Zak Bagans Talks Deadly Possessions, His Museum, and the Dangers of Haunted Objects
Tomorrow night Travel Channel will be airing the second episode of Zak Bagans’ new show “Deadly Possessions,” and we have the scoop on the new series as a whole, when you’ll be able to visit the museum, and what happens when possessions turn deadly.
Fans of “Ghost Adventures” who tuned in were treated to a very different experience and a very different Zak. Instead of going over details of a haunted location meticulously, and sometimes provoking whatever may be there, “Deadly Possessions” finds Bagans in a much more subdued environment which feels far more personal than anything that he’s done before.
“There’s nothing planned on ‘Deadly Possessions.’ Everything happens in the moment,” Bagans tells us. “When doing an interview, I just go with the flow and come up with things literally on the spot. When someone walks through the doors for an interview, that’s the first time that I am meeting them… the first time I am seeing them and whatever they are bringing in. I never know what I’m going to do with them or their objects. I’ll come up with a plan that feels right… It’s all very instinctual. Ideas like, ‘Hey, lets put this in the basement and then let the subject go down there alone and interact with it.’ Let’s see what happens.”
Bagans continues, “The Dybbuk Box really freaked me out, but not just because of the mystery surrounding the object. I have a tendency to pay more attention to how people interact around items like that. Sometimes the objects are just the beginning. It’s some of the people who bring them in, not all, or those who have been affected by them that seem more haunted to me. A lot of people who take possession of these things… they in and of themselves become an integral part of the item’s story. I think some of these people… some of them may have engaged in dark rituals… dark arts… they really dabble in the psychic sense in things like witchcraft, etc. Some of them are more or less conduits for the activity these things bring about. Coming up in Episode 3, there’s something called Peggy the Doll. This woman brings Peggy in from England. Peggy is said to have the ability to affect people who have done nothing more than look at its photograph on the Internet. When I was interviewing this woman, her demeanor, man, I just got this really bad vibe from her. The power of Peggy… I think that attachment this woman has with it… they just go hand-in-hand. People like that have this energy around them that focuses in on these possessions. Attachments and haunted items can feed off of the reactions that they get from their victims.”
“Take Bobby Mackey for instance. He’s the only guy that hasn’t been affected or attacked at his nightclub; yet, every person around him, his family, his wife… they’ve all suffered. People can be enablers. They enable the object. They enable the location to have its victims. When I do interviews with people, that is when the empathic side of me really gets going. I can feel their demeanors… I connect to them very strongly. That’s why you’ll see when I interview someone, sometimes my tone will change according to the energy that they’re resonating. With ‘Deadly Possessions’ it’s kind of like I’m interviewing the object, the person, and the spirits… all three of those at once. The energy is so very palpable.”
Palpable to the point of becoming disturbingly strong. One of the most intense moments that happened during Episode 1 was Zak’s employee Theodore reacting in a not so very flattering fashion to Robert the Doll. The results of that happening are proof positive that you should never disrespect what you do not understand.
“So, I hired this guy… Theodore. He’s a seasoned gentleman in a suit who can really help me. When we’re filming an episode, he’ll greet the people who arrive, talk with them, and lead them to different rooms. When we’re filming, I’ll ask him to bring me things. This guy works hard. Theodore is never briefed on anything that’s going on. He just knows to open the door, and there’s going to be some people arriving. He’s a very funny guy, and he’s so likable. You could just sit around him when he starts talking, and it’s instant entertainment. That’s his nature.”
Bagans continues, “During the Robert the Doll segment, he had some letters that he had to hand me. He brings me the letters, and I thought he was just going to walk away. But he doesn’t. His personality kicks in so he turns around to greet Robert’s handler; then he looks at Robert and does this whole funny little thing. At that moment the tension in the air… wow, you could just cut it with a knife. The woman who brought Robert in has this really unusual relationship with the object. She is so protective of Robert on a whole other level. When Theodore did that to the doll, she had this look on her face that was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I knew I had to do something about this whole situation so I went back to see Theodore and asked him to come apologize to Robert, which he did. A few weeks later Theodore suffered a massive stroke, and as a result he obviously couldn’t be in a couple of the last episodes. It’s weird, though, you know? I mean, I don’t know if it was the doll, but the stories around Robert are very serious. This doll truly has the reputation of harming people who are disrespectful. You just have to wonder. I mean, we can never prove a connection so let’s just leave it as oddly coincidental.”
So, the question beckoned… Why work on creating a haunted museum? We asked Zak about the reasoning behind his latest endeavor.
“Ever since I was a little kid, my mom would take me to look for antiques. Even as a tiny little boy I was always drawn to the history and energy attached to these older things. There even used to be a house by my elementary school and I remember the folks there telling us all about these really old things that they had found in the attic. I remember looking at these objects and just developing a fascination with them. There was also a little trailer that would visit my school that used to have all these little puppets and things inside of it. These things just imprinted on me. I just started evolving my interest in these things into haunted objects. Ever since we started filming ‘Ghost Adventures,’ from day one on I would collect like a rock or something from each location… a piece of that location. I started storing them in my old house, and that’s when I built what became known as my ‘dungeon’ to house them all. But then I started having all these problems. Things were getting really bad there so I moved out and put all of these things in storage. I never realized how powerful these things could be. Especially collectively. That being said, I have always wanted to buy an old haunted building… an old historic building here in Las Vegas… so I did, and then I decided to use the building to house my collection of objects, open a museum of them, and do a show. Objects like The Dybbuk Box and Robert, obviously they don’t reside at the museum, but you may see them come back for a limited public display, and then yeah, there are other objects that I either buy or were given to me that will be at the museum year round. There’s a lot of amazing stuff coming.”
And when will this place be open to the public?
“We’re working on that right now. It’s a lot of work, but I’m trying to get it open within the next couple of months. The building is truly historic in Vegas. It was originally built in 1938, and it’s had more than its fair share of documented deaths that have occurred there. Adding in my collection… let me tell you, there’s a lot of layers of energy on-site. The building is very haunted, and we have even had some construction workers quit because they had some personal experiences that scared the hell out of them.”
Zak Bagans is fulfilling a lifelong dream of opening a museum in downtown Las Vegas, full of the haunted, cursed objects he has been collecting through the years. Each episode of “Deadly Possessions” features three haunted, iconic items and their owners. They share stories of how these objects have terrorized them and, in some cases, even killed people. Bagans interviews the owners and works with them to get to the root of their “attachment,” so they can free themselves… or at least escape harm from these “deadly possessions.”