Just in time for Halloween, Vanessa Hudgens is producing and starring in a documentary about witchcraft called Dead Hot: Season of the Witch, Variety reported on Oct. 7. The unscripted film follows Hudgens and musician best friend GG Magree on an eight-day trip to Salem, Massachusetts, to learn about witchcraft, ghost hunting, and connecting with the spirit world. The 90-minute reality film from Bunim-Murray Productions is further described as an “intimate journey into the supernatural realm” that serves as a “coming-of-age story that explores identity, feminine power, and sisterhood.”
The roles aren’t exactly a stretch for either women. Both are described as “self-taught students of witchcraft” and have long histories of experimenting and connecting with the spirit world, according to Variety. “They’ve been doing little spells since they were kids, and they were just really interested in that world,” Bunim-Murray Productions President Julie Pizzi told the trade publication, describing the project as The Craft meets The Simple Life. (The Craft is a 1996 classic horror film, while The Simple Life is the 1998 reality show that made Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie household names.)
For Hudgens and Magree, the journey to Salem started with an experience in Northern California that went wrong. It made them realize they needed more mentorship and training, and they decided to travel across the country for a masterclass in witchcraft, with cameras in tow. Filming recently wrapped, and Dead Hot is now being shopped to outlets, also per Variety.
Pizzi told the outlet that they’d approached the women about doing a ghost hunting show, but as cameras were rolling, they changed tack. “As we got to know them, we realized that their curiosity in connecting with the spirit realm and paranormal and supernatural exploration was so much deeper than ghost hunting,” she explained. “It’s an exploration in the spiritual realm. It’s a lot about self love, and them finding their inner strength and power.”
Hudgens has been teasing the doc on Instagram over the past week. On Oct. 3, she posted a photo of two women reading a book called Witch Stories, along with one of a pumpkin with a witch carving. After sharing another 2020 Halloween throwback days later, she finally shared a shot of herself in a monitor on the Dead Hot set.
Earlier this year, Hudgens revealed that she’s had “a lot” of run-ins with spiritual beings over the years. “I’ve accepted the fact that I see things and I hear things,” she said during an April appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, recalling an experience when she was 8 years old, during which a pull-string duck toy walked alongside her.
“I kind of shut it down for a while because it’s scary,” Hudgens elaborated to Clarkson. “The unknown is scary. But recently I was like, ‘No, this is a gift and something that I have the ability to do, so I’m going to lean into it.’”
With Dead Hot brewing, she seems to still be doing just that now.