Updated: Apr 5
I recently visited fabulous Las Vegas with my wife and being a fan of Zak Bagans and Ghost Adventures, I decided to pay a visit to the Zak Bagans Haunted Museum. I had heard from a few friends, one being an awesome paranormal investigator, that it was a must see. So, I dropped my wife off at the outlet mall (she doesn’t care for the paranormal sort of stuff) and headed down East Charleston Ave towards the museum. After parking my car out front, I was greeted by two intimidating looking fellows, but after commenting on my Goonies tshirt that the Goonies never say die, I knew they were some decent guys. I stood in line to get in and was introduced to Angry Joe, the doorman. Some girls asked him why he was angry, and he responded with “because you asked me!”. Of course he was joking and explained that he got the nickname from an investigation he took part in where he asked the spirits if they were angry quite a few times (you may recall the episode). He was actually quite the opposite of angry which just made it all the funnier that that was what was on his name tag.
After a short 15 minute wait, we were ushered inside the old house, er, museum, and then waited for our first tour guide. It was another short 10 minutes and our tour guide arrived and after announcing that we would not hold the museum liable for anything that may happen to us, we were on our way.
Now, I’m not going to go into detail about each and every room that the tour took us as this blog would end up like a Stephen King short story. But I will touch on the artifacts and rooms that either made me feel uncomfortable, emotional or awestruck and in no particular order. The tour lasted approximately 90 minutes and, while I clearly remember all of it, I think some things are better left to experience for yourself.
The first room that really got me emotionally, contained the death van owned by Dr Jack Kevorkian. Knowing so many people lost/gave up their lives in that van right in front of me was unsettling. To most it would just look like any other old blue VW van, but Zak has done his homework and we were shown how they knew this was indeed the van. They even had a mock-up inside the van as if it was ready for its next “patient”.
Next on my memorable rooms was one that we had to be prepared for. The tour guide even admitted she didn’t like the room or the item in it. Yes, I’m talking about one of the most haunted objects in the world, the dybbuk box. It was on a pedestal in the centre of the room enclosed in a clear acrylic box. It was surrounded by salt that the tour guide claimed was purportedly being shifted around over time. There was also a Jewish prayer being played loudly in speakers which we were told was to protect those viewing the box from pure evil that you don’t want to imagine. People that have viewed the dybbuk box have had family and friends die or had some seriously bad things happen to them. How did it make me feel? I was more curious than anything and took a good long look at all sides of it. I can’t say I felt anything about it really other than curiosity.
Next up, Peggy The Doll. Again, before entering the room, we were told a few rules to abide by. First, we have to greet her by name when entering the room and say goodbye to her when exiting the room. There was also a spirit box running so that we could ask her questions in hopes an answer would come through on the spirit box. However there was to be no provoking her! As a paranormal investigator, I don’t care for spirit boxes as they give me quite a headache and this was no exception. Some people in my tour group asked a few questions but nothing really was answered per say through the spirit box. It was an interesting experience and while I dislike spirit box sessions, I think I would’ve stuck around a bit longer to ask some questions. I mean, how often do you get a chance to ask a haunted doll questions?
One room that really got to me emotionally was the serial killers room. Zak Bagans has amassed an assortment of artifacts from some of the most notorious people to walk this earth. From Ted Bundy’s eyeglasses to Charles Manson’s ashes, it has a creep factor that is off the charts. I felt anger and sadness at the same time while in that room and couldn’t get out of there fast enough. It’s definitely not a “paranormal” themed room but if what some paranormal investigators say about items containing the energy of those who once owned them, then there was enough energy in that one room to power a small city. Enough said.
Last, I really want to highlight the last room on the tour. For anyone that has watched the Zak Bagans documentary, Demon House, then you will know exactly where this is going. In the documentary of a small house in Indiana, we are shown a set of stairs leading down to the basement where it is believed that some rituals were performed. Well, Zak bought that house and before it was torn down, he removed the stairs, dirt and the objects found in the dirt from under the stairs and put them on display in the museum. The only word that came to me as I laid my eyes on it was “wow”. If you haven’t seen Demon House, then this room may not have much of an affect on you, but I have and it is seriously chilling.
After going into and out of about 30 different rooms (yes, you read that correctly!) I had so many different feelings going through me and just trying to figure out what all I just saw, I ended up in the gift shop. And yes, I absolutely bought some souvenirs!
Zak Bagans Haunted Museum is a must see for anyone with the slightest interest in the paranormal, the occult or oddities (I won’t get into the funhouse and clowns on this blog). I, for one, am looking forward to paying the museum a visit again one day down the road to see what else they can find to add to this already impressive and very memorable museum.
- MIKE LUTKE