“What. The. Hell. Was. That? What the hell was that?!” Zak Bagans, lead investigator on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, has been asking that question—and sometimes finding answers—for four seasons. An expert on paranormal activity, he resides in Las Vegas and recently conducted an investigation in our own backyard.
On a new episode set to air November 12, you investigate La Palazza Mansion. What happened there?
It’s in the old Scotch 80s section of Vegas near the Rancho/Charleston area. It is kind of like Tony Montana’s house from Scarface. The previous owners said they discovered a lot of crazy things in that house, like a secret old room all in white tile with just a drain in the middle. A guy and his girlfriend we interviewed that lived there said one day during a party around Halloween he got attacked in front of friends by an unseen force. Other times his girlfriend would take a shower and hear perverted messages. We got a lot of great evidence there.
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Any other active or haunted places in Vegas you want to check out?
We’re going to be filming another episode in about two weeks here in Vegas, but can’t announce the location yet. But the Oasis Motel on Las Vegas Blvd. we heard was extremely active. Stu Ungar the poker player committed suicide there and also an actor [David Strickland]. We’ve been trying to gain access to do an investigation there, too. A friend of mine that actually is a DJ in Vegas, DJ Inferno, he works for us, he’s our EVP analyst. He did an investigation at The Oasis Motel and got some evidence I think.
Do you believe activity is heightened around Halloween?
I don’t think it’s necessarily heightened, I just think people are more zoned into it because that’s the essence of Halloween—spooky spirits, the undead, all things macabre. However, I think a lot of people on Halloween start calling spirits ... so more spirits can, yes, come and make their presences more known.
What words of advice and caution can you offer amateur paranormal investigators?
I think that everybody should go out there and test their curiosity, find a haunted place. Do a Google search around town and get permission from the place before going. But a lot of places are hotels. You can go and book a room somewhere. Go to the Oasis motel! Go to Wal-Mart, buy the cheapest digital recorder you can find; you don’t want the real expensive ones, you want the ones that have the white noise to it. That’s how the spirits will speak. Open your mind, try and find out what happened at the location to have better questions, give long pauses and make sure there’s no other noises in the room. Do what’s called EVP burst sessions where you ask five questions, you turn it off and review the audio. Once you hear that first voice and you know that you just captured a spirit voice, this whole perception of life will be forever changed.