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Weird News

Haunted Hotel Spooks 'Ghost Adventures' Stars

Jul 26, 2010 – 2:40 PM
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David Moye

David Moye Contributor

(July 26) -- If there was any way to monitor TV ratings in the afterlife, the Travel Channel series "Ghost Adventures" would probably make a killing.

The show, which starts its fourth season in September, is not only one of the cable network's most popular, but series stars Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin are becoming as well known in the netherworld as they are in the real one.

"A lot of people think that this, because it's on television, is entertainment, and we're out there yelling and screaming for no reason," Bagans told AOL News. "We live with things that follow us constantly. This 'door' has been open so long that it just constantly keeps getting wider and wider. So when we go places, it's almost like we're known in the spirit world.

"We go places that we haven't even been yet, and they call our names. They say, 'Zak! Nick, come in!' all the time."
Haunted Hotel Room Spooks Ghost Adventurers
Travel Channel
As stars of the Travel Channel series "Ghost Adventures," Nick Groff, Zak Bagans and Aaron Goodwin have their share of spooky experiences.

Bagans, Groff and Goodwin, on a promotional tour for their series, were in San Diego recently to meet their living fans at Comic-Con, but graciously gave any ghostly groupies a chance to say hello as well by agreeing to be interviewed in Room 3327 at the Hotel Del Coronado, a world-famous hotel with a world-famous ghost by the name of Kate Morgan.

Morgan has been scaring up business since 1892 when she reportedly took her own life after spending five lonely and lovesick days at the hotel waiting for a man who never arrived.

Although the hotel has hosted such living luminaries as Bill Clinton, "Weird" Al Yankovic and the cast of "Baywatch," Morgan is the most famous permanent resident. Her hotel room is popular with guests, many of whom report having strange paranormal experiences while staying there.

In other words, the perfect place for an interview with ghost experts like these guys, right?

In fact, Bagans says he, Groff and Goodwin prefer to stay in haunted hotels whenever possible.

"It's what we live in," he says. "This is our environment, so to be around it, personally, makes me more comfortable."

Groff agrees.

"We've been doing this for so long that usually when we walk in, we can pick up stuff right away," he says.
At that moment, a water bottle suddenly flies out of the hand of the show's publicist, Diane McNamara, and lands seven feet away at my feet. The suddenness freaks out McNamara, causing her to leave the room and stay away for the remainder of the interview.

"I felt immense sadness in that room," she says teary-eyed after the interview. In another interview, a day later, she adds, "It's actually been that way since we checked in. I keep asking to have my room changed."

Groff, on the other hand, is used to encounters like this.

"That's the kind of weird stuff that happens just like that," he says.

McNamara is quick to add that she has never had any paranormal encounters before. Bagans and Groff are just as quick to add that they've never seen her as agitated as when her water bottle flew out of her hand.

Considering what has just happened, it seems an investigation is in order. Groff takes out a digital recorder to record any possible sound impressions. Sometimes a recording in a silent room can reveal strange messages, presumably from spirits.

The trio requests a moment of silence for the mini-investigation. Before turning on the recorder, Groff warns all those in the room that if they have to say something, they should not whisper, lest it be confused as a message from the afterlife.

"OK, we're in Kate Morgan's room; Zak, Nick, Aaron, David, Carrie Ann [the Hotel Del Coronado's publicist]," Groff says.

Bagans, who works as the lead investigator, steps in to make contact with whatever entity might be in the room.

"This is Zak," he says. "Can I ask you a question? I just saw one of our friends act in a way that we've never seen before, and I clearly saw a bottle taken out of her hand without any movement on her part whatsoever and fly about seven feet. I want to ask you, Are you angry with us? Or were you just trying to get our attention? 'Cause you really, really frightened her, and I know you weren't trying to do that. But can you give us a sign now? Can you shut this door for me? Can you just do that? Or would you rather appear in this mirror? Might be easier."

Groff adds his two cents.

"Kate? Are you here with us? If you are, can you throw something or move something so we know you're there?"

Bagans then asks the mysterious spook why it pushed the bottle out of McNamara's hand and says offhand to Groff, "It f---ing flew!"

Groff agrees, saying, "Yeah, it flew" before turning back to the ghost. "Kate, can you tell us right here why you threw that?"

Bagans: "I'm starting to feel something."

Groff continues the line of questioning. "Were you mad that she was in here?"

At this moment, Bagans mentions the sound of leaves rustling outside the window and explains that the crew always notes these noises when doing a digitally recorded investigation so they don't overreact to the noises during playback.

Then he returns his attention back to whatever entity may have made the water bottle fly across the room.

"Kate, is that you or somebody else?" he asks. "Did you follow us here? Are you a male?"

He pauses for a moment and visually scours the room. Then he focuses his attention on the backpack on the bed.

"My red tag just moved," he says quickly to the others. "Were you watching that?"

Groff uses this as an opening.

Haunted Hotel Room Spooks Ghost Adventurers
Travel Channel
The Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, Calif., has hosted many famous people, but Kate Morgan, the ghost of a 24-year-old woman who died there in 1892, is the most famous permanent guest.

"Do you not like that backpack on the bed?" he asks.

Bagans follows up the questioning.

"Is it because it's mine? Are you trying to get my sacred chrism out of there?" he asks, later explaining that the chrism is a special anointing oil he uses to protect himself from the occasional evil entity. In passing, he mentions that he has a really good exorcist on speed dial.

Throughout this, Goodwin, who is often set up as "ghostly bait" by Groff and Bagans, continues to visually scour the room, mostly checking for cracks, drafts and any signs for strange energy, such as sudden cold or hot spots in a room.

He and Groff then lead Bagans over to a spot near the closet that fits the bill.

"It feels cool on my arm," Goodwin says.

Despite this feeling, and a general tingly feeling, no more experiences occur. Bagans says this is common.

"A lot of times, just like that, they can just be here for a fraction of a second, and then they're just gone," he says. "It's as if they've left through some kind of doorway. It always seems like our world and their world are like two pieces of Swiss cheese that are constantly moving, and occasionally the holes match up for just a second."

Bagans has been documenting his ghost hunting since 2004. He, Groff and Goodwin have come to believe that what we consider to be ghosts fall into three types:

  • Residual energy of people who had shocking experiences, such as being murdered
  • Intelligent beings capable of answering questions from humans
  • Demonic beings that mimic the sounds of children.

Groff's experiences have convinced him that evil people give off a very powerful energy.

"You have good people in this world, and you have bad people," he says. "We go to a lot of pretty vicious prisons. At the end of the day, you realize these are some pretty vicious people -- rapists and murderers -- and you wonder what happens to their energy when they die.

"Well, that energy still lingers. And when we go to these jails where they don't want you there, they can harm you or
do something to you or make you feel like your equilibrium is thrown off."

Another discovery that Groff has made in the three seasons that "Ghost Adventures" has been on the air is that evil is very hot.

"We just captured an amazing piece of evidence on a thermal cam," he says. "We felt a piece of really really warm heat right before we captured something on our thermal camera, and we're learning that the warm presences are actual evil entities, bad spirits. So I think bad spirits give off more of a warm energy."

So how do the guys keep the bad energy away from them?

Well, they each have different ways, but Bagans swears by his sacred chrism, an olive oil version of holy water that he uses to anoint his body at key moments.

"I don't leave home without it," he says.

It's a good thing too. During one encounter in the coming season, Bagans says he was surrounded by such evil that the oil itself created a burning sensation on his forehead, unlike any other he has experienced.

It might get tough at times, but Bagans believes he is following a path of destiny. His paranormal passion was stoked by a face-to-face encounter with the spirit of a suicidal woman who haunted his old apartment building in Trenton, Mich.

"My life was very bad at one point until I had this huge experience with this ghost, and it changed my life for the better," he says.

At that moment, the impromptu investigation is deemed over, but Bagans, Groff and Goodwin agree that they need to come back to the hotel to investigate further. Bagans also admits that while he's sympathetic toward McNamara's skittish reaction at the encounter, he has a different reaction.

"To know somebody who's not trying to put herself in this position, to see how uncomfortable she was walking down the hallway, to see a bottle fly from her hand seven feet. It's frightening to her, but it puts a smile on my face," he says.
Filed under: Weird News, Entertainment
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