Jack Osbourne On Portals To Hell Season 3 And His Affinity For The Paranormal - Exclusive Interview

Reality television series often follow one of a few formats. There are the elimination formats, which include "Survivor" and "Big Brother," that see contestants picked off until one remains. Then, there are the series and franchises like "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and "The Real Housewives" that simply follow the lives of various celebrities. Still, one genre that continues to create a dynasty for itself is that of paranormal investigation. 


Series like "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventures" seemingly began the paranormal investigation TV craze, but the genre has since branched off in many directions. Still, many follow the same format: Investigators meet with the owners and/or caretakers of an allegedly haunted property, investigate, and then reveal their findings to the owners/caretakers. It's usually a two-day job that leads either in disappointment that little was caught or thrilling fear that something was captured.

Such is the case for Discovery's "Portals to Hell," which airs on both Travel Channel and its streaming platform, Discovery+. The series follows Jack Osbourne, son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, and Katrina Weidman, who head across the United States to examine some of the most haunted locations in all the land. The twist? This hosting duo are specifically looking for locations that boast, well, portals to Hell — hotspots that act as gates between our world and the next.


"Portals to Hell" Season 3 is slated to premiere tomorrow, but ahead of its debut, we sat down with Osbourne to discuss not only what fans expect in the new season but also the most haunted places he's been, when he became interested in investigating, and more.

Jack Osbourne on what fans expect in Portals to Hell Season 3

What can you tell us and tease about Season 3 of "Portals to Hell" ahead of its premiere?

The thing that really stood out to me about Season 3 is that, at this point, Katrina [Weidman] and I know each other's rhythm so well, as far as investigating locations. We felt like we really found our stride and we are trucking along and we had some really amazing investigations. Hill View Manor is Episode 1, and that one was a total surprise to me. Every time I go to one of these bucket list locations, it's an old asylum or a prison. Everyone's like, "Oh, it's the scariest place I've ever been [etc.]," and you get there, and you're like, "Right. I get it's creepy, but nothing's going off the walls here."


That place really creeped me out. We had some wild things happen ... we can't explain it. The people that investigate that regularly can't explain it. I'm stumped — at one point, it sounded like we were on the third floor of this part of the hospital and it sounded like someone took a bowling bowl and rolled it down the roof. You could hear it go. Before we ended up leaving for the evening, I went and I tried to get onto that roof, like, "Okay, could someone have got up here and is someone messing with us?" There's no access to this roof. I was looking, I was like, "Okay, did a bird drop something? Is there a huge owl up here? What was that?" I can't explain it.

That is wild. I wish that would've been in the episode.


The audio couldn't pick it up. They were like, "We could tease, we could bolster it." I'm like, "No, we're not doing that."

On if he watches scripted supernatural series

That speaks to your credibility, too, and how you want the show to be as real as possible. As you mentioned, the first episode is at Hill View Manor, which immediately, even if it's just in the name, makes me think of Hill House, like Netflix's "Haunting of Hill House." Do you watch these supernatural horror series or do you prefer more real-life paranormal series?


I do, and Katrina [Weidman] and I have this running thing where it's like Halloween, we always end up filming in the fall, so we always discuss what's our Halloween viewing. I'll watch the "Haunting of" series or I'll dive into some horror movies here and there. I don't tend to watch too [much] horror. I'll watch sci-fi horror stuff, but when it comes to the paranormal for one, I'm too much like, "that's bulls***. I get [that] an alien could burst out of your chest, but a demon crawling out of the TV is not it.

Then it gets a little out there, doesn't it?

Yeah, but it's fun. The thing is, the TV that I make and horror, they go hand in hand. They complement each other. I love that, I love the genre, I love [that] people have been paying money for thousands of years to get scared through entertainment. Some of the oldest Greek plays, they were scary, [and] some of the oldest stories written are ghost stories. It's something within human nature to enjoy.


Even Shakespeare was writing a lot of ghost stories, which I think is really interesting.


On the physical manifestation of paranormal activity

Also in Episode 1, you and Katrina both really start to feel physically ill when you get to the Manor. Is that a phenomena you're used to at this point, or was this place really maybe more sinister than other locations you've visited?


I don't get a physical reaction too often, and it's one of those things where my kind of logical brain goes, okay, could this be because it's an old building and there's mold, are you getting some kind of reaction to mold? Is it lead? These old buildings are full of chemicals and asbestos and all that s***. I tend to go rational with it before I go, "Oh yeah, Beelzebub is walking the halls here, for sure."

I will always err on the side of rationality and something that can be explainable, but that place, I couldn't figure it out, and it was only in one section would I feel off. I have this strange thing that I used to think it was because I was tired, but I get physically drained in locations where it's as if someone has put a sleeping tablet in my drink. I'm having the hardest time staying awake, and I used to think, 'Oh, it's cause we're working late', but that doesn't happen to me any other time, other than when I'm doing investigations.


That is so interesting.

There's been times where I've literally fallen asleep while investigating. I sit down, I'll close my eyes for a second and I'm out, and I feel like I'm like moving at the slowest possible. It's terrible.

That is so wild. Also, in Episode 1, a moment that I found really particularly interesting is when the residents there are talking about the naming of spirits, and Bill Boots. You seemed to have a reaction to that. What is your personal philosophy on paranormal investigating in general, and the naming of spirits and with mingling with spirits on the other side?

I understand the trope of naming spirits. It's an investigative tool, but we don't know what this is.

Does Jack have limits when it comes to investigating?

We have no idea. I find it really presumptuous to put names on entities that we have no — I'm not saying entity because it might — just an energy. I don't know what this is. I've done, probably, over a hundred investigations in my life. I have more questions than answers after that time. I understand the scenarios I'm in, but I don't quite ... because I don't think it's any one thing. I don't think, in all cases, it is the consciousness of a once living human, which is now lingered in our domain. There's so many other things going on that we can't quite comprehend.


Yeah. That's really interesting. You also let Katrina do some solo investigating after things get really spooky. What are some personal limits you have when investigating, or are there certain things that would make you actually call an investigation off?

Katrina is so damn brave when it comes to some of these places. A lot of times, I end up psyching myself out because I'm like "Ugh." You get all worked up, and Katrina is like, "I'll go, and it's solo." My personal limitations are ... if an environment is dangerous due to floors that are collapsing or not structurally safe, that's where I'm like, "Hey, listen, it's cool. I don't mind being here alone," but it's not as exciting as [saying], "Oh, there's demons." [


[What] I find really interesting is that this is the third season between Katrina and I, and we've done over 50 investigations over three seasons. As far as the super evil, demony stuff, I can honestly say for my own, we've only ever been in two locations where I was like, "This is incredibly evil." It's funny when I watch a lot of other shows and it's like, "Oh, it's a demon, it's a demon."  It's really not that common in my experience.

The most memorable places he's been

What are some of the most memorable places you've been on the show?

There was a place called Hill House in Texas ... I'm trying to remember the name of the town it was in, but Hill House, that place was f***ed. Literally, the vibe in that house, and everyone on the crew was getting really agitated and angry and tensions were running high, and it was this really not cool frantic energy. We weren't getting an abundance of paranormal activity, and then all of a sudden it [felt] like somebody picked up the house and dropped it. It was the loudest boom in a house that I have ever — the only other time [I've] experienced that is like, if the tree had fallen in a house that I was in, like a "boom." Everyone was like, "All right, there is something remarkable about this place."


That place was pretty heavy, and then, dare I say, Bobby Mackey's. Everyone goes back to Bobby Mackey's, because we had a member of our crew [that] went down into the basement and he started — unbeknownst to us, we only found this out because someone saw it on our security cameras — he went down there by himself and was like, "I don't believe this is real. If anyone's, whatever's here, come at me", basically. He ended up having to be rushed home because he said he felt like his skin was on fire.

That is wild.

You've been working on "Portals to Hell" at the same time as "The Osbournes Want to Believe," which are both about investigation. What, to you, makes them stand out from one another?

"Osbournes Want to Believe" is way more lighthearted and it's more of a me taking my parents into what I do and trying to convince them that there's something to this, and "Portals to Hell" is a more straight up and down investigative show, very different in how we shoot [and] where we shoot. "Want to Believe" is shot in my parents' theater at home. It's very comfortable. I don't have to worry about demonic entities except for our dogs. I have such fun doing that show and it's one of those things where, as much as I love doing "Portals to Hell," I would do "Want to Believe" forever, because I have the best time doing it. It's a good way to spend time with your folks.


On when he became interested in investigating

Yeah. It seems like a really good way to maintain doing what you're interested in while having that good balance.

Yeah, exactly. I get to go home to my kids at night. My fiancé is not like, "Where are you now, come home." It's like, "I'll see you at 4."


Is paranormal investigation something you've been interested in since you were a kid?

Yeah. I grew up in the "X-Files" era. I loved everything paranormal, weird, unexplained. I used to love reading UFO books and stories about abductions. It was a real big draw for me as a kid, entertainment wise. When I was [around] 12, I went to school dressed as a UFOlogist. It was like a career day, "What do you want to be?" I was like, "I want to study UFOs." It's cool that I ended up doing this because it's something that I've always enjoyed learning about and exploring.

You mentioned the long nights and everything earlier about lack of sleep. How do you personally maintain a solid routine when the job does require such long nights?


It's really tough to maintain a routine. Because of COVID, [during] the second half of Season 2, we shot during COVID and then Season 3, I ended up living out of an Airstream. I would drive my Airstream from location to location and lived out of the Airstream. That way, I could have a lot of my creature comforts from home. I brought some gym equipment with me. I would do no more than 16 days out and then I would come home for a week, but we did the Airstream thing to minimize going into hotels and minimize flying. I know it's all safe, but back then, it was like, "We don't know." Then, I got into it. I like this, because I have home with me. I've got my own sheets, I've got my own shower. It's great. I love living out of an Airstream.

Jack reveals the reality series he likes to watch

It sounds really nice. Had you studied other paranormal investigation series, like "Ghost Hunters," or anything before you started really doing this? I know you did "Haunted Highway."

Yes. Katrina's show "Paranormal State" was one of my favorites. MTV had that show "Fear," which I loved. "Ghost Hunters," which is kind of the OG, those are the shows that I watched a lot of back in the day and then, being as I split my time between England and America, I used to watch "Most Haunted" a lot, and then there would be the live series. There was stuff that I was always intrigued by.


At The List, we cover a lot of reality television. Whether paranormal or not in this case, are there any other reality series that you like to watch and then are there any others that you would maybe want to be on?

Me and my fiancé love "90 Day Fiancé," and any and all the spinoffs to go with it. That's a guilty pleasure. We wrapped a season there. What other reality stuff do we watch? I'll dip into certain things, because I'm [running] a production company ... what else are we watching, Aree [Gearhart, Osbourne's fiancée]? "Love Alone"? That's amazing. What was the other one? Oh, and "Naked and Afraid." A lot of "Survivor." If I'm watching reality, it's either dating or survival. I guess dating and survival are one and the same. It's all survival.


Jack reveals what's next for him

They're not wrong.

As far as prime time, big box, reality stuff, I find that it's all so ... I like the stuff with the least amount of producing, and we've all been watching the genre long enough to know what seems authentic and what doesn't. I have a really hard time stomaching the over-scripted, contrived stuff. Let's be honest, we had ten years of the Kardashians. We really need another series on Hulu? OK. I get it, that's their commercial, but come on. If there's people to watch, they'll make it.


What can you tell us about what's next for you?

I'm [doing] this season and then I've got a bunch of stuff I'm producing. We've got a bunch of projects in various stages of development and at different networks. I'm waiting for this awesome HBO/Discovery merger to happen so we can get back to business as usual, so fingers crossed in the next few weeks. We should know if there's going to be a Season 4 of "Portals" and some of the other shows I do. Let's hope those merger gods shine bountifully upon me.

"Portals to Hell" premieres on April 9 and airs every Saturday on Travel Channel. Episodes land on Discovery+ the same day.