Personally, I'm pretty horrible at watching television.
There have been very few instances in my life where I’ve actually remained dedicated to a television series, (ex. Game of Thrones… duh…) and I normally spend my evenings watching an episode of two or three of the same shows I go back to time and time again. These shows usually fall within the “intense fandom” genre such as Doctor Who or Supernatural. There have been a few cases when I’ve watched something on Netflix religiously or a BBC series such as Sherlock or Merlin, but these are usually binge watched and short-lived experiences.
Judging by the previously mentioned shows, someone could pretty easily guess that I was into supernatural, paranormal, thriller-type genres with a dose of violence and drama thrown in. The thing is though, there’s a series that is my one guilty pleasure that really drives home my obsession with the paranormal and dark subject matter.
That series is none other than Ghost Adventures.
Ghost Adventures, led by paranormal investigator Zak Bagans has been a constant fascination for me for as long as I can remember. I used to watch the occasional episode growing up, and I would get absolutely terrified of the “evidence” presented of spiritual activity. I watched back in the old days when it was just Zak and his two buddies, Nick and Aaron running around the country doing stupid, creepy stuff. The names of haunted locations around the country became commonplace knowledge for me, and I was chastised by my family for getting wrapped up in episodes’ subject matter because it was either too dark and mature for my age or they couldn’t stand to hear another “bro” or “dude” uttered in the living room.
Fast forward to college and I’ve grown brave to have a couple of weird, haunted experiences. I’ve done the Seattle Underground tour and completely believe that my parent’s house has a spirit in the dining room, and somehow I fell into the black hole that is the legacy of Ghost Adventures. This may have been in tandem with some projects I was asked to score in the horror genre since I would use the music behind episodes as inspiration and reference.
In my senior year of college, my parents decided to take us to the infamous Queen Mary Hotel.
If you are unfamiliar with this hotel, let me set the scene:
The Queen Mary is a luxury cruise liner that had it’s maiden voyage in the 1930’s. It operated as a cruise ship hosting celebrities and royalty until it was commissioned as a troop ship for the United States in WWII. After breaking numerous records for troop transportation, as well as amassing a list of ship related deaths, the Queen Mary returned to being an ocean liner until it was retired from service in 1967. Now, it lives permanently in Long Beach, California as a hotel full of unique antiques and many haunted tales.
Growing up, I used to live in Southern California. My dad, who is a lover of old ships and ocean liners used to take us to the Queen Mary for the occasional nearby vacation. I grew up thinking the Queen Mary was more akin to a luxurious museum rather than a famous haunt, and it held a nostalgic charm for me all while growing up. It wasn’t until I was made aware of the ghost hunting tour on board that I truly discovered what a fascinating story the Queen Mary had.
At the time, I knew that I wanted to film some content for my vlog channel on the Queen Mary and use it for a Titanic themed music video. (The two ships look strikingly similar but the Queen Mary is actually larger than the Titanic!) I got the idea to film our experience on the ghost tour and I began watching some Ghost Adventures episodes for a reference to “how to go on a paranormal investigation”.
By this time, the Ghost Adventures team had changed. Zak now led a much larger crew of guys minus Nick but adding AV Techs, Jay and Billy. Aaron looked like a completely different person after his weight loss and was no longer the only member subjected to Zak’s cruel forms of forced solo investigation in places he was too scared to visit alone himself. They used all forms of new technology: EVPs, Spirit Boxes, Puck2/3/4/5/6/7 devices, Xbox technology, infrared cameras; you name it! I developed the idea of going on the ghost hunt but filming and editing the footage as a spoof of Ghost Adventures.
Thus, Ghost Answers was born.
Since Zak Bagans provides the voice-over material for Ghost Adventures, I had to come up with my own character. All of my Queen Mary footage is voiced by a “dude” giving direct quotes from Bagans as well as some of my own original material. My family thought this video was hysterical and I had a blast making all the references to many of the famous paranormal investigative television shows. This character stuck in my head and I knew I wanted to use him again someday.
A year later, opportunity struck. I was going on another ghost tour of the Seattle Underground and I knew it was the perfect chance to resurrect my ghost hunting character. I wanted to flesh out the character and give him a name and a story. He was going to be a new constant on the channel to supplement my other quirky, original character, The Sassy Astrologist. I did some research and some name investigating and I came up with the perfect spoof on our friend from Ghost Adventures. My lead paranormal investigator, Zedd Pagans came into existence and held his first ever interview in the Pioneer Square episode.
Just for background, I’m of course personally portraying Zedd Pagans and I’m wearing my actual husband’s clothing. (including protective wear down there to create a realistic fit on my pants!) Having some experience in cross dressing as a male, (I’m Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy?) I wear a beard and glasses to mimic Bagans’ style and I try to copy his mannerisms and exaggerated his unique qualities. Zedd’s costume has now developed into a full wardrobe of black, skull-painted, ghost hunting gear, and I am slowly acquiring my paranormal “technology” to use in my investigations.
This character has been such a joy to create, possibly at the expense of my sanity. I am now a very frequent viewer of Ghost Adventures. Honestly, it’s become one of the only things I feel like watching while making dinner and taking a moment to break from work. I’m currently wrapped up in their Graveyard of the Pacific series this October, and I can’t get enough of their evidence of paranormal activity.
Am I scared while watching? You bet. I get the goosebumps and the hairs stand up on my arms and I am paranoid about every little sound in the house.
Do I take this show seriously? Well…
I certainly enjoy the show. I like the guys on the crew and I follow them on social media to check out how things are going in their daily life. I find the idea of being a full-time paranormal investigator pretty fascinating and they are a weird bunch of dudes; especially Zak and his Haunted Museum in Vegas.
If you’re wondering, no… I will never set foot in that place! I don’t need to invite that kind of evil in my life! Ouija boards aren’t even allowed in my house!
But what about the evidence? What about the existence of ghosts?
I believe in ghosts. I believe that there are rips and tears in our reality that open doorways to the past and that the evidence we collect is the echoes of history. I believe that true evil exists as an energy that can be documented and it’s why I steer clear of any actual haunted objects. Just because I portray a ghost hunter does not mean I want to live like one and have the burdens of negative spiritual residue… (am I starting to sound like Zak? yeesh…)
As for the validity of the show, to me, it doesn’t really matter. I enjoy the thrill and I REALLY enjoy the dialogue. This show makes me laugh till I cry sometimes because it takes itself SO seriously and then out of nowhere can be very goofy. It’s honestly fun to watch a bunch of guys scare the crap out of themselves and just be silly “dudes” in weird locations around the country. My character of Zedd Pagans is not meant to offend and he’s not meant to be serious. Many say that the highest form of flattery is imitation and while I don’t mean to flatter for any romantic or obsessive reasons, I certainly acknowledge that I enjoy the show and find paranormal investigating really interesting.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write my next episode because there is DEFINITELY DEMONIC MIMICKING HAPPENING IN MY BACKYARD!!!
WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE OF GHOST ANSWERS HERE: