Is My Encounter with Evil based on real paranormal events?

By Louie Fecou
Published: October 29, 2022 (Last updated: December 18, 2023)
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It’s no surprise that My Encounter with Evil has raised many questions, but is it based on real paranormal events? We explore that question and take a balanced look at this horror documentary series.

Netflix series My Encounter with Evil is a four-part Mexican TV series that deals with three stories of hauntings and demonic possessions. The docu-drama is made up of real interviews with the parties involved, testimonials from individuals in each of the cases, real footage of exorcisms, and specially made film clips that flesh out the story. As is always the case with this sort of series, the elephant in the room is always, “Is this real?” and as far as My Encounter with Evil goes, the production team goes all out to make this as sinister and insidious as possible. There seems to be no doubt that, as far as the producers are concerned, these three encounters are all real, but what do viewers actually think?

What is My Encounter with Evil about?

This four-part series follows three different paranormal encounters. Each story is told over the course of the four episodes and does not follow the usual format of one individual story per episode. The stories drip feed into each other, and although this appears novel at first, it can be a little jumbled in places. The three strands comprise a young mother being possessed by the Devil, a mum, and her young daughters that are terrorized by a demon and a demon known as Asmodeus that attack a family and how they defend themselves. Each storyline is given the full Blumhouse horror treatment, and there are jump scares galore as various manifestations wreak havoc on the poor victims and their families. It all eventually boils down to a good versus evil scenario.

Are the demonic possessions in My Encounter with Evil based on real paranormal events?

According to the victims, friends, family, and religious leaders interviewed in the show, yes, My Encounter with Evil is based on real events. These stories are all real. To what level, though, is not for the viewer to ascertain. The rabbit hole of paranormal testimonies is such a deep and complex one that it is impossible to even begin to scratch the surface of what is really going on here.

The burden of proof in such cases is always going to be on the debunker of such events, so it is impossible to even start to try and assess the significance of the claims of the people involved. It certainly appears that the people involved are all convinced of the supernatural encounters, so for them, it is real. However, watching this show, you start to see that every detail is embellished by a filmed adaptation of the events, and they do not hold back with them.

There is every trope in the book here, including levitations, bodies cracked into misshapen contortions, devil dogs, shadow people, demons, ghosts, and creepy dolls. You name it, this show will present it to you. Did these paranormal events happen as portrayed? I would have to say no. It is so over the top that it often veers into parody. It would seem that in an effort to cement the horror of these events to the audience, they instead overplay their hand, and the testimonies start to lose their initial authenticity.

How true could My Encounter with Evil be?

Within every paranormal story, there will always be some kernel of truth, and the secret is to be able to read between the lines and figure out where the facts end and the embellishing begins. Perhaps at the center of each of the three encounters, there were some instances where the people involved felt they were witnesses to supernatural encounters. As the story spreads, the more it grows, and by the time the story is to be included in the Netflix show, it has literally become a pitch for another horror movie. If you believe in the supernatural and you hear a bang in the night, then, of course, you will assume the worst. If you are a non-believer and you hear the same bang, chances are you assume it’s the heating and fall back asleep. So how true could My Encounter with Evil be? Well, the supernatural is subjective.

Have the reviews for My Encounter with Evil been good or bad?

Unfortunately, the series has not been garnering great reviews online. Many sites, such as The Daily Beast, have called the show “hilariously absurd,” and Decider labeled the series as a “skip it,” while IMDB has it rated at 5.9. It would appear that the main problem with the series is the imbalanced portrayal of the stories themselves.

There is no nuance here, and there is very little airtime given to anyone that might infer that the events may have a more down-to-earth explanation. The show comes across as trying too hard to scare people by using every horror movie cliche in the book, and this actually cheapens the content instead of enhancing it.

Perhaps if the stories were presented to the audience with a more balanced perspective, it would allow viewers to make their own minds up about the events, but the schlocky jump scares and demonic attacks are so preposterous that it is hard to remain invested. Another series of this show, downplayed, with only the genuine recorded footage and testimonies, would probably work better, but that may not be what the producers want. The reviews of My Encounter with Evil have been mostly bad.

So what do you think? Are the demonic possessions in My Encounter with Evil based on real paranormal events? Comment below.

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