When this show first aired in 2008, I was not a fan. I felt Zak Bagans and his crew approached ghost hunting as more of an extreme sport for the benefit of creating a television show. This was a team of film students looking to create their own luck. As much as I admire the tenacity this takes, I viewed Zak Bagans to be more of a performer than a researcher, and I couldn’t take him seriously. He spent more time playing to the camera with dramatic storytelling and speculation than actual investigating. When the team did experience activity, they celebrated as if in attendance at a sporting event instead of being respectful to the dead with whom they were trying to contact.
What really bothered me was the amount of provoking they did to produce activity. I actually hoped to see Zak get visibly shoved for being so ignorant and disrespectful. (It’s bad to cheer for the negative entities, right?) I had the feeling that at some point this team would suffer repercussions from their aggressive actions, and learn that they were not the experts they might have thought.
Paranormal activity is the big draw for me, not the investigators. I don’t need anyone selling me on the level of fear, excitement, and danger any location might hold. I don’t need to be spoon fed the back story. And I certainly don’t need to be told what I am seeing and hearing with my own eyes and ears. Audio and visual evidence is the only hook I need.
Every now and then I’d look in on this team – small bites, with the sound muted. Visually, they had managed to capture enough compelling evidence to reel me back every once in a while, in the hopes that they might have outgrown any naïve notions they had about being hot shots for doing “lockdowns” in locations rife with activity.
In a recent re-airing of Sedamsville Rectory, (originally aired in October 2012), the team went in search of an entity plaguing the owners of a former rectory, where priests who had misbehaved were sent. The team actually brought in a priest to work with the property owners when a dark force appeared to be causing harm. And Zac admitted to having had a cleansing done (or what he called an exorcism) on himself after something had followed him home from the famous Bobby Mackey’s Music World, where they had captured some very threatening EVP’s. Bobby Mackey’s had proved to him that actions did have consequences and the unknown was not to be trifled with. None of this team would dare re-enter Bobby Mackey’s, opting instead to send a member of the tech crew to video a new shrine honoring a former owner who had previously appeared on their show.
From what I saw in this episode, this team has finally begun to mature. This was the first time I had witnessed them approaching a case to help the owners with their paranormal problem, instead of going to capture evidence for an extreme television show. (Perhaps they had done this before, but this was the first time I was made aware.) I still think Zac over-dramatizes and over-speculates, and it took five years for the group to reach this point. But they had finally engaged in the spirit of their field (no pun intended), instead of provoking for the sake of filming activity. I’m happy to see signs that they appear to be growing up. I’m still not a fan, but if they continue with their “here to help” approach, they might start to grow on me.
With the purchase of this house, at least some unsuspecting individual won’t end up there. Perhaps this is Zak’s attempt to prevent that.
Here’s the link that has some photos of the place: