Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum


Carolina Troxel

Zak Bagans is a well-known paranormal investigator, actor, museum operator, and author. In 2004, Zak teamed up with Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin to create the documentary series Ghost Adventures. The show aired in 2007 on SciFi Channel. In 2008 Travel channel aired the show. Travel Channel has aired 19 seasons of Ghost Adventures as of 2019.
In October 2017, Bagans opened a museum in Las Vegas. The museum held some of the paranormal objects he had collected from different locations over the years. It has 33 rooms, each with various items. Some artifacts the museum holds are famous Dracula actor Bella Lugosi’s mirror, The dybbuk box, The Devil’s rocking chair, The Cauldron, Peggy the doll, and Famous death doctor Jack Kevorkian’s death van. It is speculated that the Lugosi mirror and the Captain Smith mirror may have been stolen.

The dybbuk box is rumored to be the most haunted object in the world. It’s a wine cabinet that is said to be haunted by a dybbuk. A dybbuk is a malicious spirit of a dislocated soul of a dead person according to Jewish mythology. The cabinet was purchased by writer and furniture refinishing business owner Kevin Mannis at a local attorney’s yard sale in Portland, Oregon. It was then he began developing a backstory to this cabinet. According to Mannis the carving in the back of the wine cabinet was put there as well as the stone inside. He took in the name, term, and idea of the dybbuk box and created a story around it to sell on eBay. His story of this cabinet was that it was owned by a survivor of the Holocaust in Poland. Mannis stated in the ad that the Holocaust survivor said the cabinet was haunted by a malicious dybbuk. The cabinet had paranormal powers and was the reason he had bad luck and nightmares. The next owner retold Mannis’ story when they sold the box and added to it their own strange occurrences with the box. One of the owners, Jason Haxton, launched a website that consolidated claims about the box. The website reportedly received thousands of hits and has created an internet legend. In 2004, Haxton sold the rights to the story to Hollywood production teams. The cabinet then inspired the 2012 horror film The Possession. Rapper Post Malone came in contact with the cabinet and received a spate of bad luck in 2018. The Dybbuk box is still at Zak Bagans’ museum to be viewed by the public.

The Devil’s Rocking Chair is said to be the very same chair that was associated with the Ed and Lorraine Warren case of The Devil Made Me Do It. The origin of this chair is not known. The chair was bought by the Glatzel family in the early 50s. For the next 30 years, it was nothing but a simple piece of furniture until the summer of 1980. In the summer of 1980, the chair was part of a tragedy that engulfed the Glatzel family. This tragedy contains one of the most notorious exorcisms in all of US history and even a murder caused by possession. The chair is believed to be cursed by the devil. The story started in July of 1980 when an 11-year-old boy, David Glatzel, was possessed by a demon and woke up in the middle of the night screaming. He claimed he was visited by a man with big black eyes, a thin face, sharp teeth, and pointed ears. David was not a kid who made things up so his family took him seriously. His older sister, Debbie Glatzel, asked her fiance, Arnie Johnson If he would stay with her family and see if it would help David. It did not help the situation at all. Things escalated when he continued to see the man in his nightmare but he started telling him he would take his soul and he started seeing him while he was awake. This is where the chair comes into play with the story. During this time David was always seen sitting in the rocking chair. They had said the demon then claimed the chair as his own. Family members would see the chair rocking back and forth on its own and David would claim he saw the scary man in the chair when no one else could. The family got a priest to bless the house but the priest only made things much worse. David started hissing at his family and speaking in multiple different voices at once. He also was quoting from the book Paradise Lost, a book an 11-year-old was not familiar with. This is when they called the Warrens who over time performed multiple exorcisms. On the last exorcism they thought everything was solved but what wasn’t known at the time was that when the demon left David, it jumped to Debbie’s fiance, Arnie Johnson. Arnie began behaving the same as David did, hissing and growling. Over the next few months he would slip into a trance before on February 16, 1981, he killed his landlord, Alan Bono. When he appeared in court he pleaded not guilty due to demonic possession. The judge did not accept the plea and sentenced Arne to 10-20 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter.

The chair caused many issues at Zak’s museum. It created tension between staff members in the area around the chair, doors nearby would shut on their own and lights would switch off on their own. It was so destructive Zak Bagans closed the exhibit off until further notice in 2019. The chair had caused six different people to suffer illnesses due to being near it.

Peggy the doll is a 3-foot-tall doll with blonde hair and glassy blue eyes. She is considered to be one of the most dangerous and haunted dolls in the world. The owner bought the doll from a car boot sale. She began having nightmares and thought she was being haunted by the doll. She contacted Jayne Harris, a haunted doll investigator. She sent Jayne the doll and Jayne and her team began working with the doll. She posted some videos online and those who viewed the video reported having chest pains, nausea, and crippling headaches. Jayne eventually discovered that the doll was possessed by a woman born in 1946 who died of chest-related conditions. The woman might have also been tied to the Holocaust. Zak keeps the doll in her own glass-enclosed box with cameras on her at all times. She also has a spirit box by her to communicate with those who dare to see her.

Zak Bagans’ museum is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online and go on a late-night flashlights-only tour of the museum. The museum has been voted #1 best-haunted destination in America by USA Today and also the best museum in Las Vegas four years in a row.