The Search for Answers: A Look at the Career of Ghost Adventures Star, Zak Bagans

Fiona Dodwell
5 min readMay 25, 2021

AFTER the recent announcement that a brand new series of Ghost Adventures is to be aired on Discovery+ (starting the 22nd July) I thought it was the perfect time to look back at some of the fascinating work of paranormal expert, Zak Bagans…

Zak Bagans has spent years of his life travelling the world to find answers to life’s biggest questions — and he’s been entertaining his eager audience along the way.

Born in Washington, D.C on the 5th April 1977, he is now considered to be one of the most notable figures in the world of paranormal investigation. He has been at the forefront of parapsychological research — and, of course, attends fascinating locations for his long-running hit reality show, Ghost Adventures.

Not even Bagans, with such ardent dedication to his TV series, could have predicted what a success Ghost Adventures would go on to become. The show first premiered late 2008, and it’s still going today. Together with his dedicated team (including Aaron Goodwin and Billy Tolley), Bagans has lead Ghost Adventures through an impressive 24 series, several specials and live shows — and it’s still going strong.

With millions tuning in to each episode, it’s not hard to see why the show has become such a staple amongst those interested in the paranormal and inexplicable.

What appears to make Bagans such an appealing host is his extremely serious attitude and dynamic approach to the paranormal. At each location he and his film crew visit (he’s attended some of the world’s most infamous properties), he leaves no stone unturned in his quest to uncover the truth about the paranormal occurrences said to occur there.

He doesn’t “settle.”

Using top of the range scientific equipment as well as ground-breaking techniques never seen before, Bagans openly explores all possibilities — never settling for half-baked theories, always hungry to get to the bottom of whatever is going on. He has put a lot at stake too — including his own health and mental wellbeing (as is evidenced in many episodes of the series) in order to explore some of the darker aspects of the paranormal.

BORN THIS WAY

For Zak Bagans, Ghost Adventures wasn’t just the result of a whim or a gimmick to satiate the tide of public interest in spooky shows: he has been passionate about the paranormal since he was a child, after believing that he had been protected and guided by spirits through his childhood. This belief led him on to doing his own paranormal explorations near his home town, especially in and around mines in Nevada.

It was a personal experience that Bagans had back in 2002 that seemed to inspire him, and cemented his destiny towards making Ghost Adventures (which was originally conceived as a full-length documentary, before evolving into a series). Maybe it was fate, because for Bagans, the paranormal is the centre of his world.

Even when the cameras aren’t filming, it appears he is always focused (to some degree) on the paranormal, never fully allowing his mind to escape from the fringes of the unknown that seem to capture his attention.

Ghosts have become his life, and his passion has resulted in some significant pieces of captured evidence for the show and his legions of followers.

SPIN-OFFS AND SPECIALS

It was obvious to most fans of Ghost Adventures that Bagans was not going to stop there. Along with Ghost Adventures he has also lead other series, including Deadly Possessions (which focuses on haunted/cursed objects), Paranormal Challenge (in which ghost hunters from around the world compete to gather evidence in haunted locations) and he has also released a feature length documentary, called Demon House (2018).

THE TRUE DARKNESS OF DEMON HOUSE

Demon House is a 90 minute documentary, in which viewers learn about a demon-infested home that Bagans purchased (after alleged real-life incidents occurred to previous occupants there) in order to investigate it. This show is, amongst Bagans’ fans, considered one of his greatest pieces of work in documenting not only the paranormal evidence, but in also portraying the mental effects that encounters with dark entities can have. It is a hard-hitting, tense and frightening presentation, that left many audiences shaken and unnerved. The show was a powerful one, and a highlight of Bagans career (so far).

MUSEUM OF THE DAMNED

Voted the #1 Best Haunted Destination in American, The Haunted Museum — in Las Vegas, owned and directed by Bagans himself — is home to one of the world’s biggest collections of macabre, creepy, haunted or cursed objects. Amongst some of the gems sitting in the 30 rooms of the museum are: Peggy the Doll, the Devil’s Rocking Chair and the infamous Dybbuk Box.

Now one of the most popular locations for fans of ghost hunting, The Haunted Museum has become a landmark for those brave enough to come face-to-face with the darkest items in the world.

WHAT’S TO COME?

Zak Bagans isn’t going to stop there.

It was recently announced that he is working with horror film legend Eli Roth to make an anthology series called The Haunted Museum. Said to be launching late 2021, the show will focus on the spooky items in Bagans’ museum, telling the accounts of each object — and narrated by Bagans himself. The series is said to consist of eight hour long episodes and one feature length episode.

There is also the promised new series soon to be aired on Discovery+ late July.

WHY IT MATTERS

Zak Bagans’ many years of work and dedication has certainly made a significant impact on the field of paranormal study. From the beginning of his hit show in 2008, and right up to today, he has been finding new and innovative ways to approach this fascinating subject.

Never resting on past successes, it seems his fans can say with confidence that there is a lot still to come from this ardent student of the paranormal.

All the while that there are still questions to be answered when it comes to life’s big mysteries, we need output from figures like Bagans.

There are few of us who have the resources to uncover the truth in the way in which he has — and even fewer with the extreme dedication that he possesses.

You can catch up on past episodes of Ghost Adventures on Discovery +

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