In anticipation of Season 6 of Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”, we continue our in-depth interview with frontman Zak Bagans (read Part One here). In this installment we go back to one of the crew’s most challenging haunts, Bobby Mackey’s Music World (Season 1, Episode 1; Season 4, Episode 3), to talk about how it affected them.
“When we went to Bobby Mackey’s in Season 1, I was a idiot,” says Bagans, candidly reflecting on the horrors that followed. “I didn’t understand too much of this yet. Let me be honest with you… we’ve grown a lot since then, and when we went there, I did something really stupid. What happened there didn’t really have an effect on me when I left. It wasn’t until we went back there for an event where we invited a hundred people back to join us on a hunt. Obviously since we are experiencing these activities and we know how real it is to us, we wanted people to see these things happening. To experience them with us in the moment so that they could draw their own conclusions. You watch things like this on television and you think it’s nothing more than just entertainment bullshit. That’s why we figured we should start doing these live events inviting people to see for themselves.”
Bagans continues, “When we went back there for the event, that is when this place let us know, ‘You screwed with us; now it’s time for you to realize that we’re going to screw with you.’ I’ve never experienced anything like that. Our first investigation tripped me out, but it didn’t have an emotional effect on me. It was more in the moment stuff. When we went back there, it affected everybody. It affected our guests. The only way to describe it… it was like we were all trapped in a horror movie. There were things that started happening that just shocked everyone. That’s why we did a return episode and brought some of those people back to talk about what had happened to them. I had never heard of the Spirit Box until then, when Dave Schrader used it that night. Little things started happening at first. When we were downstairs in the basement, Nick and Dave and a bunch of people were upstairs and they captured my voice crystal clear saying, ‘Guys be careful!’ When they came down and played my voice, it was clearly me. I’m still processing that. Soon after [name omitted]’s daughter came through loud and clear pleading, ‘Mommy, mommy help!’ It was surreal. Later we were down in the basement and me and Aaron were just standing there, and it started talking about me. It started saying, ‘Zak’, ‘your dad’, ‘Z man’ – My dad calls me ‘Z man’ and there’s no way anyone could have known that except those closest to me. From there it went to Aaron and it started saying a bunch of shit to him about his marriage. It started poking fun at him. We thought that this was going to be a regular event. That it was gonna be fun. Once all this shit started happening… it was kind of like you’re at a party, you’re having fun, people are starting to poke jokes at ya, it’s like a Comedy Central roast, ya know? You’re laughing. But then after about ten minutes it’s like, ‘Okay, holy shit, this is starting to get really creepy. Something’s not right here.’ That’s when Aaron collapsed, rushed out, and went to a little closet upstairs and started crying the hardest I’ve ever seen him cry. I knew something was wrong. When he went up there, myself and Matt Coates, the 250-pound bodyguard/head of security, went upstairs to where Bishop James was. Matt and I weren’t feeling like ourselves. We wanted to basically murder and kill everybody in that place. We both just wanted to kill everyone who we saw and rip their hearts out.”
“That’s when I realized that what was happening to us was real. That these spots are real. That demonic attachment is real. These demons were screwing with us emotionally. I already knew that from the first trip we had to Mackey’s… from what occurred and what we captured. When this happened with Matt and I,” Zak paused, choosing his words carefully while deep in thought, “this was different. We went upstairs and the Bishop took us to a back room where he had this oil and holy water. He put holy water on my forehead and I had to go rinse it off in the bathroom because I thought he put muriatic acid on my friggin’ head. He put a medallion over Matt, and Matt couldn’t even hold the medallion to his chest because it was burning so bad. At one point I had gone down into the basement again with a girl named Nancy, who I had never met before. We were down there investigating before any of this stuff had happened. She and I both saw this… this thing. And… it… it…” Zak laughs nervously while pausing. “This thing shot out of this dressing room and it ran towards the back wall. What was cool was me and her both saw the same thing. This ‘thing’ was ducking its head. It didn’t look human. It was ducking its head and it looked at us with these huge bright amber eyes. It just glided across the floor into the darkness. After that me and her both froze. I looked at her, she looked at me, and I said, ‘Don’t tell me. What the hell did you just see?’ to which she answered, ‘I just saw this thing running, covering its head up, with reddish eyes.’ At that point we backed up. We backed up and started taking some deep breaths, and we were like, ‘Holy shit.’ Those were just some of the things that happened during the event. After that it was just fury unleashed. [Name omitted], a good friend of ours went home for three weeks, he had a demonic attachment. Another friend, [name omitted], had things happen to her. The list just started going on and on. I could count ’em all! So many people had really bad things happen to them.”
Zak wouldn’t be left out of the chaos, though, as whatever was at Bobby Mackey’s was more than happy to make him a target as well. “Things then started happening at my house. When I got back from the event, I headed immediately back to my apartment. I was dating this girl, [name omitted]. “It was three days later, and I just didn’t feel like myself. I still wanted to kill people. One night we were sleeping in my bed where this rosary was… I woke up in the middle of the night and I saw all these black shadow figures in my room. I scooped her up and we got out of there as fast as we could. After that everything changed. Over the course of the next three years about 14-16 friends of mine, all female, have been attacked in my house, and about 80% of them knew nothing about me or the show.”
The terrors didn’t stop there, however…
“The most profound thing happened when I got dragged out of bed by my ankles a couple months ago. Ever since then I’ve slept downstairs in a little tiny guest bedroom at my house with the door locked. I will never sleep up there again. I know it’s all from Bobby Mackey’s. When we went back there to do the return episode (Season 4, Episode 3), we started revealing shit to each other and we started realizing how weird it was that Bobby Mackey is the only one who’s never been attacked. He’s the one that still doesn’t believe that this is happening. Yet, his own wife, who is now deceased, would never step foot in there. She would never go in there because of getting pushed down the stairs. Carl Lawson, the guy who was possessed there, just passed away. Bobby’s best friend just passed away. I’m not saying that any of these deaths are related to the haunting, but you gotta look at everything that has gone on. It’s a movie. It’s a real life movie. He is like the guy from From Dusk Till Dawn at the Titty Twister that allows people to go into his bar and for these evil things to feed off of. He’s the only bar owner I know of that was ever sued by a patron of his establishment because he was attacked by ghosts. The plaintiff won his case, too.”
So would Zak and the crew ever head back to Bobby Mackey’s Music World? “I don’t ever want to go back there because I’ve been dealing with a lot of health problems and a lot of bullshit ever since we visited there. They get you in different ways, man. I’ve been freaked out because of that. It hasn’t been that fun and I’m just done with that place. That’s why you’ll see… you’ll notice in the new seasons and stuff I don’t really taunt that much anymore, if I do at all. I’m not going to lie to you; to this very day I am a little freaked out. I learned my lesson.”
“There’s some things that you just can’t fight,” Bagans continues. There’s some things that your little tight t-shirt and muscles can’t fight. That’s one of them, and it’s forced me now to look at higher powers. Once I saw that holy water helped on my forehead… it changes your perspective a bit. It also helped me when I was in Italy (Season 3, Episode 3: “Poveglia Island”). When I felt that burning, I knew that that was real. I knew that the power of that is real against it. Now I’m not a super religious guy, I don’t go to church every Sunday, I don’t raise my hands up in the air and sing and shit. But when I see that this actually works? You have to believe in it because muscles, guns, weapons, that ain’t gonna fight these things. You gotta see what works and I’ve seen what works. I’m still fighting them. I’ve seen my best friend Aaron be victimized so severely to the point where I became beyond concerned. That was incredibly scary. It hit him hard. That wasn’t a fun time, and I knew that something bad was having an effect on us and it stemmed from that place. I hope everything is okay now, but really, I’m done with everything concerning that place. People watch this shit on TV as it is perceived to be entertainment, but this show is about our lives, it’s about our passion. We didn’t audition for this show, we’re not actors. What we do is very emotional, it’s very real, and we’re very passionate about it. That’s why we like inviting people in to witness these events. Some people that have jobs that are risky but they love their jobs. Look at folks like Dale Earnhardt… he and others like him face potentially fatal risks every time they do their job, but they still do it. Once I’ve seen what this can do and what this can open up, I’ve kind of accepted that. It’s deep, man; it’s deeper than most people think. You just gotta get out there and witness it for yourself, but I’m not gonna bring people like that back to a place where they are in jeopardy or harm. I have kind of taken responsibility for that event.”
“As a human being you don’t want to believe what scientists haven’t told you is true,” says Bagans. “You want to reject it. You don’t want to believe in it, your body doesn’t want to believe in it because they haven’t proven it. However, when you do experience it… everything changes. Everything. The way that you look at things, your family, life, moments of just happiness, people you meet, every laugh. It’s not a depressing job, but you just see how precious life is and how short it is, and you just want to make the best of it. Make an impression. That’s why you want to search for the afterlife, because death is a scary thing and it’s very serious. Me doing this has overcome my fear of death because I know something else is after this. Not everybody believes in that, and I don’t give a shit. We love our lives and we love our fans, and that’s the most important thing.”
Look for the final part of our interview in the coming days. In it we’ll be discussing what’s next for Zak and the “Ghost Adventures” crew, and Zak will be answering some fan questions we got from Twitter. Stay tuned.
For more info be sure to visit “Ghost Adventures” on Travel Channel. “Ghost Adventures” Season 6 premieres on March 9th, 2012.
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