Paranormal State

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Paranormal State TV Poster Image
Eerie docuseries explores the spirit world.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series is more creepy than educational and focuses heavily on evil and demonic possession. Buell isn't an ordained minister or therapist but considers himself to be a "warrior" against spirits. Team members have various religious backgrounds, but many Christian rituals are shown. One team member is an occultist. PRS members are Caucasian men and women.


Discussions about people being murdered and their spirits coming back. Descriptions of violent acts performed by angry spirits and demons. Very creepy tone overall.


Words like "damn" and "hell" are audible; stronger words are bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this eerie reality series explores alleged paranormal activity affecting both children and adults. The discussions about ghosts, demons, and the occult may be frightening for young kids (and those who just get freaked out by that sort of thing). Expect some use of language like "damn" and "hell" (stronger words are bleeped). The show includes footage of Christian rituals like prayer, sprinkling holy water, and exorcisms.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHeroneSilverton April 9, 2008

Creepy but fun

This is a fun show to watch to scare yourself. It doesn't always have explanations, which is always a bit spooky. I wouldn't recomend it to younger th... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 31, 2013


I watched this show when I was six or seven. Some violence and disturbing imagery. If you or your kids have nightmares easily, this may not be the best show for... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bynajjahanderson April 26, 2012

Beware it may be true

I believe that this is a great show but it isn't for every body specially if you have a problem with things that you may not believe is real.

What's the story?

PARANORMAL STATE is a docuseries that chronicles the research activities of a team of college students who investigate alleged cases of paranormal activity. It centers on Pennsylvania State student Ryan Buell, whose frightening childhood experience with what he believes to be a supernatural entity prompted him to create the Paranormal Research Society (PRS) in order to help people find explanations for strange things happening around them.

Is it any good?

Buell and his senior team members spend hours training students and investigating cases that range from strange noises to alleged demonic possessions. Trained therapists and members of the clergy often join them. The team uses electronic voice phenomena, video cameras, and other technology to monitor visitors from the "beyond." Cleansing rituals -- including the use of holy water, prayer, and exorcisms -- are used to push spirits away and bring peace.

The series attempts to present paranormal research in a way that's both clinical and informative. And Buell tries to sound scientific by keeping a "director's log" (which sounds oddly like something straight out of a Star Trek episode). But the show is more eerie than educational, as viewers watching while the team tries to communicate with the spirit world during "dead time" -- the time of night when paranormal entities are most active. Furthermore, Buell's frequent discussions about fighting evil make this series darker than other shows that deal with "the other side" and might be too frightening for young and/or more sensitive viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different ways that the media uses the idea of ghosts and spirits to entertain audiences. How do movies like Ghostbusters, The Exorcist, and The Sixth Sense depict the paranormal? Why do people purposely choose to watch things that will frighten them? What's the appeal? And what role does the belief in spirits, ghosts, and the paranormal play in our lives and in our culture?

TV details

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