Dan Aykroyd’s Belief in the Paranormal Began With His Mystic Relative: There’s ‘Vivid Evidence’

When it comes to chasing ghosts, actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd is the man for the job. His iconic role as Ray Stantz in the 1984 classic film Ghostbusters came about from his fascination with the paranormal.

The critically acclaimed actor has been a believer in the metaphysical world since a very young age. He credits a mystic relative for getting him interested in ghosts, which he claims are very real.

Dan Aykroyd turned to the side, on a corded phone
Dan Aykroyd | Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images

A comedic legend

Born in 1952, the 68-year-old actor got his start as part of the original ensemble on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, according to Rotten Tomatoes His comedic genius blended perfectly with the likes of Gilda Radner and Chevy Chase.

Aykroyd immortalized Elwood in The Blue Brothers, co-starring with his best friend, John Belushi. He went on to star in countless movies such as Trading Places with Eddie Murphy, Grosse Pointe Blank, and Driving Miss Daisy, for which he received an Academy Award nomination.

He leaned on his paranormal fascination to write Ghostbusters, a motion picture about three scientists who join forces to study the occult. They use an old New York City firehouse as the base to trap ghosts, spirits, and pesky poltergeists. His co-stars included Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson.

Who you gonna’ call?

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A Canadian native, Aykroyd spent most of his childhood learning about parapsychology. He explained to Yahoo! that his great-grandfather was a mystic who documented the work of several mediums from New York.

A full accounting of what he witnessed was written in a collection of journals that were passed onto Aykroyd’s grandfather. When his father, Peter, was given the journals, he published a book. A History of Ghosts told the detailed stories of previous generations.

The accomplished actor explained that as a child his house was filled with paranormal magazines such as the British Society for Psychical Research and American Society for Psychical Research. Aykroyd said, “I just grew up with it. There was no way out of it.”

‘Hotel Paranormal’

Aykroyd is excited to be working as a narrator on the Travel Channel’s Hotel Paranormal, where he will have the chance to continue expressing his fascination with the afterlife. The ghost-focused series details the true stories of paranormal encounters that have taken place in a real hotel and motel rooms. Interviews, reenactments, and actual footage depict spine-chilling encounters and unworldly experiences.

The Blues Brother actor wants to help convince skeptics that “there’s vivid evidence of the fact that there is survival of life and consciousness after death.” He is adamant about others realizing that “this stuff is real.”

Aykroyd’s personal paranormal experiences

Aykroyd has had several experiences of his own, telling Yahoo Entertainment, “My wife and I were in bed, and her jewelry did a little dance next to our bed. She saw it [too]. She had bracelets there … and all the sudden, it was like they were doing a little mini cyclone.”

He also claims that his Hollywood Hills home, which was previously owned by the Mama and the Papas’ Cass Elliott, had “some things going on” in it. Aykroyd vividly explained an eery encounter, saying, “Something got into bed with me one night, I believe, when I was alone there. The door was closed but not locked. And it opened. And I felt a chill and then I felt something compress next to me on the mattress.”

The Crystal Vodka owner said that his daughter saw a red-haired man and girl at the end of the hallway. A friend claims to have seen a large black mass in the house’s stairway, and others have said there are always strange things going on there.

Aykroyd hopes to bring his experience with the occult to the new television series. Speaking to the Travel Channel, Aykroyd said, “I think the incredible encounters we’re highlighting on Hotel Paranormal will open up a lot of minds and hopefully break through some of the skepticism people carry about the paranormal.”