Recently I did a Q&A with Something Scary Podcast: Steffany Strange, Blair Bathory and Gayle Gilman.
You can find more about them and follow them below.
How did you both get started in the industry?
Blair Bathory: I got started in the industry after dropping out of high school and weaseling my way onto film sets and working my way up the ladder. I directed my first short horror film when I was 20 years old and haven’t looked back since!
Steffany Strange: During the 2020 lockdown I went on TikTok, and I started making content and soon enough. I was recruited by Buzzfeed and gained so much experience that I was able to take that with me thereafter. But as far as my passion goes Ive been going at it for 10 years prior to making content.
How did you meet and what drove you to work with one another?
Blair Bathory: Being brought in to work with Something Scary was completely by chance, or fate, however, you want to look at it. I was so excited to learn that the majority of the team were women and it’s been a blessing getting to know everyone and watching them create every week – it’s really impressive what we all accomplish so consistently.
Steffany Strange: I was on the real hauntings podcast, and the Something Scary was familiar with their work reached out to me on top of being familiar with my work TikTok and Buzzfeed. As far as Blair goes, I was very familiar with her work on TikTok as one thing that I do like about TikTok is that once you are a part of a particular niche it’s easy to become acquainted with other people in your community. Been super nice getting to know her more now that we are both on the something scary team.
With so many Paranormal shows out there, what do you think are the
essential things for a show to have?
Blair Bathory: I think it’s important to have as many perspectives as possible on shows about the paranormal and a variation of novice and expert. I’ve now been invited to film a few paranormal investigations and the more variety of people the more likely it is to have an experience.
Steffany Strange: I was really fortunate enough to be part of a very unique Halloween paranormal show special for the CW: mysteries decoded presents spirit squad and one of the things that they pointed out was promoting diversity and duality of the paranormal. There is a leading black woman who is fearless, I’m the psychic medium, a Latina, and a vibrant bubbly paranormal investigator. Alongside leading with diversity, showing our authentic selves was key — through our personality and expression of style and beliefs. I think that a lot of paranormal shows nowadays get lost with taking away who the investigators are ( personality wise) and focus more so on the haunted storyline and I think it’s important for paranormal shows to really focus on the people that are there amongst the emotional spiritual side of things ( think psychic mediums or spirituality expression) as well as a physical paranormal side of things (think paranormal equipment and data collecting).
What made you decide on a Podcast versus a show?
Gayle Gilman: Actually, Something Scary was a weekly animated video series on YouTube before it was a podcast. Each video episode was 5-6 minutes long, we thought, hey, we could do a 30-minute episode if it was only audio. So that’s what we did!
What do you think are some of the most misunderstood preconceptions about
the Paranormal and people in your profession?
Blair Bathory: I think the most common misconception is that you have to have fancy gadgets or know something about paranormal activity, but I never have and probably never will. Patience and a form of meditation are the most vital aspects of a successful investigation.
Steffany Strange: I think there’s a lot of misconceptions with psychic mediums, as well as using a psychic medium at a haunted location. I think a lot of people feel like they want to see the data and see paranormal equipment go active right then and there, which I get is very vital. I think the emotional side of connecting with spirits is just as important, because at the end of the day spirits are just like us, but without the “meat suit”. They may not always know how to communicate using ghost hunting equipment, but will be able to connect with another person who can communicate with spirits like a psychic medium. And with that being said, I think that not all the time will a spirit want to communicate with you – they’re not a show dog, and they do have a choice to choose whether they want to connect with you or not.
Why do you think there has been such a large increase in Paranormal themed television shows of late?
Blair Bathory: I think paranormal shows have always been popular but I think now that women and people of color are being considered for more opportunities, there are new stories to tell and people to put on TV.
Steffany Strange: I think that there is a few things that have happened in the last couple of years – with the pandemic and social media becoming such a huge part of our lives, people are becoming less connected with local communities, and so they turn to the Internet and a digital media outlet to process their life in their emotions, one way or another. The pandemic has given a rise to mortality and loss. A lot of people turn to the paranormal because they are afraid of death or they are finding their beliefs in spirituality.
Steffany Strange (continued): One thing I can say for certain, as a woman of color, is that since I’ve been making content in this space, more and more networks and people working on shows in the paranormal space, want to add more inclusivity and diversity – because fans of the paranormal want to feel represented. Thanks to TikTok and other social media outlets, there are more voices of women and people of color in the space online, that now are making cross paths to television. Women and people of color who are fans of the paranormal space need to see themselves and their cultures represented, and I think that is so important – and we are seeing a rise and evolution of that.
With so many shows out now, how hard is it to establish your content as legitimate as it seems there are so many Reality Based shows and content out there.
Gayle Gilman: We try to listen to what our fans are telling us they like and dislike. They also send us scary stories that they have heard or tell us about things that have happened to them, and often we use these on the podcast, so they fell like they are really part of the show, which they are! We also have had the good fortune to have amazing hosts and writers who are connected to the world of horror.
What do you think the key to growing your Podcast is and how did you promote it early on?
Gayle Gilman: The growth of our podcast, Something Scary, was due to the fact that we had an existing fan base of 2M followers on our YouTube Channel, Snarled, and so we could immediately market to them and we knew they wanted more Something Scary. We also joined Studio71 to help us sell ads and they marketed the show to all the podcast listeners in their network.
Where do you get the ideas for your shows from and how much travel do you do?
Blair Bathory: I get ideas for my content by meeting new people – there’s always something to learn and a new place to explore. I travel almost every month and only go home briefly to cuddle with my cat and recoup for the next adventure.
Steffany Strange: A lot of the ideas from Something Scary come from the fans of the show, as well as reflecting on any themes of that month in order to continue being more aware of the needs of the audience as well as staying on top of research.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Blair Bathory: Right now, I don’t have any “free time” but that’s ok because I love what I do and wouldn’t change anything.
Steffany Strange: In my free time, I am going to haunted locations with my husband as we’re both very intuitive. I also love collecting things like hello kitty and going to antique shops but most importantly, I am a huge Disney fan as of late and I can’t wait to see all of the new movie releases coming up as well as attending anime and comic cons.
What do you have upcoming?
Blair Bathory: I’m producing and directing a few narrative horror projects, which is very exciting and overdue—as well as continuing to find new spooky places to document and share with my audience.
Steffany Strange: I’m going to be filming for a TV show next year— and the Something Scary crew will also be going to Rome, Georgia for a film festival next month!
Bios and Links
About Something Scary: Info on Something Scary is here
Gayle Gilman Bio: Gayle Gilman is the CEO of Snarled Entertainment, a 21st century video and podcast company meeting their fans wherever they watch and listen. Snarled Entertainment, and its breakout hit “Something Scary,” receive millions of engagements every month on their videos, podcasts and social pages.
Steffany Strange Bio: Steffany Strange is a lover of history— particularly when it comes to the strange and paranormal. She grew up talking about Salvadorian folklore and ghost stories with her grandfather; and as she has continued on her quest to learn all about the strange and mysterious, she has also learned to tap into her psychic medium abilities. Fittingly, her passions include talking to ghosts… and telling scary stories. Steffany will be featured in an upcoming special episode of Mysteries Decoded which will air on The CW in October, and was recently featured in the creator spotlight series “Latinx YouTubers to Watch” by YouTube Shorts.
Blair Bathory Bio: Blair Bathory has been creating works of horror for many years. After writing, directing and producing her own horror films since the age of twenty-one, Blair realized the lack of platforms that short-form filmmakers had to showcase their work. This led Blair Bathory to create FEAR HAUS, a production company launched in May 2015 that perpetuates inclusivity within the horror genre by introducing audiences to compelling stories from unique international voices. Now involved in several horror film productions, documentaries, and digital content creation, Blair continues to build her legacy as a prominent voice in the horror genre.