Zak Bagans’ entertainment fortress, the Haunted Museum, is on East Charleston Boulevard, just east of Las Vegas Boulevard. But he lives in The Ridges in Summerlin, where he says, “I have a great view of Mandalay Bay.”
For Bagans, Sunday’s Route 91 shooting hit close to home.
“It was hard, very, very hard, to hear that happening on your home turf,” Bagans said Tuesday night before hosting a candlelight vigil near the entrance of his new museum. “People don’t understand that Las Vegas is such a small community, beyond the tourists who visit here. If you’ve lived here for a long time, you know everybody.
“Knowing friends who were there, and friends of friends who were injured and those who lost their lives, that’s going to stay with us for a long time.”
Bagans, the host of the Travel Channel paranormal series “Ghost Adventurers,” had planned to open his Haunted Museum on Monday afternoon, but delayed a day to swiftly assemble Tuesday’s vigil. About 80 people showed up to mourn and take in a few words by Bagans and Father Dave Casaleggio, known around Las Vegas as “Father Dave,” who presided over the event.
“Let’s take this opportunity to be as good a person as we can be, to help others and be of service,” the priest said near the conclusion of the event. “Let’s do that in honor of the victims of this tragedy.”
A teenage couple, Jacob Montano and Ciarra Sanders, held candles and long-stemmed white carnations given to all who attended the vigil. They were not at the festival Sunday, but were at nearby T-Mobile Arena for the Vegas Golden Knights’ preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
“We’re here to pay our respects,” said Montano, wearing a Vegas Golden Knights hoodie. Sanders added, “We’re here to show we’re thankful for what we have, and to be reminded that life is a gift.”