Interview: Brian J. Cano (Paranormal Caught on Camera)

Brian J. Cano is an “international speaker/lecturer, paranormal researcher and investigator. He is best known for “Haunted Collector” and “Paranormal Caught On Camera.” Brian is a skeptical believer. He always has questions and wants to know, “What was it?”

Brian J. Cano is a fascinating individual. He is a skeptical believer. He tells vivid, fascinating stories. He speaks well and will listen to the stories you tell him. He doesn’t judge and he is always searching for answers.

He took some time to talk with Horrornews.net while making an appearance at the Horror Sideshow Market in Allentown, Pa.

#Follow Brian on Twitter- @BrianJCano


Tell us what you are working on right now and what can you tell us about the new show?

Brian- The new show that I’m working on right now is called, “Paranormal Caught On Camera” on the Travel Channel. We are currently filming our second season. We got renewed for twenty-six episodes. The first season of sixteen episodes did well. It’s been well received. People are enjoying it and I am enjoying it. What I love, doing this show as possessed to say, “Haunted Collector” is that I don’t have to crawl in dirty houses.


Where did the phrase, “What Was It” come from? You sort of stated a while ago you wanted or needed a catch phrase?

Brian- I have a line of merchandise with the phrase, “What Was It.” Now that came about because while doing “Paranormal Caught On Camera” I see so many videos that I can’t necessarily explain without more information. The producers will ask me, well, what do you think about this or what do you think about that? I look at it and I go, well it wasn’t this or it wasn’t that it’s a weird shape so, “What was it?” I usually pose that question for the audience to make up their own minds. I didn’t realize it, it’s kind of one of my verbal ticks. Here we are season two and the producers say, “Brian do you realize you say that a lot.” You know I do. So much so, that I have begun saying it in different languages. (Note: Brian began to say “What Was It” in Russian and French.) We will get a clip from Russia or a clip from France and I’ll say it in Russian or French. Back in the “Haunted Collector” days, I joked on Twitter, I said hey guys, I need a catch phrase and here it is, six years later.

That is awesome. I always think this about you that you are always the thinker and the skeptical one. Why do you think that so many people go into this field and they don’t ask questions?

Brian- I think a lot of what we see with investigators these days is due to the TV shows and the proliferation of how it is portrayed in the media. Where you have a show that’s an hour long, forty-two minutes after commercials. You have a summarized view of what is supposed to be hours and hours of investigating and right after the first commercial break their getting evidence. When people actually go out into the field and do this, they are expecting instant results and that’s not how things work in real life. They don’t ask questions because they are expecting something to happen. Or maybe it’s us, what are we doing wrong. So, let’s start antagonizing, let’s start with the taunting and that’s never a good thing.

I have been to quite a few “Ghost” hunts and paranormal events and people do that. They almost fight with a spirit? If there even is a spirit there? If you don’t have all the information? Why do that?

Brian- My guess is that, especially on the public ghost hunts. Hosts might feel they are under pressure to deliver an experience. They’ll taunt because… take it from the old days of the circus, the animal is treated poorly but it responds, it performs.

Yes, that is true. Sad, but true.

Brian- People kind of forget this. These entities may be on the scene and they are people. These are other personalities and they deserve respect.  Not to say that the circus animals don’t deserve respect and as you have seen circuses are closing down because of the poor behavior. The same thing with ghost hunts too, it’s like yeah, they are NOT circus attractions, nor should they be treated as such. But the people who do that are looking for that… and maybe they don’t respect those people.

Yes, they were living, breathing people.

Brian- Yes, absolutely.

What can you share about “Paranormal Caught on Camera?”

Brian- “Paranormal Caught On Camera” is a clip show. I’m shown all the videos. Me and another group of paranormal individuals. We watch the videos and then we comment on each one. It’s up to the editors to decide who gets used and which videos get used. I’ve been fortunate enough, I guess they like what I have to say so they’ve used me a lot.

Do you ever find that you come across something that you cannot explain at all?

Brian- I’ve seen a wide-variety of videos. Some of them I can debunk fairly quickly. The show isn’t about debunking so even you see a video that’s clearly not exactly on the level, it doesn’t cancel out the concept. There are some videos that I just can’t explain and I go, oh “what was it” and out comes the catchphrase. I go back to the old Sherlock Holmes adage, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains however improbable must be the truth. Just watching these videos, it doesn’t give me enough information to clearly determine what it might be but sometimes they stump me and I’m amazed. That’s what I think keeps this going. The audience, us. Our imaginations are going, what it this? What could this be? What was it? It brings me back to when I was a kid and anything was possible. The world was a magical place.

Did you always know that you would be doing this and be in this field?

Brian- I had no idea. When I was a kid, I loved mysteries. I used to love the show, “In Search Of” with Leonard Nimoy. I vividly remember the end credits as they were rolling. They showed all these mysteries of our world and when I was a kid I thought I am going to do to all these places and I am going to go to get to the bottom of all those mysteries. Then you grow up and kind of forget about that and you worry about paying bills and taxes. But, I kind of found my way back to it and here I am!

Did you have anybody that professionally inspired you?

Brian- Growing up I didn’t have an awareness of the paranormal field. At that time I didn’t know who, say Ed and Lorraine Warren were? I just knew that there were people out there doing these things. Growing up and then going to college, I became skeptical and I stopped thinking about it. It wasn’t really part of my day to day life until 2002 when some friends and I started the cable access show called, “Scared on Staten Island.” That was mostly urban exploration but there were elements of paranormal investigation in it because, okay, this abandoned building we’re going through has rumors of ghosts and rumors of cults and satanic activity. We’re going to find out what’s going on in here. Back then in 2002, there were no “Ghost Hunters” and no “Ghost Adventures.” None of those shows had appeared yet. We were just kind of going on what we heard as kids. It was a hazy memory and we had a lot to learn. In doing the work, I went from being a skeptic to a skeptical believer. I know the phenomenon exist.

How did you get involved learning about the equipment?

Brian- That I will give full credit to “Ghost Hunters” for. When we first started we were mostly urban explorers so we had old school tools. Like baby powder, toy cars. Just things to track an area to see if spirits would make these items move or if we could see any evidence of them passing.  When the shows came on and I saw them using meters and doing EVP sessions that opened up a new door for me to go oh that’s interesting. Ironically the seed had been planted when I was ten years old. A movie that you might have heard of? It’s called, “Ghostbusters.”


Brian- “Ghostbusters” showed me when I was a kid that, hey we are ready to believe you. These guys dealt with tech and no psychic leaders. We’ve got our proton packs, we’ve got a trap and we can do this. What ten year old kid didn’t want to be a Ghostbuster?

I always wanted to be a Ghostbuster!

Brian- Yeah! Now we are!


Brian- And again, we love ghosts but we don’t bust ghost. Back to the respect. We try to communicate them and tell the stories. It has inspired so many of us.

What are your thoughts on Ed and Lorraine Warren?

Brian- Ed and Lorraine Warren are professionals, the forbearers, and the people that came before us and really blazed a trail. They had amazing cases, they dealt with their fair share of being labeled as frauds and fakes. They’ve been labeled as geniuses. Unfortunately, I never got to meet Ed while he was alive.

(I know some people would find what he just said right to me to be odd but as usual I was fascinated and needed to ask!)

Are you able to talk about that?

Brian- I have gotten communication from Ed Warren via spirit boxes, echo boxes. This has happened to me while I was alone, with other groups and also with John Zaffis. I asked John, I said, “John, I never met Ed, why would he communicate with me at all?” (Brian does a pretty good John Zaffis impersonation.) John goes, don’t fool yourself kid, Ed knows who you are. There’s a part of me that’s a little scared by that but also exciting. Wow Ed Warren knows who I am! That means they are watching us, they are helping us and guiding us. It’s cool that from time to time, I can get help by one.

I have goosebumps. That is pretty amazing. Can you share anything that was said to you?

Brian- The first year of the world’s largest ghost hunt. This concept, a friend of mine had secured, “National Ghost Hunting Day.” On the official calendars now there is a committee that works on this. She got National Ghost hunting Day so she’s like, oh we should do something for it. She said, let’s do a big ghost hunt all across the nation. I said, why settle for the nation? Let’s do the world. Let’s get the whole world involved. I know we got most of the states, three continents and ten countries. We got people in Australia, England and South America. We got people to come together digitally. If we could all do this together knowing that it’s not just us, it is everybody else so we’re one team. One planet, one team. We all ask the same question and through collective unconscious. I wanted big picture questions and before that happened I was a smaller event with John and we’re talking about it. I said, I am doing this thing and I don’t know if it’s the right move. What do you think and he goes let’s find out. He fires up the echo box…

(Dog Barks)

Brian- No that barking is not what came out. Things are coming through and then you hear, “Ed, Ed, Ed” That’s how Ed usually identified himself. So he goes what do you want? The kid wants to ask you a questions so I go you know I am doing this thing. Is it the right move? I didn’t want to… and this sounds weird but going back to “Ghostbusters” I didn’t want to open up a portal that’s going to envelop the world. I am going to ask someone on the other side, is this okay for me to do? Is this a door I should be knocking on? I don’t remember what else Ed said but a female voice came through and it was (Brian does another excellent impersonation) very proper, very well-spoken and my face changed and John took notice of it and he said, you heard something, didn’t you kiddo? I said, well John I’ve never met Ed and he’s coming through but it sounds like Lorraine. Lorraine was still alive at the time and John goes, well she is a powerful psychic and she’s near… She is getting ready and through that she is one foot in and one foot out. It’s amazing because it was just me and John doing this session and it was just a moment of, I am conversing with the Warren’s. Just, WOW!

Did you ever get to tell Lorraine that?

Brian- I never did. Our paths only crossed a few times at conventions and she was always so swamped and busy. We never got to have a proper conversation.

When something like that happens, what goes through your mind? What did you think?

Brian- I become a ten year old kid again where the universe is filled with possibility and there’s tons to learn.  There’s something greater. I want to know the answers but I think patience is one of the key things.

What do you think about the convention circuit so far?

Brian- I love the conventions. They are cool. It’s a great place to talk to people, to meet people, to share stories and experiences. It’s funny because I don’t really talk much because people are so enthusiastic about sharing stories. Most people don’t get to talk about these things in day to day life and to have someone that understands. It’s almost like paranormal therapy. They get to unload all this to someone who won’t judge them.

Yes, you don’t look at us like we are insane. It is an interesting aspect to see people tell you stories. You don’t judge people.

Brian- It’s funny because I am at a Horror convention and everyone is there to see these people who are in a beloved movie from thirty years ago or a show they like and I am sitting at the table going, guys I do this for real. (Laughter) I really do this. It is a great experience.

Is there anything you want to say to the fans?

Brian- I feel like I have to communicate a great amount of gratitude because if it wasn’t for the people watching and the people who have been great to me and even the people who have been horrible to me. All of that has brought to me where I am now. I have seen the world.

I thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me for Hororrnews.net here at the Horror Sideshow Market. I thank you Brian for the time.

Brian- Thank You.




Press Photo of Brian J. Cano by: Ali Cotton

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