Dude! Bro! Man! These are some of the familiar exchanges you'll hear as the Ghost Adventures Crew — Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin — investigate the world's most haunted locales and scare the bejesus out of their rabid fans every Saturday night. (Hopefully the bro talk offers viewers a bit of levity to an already freaky situation.)
Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the G.A. Crew takes their job dead seriously, as they come well equipped with green-tinted night vision cameras, motion and electromagnetic field detectors, no-contact thermometers and other ghostbusting gadgets that have captured some hair-raising moments: body scratches, unattended doors slamming, breathy whispers in audio recordings, and images of unexplained orbs in photographs.
As the show ventures into its 10th season, Zak Bagans took time out to answer our burning questions about what this new set of ghostly experiences brings.
Out of all the places you've travelled this upcoming season, which place was the scariest for you and why?
I'd have to say the scariest place for me this season was Mexico to investigate at the Island of the Dolls. This place wasn't about evil spirits or demons, it was about a place full of possessed dolls that just really got under my skin. The Aztec canals where the Island of the Dolls is located have their own countless layers of other dark history and ancient hauntings on top of the Island's possessed dolls — the whole area is just a very scary place to be. It’s a haunted Mexican waterworld where you don’t want to get lost. I don't think I've really been more terrified than what happens on the island when one of the dolls starts unexplainably laughing. That was it for me. Done.
Were there any additional scenes this season that you wished viewers would've been able to see but were chopped in the editing room?
Our audience needs to understand that myself and my crew have a very serious job and put ourselves in dangerous situations to learn more about the afterlife. On one particular moment during our Halloween special investigation in Ireland, my investigator had a very emotional and disturbing moment that we had to edit down. I feel there is a comfortable and acceptable level of what we choose to show the audience when things take a turn for the worse while we are trying to come into contact with evil spirits and demons.
I decided it was right to cut out a small portion of when Aaron claims he was grabbed by a very dark force and had a breakdown after the event occurred. Many people won’t ever understand that attacks are more than physical grabs and pushes. These entities can inject pure fear into your spine and let you feel this inside your bodies…something that you can’t feel yourselves watching on television. I felt some of the moments Aaron had after this attack were a bit too personal for the audience to understand, but let enough of it air for them to see the effects of what we deal with.
What are the best parts of your job? The worst?
The best part of my job is being able to travel to places to investigate powerful stories, many of which contains unsolved mysteries and deaths. To me as a documentarian and paranormal investigator, this puts the adventure in my life and meaning to my job. I absolutely love to interview people and it is a craft. You really have to know how to be engaging and connect with them, to reach their deepest emotional levels and get the answers you’re looking for. My new series, Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks is the ultimate platform for my interviewing skills, as I’m mostly dealing with people who have had traumatic experiences and attacks from negative spirits.
The worst parts of my job are traveling on airplanes, the airborne contaminants we come into contact with on many of the locations we investigate, and spirit attachments that turn serious when I get home from locations that are haunted by demons and evil spirits.
Considering your show deals more with frightening entities, we're wondering if you've experienced any ghosts that were non-scary, dare we say, even pleasant?
Oh yes, I’ve had many pleasant encounters with spirits. The ones I enjoy most are ones who are willing to help me establish direct communication. I believe they understand they are physically dead and eager to aid in our research of our two worlds' existence to the other. Examples of this would be when I had a spirit at the Black Moon Manor tell me what color they were making my EMF detector illuminate ("green"), and when a Civil War soldier at the Perryville Battlefield gave me his first/last name with 15 people witnessing it. A historical researcher then matched the name to a man who died right near where our communication took place. These irrefutable moments are ones that help us understand life after death.
Your career has been built upon all things dark and scary. What are some things you'd like your fans to know about you that have nothing to do with the macabre?
After dealing with so much dark energy and investigating violent people for my job, I value creatures with pure souls – animals, especially dogs. I believe a higher power/god created these creatures to give us balance from people who can be truly evil. I am an active voice and supporter against animal cruelty. I have realized that when you rescue your pet from a shelter, it is the most amazing feeling in the world how this animal changes your life by giving it a better one.
When I come home from dark investigations and have come into contact with negative spirits, it’s like my dog helps me purify any attachments I may bring home with me. Please adopt and rescue your pets from local shelters and report animal abuse. They are on this planet to love and help us. Let’s do the same back.
From all of your years of investigating, what is the biggest thing you've learned so far about the supernatural that you never anticipated knowing?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that seeing and hearing isn’t always believing. Everyone expects to go out and see a ghost or hear it talk. After years of investigating I have come to develop my sixth sense. This is the most important, but also dangerous, sense to use. Once you develop this sense you will begin to FEEL these spirits, their emotions, their power. It’s like in "Avatar" when they connect their tails into the other creatures. You open yourself up and let these spirits connect with you through energy.
When I do this and there is a strong spiritual connection, there is no knowing how long the spirit will stay in contact with you or what type of spirit it is — and that’s the dangerous part. I’ve been on investigations where a spirit is channeling through me and I have extreme changes in my emotions. ANGER, SADNESS, CONFUSION. Then I begin seeing visions that are not mine. They are theirs. There is no trace of time. My body goes stiff, numb, cold. Then when the spirit leaves I can barely stand and speak. This is what I call a "lockdown hangover" and depending on the severity of the interaction, I can be out of it for days after. I wonder what this does to my body. I don’t think it is good for it.
Ghost Adventures airs every Saturday at 9/8c on the Travel Channel.