Zak Bagans’ Demon House – Is it a fake?

Four things Zak Bagans tells us at the beginning of the Demon House…

Zak Bagans’ Demon House begins more like a Hollywood horror film than documentary, but presents us with four fundamental pieces of information before we really know what’s going on. These are; that Zak Bagans is one of the most formidable paranormal investigators, researchers and demonologists in the world; that the demon house was reported on the news as one of the most compelling cases of demonic possession and exorcism in recent times; that before this case even came to Zak’s attention he had a dream about a particularly tall goat like creature that effected him in some way; and finally that once aware of the demon house Zak brought it straight away and this too was reported on the news.

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Let’s pause for a second now and just think about the information you’ve been given literally in under five minutes. Firstly, you’ve been told that our hero in this story, Zak Bagans is one of if not the best at what he does in the world. You’ve also been advised that this case was so horrific that it made it onto the news, where they reported on demonic possession and exorcism’s, bearing in mind that generally we associate the news with reporting facts to us. Then you’ve been made aware of a dark dream where a particular dark character may be causing some kind of harm to Zak. Although this dream may not be related at all, it certainly is now. Especially as its beginning to fit the other information presented to us. This is all sealed by the last fact we are told, that Zak Bagans brought the house with the intention to find out what was going on there.

One could say the scene has been set and the characters ready to play their parts!

Not a review of the Demon House…

At this point you would likely be of the mindset that given the opening of this particular blog, I am probably about to give Zak Bagans’ Demon House a pretty poor review. In which case you would be wrong, as this isn’t a review of the film at all. Granted it’s a blog about the Demon House, but it’s certainly not what I would consider a review. You see the problem is as much as I recognise many TV programmes today as a modern sensationalism of the paranormal field, I equally recognise the very positive part they play. Albeit a little difficult to see and often well hidden, these shows do generate an interest and certainly generate discussion. It’s without doubt the also have a large following too, which I think is great news. If a small percentage of that large following take up a serious interest in the paranormal then we will gradually see innovations in the way we do things and perhaps even some good theories too.

Alas I digress, back to the Demon House..

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Once past the opening titles which incidentally equally suggest some dark happenings within this particular property, Zak arrives at his new home! Okay, so he has no intention of moving in for real, but we know Zak and in order to fully experience this property we know at some point the guy will be dramatically locked inside. After all that’s pretty much the concept for his popular TV show Ghost Adventures.

Demonic activity plagues family…

First things first though, in thick snow Bagans checks out the house. It isn’t long either before we get onto the family that had recently had the terrible demonic experiences at the property. However they are unwilling to discuss the matter with Zak Bagans team. It’s later suggested that they are in talks with some people from Hollywood though, if memory serves me well. However Bagans does manage to find someone linked to the family willing to talk and they fill us in on the strange happenings of the Demon House.

This all helps Bagans to link the story to some additional eye witnesses, such as staff at a nearby hospital and a social worker. These confirm the story Zak was investigating, which includes witnessing a child walking backwards up a wall against the laws of science, especially gravity. It also confirms some reports of strange occurrences witnessed at the house too. This also includes a couple of local law enforcement officers who don’t like the house either.

In fact we go through a whole section of backing up the previous reports. This is standard in any documentary, but it could equally be argued that you would do the same in a fictional story too.

If it sounds too good to be true, then….

This is one of the biggest problems I have with this particular case, it falls firmly into the category of; ‘if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is’. What I mean by this is that everything comes across as readily accessible to Bagans, apart from the family themselves. This was something I pondered over for a while, something I looked at from both sides too. It could be something as simple as they signed up to a film deal with someone who prevented them from talking to Bagans. Perhaps as the whole thing took its toll on the family they didn’t wish to relive it by telling a TV personality and potentially the world about it. Then there were the children, the children that were supposed effected were quite young, so perhaps their mother didn’t want them exposed to the media. Perhaps if the family was being dishonest then they were worried the children would give it away. There was a lot around this that didn’t sit well, which really wasn’t helped by one person Bagans spoke to mentioning they were offered money too for their story. It wasn’t that this had occurred, my concern was more around Bagans need to highlight it in a few places.

Girl becomes possessed by the dark entity…

Next up was a family that appeared to show up at the house because they used to live there I think. Given Bagans comprehension that this house was greatly haunted and potentially in his mind quite dangerous, he went onto invite the family in. If that wasn’t enough he gave them a brief tour, which included the basement. This whole part of the film is something I struggled with to be honest. Perhaps at that point Bagans wasn’t of the mindset the place posed a particular threat, but then if that wasn’t the case why buy it and investigate it?

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The outcome of this family’s visit was, if I am honest, decisively far-fetched! The sequence of events that followed could have been scripted by Stephen King. Basically the family visits Bagans in his little Demon House, previously their home I believe. During the tour of the house, most likely in the basement, something dark attached itself to the daughter. Then from this point forward a girl who used to be quite pleasant becomes increasingly negative and abusive towards her mother. This is of course reported back to Bagans who quickly understands this to be a possible possession, so they take the girl to a local man of god and an exorcism is performed in the church on camera. Granted it doesn’t follow the likes the cult classic films The Exorcist in its approach, but again you have to wonder in these circumstances. Zak Bagans does a fantastic job of measuring the success of the exorcism and advises that she is okay after it.

Let’s just recap and bring a scientist into the Demon House…

So, up until this point we have had the previous witnesses, the conspiracy theory based on someone from Hollywood trying to buy the stories or perhaps their silence, we have seen what the Demon House can do to a teenage girl after just a brief tour of the place too. What is missing is the scientific view-point, enter our scientist!

During this particular part of the film Bagans and his team, along with the scientist conduct a thorough investigation of the house. During this some very interesting readings occur in relation to activity experienced by Bagans. However they also capture some odd video and something happens to one of the team, who if memory serves me is or was a camera man. Now the scientist confirms that there is something very odd about the house or at least the land that it sits on. Drawing correlations to things that appear to affect Bagans. However once again what occurs here is more evident once they all leave the house.

Bagans scientist friend soon falls drastically ill and ends up in hospital with multiple serious conditions, which even he is of the assumption that his change in health has a direct link to the recent visit to the house. Obviously this doesn’t all happen over night and these conditions build over time.

Violent dark outbursts at the hotel…

However the action on the cameraman guy is much swifter and dramatic. Once back at the hotel he begins to act really strange, this soon escalates to him having a huge outburst in the corridor of the hotel. Something which is equally quite violent too. I had a slight concern over this part of the footage too. The team appear to film it on a few devices, even though they’re supposed to be concerned about their friend. Also, when this occurs there are no other people in the hotel that come out of their rooms within the corridor. Either Bagans team have the whole floor to themselves or there are no other guests in the hotel. Both of which I find a little hard to understand. Equally to this you don’t see a member of staff appear to see what all the commotion is about. Hence it comes across more like a scene being shot for a film, in my opinion. Suffice to say after this the cameraman spirals further into darkness and due to his behaviour Bagans has to let him go.

If you know film and TV then you’ll be well aware that what’s been occurring is the gradual build for the grand finale. Which in Zak Bagans style similar to Ghost Adventures, will be alone lockdown in the Demon House to see what may happen to Bagans over night. In all honesty I was a little disappointed by this, as there only appeared to be a couple of minor events. However the events in question seemed to freak Bagans out quite a bit and he left the house with a severe eye injury that he will now have with him forever.

The Demon House is demolished…

Then in an odd ending Bagans has the house demolished, so that it can not cause pain for anyone else. However it may not be the house and these entities may be attached to the land itself. In which case if they build another house, that too may have the problems of the original.

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Zak Bagans Demon House left me with a great number of questions still unanswered in honesty. It was certainly an entertaining piece of film in my opinion and it was well put together as I watched straight through to the end. I’m no expert in demonology that’s for sure, but it is an area I would like to know more about. However as ever paranormal stories that are concluded to be related to demons often have me wondering to their authenticity.

Did Zak Bagans purchase a genuine property that was haunted by a possible demon or even a few demons? That is not an easy one to answer. Bagans does make a compelling case and certainly suggests that there is evidence to support the claims. Evidence I would certainly be interested in viewing. It is suggested that this case was shot over several years at the beginning, perhaps that which seemed to have occurred in a short space of time had a longer lead time. That too would make some of the case more credible. It’s certainly a case I would like to review and if the house stood take a look myself. Which is part of this story that I find a little hard to swallow. If this particular house was such a location where actual activity of this nature had occurred, then surely it could have been kept as a possible location for further and more scientific research? Obviously I understand that Bagans film shows the dangers that this house can inflict on people who visit it whilst they are there and after they have left. However if our desire to know so much of what is beyond our reality of existence, should we not attempt to follow the rabbit down the hole to see what exists beyond? Exploration of new lands has never come without risk or danger, so should the risk be evident in the physical and the metaphysical.

Granted that Bagans owned the house and it was his to do with as he pleased, but should such a decision that could give us greater understanding of our own existence remain with one individual?

Was it just entertainment then…

Of course we must equally entertain, well the common factor that the whole thing was ‘for entertainment purposes’ only in which case the validity of this case comes under immense scrutiny in my opinion. So, from one researcher to another, and one that doesn’t like to draw complete conclusions without all the data; I simply ask Zak Bagans to share with me the complete details of this case for peer review? Simply put, if the actual evidence is that compelling then the case will stand by itself. However if its experience lead; the lifestyles and belief systems of those involved may have given the perception of the involvement of dark entities, when in fact there were more lets say psychological explanations available.

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As I said earlier this isn’t really a review of Zak Bagans’ Demon House, so I am not about to give the film a thumbs up or indeed recommend it to anyone as a must watch for those interested in the paranormal. However the delivery of the film does follow some interesting premises in itself. Bagans tells us that the house is cursed, we are presented with information stating that this is a true story and Bagans and the team certainly appear to have their own share of bad luck when it comes to the house. There is plenty to persuade us that the Demon House lives up to its name and certainly has the power to possess a teenage girl, affect the health of a scientist, change the mindset of a crew member and in its finale damage the very vision of Zak Bagans. Whether we take these on board as fact, well that’s a personal venture.

In my opinion the story was compelling and certainly interesting, but as with anything on TV (news included) I take it at face value. I prefer to do a little more research and see what may be beyond the sensationalism of a film such as this. After all we shouldn’t look something up on the internet and just go with what Wikipedia say, should we? There are certainly moments of the film that brought out my sceptic side in full force, that I can not deny. There were moments which Bagans delivered what could only be understood as dramatic and possibly constructed for our viewing pleasure. However it did follow that same successful format that Ghost Adventures has used and thus I’m sure received many interesting reviews.

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As far as an actual story of modern-day demonic possession and presence of a dark entity terrorising a normal home, the film delivered enough to keep you watching, but for me not enough to drive good evidence. As far as a documentary I feel it let itself down with too many dramatic elements too. Good paranormal entertainment, poor factual documentary, in my opinion.

Would Zak Bagans let me review the case I wonder…

However, in regards to this story itself, my question to Zak Bagans remains, if you have good documented evidence to back up this case I would certainly be interested in reviewing it? As a case of such calibre in my opinion should be reviewed by multiple people from varying approaches and understanding. That way we can comprehend its true authenticity across the board.

If you’ve never seen Ghost Adventures, where have you been? Alternatively pop on over to Amazon and start with Season 1.

If you have watched Zak Bagans’ Demon House, then please comment below and share your thoughts on this piece of film? Please keep it civil though, this is a structured discussion after all!

As ever please like, comment, share and subscribe… Let’s get the discussion going….

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One thought on “Zak Bagans’ Demon House – Is it a fake?

  1. I’ll get the comments going! 😉
    I have long stopped watching ANYTHING with Zak Bagans in it, especially because he now usually has “creative control”.
    The antics on Ghost Adventures got repetitive and thus, boring.
    I’m in this field to LEARN, not to be entertained in that manner. It’s like watching the same movie over and over.
    This show might have been fascinating from a psychological point of view, but the moment Zak is connected, I just cannot trust or believe his version of ‘facts’.

    1. I can understand that view point, it is difficult to consider TV Shows such as these as ‘research’ or providing good ‘evidence’, but equally in my opinion I think everything has its place. I feel these shows do generate good interest which can lead to some seeking more serious avenues of research. Also, I have personally met a few from the TV shows and had some fascinating conversations with them outside of the show format of course.

  2. I have too; I’m personal friends with Brian from Haunted Collector and have had in depth conversations with John Zaffis, Patrick Burns, Scotty Roberts, Paul Bradford, etc – and Zak Bagans. While most of their off-camera input is worth hearing… as is any experienced person in this field, his off-camera behavior was one of drinking enough to stagger around and ruin the investigation which many had paid to join him.

    Having been on a haunted TV show myself, I was saddened that all my attempts to get the producers to make it as real as possible were met with instructions to ‘make it as scary as possible’.

    I understand your point that certain shows can educate us and further this field. I just have a hard time condoning shows that continue to perpetuate myths, dangerous techniques, or are used as platforms to further the ego of this man in particular. 🙂

    1. A much larger discussion perhaps. We will get there I’m sure, but it is unfortunate that the sensationalism of the TV shows entertainment factors keep them on our screens rather than the truly fascinating depth this subject has to offer. A future blog perhaps.

  3. I haven’t yet watched this, but I have read a lengthy, skeptical review of it on csicop.org (look for Demon House deconstructed). Well written and researched. I can’t take to watching him as he just appears to be taking everything that happens. I agree with your first responder in that the paranormal and any research/investigation, has to be kept as ‘real’ as possible.

  4. Very much enjoyed your analysis of Demon House. It’s a very interesting film worthy of thought and discussion. I just finished watching Demon House, too. I found it very convincing. I have never watched any of Zak Bagans’ TV shows, so his methods were new to me. Perhaps Bagans is a bit theatrical, but I also felt he effectively used a lot of reality TV show techniques to tell his story. The various witnesses don’t seem to be acting. Having worked for many years as an actress, to me the witnesses seemed pretty natural, which is the hardest thing to do as an actor. I have never believed in demons, but the scientist being hospitalized and Zak developing eye trouble was hard to dismiss. There are so many well documented instances of people being cured of incurable diseases by miracles and prayer, that it does seem possible that a demonic encounter could have the opposite effect. All I can say is the movie really made me think and remain open to the idea that there are many things which we cannot explain with science alone.

    1. Thank you for your reply and kind words. Although the possibility does seem apparent within the context of the film, there are other possibilities that should be explored here which may present normal explanations. Certainly good for thought.

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