Zak Bagans is so popular in the paranormal world that even the ghosts have heard of him. Over the years, Zak has gathered a massive amount of fan following from his misadventures. An authority on ghosts and the supernatural, Zak is also an actor, television personality, museum operator, and author. The lead investigator in the reality series Ghost Adventures, Zak is also the executive producer. The man is often seen traveling to and fro from national and international locations which are rumored to be hunted. In a career spanning more than two decades, Zak has committed to finding and proving the existence of the supernatural. In this article, we will take a closer look at the wiki-bio of Zak Bagans.
Upbringing & Family
Zak Bagan was born on April 5, 1977, in Washington D.C., the second child of Nancy Knapp, an interior designer, and her husband, Larry Bagan who was a salesman. He has an elder sister, Meredith, who was his first friend and confidant. When Zak was still young, his parents divorced and his mother remarried, giving him two half-siblings, Sky and Phil.
Zak grew up in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he attended Glenbard West High School. He was fascinated by history and dreamed of becoming a filmmaker someday. He pursued his studies in filmmaking at the Motion Picture Institute in Michigan. He then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to pursue his dream of becoming a documentary filmmaker.
Getting into Paranormal Investigation
Zak’s life changed when he encountered the spirit of a suicidal woman in his apartment in Michigan, where he had moved to study filmmaking at the Motion Picture Institute. This experience sparked his interest in the paranormal and led him to pursue a career as a paranormal investigator. During his early years in Las Vegas, he worked as a wedding disc jockey and other odd jobs, while also pursuing his interest in paranormal.
In 2004, Zak met Nick Groff, a fellow filmmaker and paranormal enthusiast, who shared his vision of creating a documentary-style film that would capture real evidence of ghosts and hauntings. They teamed up with Aaron Goodwin, a cameraman and equipment technician, to produce a documentary-style film called Ghost Adventures. The film featured their investigation of alleged paranormal activity in and around Virginia City, Nevada, including the infamous Goldfield Hotel. The film aired on the SciFi Channel in 2007 and received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike.
The ‘Ghost Adventures film caught the attention of the Travel Channel, which offered them a deal to produce a series based on their film. The series, also titled Ghost Adventures, premiered in 2008 and became one of the most popular and longest-running shows on the network. The series followed the trio as they explored some of the most notorious and haunted places in the world, such as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, the Winchester Mystery House, and the Island of the Dolls. The series has aired for 28 seasons as of 2023, making it one of the longest-running and most-watched paranormal shows on television. The series has also spawned several spin-offs and specials, such as Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks, Paranormal Challenge, Deadly Possessions, and The Haunted Museum.
Relationship With Nick Groff
Zak Bagans and Nick Groff were once the dynamic duo of paranormal investigation. They co-created and co-starred in the hit show Ghost Adventures. Bagans and Groff developed a close friendship over the years, as they shared their passion for the paranormal and their experiences on the show. They also collaborated on other projects, such as Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks, a spin-off series that revisited some of the locations and people they had encountered on their investigations.
However, in 2014, Groff announced that he was leaving Ghost Adventures after 10 seasons, citing personal reasons. He went on to create his own series, Ghost Stalkers and Paranormal Lockdown, where he continued to investigate the paranormal with different partners. Bagans remained on Ghost Adventures with Goodwin and other new members of the crew. He also created his own spin-off series, Deadly Possessions and Ghost Adventures: Screaming Room. He also opened his own museum in Las Vegas, where he displays various haunted and cursed objects that he has collected over the years.
Bagans and Groff have not publicly spoken about their relationship since their split, but they have both expressed their respect and gratitude for each other on social media. They have also supported each other’s projects and achievements.
Rumors & Controversies
Zak Bagans is a well-known name in the paranormal investigation scene, but he is not without controversy. The host and executive producer of Ghost Adventures has faced accusations of fraud, sabotage and dishonesty from various sources. Here are some of the rumors and controversies that have surrounded him in recent years:
Destination Fear drama: In 2023, the popular show Destination Fear announced that it had been canceled after four seasons. Some fans speculated that Bagans was behind this decision, as he was the executive producer of the show and allegedly feared that it would overshadow his own Ghost Adventures. However, Destination Fear cast member Dakota Laden denied these rumors and said that he was not friends with Bagans.
Discovery+ deal: In 2022, Bagans signed a three-year deal with discovery+ to produce over 100 hours of supernatural and horror content for the streaming platform, including new seasons of Ghost Adventures and The Haunted Museum. Some critics questioned the quality and integrity of his work, as well as his influence over the paranormal genre.
Annabelle investigation: In 2020, Bagans conducted an investigation of the infamous Annabelle doll, which was said to be possessed by a demonic entity. He claimed to have obtained permission from the doll’s owners, Tony Spera and Judy Warren, who were the son-in-law and daughter of the late paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. However, Spera later denounced Bagans and his show, saying that they had no authorization to touch or film the doll, and that they had fabricated evidence and disrespected the Warren legacy.
Life Beyond Ghost Hunting
Bagans is not only interested in capturing evidence of ghosts but also in understanding their stories and motives. He has written several books on his experiences and theories such as Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of the Ghost Adventures Crew(2011), I am Haunted: Living Life Through the Dead (2015), and Ghost-Hunting For Dummies(2019).
In 2017, Bagans opened his own haunted museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he displays his collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to the paranormal, the occult, and the macabre. Some of the items on display include Bela Lugosi’s mirror, the Dybbuk box, Peggy the Doll, and Jack Kevorkian’s “Death Van”. The museum has received acclaim from visitors and critics alike, as well as awards for historic preservation and adaptive reuse.
Zak is also a huge fan of music. In October 2012, Zak decided to pair up with Lords of Acid’s Praga Khan and worked on an 11-track album. Each song featured a message from the dead which was captured from Zak’s paranormal investigations.
Renowned American television personality, paranormal investigator, author and museum owner, Zak Bagans has amassed a considerable fortune from his various ventures. As of 2023, his net worth is estimated to be $32 million.
Personal Life-Wife & Kids
Zak Bagans is neither married nor single but is in a relationship with the former Playboy model Holly Madison. The relationship came to public knowledge not long after her divorce from her ex-husband Pasquale Rotella. By June 2019 Zak and Holly were an item as reported by TMZ.
Relationship With Holly Madison
Zak Bagans and Holly Madison met under unusual circumstances. He was the host of Ghost Adventures, a popular paranormal investigation show on the Travel Channel. She was the former Playboy model and reality star of The Girls Next Door. Their paths crossed when she visited his Haunted Museum in Las Vegas in May 2019.
The attraction was instant and mutual. They had known each other for years, but their romance sparked after their encounter at the museum. They started dating soon after, keeping their relationship mostly out of the public eye. They rarely posted about each other on social media, and were seldom photographed together. They preferred to keep their love life private and low-key.
They had a lot in common, despite their different backgrounds. They both had a fascination with the supernatural, a passion for their careers, and a sense of adventure. They also had to deal with the challenges of long-distance dating, as they both traveled frequently for work. Holly split her time between L.A. and Vegas because of her kids, while Zak filmed his show in various locations around the world. But they made it work.
They dated for nearly two years, enjoying each other’s company and supporting each other’s projects. Holly starred in her own show on Discovery Channel, The Playboy Murders, where she investigated the mysterious deaths of women linked to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire. Zak continued to host Ghost Adventures, as well as other spin-off shows and documentaries related to the paranormal.
Breakup: However, in February 2021, they decided to end their relationship amicably. Sources close to the couple said that they had been having trouble for some time and that they realized they were better off as friends. They had no hard feelings towards each other and remained in touch after their breakup.
Reconcile: But their story was not over yet. In May 2023, TMZ reported that Zak and Holly were back together, rekindling their romance after nearly two years apart. Sources said that they had never really fallen out of love and that they had been communicating on and off ever since their split. They decided to give their relationship another chance, hoping that time had healed their wounds and strengthened their bond.
Zak and Holly are now dating again, happy to have found each other once more. They are still keeping their relationship discreet, but they are not hiding their feelings for each other.
Other than the current relationship, Zak has kept pretty much tight about his affairs. Of what little is known, he was in a relationship with Christine Dolce. Christine was a Cosmetologist, she struggled with substance abuse and died of liver failure in February 2017.
Zachary Alexander Bagans
Date of Birth
April 5, 1977
Place of Birth
Washington D.C., United States of America
Mixed (Italian, Czech and German)
Reality TV actor, Paranormal Investigator, Museum operator, Author