Tag Archives: Zak Bagans

ghost adventures recapping: old charleston jail

Ghost hunting season has come to an end for our favorite black-clad adventurers. For the season finale lockdown, the trio head to the Old Charleston Jail, famous for its death count and executing the first female serial killer, Lavinna Fisher. The guys will also be joined by the Ghost Adventures Video Mashup winner Robert Laden and his son Dakota. So we have a location with thousands of deaths, an angry female spirit, fans, and Zak Bagans – is this the formula for the ultimate lockdown?

Interviews

Ghost Adventures, Charleston Jail

The guys begin their interviews with tour guide Henry Calhoun, or as Zak notes in a cringe-worthy accent, “The Hoon.” During the last documented 130 years of operation, the jail has seen as many as 14,000 deaths, and during the Civil War briefly held prisoners of war. Part of the jail has been converted into a school, The American College of Building Arts. The guys briefly stop by a classroom, and a girl claims another student’s plaster was mysteriously scratched up when no one was in the room. The Hoon tells of Lavinna Fisher, who he claims to have seen standing behind him, and who often appears in one of the jail’s windows. Before leaping off the gallows, her alleged last words were, “If any of you has a message for the devil, tell me now, for I will be seeing him in a moment.”

Ghost Adventures, Battery Carriage House Inn

Zak decides they should do a ghost hunt during the day to appease their fans, and gets the owner of Bulldog Tours, John La Verner, to take them to the Battery Carriage House Inn. During their carriage tour, Zak learns a lot about the bathroom habits of horses. They start an EVP session in one of the Inn’s haunted rooms. a full spectrum photo show a “dark mass” behind Aaron and it takes them a moment to realize it’s just a shadow. Sigh. The guys ask the spirits to knock over a water bottle, and while that doesn’t happen, they capture an EVP that says, “…take their water away.”

Investigation

They guys prepare for the lockdown, and we’re introduced to Robert Laden and his son Dakota, winners of the video mashup contest. The two will be joining them later in the lockdown. Zak is eager for his date with Lavinna, so they try communicating with her using the spirit box. Zak prompts her using her last words, “if any of you has a message for…” and a female voice states clearly, “the Devil.” The guys all freak out, and I have to say it’s pretty eerie. Aaron sees a white mist coming up the stairs, followed by knocking, but their motion capture camera doesn’t go off.

Ghost Adventures, Devil Voice

Since the activity is strong, Nick locks himself a jail cell to see if they provoke some more. Almost immediately there is a loud bang. Zak finds a bag of plaster knocked over in the next room, but no explanation for why it fell. Nick is getting uncomfortable, and his recorder picks up an EVP of “you make me mad.”

They now decide to let in Rob and Dakota. Robert is locked in a cell by himself for an hour. The guys take Dakota with them, and then send him down a hall to conduct some EVP work. He tries to tempt Lavinna to speak by claiming to be “way hotter than Zak.” They pause to review the tape, but they’re interrupted by loud footsteps and Dakota spots another white mist. Meanwhile, the recorder with Rob picks up an EVP of someone screaming.

After chasing the footsteps up the stairs and finding nothing, Zak and the guys decide to review their tape. They uncover two EVPs, stating, “let me out” and “I wanna go.” They go to collect Rob, and let the two fans out of the building. The guys head back upstairs, this time with a still camera. Aaron starts feeling sick and Zak snaps a full spectrum photo of him. Nick and Zak’s cameras suddenly drain of battery power. They capture one final EVP of “get off him!” and Zak hopes this is a good spirit that will keep the evil ones like Lavinna at bay once they leave.

Ghost Adventures, Aaaron Full Spectrum Photo

An interesting end to what has been a so-so season. The spirit box voice of “the Devil” has made my list of top evidence though – the timing, the intelligence, the nature of the voice – it was so creepy. That’s the reason I keep coming a back to this show (plus my inexplicable love for Zak Bagans) – those bits of evidence that really make you think. Until next time!

Quotes

Zak – I somehow seem to attract psychotic evil women.
The Hoon – Do you? That’s good for you! [laughs]
Zak – No. It’s not. It’s not.

Zak – What are the chances of a couple of guys like us hooking up with a horse like that?
Aaron – Whoa! This ain’t Tijuana, dude!

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ghost adventures recapping: rose hall

This week are trio are embarking on their first international lockdown, visiting Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The hall was home to the infamous “White Witch” Annie Palmer, who according to legend practiced voodoo, murdered her husbands, and took male slaves into her bed and subsequently murdered them. Ghost Hunters International took a shot at Rose Hall in 2010 and found no significant evidence, but maybe Zak can inspire Annie to give him some paranormal lovin’.

Interviews

Ghost Adventues, Rose Hall

The guys start off the interviews with Rose Hall’s manager Beverly Gordon, who offers them some “witches brew” to help them “feel Annie’s spirit.” She takes them on a tour of the house, giving them the details of Annie’s misdeeds. Annie would take pleasure from standing on her balcony and watching her slave lovers be whipped and tortured. Her three husbands were murdered in the house: one by poison, one by stabbing, and the last was strangled by her freed slave lover, who later murdered Annie herself during the slave riots of the 1830s. The guys then talk to owner Michele Rollins, who explains that Annie’s spirit was so feared that all her portraits were torn down and her concrete grave was marked by crosses to contain her ghost.

The guys have an abysmal game of soccer against the hotel staff, which might have something to do with Aaron playing in flip flops. The guys are given an opportunity to tour the Cinnamon Hill Plantation House, former home of Johnny Cash. They will be the first team to investigate the location. Later, they take a culinary tour the city, sampling sky juice, coconut water, and jerk chicken. There is a minimum of goofing off this time around, which I hope means there is some serious activity in store.

Investigation

The guys start off at Johnny Cash’s house, which has been left the exactly as it was when he lived there. On the stairs, they start an EVP session but they don’t capture any audio. The EMF meter gives some spikes around some of Cash’s possessions, such as his alligator trophy and shoes. They move to the living room, where they try again to communicate with a highly calibrated digital recorder. Zak plays Professor Paranormal and tries to appear scientific by explaining that recording devices are more sensitive to sound than the human ear.

Ghost Adventures, Johnny Cash Shoes

With no audio captured, the trio head downstairs to the basement where they discover what looks like a jail cell and a legion of cockroaches. Zak flips the hell out, claiming that as a child growing up in Florida he was “severely traumatized” by cockroaches. Oh man, can we have some ridiculous b roll of that, please? They come to the conclusion the basement was used as slave quarters and do a quick EVP session, but they strike out on audio for the third time and end their lockdown.

Ghost Adventures, Zak Raving

The trio moves on to Rose Hall to continue their lockdown. Outside, Zak likens the cricket noise to techno music and busts out into some rave dancing. Because of Annie’s liaisons with slaves, they bring along a huge security guard named Wilson to hopefully provoke the White Witch. Before they really begin investigating they notice a single set of bare footprints with no explanation. Wilson is directed to stand in the middle of a circle of REM pods, and almost immediately the devices start alarming, appearing to respond in an intelligent manner to questions. The guys head downstairs to review their audio with tech guy Billy, and they capture an EVP of a female voice saying “oh my goodness,” apparently in reaction to Wilson. Oh my, indeed.

The trio spilt up, each taking a room where one of Annie’s husbands were murdered to conduct an EVP session. Nick and Zak don’t get any response, but Aaron hears a woman scream and his recorder confirms it. Aaron goes off alone to Annie’s grave, where he hears some footsteps in the woods. Meanwhile Nick and Zak stay in the house to do thermal sweeps and full spectrum photography. Zak captures what looks like a person but immediately debunks it. They end the investigation, and a talk with the groundskeeper reveals that the footprints could have come from a tour guide. Zak really is trying hard to seem serious, because for the first time ever, he announces their evidence is too inconclusive to prove a haunting.

Apparently Zak wasn’t satisfied with the lockdown at the Cash residence, because he returned at a later date to investigate further. When asking if the spirits liked Johnny Cash’s music, he captured a voice that sounded suspiciously like Cash saying, “I do” through the spirit box. Voice analysis showed the voice was nearly identical to Cash’s. Very interesting.

Despite a rich history, Rose Hall proved to be disappointing. While I appreciate Zak’s attempt to be serious, part of what makes the show so entertaining is his unbridled enthusiasm for ghosts. If I want to watch a couple of guys taking a “scientific” approach to the paranormal, that’s what Ghost Hunters is for.

Quotes

Beverly Gordon – I’m taking you to Annie’s bedroom, where she seduced her husbands.
Zak – Hold on, let me get a little buzz first. [Sips his drink] It’s very weird. Annie was very bad, evil.
Beverly – Yes.
Zak – But I like her.
Beverly – She would like you too.
Zak – She always killed her lovers, the next morning, right? So if we chitty chitty bang bang tonight, I’ll be gone in the morning anyway.
Beverly – I’m not sure you’ll get to leave. Are you good at chitty chitty bang bang?
Zak – I think so!

Zak – If there’s any intelligent spirits in this home –
Aaron – He’s not saying that the other spirits aren’t intelligent.
Zak – Like Aaron, he’s definitely not going to be an intelligent one when he goes. He’s the clumsy one, likes to make a lot of noises. You can see, we’re just funny people.
Nick – Or so we think we’re funny people. [Laughs]

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ghost adventures recapping: rocky point manor

After a brief hiatus, our favorite paranormal trio are back again, this time investigating both Rocky Point Manor and a Civil War battlefield in Perryville, Kentucky. The last time the guys investigated near a battlefield, I remember their reenactments more than the evidence itself, so I’m curious to see what happens. I should also note that Zak may have abandoned his hipster glasses, but he is now rocking some facial hair that makes him look like a mirror universe evil twin.

Interviews

The guys talk to Jason Engelhardt, an Iraq War veteran whose sister owns Rocky Point Manor. Zak gives him props for serving in the war. During the battle in Perryville, the Manor was briefly used as a field hospital, and musket balls have been found in the backyard. Jason claims that when staying alone in the house one night, he heard several loud bangs with no explanation. More reports of activity come from Jeff Waldridge and Lee Kirkland of SHOCK Paranormal. Lee captured a door opening by itself on video. Zak manages to use the word “shock” 8 times while talking to Jeff, who claims to have seen a huge, black menacing figure. Over some heroic music, Zak likens the building’s floors to a portrait of the past. Sigh.

Ghost Adventures, Rocky Point Manor

Jason then takes the guys to the basement, where he and Zak enter the crawlspace under the house. As Zak eats dust, finds bones, and makes innuendos about tight holes, Aaron and Nick abandon him to eat hamburgers on the front steps. Afterwards, the guys dig up the yard with metal detectors in search of artifacts. They take their collected finds to a local archaeologist – who determines the bones to be animal and their fragments mostly worthless – and assigns “the goods” a value of $1.98, “Ghost Adventures Road Show” style. Double sigh.

Ghost Adventures Road Show

The guys decide they need make an attempt to be serious, so they visit the nearby Perryville battlefield where 7,500 soldiers died in 4 hours. The confederate dead were buried in two mass graves. The woman giving them the tour also happens to be the person who can give them access – so for first time guys will investigate a battlefield at night.

Investigation

The guys start at the battlefield, and they are dressed as confederate soldiers (Zak is equipped with a gun) in the hope of provoking some activity. They first try for some EVPs with no response, so they head to the site where a confederate general was killed to provoke some more. Zak fires his rifle as a “call to arms,” asking the spirits to rise up in response. Before he can load another shot, faint cannon fire can be heard for a few minutes. Zak decides to fire again, and this time Aaron captures a transparent mist on the thermal imaging camera.

Ghost Adventures Mist Evidence

Their last stop is the confederate mass burial site. They do another EVP session, but are interrupted by three clearly audible gunshots that seem to come from the battlefield. They check with the battlefield manager Kurt Holman about the gunfire, something he has never heard in his 22 years working there. A check with Fort Knox – 100 miles away – confirms no military maneuvers took place. Combined with thermal evidence that showed no other people on the field, it lends some credibility to the audio.

They head to Rocky Point Manor, and Lee from SHOCK Paranormal tells then that after their interviews, a locked door was found open and curtains were pulled down from windows. For the investigation they have set up a closed off “nerve center” in the kitchen, where tech guy Billy will be joining them to monitor equipment.

They send Aaron alone upstairs for an EVP session, but nothing is captured. It is then Nick’s turn to head out, this time with the PX device, with has a phonetic database ghosts can manipulate. Nick is barely out the kitchen door when the PX says “close…Nick.” In the hall, the PX continues to go off, putting out the words “distress…stomach…enemy.” Zak worries that their presence may be intimidating the spirits, so he leaves a recorder upstairs alone, and they capture a woman singing. Zak wraps up the episode with a quick rundown of what they captured at each location, and I hope this doesn’t become a permanent feature.

Overall, not too bad of an episode. The battlefield evidence was pretty compelling, even if the silliness was extremely eye roll inducing in the beginning. I find it interesting that they goof off so much in their interviews, and yet try so hard to be taken seriously in their investigations, with Zak now going out his way to debunk things. Don’t worry, Zak. I still love you, mirror universe goatee and all.

Quotes
Zak – Now I hear that you pitched a tent in here?
Aaron – [laughing] Pitched a tent!
Zak – Only you, Aaron, would think about things like that.
Aaron – Well, that’s what she would say…

Zak – Let’s go have some fun in the hole.
Aaron – You said it.
Jason – Enough with the double entendres!

Zak – These floors are the original floors…wood I believe can hold imprints, can hold memories, it can hold moments of time. This is the canvas, literally, that the oil is embedded within these fibers of wood. That oil could contain the portrait, the picture, of the past. To me that’s just…interesting.

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ghost adventures recapping: return to virginia city

This week, the guys are returning to Virginia City once again in search of the paranormal. They first hit the town during their 2004 documentary (before Zak discovered the all-black ensemble) and again in 2009. Keeping with the theme, their third visit will have three lockdown locations: St. Mary’s Art Center, the Silver Queen Hotel, and the Miner’s Cabin at the Yellow Jacket Mine.

Interviews

The interviews begin at the St. Mary’s Art Center, which was originally a hospital in the 1870s. Both Zak and Aaron are wearing cowboy hats (black, of course) and Nick has a 100-degree fever, but Zak is excited about his friend’s suffering as it might trigger the hospital’s spirits. An EVP of cowboy singing was recorded at the location in 2009, and caretaker Angela Zelasko claims she heard men’s voices and a doorknob rattle when she was in the building alone. Her husband Ron tells of the two main spirits at the location, an injured miner and a nurse who perished in a fire. Off to the side, Zak and Aaron discuss the local priest that was found dead in the basement of the gunshot wound – a death no one wants to talk about.

Ghost Adventures Cute Ghost Hunting Kid

The guys stop briefly by the Washoe Club, where an adorable 6-year-old boy named Alex excitedly tells them of his paranormal experiences there. The next stop is the Silver Queen Hotel, where in 2004 they caught an apparition of an arm. The guys meet with Reverend James, the “Pistol Packin’ Preacher,” who is as awesome as he sounds. He tells them of the prostitute named Rosie who committed suicide in room 11, and that if they attempt to communicate her spirit might stop by.

Ghost Adventures Pistol Packin Preacher

Finally, the guys visit the Miner’s Cabin with historian Debbie Bender. The nearby Yellow Jacket Mine was the site of a horrific fire in 1869, and many of the men who were pulled out of the mine were brought to the cabin to die.

Investigation

To begin the investigation, the guys split up – Zak will be by himself in the Silver Queen with tech guy Billy watching static cameras, while Nick and Aaron will be at the Miner’s Cabin. Almost immediately Zak notices a spike on his EMF detector, and Billy confirms they caught an orb on video. Zak continues to get EMF spikes, centered around a bouquet of flowers, and feel energy around his hand. He is able to use the detector to trace the energy around the room.

Meanwhile at the cabin, Nick is having trouble breathing. One of their devices begins to alarm in the next room at the same time they capture an EVP of footsteps. They decide to walk down to the mine with thermal camera. Nothing much happens.

Zak tries to sweet talk the spirit into giving him a kiss to thank him for the flowers, and gets EVP of a woman’s moan. He then uses the spirit box to further communicate, and starts getting intelligent responses, including a shout of “WATER!” when he asks about committing suicide in the bathtub.

The guys and Billy then head to St. Mary’s Art Center, where they each split up to cover a floor with a digital recorder. After 2 hours nothing happens, and they let Billy out of the building. The guys start to walk around. Aaron hears footsteps on the stairs, and Zak gets excited when he sees a white mist on the stairs and gets an EMF spike.

Ghost Adventures chair ghost

They head up to third floor of the hospital, which housed the mentally ill patients and had iron bars on the windows. Nick goes into the room where the miner died. His EMF detector alarms, and they capture a strange light anomaly around a chair in the room. Zak tries to argue it’s not a light reflection, but I’m not so sure – paranormal or not it’s just too hard to see. Nick asks about the bars on the windows, and gets an intelligent EVP stating, “they’re iron strips” in response.

Zak ends the episode saying Virginia City is just as active as ever. Compared to the episode at Letchworth Village from two weeks ago, or even their previous visits to the city, the activity was pretty subdued. Let’s stop revisiting former glories and look for some new, large, creepy locations. Please?

Quotes

Zak – You can see some of the memorabilia that Nick, Aaron, and myself wore when we filmed our documentary back in 2004 that started our Ghost Adventures, including the shirt that I wore. Check it out! I even used to wear white.

Zak – If the Pistol Packin’ Preacher says this place is haunted, well, I’m not going to argue with the man who carries a real .44 and is called the Pistol Packin’ Preacher!
Reverend James – Well, I haven’t shot anybody today but it’s still early.

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ghost adventures recapping: letchworth village

For their Halloween episode the guys investigate Letchworth Village, an abandoned institution for the mentally disabled in Haverstraw, New York. It is also known as “The Village of Secrets” due to the cover up of the horrible abuses that took place there. In episodes that explore institutions made infamous for their abuses (like Pennhurst State), the tragic nature of the location makes any evidence seem all the more disturbing.

Interviews

Before the guys can even get to the lockdown, Hurricane Irene hits New York. Not ones to put their own safety ahead of the paranormal, the guys make the trip to upstate New York despite massive flooding and downed trees. Because Zak sees the paranormal in everything, he notes how all this water could act as a spiritual conductor.

Ghost Adventures Letchworth Village

The guys begin their investigation with former employee Sara Bogart, who describes filthy conditions and inadequate staff, and who witnessed nurses shoving food in patient’s throats and administering medication to 80 different patients with the same spoon. Her interview is interspersed with footage from the documentary “The Last Great Disgrace”, which shows some of these horrific conditions. Adding to the darkness at Letchworth, the polio vaccine was tested on 20 disabled children in the 1950s. Nearby, there is a cemetery where patients were buried in unmarked graves, with only numbers to identify them.

The guys interview teenagers Dave Skala and Jacquelyn Emm. Zak takes a moment to give Dave a lecture on the finer points of interview etiquette. Dave claims he was with a group when they witnessed a seven-foot tall dark figure with white eyes walking behind him, and a voice spoke through his car radio on the drive home. Jacquelyn claims that when she would lay in the broken refrigeration unit in the morgue, it got unnaturally cold and she was touched. She describes herself as addicted to the location. Off to the side, Zak claims that he can “sense” the way a haunted place affects people, and wonders if the spirits have latched onto people like Dave and Jacquelyn to travel beyond Letchworth.

Investigation

Zak likens investigating places with torturous dark energy like Letchworth to being injected with a “spiritual syringe.” Immediately, the guys begin feeling strange, and Aaron describes it as feeling like he’s constantly falling forward. Of course, Zak takes a moment to call out the demon that followed Dave home. As they explore, the guys unintentionally drift apart, leaving them by themselves in the darkness. Zak hears a clearly audible male scream, and it finally dawns on him that he’s alone with no sign of Nick or Aaron.

Aaron ends up in the morgue, and decides to conduct an EVP session. He captures an aggressive voice stating, “shut up you prick” and feels something touch his neck. Meanwhile, Nick has found the dental x-ray room, and he’s clearly creeped out. He comments on the strange energy in the place, feeling like he is being watched and followed.

After hearing an EVP that sounds like “pray your god,” Zak decides that a dark energy has attached itself to him. Aaron runs into him, but Zak tells him to stay away, as it might interfere with this presence. Aaron wanders off, muttering, “I ain’t sticking around that”. Nick is still lost, and visibly unsettled. Finally, he and Aaron meet up and decide to hunt down the possibly possessed Zak.

Ghost Adventures Dark Shadow

Zak decides whatever he was feeling has left him, and finally reunites with Nick and Aaron, startling them when he comes up the hallway. Zak harasses the spirits, and this time they appear to be talking back, because he gets two EVPs: “they’re taunting me” and “then come get me.” He freaks out when he spots a shadow figure in a back room. Upon reviewing the footage it’s clear that something is moving behind the exposed studs in the wall, and it’s not their own shadows. Usually the visual evidence the guys capture is nearly impossible to make out, but this one is pretty clear and definitely creepy.

The episode wraps up with the guys communicating with a female entity through the spirit box, getting screams and cries for help. The usually stoic Nick gets pushed and flips out, which is a good indication of how much this investigation has unsettled the guys. Whoever or whatever they’re talking to sounds tortured, and it’s sobering to think of her trapped in a place like Letchworth.

This is the kind of episode I like – a minimum of antics and wild theories (though with Zak it will never be completely serious), and a location that is as creepy for them to investigate as it is for us to watch.

Quotes

Zak – This is a grave. That’s not a building anymore. It’s a tomb.

Zak- Dave, can you spit your gum out before we start this interview? We got a couple ground rules here. Let’s get a few things straight. Number one, we don’t chew gum. Number two, we don’t pat our chest because that will f— up our audio. Number three is the most important one: in the middle of an interview you never just get up, fart, or run away. As long as we as we get them things out of the way we can continue, sir.
Dave – I’ll work on it, but I can’t promise the fartin’ one.

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