Zak Bagans

Ghost Adventures – Stone Lion Inn – S14E01

imageTo start off the new season, Zak and team head to Guthrie, Oklahoma to investigate the Stone Lion Inn. It was built in 1907 by F.E. Houghton, a prominent businessman of the time. However, he hit on hard times and had to vacate the house. It became a funeral parlor and Becky Luker, the current owner, displays one of the old embalming tables in the hallway.

Becky now leads Murder Mystery tours and uses the story of Elmer McCurdy as her main character. According to the newspapers, "She has been accused of practicing witchcraft, satanism, devil worship, being disrespectful and promoting a site that is not historic." This makes Zak both nervous around her and suspicious of her.

Elmer’s story is pretty unusual. He was a bungling outlaw, shot during a heist. Since no one came to claim the body, the coroner turned his body in a mummy and charged 5 cents to see it. Eventually, the body was sold to a sideshow and then a carnival. In 1976 while in the Laff in the Dark fun house, the arm was ripped off and was discovered to be human. After identifying the remains, Elmer was brought back to Guthrie and buried. Since Becky has used him as a focal point of her tours, she plans to be buried in a plot adjacent to him.

Michelle Smith, housekeeper at the Inn since 1986, claims an entity crept into bed with her one night and gave her a vision of an overflowing bucket in the basement. Zak associates this with scrying and a message from Elmer.

They ask Michelle to do an EVP session where they discover outbursts of "F-him" and "F-her" which Michelle had no knowledge of hearing or saying. Zak believes this to be the spirit voice coming through.

All of this is the precursor to the investigation which starts at Elmer’s gravesite. It’s Zak’s goal to make a portal where Elmer can travel to the house using infrasound. They get a man’s voice and several uses of the word, "hang", which is a contradiction since Elmer was shot. Aaron and Zak weave a story that Elmer is referring to how he was found. Since his death was so quick and violent he didn’t know he died.

Back at nerve center a camera captures a door opening. They didn’t see this first hand and continue on to the main bedroom, where they hear noises behind the bed. As Zak lays down, the camera in the hallway falls over after he hears footsteps. This coincides with a light anomaly.

In the attic where Michelle had her vision, Aaron feels someone touch him and a child’s voice saying, "ghost hunting." He also feels something is thrown.

Back in nerve center as they get ready to the EVP work that Aaron just caught, the door in the hallway opens. It’s then slammed shut.

There are some interesting points to this investigation, but Zak is making way too much of the Murder Mystery tours. That newspaper clipping was most likely from the late 80s when the media saw devil worship in every activity imaginable. Further, Murder Mystery tours are all over, as in Savannah. Also, his fear and apprehension of Becky is juvenile. Like a slew of others, (and Zak himself) Becky is just making money off the paranormal.

The scrying angle is quite a leap. He takes a dream about a bucket and turns it into communication from Elmer?

The doors opening. But, the first one could have simply been a draft. It is a big house and would have been designed for air flow. Open one door and it causes a shift in another.

The slamming door is pretty interesting. However, since this is part of the mystery story, are we sure that isn’t a spring loaded prop? Yes, that is a dash far fetched, but you never know. You have to think though, if the entity had that much energy, why not follow up with something more dramatic? And let’s also keep in mind that Elmer’s connection to the house is pretty slight. If anything, without Becky making him the focal point of her mystery, his story would most likely be forgotten.

Besides the door, there is very little to support that the Stone Lion Inn is teaming with entities as Zak suggests.

* If I’m not mistaken, the events surrounding Elmer where used in a Miss Fisher mystery. I believe a body is discovered in the same manner, a mummy at an amusement park ride

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Ghost Adventures – Dakotas Sanatorium of Death – S13E12

imageThe next destination for Ghost Adventures is the San Haven Sanatorium in North Dakota. It was opened in 1912 for tuberculosis patients. Like other facilities, it was a losing battle and became the last stop for hundreds of patients. Plenty of men, women and children all lost their lives. However, does that loss make it haunted? According to Zak, the location is "infested with ghosts."

Claims of the paranormal include a woman being scratched, the usual, unproven claims of Satanic rituals, the sighting of the devil in car headlights, and that evil creeps up from the basement. Sadly, there was a more recent death, that of an investigator who fell down the elevator shaft. Instead of taking it as an accident, Zak puts out the idea he was pushed by unseen forces.

As Zak interviews and asks leading questions to Julie about the scratches she got, she and her husband claim something possessed her after the event as she wasn’t the same person In fact, she hasn’t stepped foot on the ground until Zak shows up and then she has no problem going in.

While looking around one of the buildings, Zak makes the usual comment of feeling anxiety and heaviness. Once outside the building, Zak is handed a small hatchet, which he immediately claims was used in Satanic rituals. He says it’s a demonic battery and throws it into the abandoned building. Of course, there is nothing to suggest that axe was used for anything nefarious.

To get the investigation started, Zak sends Jay down into the tunnels under the buildings. This looks to be the body chute where patients were carted away. Aaron goes to the basement, which is riddled with debris. Everyone admits the place is crumbling and falling apart and might just collapse at any minute.

When it’s time for the main investigation, Zak boldly states they have one goal for this investigation – to find the evil in the building and pick a fight with it. Bold words that will come back to bite him right in the ass.

The building is filled with the usual bangs, pops, cracks and sounds of falling debris. Despite saying the building is crumbling, they keep claiming something is being thrown at them.

On the upper floors, Zak and Aaron hear footsteps coming up the stairs. It sounds like evil is coming right toward them. So what does Zak do? He runs the other way and calls to Aaron for help. This happens again when Zak sets up a static camera. While doing so, he sees something, drops the camera and runs. For someone who called for a showdown with evil, Zak certainly isn’t standing his ground.

While roaming through the building, Zak demonstrates how the teen met with his accident. The elevator isn’t sealed off in any way and there are no barriers on the upper floors. Zak almost walks off the building. Clearly this isn’t the work of evil, it’s not seeing where you’re going.

As the investigation continues, both Aaron and Billy say they feel heaviness on their chests. Aaron nearly has a panic attack as they end up back by the tunnels. And once again, even though the building is crumbling and littered with debris, Aaron says a piece of wood is thrown at him. This is the last straw and Aaron runs around in a fit.

That brings the investigation to close, but there is one more event. As Aaron and Zak start to walk away, there is a loud bang and crash. This is most likely a piece of the building falling, or perhaps someone throwing something at it. However, what do we get from Zak who wanted to taunt evil? He runs way. Again.

Now let’s look at the statement Zak made at the beginning. The building is "infested" with ghost, so they should have dozens of pieces of evidence, right? There were no scratches or attacks. Nothing shoved them down the stairs. A Satanic figure didn’t present itself. They hear pieces of the building creaking and crumbling. And they heard what sounded like a bottle shifting, most likely from an animals nosing through the trash.

Further, what is supposed to account for all this evil? What event or person sparked this? Did the hundreds of cases of tuberculosis make it evil? Is it the Indian connection Zak is desperately trying to draw? The Satanic rituals there is no evidence of? The children’s cemetery that seems to be a couple miles down the road?

For a seeming den of evil, this building didn’t produce much.

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Ghost Adventures – Zalud House – S13E11

imageWe’re off to Porterville, California to visit the Zalud House Museum which houses a haunted chair. It is said that William Brooks was shot and killed by Julia Howe. The chair was not originally in the home, but has since been brought there. Heather Huerta, the curator of the museum, believes there is a negative and dark energy associated with the chair and that the museum is haunted. It’s not just Heather who feels negative energy from the chair, her husband Benny says he’s channeling the negative energy.

While looking over the house before the investigation, Zak sits in the famed chair and feels pains in his chest and back. Benny says the spirits talk to him when he touches the chair. However, Jeff Edwards, who is the actual owner of the chair, doesn’t believe the chair is of any danger and if the museum doesn’t want it, he’ll take it back.

As Zak and Jay look up old records, they come across a newspaper article where Julia says a subconscious mind was at work and guided her hand. Zak feels the chair is dangerous and has the intent to cause harm. He also believes that Benny is on the verge of being oppressed by dueling negative forces.

For the investigation we waste a heck of a lot of time with Zak ordering Aaron to sit in the chair and Aaron saying he won’t. This is utterly juvenile because Aaron does sit in the stupid chair. And guess what? He doesn’t feel a thing. Nothing happens. However, the Ovilus spits out the words, Trap and Female.

Zak brings out the SLS and gets a figure on the screen. He sits in the chair again and says he has quick chest pains. He gets worked up and declares he’s going to take the chair outside. He asks for a sign from the Zalud family so he can remove the chair. In response, he hears a female voice.

But, now it’s time to turn the table. Instead of focusing on the negative energy, he wants to focus on the family. He and Billy bring out he Paranormal Puck and get sidetracked by what they call negative responses. For example, when asked, "what will you do if we remove the chair?" Zak gets "table" and "homicide."

Then it’s time for Billy to sit in the chair. It should come as no surprise that he feels sick and dizzy, the same symptoms he’s had for the last dozen episodes. During this time, Zak takes full spectrum photos and gets a blur over Billy. Upon seeing this, Billy loses his mind and runs to another room. When they find him, Billy says something is wrong and he’s going to black out. As you would expect, Zak sees an orb move around and enter Billy, who is now having a panic attack.

Instead of Zak or anyone else removing the chair, Zak does a cleansing ritual to try and restore balance in the house.

As you watch this episode, listen to a few key phrases from Zak. He talks about the darkness that’s infested this house. He says the chair contains the violence of the murder. That Benny is oppressed by dueling forces. That Benny enables and channels the negative energy. He repeatedly suggest the idea of violence and darkness and thus the museum is a haven for evil.

Zak has adopted the mentality of a zealot from the 1700s. The demonic hides behind every corner. Places and objects are "infested" with evil and he’s the only one that can save these people. He now sees light orbs everywhere. When you repeatedly try to convince people something is demonic, when you emphatically embrace something as dark-even before you step foot inside, that’s exactly what you’re going to find even when it’s not there.

Zak has basically become a hypochondriac of the paranormal. He doesn’t look at anything objectively or with a questioning mind. The places he visits are "infested" with dark energy. Notice how many times he’s used "infested" and "oppressed" in the last few seasons.

That aside, what evidence do we have? Nothing more than feelings from Zak, who always feels the demonic and Billy and Aaron who seem to get sick in just about every episode these days.

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Ghost Adventures – Dumas Brothel – S13E10

imageZak and team are in Montana to visit the Dumas Brothel, a location with a sinister presence. It’s claimed that evil resides in the basement and is responsible for pushing people, poking them and flat out knocking them to the floor, if the owner is to be believed. There are even reports of men being touched in the privates.

The owner, Michael, who looks to be either over or under medicated, has a whole slew of stories to tell about the place, that is, when you can get him to stand still long enough. He claims to have seen a hostile older man in the basement. No explanation for why he’s hostile or why he doesn’t like Michael, he just doesn’t. Michael also claims several men have run screaming from the building only to throw up in the street. We also have the classic story of the prostitute in love, her lover who dies in a mining accident and never comes back for, so she kills herself. I’m pretty sure every Western town they’ve visited has this same story. It’s either that, or the woman in white.

What is the cause of all this unrest? No one knows for sure, but according to Ginnie, Michael’s friend, it’s because of someone called "The Judge" and he doesn’t like anyone. Mind you, this isn’t based on any evidence or records, it’s what Ginnie believes. She claims to see and feel the judge all the time. And she’s just as jittery and confused as Michael. But Zak says this is due to possession and an attempt by the spirits to control their consciousness.

As they tour the brothel and discuss the presence of a woman Michael felt at the top of the stairs, Zak gets a red mark on his neck. Turns out this has nothing to do with a woman and is in fact the judge, again according to Ginnie. When asked why the judge doesn’t like him, they get an EVP of "I just don’t." This has to be the work of the paranormal, because it’s impossible to make your own neck red.

To start off the investigation, Zak brings in actresses to play the role of prostitutes in the brothel. He sends them to different rooms and tells the spirits they can do whatever they want. A few minutes later, McKinley, who’s in the basement hears footsteps. This is followed by the sound of a little girl and the words, "I found ya" and "I’m Otto."

In one of the upper rooms, Kaitlin is zoning out and they see yet another light anomaly. Zak rushes to her aid and brings the hacked up Kinect motion sensor also known as the SLS camera. He captures a stick figure touching Kaitlin who says she is extremely cold. When then get a temperature reading of 62 in that area, up from the still cold temperature of 67.

After the ladies leave the house, Zak says two more light anomalies go shooting into him. Billy keeps claiming he’s losing time and ends up in places with no idea how he got there. They repeatedly say they have cold energy and a static feeling all over their bodies. The Rem Pods they previously set out start going off at random.

Next, they bring out the paranormal puck and get the following:

Who is up here – Debbie
What do you miss – paper, value
How did you die – found

Billy claims this is the prostitute that killed herself. That’s pretty incorrect as the plaque in the room says the woman who killed herself was Eleanor. Billy is trying to make wild connections and is clearly missing the mark.

Billy also claims there is an ice cold wall of energy, too bad he forgot to actually take the temperature. Maybe this is another ice cold temperature change of 5 degrees.

Meanwhile, we have another example of Zak going into a stupor then claiming he has no idea what happened. He claims to be in a spiritual fog and he wandered off from Billy and Aaron for reasons he can’t explain. They find him slumped in a chair with claims of missing time. With this happening, the Rem Pods upstairs are going off, including one above the room Zak is tripping balls in. This proves an entity is at work.

For the finale, we have a loud bang that can be heard throughout the brothel.

Zak is quite convinced the spirits of the brothel are channeling through Ginnie and Michael and they’re being controlled. I’m going to have to disagree with that assessment. I think Michael and Ginnie have a few issues to sort out. And let’s not forget, Michael is in financial distress over the building, so nothing like a good old fashioned haunting to scare up some business.

Additionally, if you pay attention to some of the footage, parts of that building are a wreck. And based on the age, who knows what chemicals and other materials are in there. Check the environment to see what contaminants are floating around before you go and blame everything on the paranormal.

Butte men buy historic Dumas Brothel

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