While Luke Hutchie and Matthew Finlan have worked together on scripted horror entertainment, they're moved into reality TV, exploring the supernatural legends of haunted Canadian landmarks in Ghosting with Luke Hutchie and Matthew Finlan (all episodes available to stream on CBC Gem).
The premise is that Hutchie and Finlan travel to places in Ontario that are allegedly haunted, including one of Canada’s oldest correctional facilities, the SDJ Jail in Cornwall, Ont. Stepping into these spaces, armed with their own Ghostbusters-esque tools, they try determine whether each space is haunted, or not.
But they're not doing it alone, Hutchie and Finlan have recruited some friends for their travels, including Frankie Grande and his husband Hale, Yellowjackets star Kevin Alves, Canada's Drag Race star Synthia Kiss and artist Jade Hassouné.
"The fun thing about the show is that no one knows what they're doing, and I think that's the catalyst that separates us from anything else," Hutchie told Yahoo Canada. "You've seen this type of show, you have not seen it in this light, and I think that's the fun thing."
"I think when you dive deeper into the industry that is paranormal investigating, there's such weird things put in place to try to capture a ghost. But even to a professional, they're strange things to be using, and I think for two people who shouldn't be using them, throwing in a celebrity that really shouldn't be using them, I think the fun is just, can we get evidence? Can we prove it's haunted? Can something substantial actually happen that makes us look legitimized in this situation?"
A talking stuffed bear to detect 'child-like ghosts'
The weirdest tool we see used on the show to attract spirits has to be a talking bear stuffed animal, the "Boo Buddy" that "detects the energy of child-like ghosts."
"That bear is definitely one of the tools that everybody raises an eyebrow at," Finlan said. "It uses the same schools of thought as all the other tools, electromagnetic frequency, touch and sound, but I do think it's the plush outer coating that makes everybody be like, 'What? Why?'"
"We did learn how to use that bear better as we went on and filmed, but in Episode 1, ... when it triggered we were like, 'Oh my gosh.' Especially in that first house. ... We didn't know what we were going to get in terms of evidence. That bear, we were all skeptical of it, and it proved itself to be a worthy player in our team. But it actually talks a lot, it was a bit of a scene stealer, I will say."
Are ghosts real?
While initially, Hutchie is the one that's more skeptical about the existence of ghosts in general, he teased that you do see shifts in his skepticism throughout the season.
"I think over the season, you kind of watch me run out of excuses at some parts, and I think there's moments where I definitely felt like, I don't really understand what just happened," Hutchie said. "It's not necessarily that I would say that's the murder weapon of evidence, but it does take me into a new way of looking at things."
"I can tell you this, I'm not saying the same thing at the end of every episode. So there's definitely a ride that happens within the season and you kind of get to watch that unfold, which is super cool. But I mean, unless I'm floating in the air and spinning around and around, which might happen, I'm not going to be completely sold just yet."
"I've seen the barometer switch in Luke sometimes," Finlan added. "Whenever something happens, I normally look to Luke to go, 'Was that the moment we cracked it? Do you believe?'"
"But I don't want everybody to be a steadfast believer as well. If there is no contrast in our views, there's no point to have the show. So I think it's actually really exciting and honestly speaks to the fact that two people can have different mindsets, but still be friends and still go into these crazy places together."