Zak Bagans

Ghost Adventures – Westerfield Hotel – S17E02

ga-westerfield-hotelFor the next investigation, Zak visits the Westerfield Hotel, a location with a “demonic infestation” due to visitors such as Anton LaVey, Kenneth Anger, Bobby Boselie and Charles Manson. The first two being associated with Satanism, the latter with murder.

Rituals were conducted in the tower and were even filmed for some highly dramatized and most likely drug induced footage. There are claims that portals to Hell were opened inside the house and Zak believes he was drawn to this house because he bought a model doll house of the Westerfield Hotel from an antique shop.

They speak with Kenneth Anger who says they performed “summoning ceremonies”, and that they were “calling for entities.” Zak is chomping at the bit for Ken to say they tried to conjure up the Devil and that he “created a residence for Satan himself.”

Zak steers the conversation to Ken and his affinity for the works and beliefs of Aleister Crowley. We also hear about how those with substance abuse problems fall victim to the darkness of the house.

At this point, Zak has done everything he can to whip up the cliche and hysteria of the “Satanic Panic.” To tap into this darkness, he and Jay will perform their own ritual in the tower, to “open the gates” (of Hell?), but rest assured, when they perform conjuring it’s not black magic, Satanic or Devil Worship. Even though reading from a book of ancient Sumerian text is too dangerous to acknowledge or allow the words to be captured on audio, rest assured, this is merely in the name of research and exploration. Funny how he doesn’t see that for anyone else.

As they get started, they hear the usual creaks, bangs, pops and the sound of footsteps associated with an old house. They also hear clicks and burps on their walkie-talkies, which are the demonic entities trying to make their presence known. We even get the declaration of a cold spot and a sighting of Anton LaVey.

Their conjuring must be working because the Talking EVP throws out the word “Rage.” It should come as no surprise that right after, both Zak and Aaron act like they’re being taken over by some sort of unseen force. At least we don’t have the previous throwing of devices or punching of firsts into the wall.

Aaron leaves the room to investigate downstairs, but claims he is stopped on the stairs by an invisible wall. Since it’s invisible and can’t be recorded, we have to take Aaron’s word for it.

Meanwhile, on the Spirit Box, a demonic conversation is heard. One voice asks, “What do you want?” Another answers with, “you.”

After heading back upstairs, Jay and Aaron both claim to see a shadow figure atop the tower which is supposed to concentrate the spiritual energy. The hacked up SLS camera confirms there is a stick figure afoot. But it’s not just a stick figure, it’s a goat figure. No wait, is a three legged creature. No wait, it’s pouring stuff on Jay’s head.

We finally have a disoriented Jay trying to leave the tower, yet there is another unforeseen force blocking his path. Not only is this powerful entity stopping Jay from walking in a straight line, it’s capable of knocking over a camera placed on a tripod. Then again, it could have been gravity. Or gravity and a faulty camera leg. Or a camera placed on a bad angle.

While the history of the house is intriguing, they certainly don’t capture anything that lives up to the “demonic infestation” and “residence for Satan.” Ironically, LaVey didn’t believe in a God or a Satan. They were merely symbolic and the antithesis of other religious beliefs. It’s not worth getting into a debate about such things, but it’s pretty obvious Zak latched on to a few keywords and ideas and tried to whip up the flames of panic as much as he could. Too bad his evidence doesn’t support anything of the sort.

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Ghost Adventures – Idaho State Reform School – S17E01

ga-idaho-reform-schoolWith the Graveyard of the Pacific behind them, Zak, Aaron, Jay and Billy kick off another season with a visit to the Idaho State Reform School, which has now been converted into family living.

The original Idaho Industrial Reform School was established in 1903 and was home to many wayward youth. Like so many other facilities of the time, it’s safe to say this one did more harm than good. With allegations of abuse, mistreatment, and even deaths, the school was ultimately closed. However, on the grounds are 20 graves and at least one report of suicide by a girl who was 14.

Zak talks to Barrett and Demi, who have a few stories to tell, one of which involves bite marks on Demi’s arms. Barrett introduces his brother Magnum, who apparently has a close relationship with a few spirits, including one that has taken up residence in his room. “She” protects him from the spirits in the infirmary, the building next door, because they are mean to Magnum.

The story of spirits in the infirmary is also discussed by the Gould family who used to live there. But it’s not just a shadowy figures or a mass darting around the corner, the sisters claim they used to play with the ghost girl as though she were a real child. And when one of kids got locked in a cupboard, the ghost of a doctor was the one who undid the latch and let her out.

For the investigation, Zak tries to make contact with Hope, the girl who committed suicide, by bringing her some candy. Aaron seems rather moved and gives Hope a heart felt “thank you” for watching over Magnum and keeping the mean sprits away from him.

While Hope doesn’t take any candy, the SLS camera picks up a stick figure against the wall for just a moment. To go along with her appearance on the hacked up camera, they get the words, “Happened”, “Touch” and “Sing” on the Ovilus. The first two words don’t paint a good picture.

As Aaron moves on to investigate on his own, he gets “Girl”, “Female” and “Electric”. This last coincides with the power drains they begin to experience on their equipment. At least we don’t have Billy freaking out and yelling in frustration.

To get a feel for what it’s like to be in the isolation room, Zak tricks Aaron into going in, then locks the door. Not only was this an ass thing to do, it locked Aaron in as there is no way to open the door from the other side.

Zak ditches Aaron and goes to investigate the infirmary. He and Billy get “we’re back” and a set or orbs. There is a lot of focus on orbs these days.

Feeling he needs to check on Aaron, Zak ditches Billy, who doesn’t want to stay in the building by himself even though he’s a grown man. Aaron has a bit of revenge as he absolutely scares the hell out of Zak, who more than likely soiled his pants, when Aaron jumps at the door and fills the room with his maniacal laughter. Zak also describes a light anomaly creeping along the wall just before he gets to Aaron.

In the infirmary, Billy starts to feel something is around him. Like episodes before, he starts to feel angry and frustrated. While he doesn’t lash out and throw equipment he’s letting the place get to him.

As a final shot, Billy captures another light anomaly on his phone that hovers for several seconds. Not sure why he had to use his phone, but that’s the way it worked out.

It would be hard to argue that life at the school was not pleasant, the “pure terror created by man” as Zak put it, really doesn’t present itself. For two buildings full of spirits, with at least one that’s a biter, the evidence and experiences are almost non-existent.

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Ghost Adventures – The Haunted Museum Live – Halloween Edition

ga-haunted-museum-liveIt’s been nearly a decade since the last live investigation that was wrought with dubious actives and evidence collected, but Zak and the team are back, under more controlled conditions, to investigate his own haunted museum. They will investigate some of the most haunted and cursed items his museum has to offer including, Lilly the Haunted Doll, the Mirror of Bela Lugosi, artifacts from the Demon House, Peggy the Doll, the Dybbuk Box and even a chat with the Zozo Demon.

On hand is a bevy of guests including, Chris Fleming – Paranormal Expert and Medium, Michael and Marti Parry – Medium and Psychic Artist, Patti Negri – Psychic Medium, Darren Evans – Self-styled Demonologist, Gary Galka – Paranormal Inventor and Engineer, and Bryan Ouellette and Sister Mary – Holy Nicholas Catholic Church, with each taking a turn on the catwalk to look as sinister and foreboding as they can muster.

Besides the guests we have seen on past episodes, we get to hear from some of the employees at the museum. Many tell of strange experiences and events that have transpired on guided tours and after hours. Some claim to hear voices and see shadows. Some say they have been scratched, given nose bleeds and even burned.

Mind you, this is Zak’s museum, a place he has spent millions putting together and collecting for. It’s also a place he has total control over. Are we really expecting anything other than Zak to say it’s haunted? That would hurt ticket sales and make him look silly.

Things start off in the Oddities Room and Lilly the Haunted Doll. Lilly is supposedly inhabited by a strong spirit and was so dangerous she was originally sold off from an antiques store to a young girl. Now she resides at the Haunted Museum and to protect onlookers, the evil is contained by a sheet of glass.

We are treated to Zak taking Lilly out and holding her for the first time. While some may gasp in shock and horror at his bravado and tempting fate, nothing else happens and despite the claims and the human hair atop her crown, Lilly proves to be silent like other dolls.

Next up is the Art Gallery where Dakota confronts the evil image and demonic forces contained within a mirror from a home Bela Lugosi used to own. Despite the claims, there is no evidence Lugosi personally used this mirror or practiced the art of scrying. With all the Hollywood gossip, there is no existence of that story.

But the last time this mirror was unveiled, people became weak in the knees and collapsed to the floor like a sack of potatoes. To see if history repeats itself, Zak leaves Dakota alone with the mirror, telling him to stare deeply into the abyss to see if he can make contact with the negative energy trapped inside.

However, is that what really happened? When we return to the room, the mirror is perfectly covered and Dakota is many steps away. It doesn’t look like he paid attention to the mirror at all. Despite this, both Dakota and Zak say things are active, there is energy and they should be somewhere else.

A fun (not) twist to the evening is the addition of Lady Snake, who’s been down in the basement conjuring all day. She won’t say what she’s been up to, or what she let is, but instead acts like a 5 year old who’s peed in the pool and laughs at everyone swimming in it. She keeps repeating, “it’s a candy shop” and giggles.

The battle between light and dark, good and evil is just beginning, as the often jittery and disoriented Patti Negri shows up on the scene. Zak brings these formidable opponents together and what ensues is some of the worst dialog and acting I have ever witnessed.

Moving on to the next cursed item, we have the most dangerous wine cabinet in history, the Dybbuk Box. It supposedly contains pure evil, was once buried in a secret location, then sold on eBay before coming to Zak. We are witness to great angst and personal turmoil as Zak wrestles with himself over whether or not he should open the box.

Zak wants to open the box, but can’t bring himself to do it. Aaron wants to open the box, but doesn’t know why. Lady Snake even taunts Zak to open the box stating it can’t be worse than what she’s already done.

They struggle, they resist, they nearly give in, they regain their sense, they shake their fists in madness and frustration, they storm from the room only to return moments later. In the end, despite all the anticipation, build up, and faux anxiety, Zak decides not to open the box despite the fact he took the glass case off. Good thing a ring of salt protects the world from the wrath of pure evil.

Speaking of pure evil, it’s time to visit the set of Demon House. This is the home where over 200 evil entities were claimed to take up residence. In fact, the house was so haunted Zak made a movie about it, then destroyed the place. Except not all of it. He held a little back to exhibit at his museum.

Tagging along to tell the tale of how dangerous the place is, we have Chris Fleming. With a Spirit Box that barely spits out a word, Chris describes how bad the Demon House was in vague details, except for the 12 foot demon walking around.

Again, the location was so dangerous and most likely had entities attached to the very fabric of the house, that they decided to bring parts of it back and put it in display. But this time, no glass to keep the spirits in check. The stairs and the pure demonic energy are completely exposed and for a small fee, you can cast your gaze upon it.

It’s now time to visit Peggy the Doll, a doll so haunted she can cause nosebleeds just by making eye contact. Several employees describe people getting sick, having car accidents, nose bleeds and even heart attacks because they looked into her eyes. She’s even told people to die when they ask how she’s doing-through a Spirit Box of course. In fact, she is so dangerous she only needs half a sheet of glass to contain the negative energy festering inside her.

Staysha and Shealee, who keep the mascara and eye shadow industry in business, come in to say hello to Peggy. Once again, Zak makes a big todo about taking Peggy out and handling her for the first time.

Both employees handle Peggy, and even stare deeply into her eyes. Even Zak takes a turn, but he’s not bold enough to stare her down. And just when you think demonic voices will emirate from the Spirit Box or the blood will flow, nothing happens and we move on to something else.

And that something else is self-styled demonologist Darren Evans and the Zozo Demon game. Even though Zak has repeatedly said the Ouija board is dangerous and not something he likes or even wants to mess with, we visit the seance room where Jay and Darren plop down in front of a Ouija Board.

To build atmosphere and charge the room with electricity, Joshua Warren plugs in the Jacob’s Ladder.

No prizes will be awarded for guessing Darren is able to spell out the word Zozo on the Ouija board. In fact, every board he works with should have the rest of the letters removed to make communication easier. But before Zozo can cause any havoc and devastation, the episode is over and everyone heads outside to enjoy the rest of their Halloween night.

We had conjuring, we had not just one, but two creepy dolls, we had scary wine boxes, we had remnants of the Demon House, we had witch battles, and we even had a visit from Zozo. The only thing we didn’t get was evidence.

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Ghost Adventures – Cape Disappointment – S16E13

ga-north-head-llighthouseThe investigation continues as we make our way to Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River and the real Graveyard of the Pacific. Zak is here to investigate the North Head Lighthouse that overlooks Deadman’s Hollow, a colorfully named area of the shore, where some unfortunate sailors were caught after their ship sank. People still claim to see the crew of the vessel.

The lighthouse is of interest because of the death of the first light keepers, Alexander and Mary, who were affected by a dark force. Mary “fell to her death” and mystery surrounds whether that was suicide, murder or accident.

While talking to Barbara, we clearly hear from Mary herself that she stopped taking her medication and wants to get better. She has done wrong in the past, but wants to make amends.

Psychic Wendy says she feels negative energy and that Mary and Alex didn’t get along. She also claims there is something in the forest, something very old, and ties that to a Native American influence. When in doubt, make it about the Native Americans.

At the end of the interview, Wendy claims Alex is in the house. When Aaron checks it out, he gets “you’ll see”, “someone coming” and “need to know” on the recorder. Zak believes these foretell of dangerous events that will unfold.

Zak speaks with Jeff at the Maritime Museum, who shows just a smattering of the ships that have been lost in the area. He also makes reference to the Native Americans and spirits that haunt the area.

As they gather their thoughts, Jay explains there used to be 16000 Chinook Indians in the area, but disease and other behavior have displaced them all.

While they’ve brought up some interesting stories, and there is always a good ghost story be had when a lighthouse is involved, Zak glosses over and ignores key pieces of information.

Mary admits she stopped taking her medicine. What that might be, we never heard. It could be related to a mental disorder or a terminal disease. But, Mary makes the conscious decision to stop taking it. Ignoring free will, this is dark energy at work.

They also make mention of Mary, “trying to do better.” Again, this could mean anything. Given the time period and belief system, she may been punishing herself for saying the wrong thing to a neighbor. She may have been punishing herself for being neglectful of duties around the house. She may have even been berating herself for not having children.

Fact is, these items are taken completely out of content and do not suggest a dark and sinister force at work unless you impose that. Maybe something did go wrong, or perhaps Mary did take her life as an act of desperation regarding an illness she could never defeat. Or perhaps on a terrible night when the wind and rain lashed against the lighthouse she suffered a horrible accident. It doesn’t sound like there was some sort of dark demonic force or ancient tribal retribution at work though.

But that doesn’t stop Zak from saying that Alexander is channeling through him, which causes Zak to throw a meter across the room as they review EVP evidence. Zak then storms out of the room, claiming he is filled with anger and agitation.

Ironically, they claim, “this isn’t like you at all,” when we have clearly seen Zak do this dozens of times. He has a fit, claims something has taken over him, gets mad, threatens the crew and storms out. This is exactly like Zak.

As the investigation starts, we once again see Billy lose his freaking mind because there is equipment failure. As a supposed audio engineer and as someone who has been in this situation more than once, you would think he would be both technically and emotionally capable of handling such glitches.

While chaos ensues and Billy complains, Zak is off in the corner channeling Alexander again. He claims to see Mary and tells her, “Don’t cry, and don’t tell me to calm down. Do you understand, Mary?” “You’re not gonna tell me that.” “Get up.”

Zak then turns on Jay yet again, this time for asking questions about Mary. They are getting too close to the “truth” and the Alexander spirit is trying to silence them.

They then go into the bedroom and capture a stick figure on the SLS camera. Billy gets a blip on the Tri-Field meter when Zak claims the stick figure jumps into Billy. Oddly, Billy is completely unaffected and doesn’t resort to threatening people or throwing things around.

Zak then claims he sees a dark, shadowy figure right as a door starts to swing closed. Or rather just swings as it doesn’t actually close because there probably wasn’t enough of a breeze to finish the job.

Not content with just a stick figure, Zak claims there is a “creature” with a tentacle arm reaching out for Jay. Clearly another desperate attempt to weave in some Cthulhu.

Finishing at the caretaker’s house, they head to the North Head Lighthouse itself to see if they can unravel the mystery of Mary’s murder, which isn’t a murder at all.

Jay brings out an old Zenith radio, which is actually pretty darn neat looking, and spins through the channels as Aaron asks questions. At one point, they tune into a beeping which Zak claims is a residual distress call.

The big “reveal” of the night comes at the end, as Aaron and Jay sit at the top of the light and ask how Mary was killed. They get a faint and staticy, “accident.”

While a lighthouse above “Deadman’s Hollow” on “Cape Disappointment” gives every impression of being haunted and creepy, we clearly have far more legend than evidence or common sense.

It makes for a lonely and engaging ghost story, but there is nothing to suggest anything sinister about this light house, or some vengeful connection to Native America culture, dark energy, or murder by throwing someone off a cliff.

All we have is poor Mary admitting she would like to do better in her life and making a decision to stop taking her medicine. Again, that medicine could have been Heroine, Morphine or some other opiate making her dependent on it. We have a huge amount of conjecture, rumor, speculation and good old fashioned wishful thinking going on here. Zak merely wants Alexander to be guilty of murder and tossing his wife over a cliff.

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