Zak Bagans brings ‘Demon House’ remnants to Las Vegas museum

If Zak Bagans were a character in a horror movie, you’d never stop screaming at him.

As soon as the Las Vegas-based paranormal investigator heard about a Gary, Indiana, house that clairvoyants claimed was home to 200 demons, he didn’t merely go inside. He bought the residence, sight unseen, over the telephone.

Then he went inside.

Then he sealed himself in.

“I wanted to be a part of it,” the “Ghost Adventures” star says, taking a break from filming an episode in Virginia City. “You don’t hear this too often where you have this many credible witnesses, from police from three different jurisdictions, (Child Protective Services) workers, clergy, emergency room staff, nurses, psychologists, doctors. … I didn’t know if it was a hoax, a hysteria or real, but I wanted to see.”

‘A portal to hell’

He exited the home unable to see much of anything.

As Bagans reveals in his documentary “Demon House,” which opens at Brenden Theatres at the Palms on Friday, his suffering began almost immediately. The day after he was boarded up inside the home, his eyes began crossing. Bagans developed a permanent case of diplopia, aka double vision, for which he’ll always need to wear prism glasses.

Bagans says he visited four doctors who ran panels of tests looking for neurological problems, all of which came back negative. None of them could explain the rapid onset of his vision problems. He was about to have an operation to correct the malady when his surgeon informed him there was a chance he’d be left blind. “I would rather wear prism glasses my entire life than run that risk,” Bagans says. “That’s my biggest fear.”

Coming from someone who makes real estate described as “a portal to hell” an impulse buy, that’s a strong statement.

A return to his filmmaking roots

Bagans graduated from the Motion Picture Institute in his native Michigan before moving to Las Vegas in 1995 to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking. “Demon House” is the first film he’s directed since “Ghost Adventures,” the 2004 documentary that spawned the Travel Channel series.

“I love the extended time that I have for the investigation,” Bagans says of the documentary format. “My Travel Channel schedule, ‘Ghost Adventures,’ doesn’t give me a lot of time. It’s been going on for almost 10 years now and (there’s) no end in sight. ‘Ghost Adventures’ is my life. However, I’m liking the documentary filmmaking side of these stories.”

A far cry from the few days Bagans has for his TV investigations, “Demon House” was three years in the making. “I had security cameras in the house for 2½ years, and never once did I capture something move by itself — and I wanted to,” he says, laughing. “But, as I discovered, it was more about these forces having this pre-planned agenda for anybody who came in there, into their nest, on how they were going to affect you.”

“This place drained me,” he continues. “People usually see me full of energy and horrible humor. But this place had a way of taking people’s energy and screwin’ up and makin’ ’em weird and sick.”

‘We are all drawn to fear’

If you’re interested in the possibility of getting weird and sick, several items from the house are on display at Bagans’ Haunted Museum, 600 E. Charleston Blvd. Among the pieces are the staircase to the basement, where most of the unusual energy was observed in “Demon House,” as well as the basement door, some of the dirt from under those stairs, where rituals were thought to have taken place, and some of the items buried in it.

So, if someone is a true believer and subscribes to the theory that evil can attach itself to objects, why in the world would he or she want to be anywhere near something that had been a part of such a place?

“We are all drawn to fear in a certain way. It’s an emotion that we actually do like to feel,” Bagans explains. “We like to go on roller coasters. We like to skydive. We like to watch scary movies. We do. We wanna feel that rush and put ourselves in a situation where we’re testing our own limits.”

Lasting visual impairment would seem like a reasonably good test of a person’s limits, but Bagans isn’t done with the house. And, to hear him tell it, the house isn’t done with him.

“Still to this day, I get visions in my head a lot about the house. The smell of it. The feeling of it. … It’s something letting me know that it hasn’t forgotten me, which sounds crazy. But that’s the thing of this. I think that whatever was there visits me. It’s with me.”

If that doesn’t sound crazy, the following comes pretty darn close:

“In a sick, weird way, I miss the house,” Bagans admits. “I miss it. I miss being inside of it. I miss feeling what I felt.”

Contact Christopher Lawrence at or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas
Trainer Lou “Mack” McCammon guides several rescue dogs through a series of tricks and jumps two shows a day weekends through December at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like