Zak Bagans

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Zak Bagans
Zak Bagans.jpg
Bagans in 2018
Born
Zachary Bagans

(1977-04-05) April 5, 1977 (age 43)
OccupationParanormal investigator
Years active2004–present

Zachary Bagans (born April 5, 1977) is an American paranormal investigator, actor, television personality, museum operator, and author. He is the principal host of the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures.

Early life

Bagans was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He graduated from Glenbard West High School.[1][2]

Career

Ghost Adventures

In 2004, Bagans teamed up with Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin to produce a documentary-style film called Ghost Adventures. The film aired on the SciFi Channel in 2007. A successor series premiered in 2008 on the Travel Channel and has aired for 19 seasons as of 2019. The show has been accused of fakery.[3]

From 2014 to 2016, Bagans helmed a spin-off series titled Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks, which focused on changes to people's lives after prior Ghost Adventures investigations.

Museum

On 2 April 2016, Deadly Possessions premieried on the Travel Channel; the show featured Bagans finding items for a prospective "haunted museum" in Las Vegas, Nevada. The museum opened to the public in October 2017. It consists of 33 rooms with various artifacts on display. Visitors are given guided tours of the rooms. Some of the items on display include Bela Lugosi's mirror, the Dybbuk box, Peggy the Doll, and Jack Kevorkian's "Death Van".[4] A Celebrity Deaths room contains artifacts associated with dead celebrities.[5]

All visitors must sign waivers before entering indemnifying the museum against “spiritual or paranormal interactions”. On 27 May 2019, an exhibit featuring a rocking chair from The Devil in Connecticut alleged demon possession case was shut down briefly due to a visitor fainting. The exhibit reopened on 7 June.[6]

Some of the claims attached to the artifacts have been criticised. Both the Lugosi mirror and Captain Smith mirror kept in the museum have been shown to have dubious provenance.[7][8]

Books

Bagans co-wrote a book with author Kelly Crigger titled Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of the Ghost Adventures Crew. On September 23, 2011, the book debuted on The New York Times Best Seller list at No. 18.[9]

In December, 2019, Bagans published the book Ghost-Hunting For Dummies. The book 'outlining the history of ghost-hunting, including true accounts and stories from Bagans’ famous cases and investigations, and explains how anyone can get started in investigating the supernatural.".[10] Some of the text in the book appears to have been plagiarized from other works, including those of Bill Reap, Troy Taylor, Steve Higgins, and Joe Nickell.[11] Troy Taylor has stated that Bagans and he worked together on researching material for the book. But Taylor also says that Bagans did not have permission to use his original material in the book and that he had received "a substantial payment" from Bagans in a settlement.[12] Writing for Skeptical Inquirer magazine, paranormal investigator Kenneth Biddle observes that throughout much of the book, Bagans displays a strong bias against skeptics and scientists, claiming he understands scientific concepts better than professional scientists. For example, while relating why he believes human consciousness can exist outside of the body, Bagans mentions Albert Einstein’s well-known quote, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” He wonders why he can see that this supports survival of consciousness beyond death but scientists cannot. However the conservation of energy simply means that the energy contained in the human body is converted into heat, into energy in the bodies of animals, plants and bacteria which consume it and in the case of cremation, into light. There are some worthwhile pieces of advice in the book, for instance in Chapter 15 Bagans covers several ways to research the history of a location by searching through old newspapers, old maps, vintage photographs, building permits, and more. But he still gets facts wrong in this book, for instance attributing the origin of the idea for the movie Ghostbusters to Harold Ramis, when it was Dan Aykroyd who wrote the original script, inspired by an article he read in The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research.[11]

Personal life

Bagans lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. He previously lived in Summerlin, Nevada.[13][14]

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2004 Ghost Adventures Himself Documentary
2018 Demon House Himself
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2008–present Ghost Adventures Himself, also creator and executive producer 213 episodes and 47 specials
2011 Paranormal Challenge Himself, also creator and executive producer 12 episodes
2012 Paranormal Paparazzi Executive producer 8 episodes
2012 Nightline Himself Guest
2014–2016 Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks Himself, also creator and executive producer 25 episodes
2015 The Late Late Show with James Corden Himself Guest
2015 Today Himself Guest
2016 Deadly Possessions Himself, also creator and executive producer 6 episodes

References

  1. ^ "Zak Bagans". IMDb. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  2. ^ Swartz, Tracy. "'Ghost Adventures' films at Old Joliet Prison for John Wayne Gacy episode". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Rotondaro, Vinnie. "Why real-life ghost hunters hate "Ghost Hunters"". salon.com. Salon. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  4. ^ Biddle, Kenny. "The Not-So-Haunted Museum of Zak Bagans". www.csicop.org. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  5. ^ ElGenaidi, Deena. "The Trickery and Silly Kitsch of a Supposedly Haunted Museum in Las Vega". Hyperallergic. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Biddle, Kenny. "Devil's Chair blamed For Exhibit Shutdown". skepticalinquirer.com. The Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Biddle, Kenny. "A Closer Look At The Bela Lugosi 'Haunted' Mirror". skepticalinquirer.org. The Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  8. ^ Biddle, Kenny. "The Provenance Of Captain Smith's 'Haunted' Mirror". skepticalinquirer.org. The Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer. "Print & E-Books". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  10. ^ ""Ghost-Hunting For Dummies" by Paranormal Investigator Zak Bagans to Publish December 5th". Wiley. Wiley. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Biddle, Kenneth. "Ghost Hunting For Dummies By Zak Bagans—And Many Others". skepticalinquirer.org. The Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  12. ^ Biddle, Kenneth. "The 'Ghost Writer' Mystery: New Developments In The Zak Bagans Scandal". skepticalinquirer.org. The Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "'Ghost Adventures' host is selling his $2.5M Las Vegas house — PHOTOS". Las Vegas Review-Journal. October 2, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  14. ^ "'Ghost Adventures' star Zak Bagans buys house connected to Manson murders". FOX5 Las Vegas. Retrieved July 29, 2020.

External links