Portals to Hell Series Opens on Travel Channel

Travel Channel will feature vacations of the damned in new series Portals to Hell.

Portals to Hell Katrina Weidman Jack Osbourne

Everyone has their own vacation-from-hell stories, but paranormal researcher Katrina Weidman and Ozzy Osbourne’s adventurer son Jack Osbourne put together an itinerary to cover when the destination is damnation. The former producer of SyFy’s Haunted Highway will steer the Paranormal State breakout star in the new Travel Channel series Portals To Hell.

Looking to uncover what lies within notorious haunted locations, Osbourne and Weidman will “dive headfirst” into a different historical site where unusual incidents were reported in each of the eight hour-long episodes. The pair will use specialized technology and have a network of experts on call to help document and uncover the truth. “The show’s unique docu-style format immerses viewers in each investigation, allowing the audience to experience every goose bump, chill and unexpected surprise right alongside the team,” Jane Latman, general manager of Travel Channel, said in a statement.

Hauntings exist all over the world, the Travel Channel’s promotional material promises, but there are a few locations with sordid pasts and dark histories that are especially sinister and purported to be doorways to the spirit underworld. “Both Jack and Katrina have great instincts for investigating the paranormal, and their passion and expertise make them a fantastic addition to Travel Channel,” Latman said in a statement.

Further reading: What Possesses People to Go to an Exorcist?

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Osbourne started his career with a deep look into the underground. While producing MTV’s reality show The Osbournes, he personally witnessed Sharon Osbourn tell the “Prince of Darkness” himself she bought him a mega-bubble-blower for an upcoming tour.

“I’ve been obsessed with the supernatural ever since I was a kid,” Osbourne said in a statement. “I’m excited to team up with Katrina to investigate the darkest, most sinister places on earth. We’re walking headfirst into the heart of darkness – and we’re excited to take brave viewers with us.”

Further reading: True Detective Season 3 and the West Memphis Three

Paranormal researcher and investigator Weidman worked on hundreds of cases of unexplained supernatural phenomena for A+E. She also co-hosted and produced Paranormal Lockdown on TLC and Destination America. She explored the horrors behind genre classics in Chiller’s Real Fear: The Truth Behind the Movies (2012) and The Truth Behind More Movies (2013). She also is a member of the band Away From 30, whose songs are as much a mystery as some of the cases she explores.

Further reading: The Occult Influences of Sympathy for the Devil

Jack Osbourne is best known for his work on A+E Network’s Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour, NatGeo’s Wild’s Alpha Dogs and Surviving the Apocalypse. As a paranormal investigator, he documented “face-to-face encounters with the unexplainable in some of America’s darkest and most remote regions,” according the Travel Channel’s press statement.  He was recently featured on UK’s live Celebrity Haunted Mansion.

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The pair will explore purported supernatural phenomenon at each haunted location in search of irrefutable evidence that a spirit world exists, and death is not the end. “For over a decade, my work in the paranormal field has brought me to the edge of the unknown,” said Katrina Weidman. “As we explore these disturbing locations, these potential portals, Jack and I are determined to document as much as we can to try and uncover the source of these hauntings.”

Further reading: I Am the Night: A Black Dahlia Primer

The first opening in the Portals To Hell cracks at New Orleans’ infamous LaLaurie Mansion, where Weidman and Osbourne will be the first and only paranormal team to ever investigate its reputedly disturbing hauntings.

Further reading: The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre: How Ed Gein Inspired Classic Horror Movies

In another installment, the pair will investigate the legendary haunting at Bobby Mackey’s Music World in Kentucky. They will do time in Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania, take in an aria at Ohio’s Twin City Opera House, look at an ancient burial ground under Pennsylvania’s Emerald Hill Estate and clear their heads at the end of the season with a stint at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia. The Travel Channel bought the pair tickets to stay in Room 315 at the Alaskan Hotel in Juneau, and spend a night at Strawberry River Bed and Breakfast on the outskirts of Utah’s Skinwalker Ranch.

Portals to Hell is produced by Osbourne Media and Critical Content for Travel Channel, which promises “more than you expect and everything you didn’t know you were looking for” as part of its mission statement. Critical Content produced the series Catfish for MTV, Who Shot Biggie & Tupac? for FOX, and The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey for CBS and Netflix.

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Portals to Hell premieres on Friday, April 19 at 9 p.m. ET.

Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.