The Scary Reason Ghost Adventures' Zak Bagans Won't Ever Go Back To This Spot

When your job requires visits to scary sites, it's no surprise that the "Ghost Adventures" crew go to places that they don't want to revisit. Paranormal investigator Zak Bagans says he won't ever go back to Bobby Mackey's Music World in Wilder, Kentucky, and that's saying a lot. Since 2008, Bagans and his "Ghost Adventures" TV crew have explored some of the most purportedly haunted places in America. In 2013, Bagans told Collider, "I went from a boy to a man, in terms of the paranormal world, at Bobby Mackey's Music World, where I had an exorcism performed on me. I wasn't expecting that. Bobby Mackey changed everything for me."

Beginning with Season 1, Episode 1 of the surprisingly real reality TV series, Bagans and the "Ghost Adventures" gang have visited Bobby Mackey's a few times. It was after a later visit, though, that Bagans felt he'd had enough. "Once we investigated Mackey's and what happened to us in the first investigation, then we did an event and brought 100 people there to witness what a lot of people thought was maybe rigged," Bagans said. "And that two-day event could have been a real-life horror movie, for all the things that happened to all the people there. It was non-stop."

Mackey's ghost stories

In 2015, the North Kentucky Tribune reported that Bobby Mackey's was at that time a functioning music venue, but ghost stories on the site date to the 18th century and the days of slavery. Other popular supposed hauntings relate to the murder of young Pearl Bryan in 1896, whose head — which was never found — is said to have been thrown into one of the three wells in the building's basement. Over the years, Mackey's apparently been a popular place for a whole host of unseemly characters like bikers and mobsters, and supposedly Satanists. Some say Johanna, a dancing girl from the 1940s, killed herself there, brokenhearted over an affair with a gangster.

So, what was it, then, that rattled Zak Bagans? After that TV special, he told Collider, "That eventually lead into another investigation with us to return to Mackey's, and bad things started happening to all of us, personally." According to Bagans, he was possessed at Bobby Mackey's and required an exorcism. That's when things happened that will never be shown on camera, nor will they be told to anyone other than who was in the room when they happened, he said.

[Featured image by Nicolas Henderson via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 2.0]

Mackey's hauntings debunked

Zak Bagans' squeamishness aside, most Bobby Mackey's ghost stories have serious holes in them. Pearl Bryan, among many other examples, was murdered miles away from the Mackey's location, and while her head remains missing, there's no evidence it ended up anywhere near Mackey's. It's also said there was once a slaughterhouse on the spot where Mackey's now stands, and the wells in the basement were used for blood. History records that what was there was more like a butcher shop, and those wells, which function like drains, were later used for distilling.

There's no evidence there was ever a dancer at Mackey's in the 1940s named Johanna, either, but according to Doubtful News, in 1914 a young woman named Johanna did take her own life near Wilder, Kentucky. For supernatural true believers like Bagans, though, that seems to not make much difference. Describing his Mackey's experience and exorcism, Bagans told Collider, "That was a defining moment for me. I'm done with Mackey's. We're not going there ever again."