12 Little-Known Facts About Ghost Adventures

"Ghost Adventures" is an incredibly popular reality TV series that explores allegedly haunted locations around the world. Led by Zak Bagans and other paranormal investigators, the show follows the group as they cover the site's history and interview its owners and caretakers.

However, what really sets the show apart from other similarly styled series is that Bagans and his crew spend the night at the location with the doors locked, armed with only their gear to capture video and audio evidence of spirits. Once the investigators have finished their night in a structure that's more dangerous because of asbestos than malevolent demons, they review the footage they've recorded to determine whether or not the sights and sounds they experienced may have an otherworldly explanation. Of course, who could forget Bagans provoking ghosts into manifesting through frat boy taunts?

"Ghost Adventures" has been going strong since 2008 — including multiple specials and spinoffs — and shows no signs of slowing down. Its notoriety has also spread outside of television, as Bagans has opened the Haunted Museum in Las Vegas housing items of supposedly ghostly origins, and written three books about his time as a ghost hunter, including "Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of the Ghost Adventures Crew" (co-written with Kelly Crigger) and "Ghost-Hunting For Dummies." However, despite the show's years-long success, there's still quite a bit about "Ghost Adventures" that even its most devoted fans don't know.

The Conjuring House was too much for Zak Bagans

In 2013's "The Conjuring," viewers followed a fictional version of famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as they examine the haunted happenings plaguing a family who recently moved into a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The Warrens soon discover that it was once owned by the witch, Bathsheba Sherman, who committed infanticide as part of a pact with the devil. It's a plot that fits easily in the horror film genre, but it's actually based on a true story. Built around 1736, the house that inspired that depicted in the film has a long and storied past, and a family really did experience multiple bizarre, unexplainable, even violent occurrences in the 1970s.

Obviously, the house was the perfect place for "Ghost Adventures" to make a pit stop. Zak Bagans and co. were thrilled at the prospect of being able to explore such a famous – and infamous – location. As expected, the crew caught considerable proof of the supernatural. However, Bagans was the one who endured the most, telling People, "This house made me sick, and I did not recover from this investigation for about three weeks. It took everything out of me. My body wasn't functioning right. My balance. This place is haunted by something I believe is very ancient." Whatever it was that Bagans encountered, it was bad enough for him to warn the property's owners to not get too caught up in the rush of living in a house so ingrained in pop culture.

It doesn't take long to film an episode of the show

Despite how popular "Ghost Adventures" is, the filming process for each episode is surprisingly stripped down and straightforward. Zak Bagans told E! that three days is all it takes to film a single episode, saying, "Upon the arrival the first day, you know, we film all the different interviews. Nothing is scripted on our show; we literally show up. I have a handful of interviews and that's it ... And then the second day we do any other kinds of research scenes or things like that." Because of Bagans' background as a documentary filmmaker, he and the crew let the uniqueness of the environment and the people they meet dictate the flow of filming.

Of course, it's the last day that the guys really feel the pressure, as it's when they get ready to spend the night in a supposedly haunted location. "[On] the third and final day, we rest and typically stay to ourselves that day," Bagans tells E! "Because we mentally and spiritually prepare for — we don't know what's gonna happen during that lockdown investigation later that night." As expected, being locked in a dark building or house that may house a potentially malevolent entity can have its toll on the hosts, so having a day to mentally and emotionally prepare for the experience makes sense. But then again, Bagans claims that not knowing whether or not the lockdown will give them lasting trauma is part of the excitement.

The show actually started out as a movie

Due to the episodic nature of "Ghost Adventures," it's easy to forget that it actually started out as a feature-length film. Zak Bagans told Mental Floss that the concept of filming his explorations of places said to have haunted activity "came from me having an experience back in about 2002, when I was living in Detroit, Michigan. Then that kind of put my mindset into exploring the paranormal and trying to get answers for what I experienced." He married his curiosity with his background in documentary filmmaking, which resulted in the birth of the 2007 film that soon evolved into one of the most-watched paranormal reality TV shows ever.

The film, also titled "Ghost Adventures," saw Bagans team up with Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin as they investigated the Goldfield Hotel in Goldfield, Nevada, and the Old Washoe Club in Virginia City, Nevada. The film received numerous accolades during its time on the festival circuit, most notably winning the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature from the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2006, before finding a home on the Sci-Fi Channel (now called Syfy) in 2007. While the "Ghost Adventures" documentary was not quite as polished as the show it eventually turned into, it established many of the elements that made the series such a hit with fans.

There are some places they'll never revisit

With the large number of haunted locations the show's crew has visited, it's easy to assume that the hosts of "Ghost Adventures" must have nerves of steel. However, there are actually some places they've visited that spooked them so badly they never want to return to. For example, the "Demon House" in Gary, Indiana, which was explored in the 2008 eponymous documentary film, and was the site of numerous cases involving demonic possession. In it, Bagans brings a crew to the house — which he purchased — to document their findings. They all got more than they bargained for, experiencing several disturbing incidents, including vision problems. Bagans had the house torn down, telling Mental Floss that, "I have no intention to go back to that land. It was a demonic virus. Everybody asks, 'Why didn't you keep it up and allow other paranormal investigators in there?' Well, did you see what happened to all of us?"

Another location they refuse to revisit is Bobby Mackey's Music World, a popular music hall and tavern in Kentucky with a morbid history. This spot takes the cake, as Bagans said in a Facebook video, "No other location stands out more than Bobby Mackey's Music World for putting such a dent and scar into our physical selves and our mental selves." He further stated that, even when he returned home, he saw dark apparitions and experienced poltergeist activity that even impacted people he knew.

The pandemic didn't stop the hosts from shooting

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everyone's lives around the world, with some of its effects still being felt. However, for the hosts of "Ghost Adventures," all the pandemic did was change the way they filmed the show. The result was "Ghost Adventures: Quarantine," a special four-part miniseries that saw Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Jay Wasley, and Billy Tolley shack up in Bagans' Haunted Museum in Las Vegas for two weeks. It's a puzzling choice on its surface, but considering this museum is filled with objects with haunted histories and that spirits supposedly feed on heightened emotions like fear, sadness, and uncertainty — all of which pretty much everyone was feeling during the pandemic — the Haunted Museum was actually the perfect place to shoot.

Most episodes of the series see the hosts backed up with a crew during filming. But for health and safety reasons, it was just the four of them which, according to Bagans, actually helped. He told Travel Channel that, "Things were different. We were just so involved with the investigations, and the moments, and the evidence, and the spiritual interactions. We were just so focused in. We felt different by all of this." While this stripped-down version of the show's usual format was a far cry from what the hosts were used to, Bagans stated it was a back-to-basics experience for all of them, hearkening back to the original documentary that spawned the show.

Post Malone may have picked up a curse from his time on the show

Rapper Post Malone appeared on a 2018 episode of "Ghost Adventures," joining the hosts as they spent a night in the Tucson, Arizona haunted attraction called the Slaughterhouse. But the name wasn't given to the location for purely marketing purposes – it really was a meatpacking plant years prior, and has a dark past. Throughout the episode, Post and the others experience plenty of creepy phenomena such as unexplainable noises, recordings of mysterious voices and screams, and even an appearance by a dark apparition that got physically violent with them.

After Post's time at the Slaughterhouse, Zak Bagans treated the rapper to a tour of his Haunted Museum in Las Vegas where he interacted with one of the relics on display. That's when things got especially freaky for Post. During a 2021 appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," Post elaborated on the frightening events that he experienced following his time on the reality show, stating, "It's weird because after we opened up this creepy Dybbuk Box, I had gotten in a car accident, I almost had a plane wreck, my house got broken into and all that type of stuff. But it [the events] was just within a month's time, it was really odd stuff." This may merely have been a series of unfortunate events, but Post is hardly the first person to recount frightening occurrences that followed them after appearing on the show.

A paranormal investigator couple featured on the show met horrible ends

"Ghost Adventures" is no stranger to tragedy, as many of the locations that have been featured on the show have histories tied to murder, suicide, and other terrible events. However, the sadness is generally softened by the fact that these grim events occurred far in the past. There was one example in the series' run, though, in which a tragedy happened after the show aired.

Debra and Mark Constantino were a married couple who were also paranormal investigators appearing in several episodes of "Ghost Adventures." But their marriage was far from happy, culminating in a terrible incident. Their marriage was marked by domestic violence, and were in the process of getting divorced. But before it could be finalized in 2015, police found Debra's roommate murdered, and went looking for Debra. She was being held hostage by Mark, who exchanged gunfire with the police. A SWAT team charged into the apartment only to find the couple dead from fatal bullet wounds in an apparent murder-suicide.

While some who knew the couple claimed that there was nothing but love between them, others believed that there was something more traumatic going on. Rebecca Evans, Debra's life coach and spiritual guide, paints a darker picture of the couple's relationship in the Reno Gazette-Journal: "She found me several years ago. It was a slow build-up, and I don't think in the beginning of their relationship they had those kinds of problems. The years rolled on, and she said [the domestic issues] progressed."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Zak Bagans is extremely sensitive

And no, that's not an insult. You see, Bagans claims to have a sixth sense that allows him to detect various energies that most people can't. Obviously, it comes in handy in his investigations, yet it also contributes to his often emotional behavior that's become a source of ridicule for many. Bagans isn't happy with either his preternatural "gift" or the attention it's attracted, telling the Los Angeles Times, "I am sick and tired of people calling me overly dramatic. It really upsets me. I'm a magnet for energies and I can't turn that off. I'm a hyper-empathic person. ... You start crying, I'm probably going to start crying too."

There has been more than one instance in which a location had a negative effect on Bagans, such as the Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall – nicknamed "Devil's Den" – in Downey, California. Once the hosts were locked in, it wasn't long before Bagans' personality took a turn for the worse, as he said to the Wrap, "There was a point there when I was really disturbed; I lost time. I don't remember getting from point A to point B and that scared me." But Bagans wasn't the only one who fell under the apparent malevolent influence of the detention center, as his co-hosts Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley, and Jay Wasley all got into fighting moods. Was it just cabin fever? Were their minds playing tricks on them? Or was there really something else manipulating them?

Ghost Adventures once got into a feud with Ghost Hunters

Out of all of the reality TV shows out there, one would expect those about the search for the supernatural to be the least likely to get involved in petty drama. After all, they have ghosts to worry about! Unfortunately, it seems that there's still a fair amount of competition among the paranormal-investigator-turned-television-personality crowd. A tiff between "Ghost Adventures" and the similarly-styled "Ghost Hunters" erupted when the hosts of the latter visited Bobby Mackey's Music World for an episode, with one of them making a comment about "other investigators" getting the facts wrong about the site.

It may have been a throwaway comment (considering the long haunted history of Bobby Mackey's Music World, it's doubtful that the "Ghost Adventures" crew is the first one to investigate it), but fans instantly assumed it was aimed at Zak Bagans and co. and took the tiff to Twitter where the shows rival hosts duked it out. Bagans tweeted some taunts at "Ghost Hunters International" co-host Robb Demarest, including "awww talkin s*** now cause ur 5 minutes of fame are up? Haters like you are spit out man you GHI ppl are s***-talkers." There was some more online back and forth, but the dustup didn't last long, and the respective shows' hosts went back to yelling at dust in the dark.

Director Terrence Malick is an influence on the show's style

"Ghost Adventures" may be a reality TV series, but its creator Zak Bagans has cited acclaimed film director Terrence Malick as an important influence on the show's style. Bagans explained the inspiration to American Cinematographer, saying, "Malick took scenes of brutality and then hit you with a contrasting philosophical narration over long, drawn-out shots of Mother Nature. These narrations with the visuals metaphorically speak to the deeper spirit of life, no matter the situation." He further elaborated that the extended visuals of the surrounding area of a shooting location serve to enhance the mood of the investigation, conveying a thematic depth not often depicted in other reality shows about exploring the supernatural.

The cinematic touches incorporated into "Ghost Adventures" aren't as surprising as you might think, as Bagans was a film student at the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan. He still often dabbles in the narrative side of film such as co-writing "3 Ring Inferno," an episode of his "Haunted Museum" spinoff series executive produced by horror filmmaker Eli Roth. For Bagans, it was a way to return to his roots as a filmmaker, telling People, "I went to a film school back in 2002 and I'm more into the documentary stuff. But it just became so visual for me, I started writing it down. I was like, What does this mean? Why am I thinking about the circus? It wouldn't get out of my head."

An important member of the show's crew doesn't believe in ghosts

It turns out that you don't even need to believe in ghosts to work on "Ghost Adventures" – as long as you're able to invent some killer gear, at least. Bill Chappell is the main man behind many of the gadgets used on the show and is quite well-known in the field of paranormal investigation. Yet when Popular Mechanics reached out to him for an interview, he responded simply with: "I do not believe in Ghosts or Spirits."

However, when talking with Newsweek, the inventor elaborated on his beliefs, or lack thereof, writing in an email that, "I don't believe in Ghosts ... When I make that statement It's always followed by HOWEVER. However, I do believe in Paranormal events. I just can't make a rational jump to the commonly held belief that people that have died are spirits." He continued on by stating that he's encountered apparitions in person, has had physical interactions with unseen entities, and has detected plenty of strange phenomena with his devices. Apparently, that's still not enough to make Chappell believe in "ghosts."

Real-life ghost hunters aren't fans of the show

We all know that even so-called reality TV isn't that real, and "Ghost Adventures" has endured its fair share of scrutiny from viewers. However, the audience that has really taken issue with the series' veracity are real-life paranormal investigators and parapsychologists. Just ask investigator Dr. Barry Taff who's felt the squeeze following the rise of "Ghost Adventures" and other ghost-hunting reality shows, who told Salon that, "Since these shows littered the landscape, calls coming in for investigations have almost disappeared. We used to get 20 to 30 a year. And then it just dropped dead. Last year, literally, we did not go on one single case. Not one. It's depressing!"

Zak Bagans' appearance — spiky hair, stylish black clothing, etc. — gives off a rock star vibe, which some feel glamorizes and delegitimizes the field of paranormal investigation, especially since the host has his own clothing line and has even released an industrial rock album called "NecroFusion." Bagans believes that the finger-pointing going on in the ghost-hunting community is useless, telling CNN in an interview, "With all of these paranormal shows, we're asking people to unite and to quit being so selfish and childish and share evidence and experiences with one another. People don't need to compete against one another."