I’ve been a pretty big advocate of Ghost Adventures since the documentary premiered on The Sci-Fi channel. A few of us are actually pretty big fans of the paranormal and if you’ve been around long enough you can see me praise Ghost Adventures and TAPS and shit on Paranormal State. I try to put my fondness for haunted house movies into words, but I can never seem to quantify my exciement for that sort of thing. Some of the most effective horror movies I’ve seen are spooky ghost flicks. These days, a quality haunted house movie is hard to come by. Producers and directors are obsessed with showing you too much. They don’t build tension or establish atmosphere, they cut to the chase and show you fucked up ghostly people floating around, raising hell. So the reason that the recent rash of ghost hunter shows appeal to me so much has something to do with their alleged nonfiction. They DON’T show you too much because they can’t and in the case of Ghost Adventures, whether you believe in ghosts or not is irrelevant. They pull off a perfectly spooky presentation with the documentary.
Zak Bagans, head of the Ghost Adventures Crew, is pretty busy right now with his current project but not too busy to have a chat with Cinema Suicide about the documentary, the paranormal and the development of the upcoming Ghost Adventures series for The Travel Channel. The interview continues after the jump.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you get interested in the paranormal and at what point did you start investigating?
I never believed in ghosts until about 6 years ago when I had a personal experience in a historic shipyard town called Trenton, MI. I moved into a very old apartment building and was tormented by the spirit of a woman who I later found out may have been the ghost of a woman who committed suicide in the building’s bathtub. Felt that happened for a reason and this is my lifelong quest; to search for life after death answers and document the evidence in doing so.
It seems as if every group on TV represents a different facet of paranormal investigation. TAPS takes a very scientific approach while Penn State Paranormal seems much more spiritual in their investigations. How would you describe the techniques used by your own group?
EMOTIONAL. We like to research the history of a location before we investigate. Knowing the names of the persons who departed there and who may be trapped there lends us our signature style in which we incorporate into every single investigation. Before you interview someone, doing back-history on them will provide you with better answers. We use the same concept. Also, we are versed in all aspects of investigating and feel bringing a background in all styles is the best combination in getting us that next piece of evidence. Kinda like the UFC now. In the old cage-fights of the UFC back in the 90’s each fighter specialized in one kind of style: Grappling, Boxing, Greco-Roman Wrestling, etc. Now, all fighters are now versed in all mixed-martial arts. That’s like us, we are now versed in several different styles. My best way to describe it!
Is the footage from the documentary available for independent analysis? Has there been much interest? The footage in the documentary is some of the most alarming evidence that I’ve ever seen.
Actually that’s why we feature various independant experts to analyze our footage in all our documentaries/ shows to get as close as we can to validating it for the public.
Do you ever work with other groups around Nevada?
We have collaborated with Nevada Paranormal Individuals: EVP Specialists Mark & Debby Constantino (Reno, NV), Paranormal research Author Janice Oberding (Reno, NV) and Las Vegas Paranormal Investigations (Las Vegas, NV)
What do you think is attributed to the recent surge in popularity of paranormal TV?
Nearly every human being on this planet has a Paranormal Story or experience. And Every single person on this planet wonders what happens when we perish. This is the most unexplainable part about our lives. People want to know more. We try to show them more through our Investigations and that will create the “popularity of paranormal TV.”
How much did you shoot vs. how much made the final cut in the documentary? Was there footage that you wished you could have put into the final product?
“How much did we shoot?” Hundreds upon hundreds of hours of footage. This documentary was the best evidence we got from nearly 3 years of filming and Investigating.
Have you been back to the Goldfield Hotel since the initial investigation featured in the documentary? Because I gotta tell ya, the finale was downright chilling.
Actually we hosted a LIVE GAC (Ghost Adventures’ Crew) Ghost hunt for our fans at the Goldfield Hotel earlier this year and had nearly 100 people attend. The best part was over 25 people eye-witnessing poltergeist activity of throwing rocks taking flight by themselves during our Investigation! It rocked! Really shows you that this stuff does happen and can be downright frightening and chilling!
One of the most common questions I’m asked is will there be a DVD available?
We are working on the DVD Release now.planned for October ’08
Seems like every cable network is clamoring for their own paranormal shows. Sci-Fi, Discovery, History, etc. I understand that you were picked up for a weekly series on The Travel Channel?
Yes, we are actually in production now and are already almost halfway through filming our new Series! This will be a take on the Paranormal that no one has seen before and will be retaining our RAW and EXTREME nature as modeled in our original documentary.
How many episodes are planned?
Eight 1-hour Episodes filmed entirely on HD!
Can you talk about some of your investigations? The locations and their background? Would love to but that’s very confidential!
We could say that we are targeting locations haunted by evil spirits, for we feel with our style of Investigating we can get more activity and some of this activity we are now getting is getting downright dangerous. But hey, guess that’s why we are extreme.
How do you choose a location for both an investigation and the filming of an episode?
(See above). and we also only choose locations that have a deep dark history with reports of paranormal activity by eyewitnesses and victims!
Is the cast still you, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin? Any new faces in your group?
That’s the Cast and will always be that cast! No new faces, but we will be bringing new knowledge, new paranormal equipment, new approaches to our investigations, and added scientific approaches/ equipment.
How did the three of you hook up for Ghost Adventures?
Nick Groff and myself became friends in Vegas and found we had similar Paranormal Encounters and spontaneously decided to hit the road and Investigate these Haunted Old Mining Towns in Nevada. We hired Aaron Goodwin as our Camera Operator and Aaron had no clue what this was all about until we hit the road!
When can we expect this show to launch?
Our new series, Ghost Adventures, Premiere’s on the Travel Channel October 17th at 9pm and will air every Friday night thereafter Prime-Time at 9pm.
Thanks, Zak! We’ll keep an eye out for the show in October. Keep up with what’s going on with the show at their Myspace profile.