I admit it: my family and I are hooked on paranormal investigation shows, a relatively new sub-genre of reality TV that has evolved its own vocabulary and equipment set – EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon), EMF (electromagnetic field) detectors, digital voice recorders, thermal imagers, the mysterious Inductive Probe, a panoply of specialty cameras – as well as its own stars.
Syfy’s veteran Ghost Hunters franchise is headed up by the nonplussed New England Roto Rooter men-turned-investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson; Discovery Channel’s Ghost Lab has the brash, beefy, and brainy Klinge brothers from San Antonio; and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures has the lively Three Amigos from Vegas, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin.
Each series has its own character and strengths, but Ghost Adventures, which airs Friday nights at 9 on the Travel Channel, is our current top dog on the strength of its often wildly entertaining blend of creepy settings, high production values, serious investigative techniques, impressive background research, and the showbiz bravado of the testosterone trio’s patented “lock downs” — overnight confinement in some of the nation’s most haunted settings.
Ghost Adventures launched its third season in fine style on Halloween ‘09 with a seven-hour live investigation from the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia. Tonight’s episode is centered on a visit to Clovis Wolf Manor, a former sanitarium and convalescent home in Clovis, California.
I recently talked by phone with the show’s founder and figurehead, Zak Bagans, 32.
Hi Zak, my family and I have become paranormal investigation show fanatics and it’s based on you. We love the show - you’re the right combination of serious investigative approach and showman.
Awesome, thank you.
I apologize because I’m sure you’ve gone over it many times, but I’m very interested how all of this came together for you in the first place. I know you’re from Michigan and went to school for documentary filmmaking.
Yes, I was interested in what could be done with the documentary aspects of film, but I never knew I’d be doing it on ghosts! It’s still a shocker to me that I’m doing this but I think it was meant to happen in some weird way. Six years ago I had an experience with a ghost that changed my mind and I couldn’t ignore it, and that served as the catalyst for what I do now.