When Zak Bagans saw his first ghost -- a woman at the foot of his bed in Detroit -- he knew he was part of a rare breed of people. But he was disappointed to see how lightly people were taking his experience.
"I was really getting aggravated telling this story to people," the host of "Ghost Adventures" on the Travel Channel says. "I'd tell the story and then we'd go eat a sandwich and that's it. I experienced something that is legit. And that put me on this quest and it changed everything about me after that."
The paranormal expert now seeks out spirits for a living, and he doesn't listen to the naysayers around him.
"The evidence that we are capturing now is not just flickering lights and door knocks," he says. "I want to welcome people that don't believe and talk with them and show them the steps and have them accompany me on investigations."
Bagans says the ghosts that still linger on earth do so for a reason.
"[They] have something to say," he says. "There's something unsolved in their life, whether it's an unsolved murder -- they know who the killer is but the police never found out -- a lost love [who] died suddenly, they're in denial [about their death]. A spirit, I believe, is still trapped here is because they're not ready to move on. They want to keep living. Or they're dead and they're just stuck here, in purgatory, because they know that if they go to hell, it's gonna be worse."
And there's also a reason why they choose your particular home to haunt.
"It's still a fight of who owns the place. There's a living person there but there's a ghost that wants the living person out."
Are you haunted?
If you’re one of the “nine out of 10” who Bagans predicts has experienced some supernatural activity in your home, don’t panic, he advises.
“Just let it be, because I think that if you try and communicate with them, like what I do, then once they realize — like in the movie “Ghost” — that you can hear them, they will just bug you even more. If that’s what you want, get a digital recorder and talk with them. If you directly start communicating with them, they’re gonna know that they’ve gotten your attention. That’s what they’re trying to do — get your attention.”
The basic tools
“The evolution of technology, the engineers that we work with — electrical engineers that have worked at NASA — they are designing this equipment for us,” Bagans says.
Mel meter: It may look like a cell phone Zack Morris would have owned, but it’s really used to pick up electromagnetic energy. “Spirits are made up of energy. ... This can detect the energy. It’s like a metal detector.”
Digital recorder: Got one of these lying around? You can use it to talk to ghosts. Once you identify some inexplicable energy, record yourself talking to the potential spirit and play it back on a speaker. “These microphones will pick up sounds that we can’t hear,”?Bagans says. “They’ll pick up subfrequencies. And when spirits speak they can speak within these subfrequencies, in the white noise that’s generated by the recorders.”