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Ghosted! Is Bringing Laughs & Heart to the World of the Supernatural

Ghosted! Is Bringing Laughs & Heart to the World of the Supernatural

Ghosted! Is Bringing Laughs & Heart to the World of the Supernatural
Courtesy of Exactly Right Media

Just in time for spooky season, Out chats with Ghosted! podcast host Roz Hernandez about celeb ghost stories, queer joy, her new Hulu project, and more!

Just in time for spooky season!

Earlier this summer, comedian Roz Hernandez's beloved podcast Ghosted! join the Exactly Right Media podcast network, and with the start of fall — and Halloween — right around the corner, now is the perfect time for listeners to get all the wild ghost stories, with a fun, comedic, and celebrity-filled twist, they could ever want.

"Roz Hernandez is a vibrant personality in the LA comedy scene," Karen Kilgariff, Exactly Right's CEO and co-host of the popular true crime comedy podcast My Favorite Murder, said in a statement when Hernandez and Ghosted! joined the network. "Her wit, vulnerability, and wide-eyed exploration of the occult make her a perfect fit for the Exactly Right network. Roz allows her guests to dive deep into the eerie and unexplained with humor, curiosity and an open mind. We’re thrilled to share her unique voice and talents with the Exactly Right audience."

With past guests including the likes of Drag Race faves Jinkx Monsoon and Laganja Estranja, as well as other notables like Busy Phillips, Bryan Fuller, Margaret Cho, Nicole Byer, there is absolutely no shortage of entertaining, and spooky, tales on Ghosted!

Out got the chance to chat with Hernandez about starting the podcast, which celebs she'd like to have on the show, her new upcoming Hulu project, the wildest ghost stories she's ever heard, and more!

Courtesy of Exactly Right Media

Out: Can you tell me just a little about the genesis of Ghosted! and what inspired its creation?

Roz Hernandez: I have always been so fascinated by the paranormal and I just feel like I know a lot of really fun, interesting, funny people. I love talking to people that I like, and I love asking people what their ghost stories are. And I was doing that for years before it started recording, and I was like, "You know what? I think maybe people would want to hear this." So that's pretty much how it started. I was a big fan of the TV show Celebrity Ghost Stories, but that went off the air, and I'm like, "You know what? I know some celebrities!" Particularly actors, comedians, and artists. As cheesy as it is to say, they are storytellers, and very great at making a story compelling. So that's sort of how it started. As time has gone on, it's just really leaned into the comedy while staying always on track with the paranormal of aliens and psychics and ghosts, and all of that stuff.

Were you a spooky girl when you were growing up? What drew you to that kind of stuff?

I definitely think that that's an element of me. I grew up Catholic, which, I've especially learned from doing this podcast, is a theme with a lot of believers in the paranormal. I think that it really taught me at a young age to believe in the extraordinary and that life is more than what it seems. I think a combination of that with my love of horror. I am somebody who saw Carrie and The Exorcist and all of those movies when I was way too young, so I've always been into that stuff.

I grew up in a house that my grandmother stuck around in after she had passed, I believe. It's actually funny because I've always had these stories about her visiting me in my bedroom, and I was talking to my mom the other day, and she was telling me that one of my nephews, who's young, was saying that there's a woman that he sees when he sleeps in that bedroom. So I don't know, I know I'm not the woman that's in there, because this happens in Michigan, and I'm in LA. But yeah, thank you for validating me, young man.

What do you think it is about spooky, paranormal, supernatural things that you think draws so many folks from the LGBTQ+ community, and why we're all so fascinated by stuff like that so much?

Speaking from my own experience, and I have related with other queer people on this, I kind of grew up being like, there's got to be more to life than what I'm seeing. I do think that feeling like an outsider definitely leads you to creative outlets and creative ways of thinking, and just having an expanded idea of life. I think we also don't live by the normal standards of society, a lot of times, and obviously, thinking that something like ghosts are real goes along with that.

I also think, on a deeper level, that ghosts are something that is seen as evil and scary, and I really think that a lot of times, they're just misunderstood. And I feel that I can relate to that, because there are people even in... well, definitely, in this country, that would just see me existing and think I'm evil and I'm a demon or something. And I think that there's a lot of ghosts that also deal with that, so sometimes, especially when I go ghost hunting, I'm like, "Oh, you're not a demon, you're just misunderstood. Oh, I know exactly how you feel."

I know you had Busy Phillips on an episode, and she had a wild, crazy revelation. What are some of the other more wild, out-of-pocket things you've heard from a guest or a listener since starting the podcast? Because I know you asked for people to share their own ghost stories and stuff, so I'm sure you've heard a bunch.

I've had so many over the years. Every once in a while, I have listeners call in with their stories, and some of those are some of the most outrageous. I vet these people a little bit ahead of time. I really don't think that they're making it up, these are just genuine, great, nice people. Especially, anytime I hear really, really, really good ghost stories, I'm like, "Is this person trying to sell a book? Are they trying to get a movie made out of this?" And I think particularly, when people have no interest in fame or notoriety, those stories, to me, are the most true and convincing.

Now, that is not to say that famous people, that their stories aren't amazing, too. I think some of the best famous people stories I've gotten... Cassandra Peterson (a.k.a. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), is one of my heroes. She came on one time and she lived in the most incredible haunted house. Busy Phillips, actually, the first time she was on, had an incredible ghost story, a couple of them. And Karen Kilgariff, who many people know from My Favorite Murder and my podcast network that I'm now on, Exactly Right. She has one of the best ghost stories I've ever heard about living in a house that was very haunted.

Anyone you're dying to get on the podcast?

I would love to talk to RuPaul and John Waters. And all the pop divas have stories, it would seem. Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez...all of them. They've all talked about having ghost stories. So yeah, I mean, there's an endless list of people that I would like to have on, but the good news is, with a show like this, a ghost story doesn't expire. We keep things pretty evergreen, so I plan on doing this show for as long as people are listening. Hopefully, the rest of my life. And I think that the longer I do it, it's just more stories that people can listen to. And even now, I've been doing it for four years, and if people want to go back and listen, it's not like it's outdated or anything.

I feel like a lot of content for and by the LGBTQ+ community is always so serious and heavy, but obviously, what you do with Ghosted! is very comedic. It explores occult and macabre topics, but in fun, entertaining ways. Was that always a purposeful thing? In a world full of too much bad news, do you like bringing fun, heart, levity, and comedy to listeners?

It's always really important to make an effort as a comedian to show sort of the joyous side of the queer experience and trans experience for myself. Yes, when you watch the news, you will see a lot of horrible stories about trans people, and it's really unfortunate, but while it certainly affects me and it affects my mental health, my well-being, hearing all this news all the time, I also love to have fun. That is not the only thing about trans people. The bad news is not the only thing about our existence, and I always want as much joyous, fun content out there as possible, as well as the serious stuff. I mean, I'm also a sober person, and it's interesting how much that comes up on the podcast. Sometimes the show gets a little deep, and I'm not scared of that either. But at the end of the day, it's really a fun, spooky slumber party.

A little birdie told me you're having an exciting project on Hulu coming up now, too. Can you talk a little about how that got started and how excited you are for that?

This project coming up, Living For the Dead, is a dream come true. It is what I've dedicated my life to, a very niche world of queer, paranormal fun. I didn't even know that there were other people like me when I started this, that fit that description, and luckily, I get to join some of the coolest people who work in that business. We got some psychics, paranormal investigators, me, and we are traveling the world, queering up the other side. It's so fun and goes hand in hand with the podcast. In October, which is already my favorite month as it is, the show's going to be coming out and it's going to be a really fun month for me, of just queer, paranormal content. And I'm really excited for the world to see it.

Listen to Ghosted! wherever you stream podcasts.

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Raffy Ermac

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.