Tag Archives: Saloon Media

Preview: Dan Aykroyd hosts spooky goings-on in Hotel Paranormal

Dan Aykroyd is no stranger to the paranormal. In addition to hosting PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal—tales inspired by the paranormal investigations of the Office of Scientific Investigation and Research—for 88 episodes, Aykroyd’s great-grandfather was a spiritualist who held séances and his father published a book called A History of Ghosts.

So it’s not a shock, really, that Aykroyd was tagged to narrate T+E’s latest peek into the paranormal. Debuting Friday, May 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on T+E, Hotel Paranormal retraces the terrifying, true stories of those who have come face-to-face with otherworldly hotel guests.

“Millions check into hotels each year,” Aykroyd states in the opening credits. “Some check into another dimension.” In Friday’s debut instalment—the first of 10 episodes—we’re introduced to “Paranormal Predator,” three stories of scares from around the world.

Paranormal experts complement the stories told by witnesses, offering suggestions and clues as to what—and why—spookiness is going on. Many believe the fact hotel rooms, which see thousands of guests, are the perfect places to house spirits. I’m not sure I believe in the supernatural, but I do have my own odd tale. Years ago, I spent several nights in a B&B outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Built in 1812, the property had served as a field hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. From the moment I entered the room I was staying in, I felt out of sorts and two nights of sleeplessness followed. Nothing grabbed at me or moved stuff around, but something was going on in that room.

But back to Hotel Paranormal.

In 2017, travelling repo man Frank spent the night in a low-budget Texas motel boasting five decades of service. But instead of respite, Room 38 oozed unease from the get-go. What began as the phone receiver hopping out of its cradle and a plastic cup sliding across a bedside table was enough to send Frank scrambling for the door. Luckily for us, Frank recorded what happened in Room 38 with his cell phone and it’s shown. Sadly, much of the evidence could be dismissed as Frank moving those items himself.

Also included in Friday’s debut is the 2014 account of American high school students unleashing ancient evil in an Italian guest house, and something unseen attacking news reporter Patricia Stark in a New England B&B in 2014.

If you’re a fan of this type of programming, as I am, you’re going to love Hotel Paranormal, particularly thanks to the stories told, accented by Arkroyd’s deep baritone.

Hotel Paranormal airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on T+E.

Images courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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T+E’s haunting new original series Hotel Paranormal debuts May 15

From a media release:

T+E’s new original 10-part documentary series Hotel Paranormal (10×60’), produced by Toronto-based Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company, follows the terrifying, true stories of those who have come face-to-face with otherworldly hotel guests. Narrated by Canadian icon, Dan Aykroyd, who is no stranger to the unexplained, each episode features spine-tingling stories of paranormal encounters told from stays at grand hotels, highway motels and short-term rentals around the world. From hotel workers and guests witnessing objects flying across the room to uncovering trapped ancient spirits and experiencing demonic possession, Hotel Paranormal brings to life terrifying encounters with dramatic recreations and paranormal expert insights. The world broadcast premiere of Hotel Paranormal airs Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, exclusively on T+E.

Hotel Paranormal reminds audiences they are never truly alone when staying in a hotel. Every year, millions of people spend the night in an unfamiliar space and most are unaware that hotels could hold dark secrets connected to a tragic past. Get shivers as guests and staff alike recall their bone-chilling revelations as they detail their unexplained encounters with the paranormal.

Hotel Paranormal airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, starting May 15, 2020, exclusively on T+E. The channel recently extended its nationwide free preview on Rogers running now until June 1st.

The first two episodes include:

  • Episode 1 – Paranormal Predator
    May 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

The series opener gives viewers a terrifying taste of what is in store when they check into Hotel Paranormal. A demonic spirit takes possession of a travelling businessman in a Texas motel, a dark force is unleashed by high school students in an Italian guest house and an evil entity attacks a news reporter in a New England B&B.

  • Episode 2 –  A Dark History
    May 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

In this episode, poltergeist activity plagues the staff and guests in a historic Minnesota hotel. We then travel to Alabama where a young chef endures the violent assaults of a former guest seeking vengeance. Across the pond in the UK, a little boy falls ill after a predatory phantom pays an unwanted visit during a family vacation.

Hotel Paranormal is an original Canadian series produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company. Sarah Zammit is the Series Producer. Michael Kot and Betty Orr serve as Executive Producers. Dave Tebby and Mick Grogan are Directors and Josh Pelham is the Co-Director.

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Preview: Witches of Salem scares up the historical case on T+E

I can always rely on Blue Ant Media’s T+E to bring me scary stories through Canadian docudrama programs like Haunted Case Files, Scariest Night of My Life and Paranormal Survivor. Now they’re going back in time to bring a frightening story to modern-day.

Produced by Saloon Media in association with Talos Films, Witches of Salem debuts Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT as part of “Creep Month” on the specialty channel. The four-parter recalls the Salem witch trials that occurred in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. More than 200 were accused and 19 were found guilty. Witches of Salem relies on historical documents and court records to tell the story, with help from sociologists, psychologists and cultural historians.

A group of girls sit in church.What sets this apart from other Salem witch trial programming that I’ve seen before is the legwork done setting the scene. While most, if not all, past programs dive right into the screaming and writhing experienced by Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, Witches of Salem describes what life was like at the time both socially and religiously. That goes a long way to explaining why the trials happened in the first place. I’ve been to Salem and read the court documents surrounding the case, and T+E’s project gets it right factually. And, as well-versed in the case as I am, the show is scary as heck. I credit that to an excellent cast led by Nick Biskupek as the creepy Reverend Samuel Parris, eerie camera work, special effects and downright disturbing soundtrack.

Definitely check this out. Preferably with all of the lights on.

Witches of Salem airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on T+E.

Images courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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Saloon Media announces the greenlight of Witches of Salem for Travel Channel and T+E

From a media release:

Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company, announces the greenlight by Travel Channel (US) and T+E (Canada) of The Witches of Salem, a new four-part docudrama series about America’s infamous 17th-century witch trials. The series will be produced by Saloon Media in association with Talos Films, Travel Channel, and T+E.

The Salem witch trials is one of the most gripping real-life dramas in history. It began in February 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. In just 220 days, 200 were accused and 20 were executed. It was a period of mass hysteria that opens a window into the darkest side of human nature.

The Witches of Salem (4 x 60’) draws on extensive historical documents and court records to bring this gripping drama to life. Sociologists, psychologists, and cultural historians also illustrate how communities are still susceptible to the same hysteria today.

The Witches of Salem is Executive Produced by Michael Kot, Julie Chang, Julian P. Hobbs and Elli Hakami. Executive in Charge for Travel Channel is Charles Nordlander and the Head of Original Content for T+E is Sam Linton. The series is produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company, in association with Talos Films, Travel Channel (US), and T+E (Canada). International content distributor Blue Ant International Ltd has exclusive worldwide rights to the series.

Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international content producer, distributor and channel operator.

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Danielle Bryk renovates her family’s getaway in The Bryk Cottage

When Danielle Bryk agreed to renovate her family cottage, she had no clue that—partway through the project—cameras would arrive on the scene to capture everything for a television show. She’d been consulting on the renovation of sister Terry and brother-in-law Norman’s dilapidated, outdated Georgian Bay property but Norman had been running the project. Then a television producing job came calling and Norman had to leave.

“He said, ‘Oh god, you need to take over. You need to help Terry out,” Bryk (Home to Win) says over the phone. “I’m the resident renovator in the family, so I couldn’t really refuse.” Then, totally by coincidence, Cottage Life came calling and asked if Bryk had any projects on the go. She mentioned the cottage reno and they jumped on board.

The Bryk Cottage, debuting Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life, isn’t your typical renovation series. This is a true documentary that, over the course of six episodes, shows Bryk organizing and executing the project under the watchful eye of Terry. Episode 1 introduces the folks involved and expectations; Terry and Norman bought the property years ago and it’s served as a homey getaway for the burgeoning family. Now it’s time for an upgrade. Terry has high-end plans for the home and it’s up to Bryk to keep costs down and the project on schedule.

“My sister is such a great sport,” Bryk says. “She has no filter. We finished filming one bit and she said, ‘Great, I’m probably going to come off as a total b-word!’ I said, ‘Dude, you knew they were rolling!’ She is a great sport and she knows it does make for great TV.” It certainly does.

But aside from the siblings butting heads over materials and budgets, The Bryk Cottage is educational. Constructing a passive building is explored for Terry and Norman. Bryk first heard of the concept about 20 years ago in a book by Sir Terence Conran. The idea of keeping a home heated or cooled passively stuck with her and she jumped at the chance to capture and utilize the sun’s heat to its full advantage through the use of windows and insulation. She recalls filming The Bryk Cottage through the winter and the building being nice and toasty thanks to just a small space heater the drywall guy was using. The Bryk Cottage is educational and entertaining, but it’s also telling a story many can relate to.

“The crux of all this is family and of connection,” Bryk says. “It’s so important these days to carve out spaces and time to do that kind of thing. To me, it’s the only thing that matters.”

The Bryk Cottage airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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