviously a believer in everything, but he is also a strong believer in the people who are telling their story, and he has a great deal of respect for them,” he said. “And for the filming side, he is a big supporter of new talent.”
Each block of episodes offers a variety of perspectives from different directors.
The horror element, Kazazian explained, takes the stories the victims share beyond the “spooky and safe” and adds a sense of danger.
“People want (their story) told well … Many of these people are very traumatized by what they’ve gone through,” he added. “They don’t want it sensationalized. They want it felt. They want it understood. They want it conveyed.”
The victims permitted Eli Roth and the Cream Productions team to push the narrative into darker territory all while guiding them along.
The success of Season 1 of “A Ghost Ruined My Life” led to a surge of 300 plus emails from people wanting to tell their stories.
Some of the stories shared included a mixed-race individual who moved into a plantation home, only to be haunted by the spirits of slaves, as well as the plantation owner, as well as a suburban couple who went to a party at an old jail-turned-hotel where a spirit latched onto them and terrorized their child.
Some of those sharing the stories are still experiencing hauntings to this day.
“This season our cameras went out while we were during the interviews, like both of them just snapped off,” Kazazian said. “Last season lights were flickering on and off. They know that they’re provoking it, and yet they’re still telling the story.”
T+E’s annual Creep Week runs from Oct. 8-16, with Season 4 of Haunted Hospitals premiering Wednesday, October 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and Season 2 of Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life premiering Friday, October 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.