Robert Englund who immortalized Freddy Kreuger says his mother made coffee for a ghost
Englund will be narrating for Travel Channel's upcoming six-part horror series 'True Terror With Robert Englund'
"Hidden away in the dark shadows of our nation's history are tales so terrifying, they must be true."
That's the hook that Travel Channel's latest series 'True Terror With Robert Englund' lures viewers with, promising to scour reports from yesteryear and bring viewers "twisted, true tales ripped straight from the headlines."
And in case the name Robert Englund rings a bell, it's because the veteran actor is a legendary horror movie icon who portrayed Freddy Kreuger in 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' franchise that defined the slasher film genre and is now considered one of the greatest horror films ever made.
As Kreuger, Englund portrayed the spirit of a serial killer who would kill his victims in their dreams using a gloved hand with razors, causing their death in the real world.
In 'True Terror', however, his role isn't nearly as dramatic or gruesome, but as narrator, a combination of his characteristic panache, mysterious demeanor, and an unmistakable flair for theatrics lend the series a brooding air that reels you in and doesn't let go.
From flying monsters to creatures in the night, to evil possessions and hauntings, the series claims it will prove "truth is always stranger than fiction" and leave the audience "wishing the stories were only in their dreams."
And granted, you, as a viewer, will have to suspend your disbelief, but you don't have to listen to us. Instead, listen to Englund, who MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) had a chance to speak with about the show, his belief, and experiences with the supernatural, and much, much more.
In Englund's own words, the show is a "formula comfort food from the dark side" that is "equal parts Rod Serling's 'Twilight Zone' with some aspects of Robert Stack's 'Unsolved Mysteries' and just a dash of 'Dateline.'"
"It's something you can tune into and learn something dark from the sort of underbelly of the American psyche," he explains. "And that’s what I think distinguishes it from, you know, two guys, you know, in a Louisiana swamp seeing a UFO."
The six-part series sees each episode weave together a trilogy of stories from around the US.
The first episode 'Twisted Relationships' visits a North Carolina shopkeeper tormented by a prophetic countdown to his doom, a New Orleans teenager trapped inside a waking nightmare, and an Atlanta police station that becomes a battleground for a vengeful spirit.
Englund says he had been a little skeptical about many of the stories himself, but that he became convinced after looking into some further and shared a story from his past about bigfoot.
"I’ve always thought the bigfoot thing was a little cheesy," he admits. "I remember being on a double date in the drive-in movies with my buddy, a couple of surfers and their
girlfriends watching, 'The Legend of Boggy Creek' or some cheesy bigfoot film."
"But, in subsequent years, I’ve come to understand that the sasquatch was part of aboriginal and Native American folklore and that there is some you know, kind of historical cred to it."
It's not just research that has shaped his view either. The veteran actor reveals his "chainsmoking, martini-drinking liberal" mother had a supernatural experience of her own during the great flood of Los Angeles in the 1930s.
"She was at a sorority house and because she was the new girl, my mom was assigned doing all the dishes," he says. "They’d all been up smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee because there had been this great flood, and they’d been listening to the radio. And she was all cleaned up and ready to go to bed, and there was a loud knocking at the door.
"She opened it up, and one of the sorority girls came in all wet. She took off her jacket and came in and my mom made her a cup of coffee. They talked for a while and the girl said she was going back to the boarding house further up the hill to stay with a friend and left. The next morning, the police came to the sorority house and told them they had found this girl's body.
"But they had found it like 36 hours before, which would have been 12 to 15 hours before my mother made a cup of coffee for her. My mother went back and found the coffee cup and it had lipstick on it."
Asked if he has had any such paranormal run-ins himself, Englund answers in the negative but does share that he's had "a couple of really strong deja vu experiences" that he could not quite put a finger around and made him wonder about the existence of other dimensions.
"I've had about four or five and they've all been in rooms. They've all been about rooms. I’ve walked into rooms that I’ve dreamed of before I entered them. I'm looking up at a painting on the wall, and I've seen that painting in a dream."
"And then, I’ve had a couple of deja vu experiences with the combined auditory and olfactory. You've actually been in that spot before where those things combined, and yet, you’ve never been there, not even in your childhood, you know, those are the things that always make me wonder a little bit about other dimensions and things like that."
It doesn't necessarily have to be supernatural either, as Englund explains. Sometimes, it just so happens that places carry the occult weight of the horrors that may have unfolded there.
"I have been in rooms where terrible things have occurred, murders or prolonged illness," he says. "And I think there’s something to the idea of contained energy — the energy of someone who suffered perhaps or a group of people that suffered, perhaps, in one place."
"I’ve experienced it in just neutral places. I worked in a prison morgue once, and it was very disturbing. And I’ve been in a bedroom once where a woman was confined to bed for like 50 years and slowly died and never left the room. And you could definitely feel some residue in there of energy."
"And, of course, we have electricity. It's a part of what we are. And it could be explained that way. I don't know if I believe but I do respect those that do feel that's part of our reality."
While 'True Terror' does not delve into these personal experiences, Englund, in his signature spooky storytelling style, promises to resurrect the creepy and offers viewers stories that reveal our fears may not just be figments of our imagination. And it may not be done with its first six episodes either.
The actor says he will be pitching 'The Devil in the White City,' which chronicles the Chicago exposition 'World's Fair: the Columbian Exposition' and simultaneously America's first serial killer who exploited it and may have killed as many as 200 people for the next season.
'True Terror With Robert Englund' will premiere on Wednesday, March 18 at 10 pm ET/PT on the Travel Channel.