“It’s widely believed that supernatural entities feed off of fear, and the greater the fear, the more dangerous spirits become. Travel Channel’s special four-part miniseries “Ghost Adventures: Quarantine,” premiering Thursday, June 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and airing weekly through July 2, tests the theory firsthand, as Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Jay Wasley and Billy Tolley quarantine themselves for ten days inside Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum in Las Vegas. In a frightening expose filmed entirely by the guys without a production crew, the team – maintaining proper social distance practices amid the coronavirus pandemic – discover how heightened levels of fear in this unprecedented time impact the dark energies attached to the world’s most haunted objects. With no recent visitors to the museum due to the closure, Bagans and the team are the first people in weeks to encounter these powerful paranormal forces and face them head on. And in a highly anticipated moment, Bagans finally opens the infamous Dybbuk Box to investigate its sinister influence.”
The above love letter/press release was penned by the Travel Channel’s diligent publicity department and leapt up at my weary visage upon first perusal, embracing me in a warm patina of cheese. Little could those hard working Travel Channel gremlins know that the promise of more over the top antics from paranormal ghost hunters Zak Bagans and his own motley crew of Keebler Elves – Billy Tolley, Aaron Goodwin and Jay Wasley, respectively – was exactly what the doctor had ordered for me and my family during what will surely go down in the history books as one of the more slightly trying years in our world history. Seriously, prior to the year 2020, the only images I had when that deathless number was ever uttered in a conversation were Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters. Oh, for those simpler days. Of six months ago. Sigh.
But I digress. Yes Dear and Loyal Readers, the Ghost Adventures team is indeed back and I am indeed one happy camper. Y’see, for going on nigh twelve years now, Zach’s misadventures in pioneer saloons, Scottish castles and Nevada brothels has acted as a buffer between myself and the so-called Outside World which is inhabited by such scary and unknown variables as plague, racial unrest and the Olsen Twins. Through weight gains and losses, a divorce, the melancholy retreat of my hairline, a marriage, several moves and now the current End Times, this quartet’s endless pursuit of Truth has seen me through good and through bad. Ghost Adventures is like the televised equivalent of a zany best friend who constantly keeps you on your toes with whatever Jabberwocky they come up with during any given week, month or year. In point of fact, time is meaningless when holed up with a Travel Channel Ghost Adventures weekend marathon, a good bottle of Vino and a stash of yummy tea. Jus’ sayin’, y’all.
Words such as “plot” and “sequential storytelling” are almost beside the point when indulging in any episode of this long-running ghost hunting show. Shakespeare and Dickens it ain’t. What it is – and specifically what this newest iteration of the long running franchise Quarantine is – is a great excuse to unwind after a long and stressful week of noise and angst.
At first it’s jarring to see Billy, Jay and Aaron wearing face masks and attempting to observe social distancing. With all that our poor old globe was and still is going through, it’s an interjection of starkness and reality that at first seems at loggerheads with the ghostly bacchanalia that routinely passes for an investigation. But then there’s Zach, the perennial leader of this band of ectoplasmic merry men; This Grand Poobah of the odd and the eerie has been sporting face masks almost for as long as Ghost Adventures has been on the air. Ostensibly this is for the benefit of his asthma. The team plies their particular wares in abandoned and asbestos filled buildings and really the only really odd thing is that it took a global pandemic for the other guys in the group to finally succumb to wearing these life rafts of good health. Irony was a little late showing up to the Ghost Adventures party, but she’s here now and she’s eager to perform a mean fugue on the blood drenched floor. It probably says a little too much about my character that when I finally decided to begin wearing a cloth mask every time I ventured out into the newly dubbed “Badlands” the first thing I thought of while looking at myself in the mirror was Zach Bagans. My psychoanalyst has had a field day with this revelation and I’m now officially back to wearing a bib as I lay on his couch. Now if he could just help me get over Ghost Adventure’s loss of fellow researcher Nick Groff, all would be jake in my little corner of the world. Yes, I know: It’s been years. Get over it. Sigh.
The first episode of this early Christmas present from the Travel Channel Gods centers on the Natalie Wood section of Zach’s museum. This nook is no mere bastion of awards and recognitions that this talented thespian received during her lifetime. Rather, it primarily focuses on the mystery surrounding her drowning death and does so with a bevy of items from the actual boat off of which she spent her final hours. Potentially heavy and looky-loo stuff, but in the hands of Zach and Co. it’s handled respectfully yet with the trademark lightheartedness of some of their best investigations (looking at you, Skinwalker Canyon and Old Town San Diego).
This is a four part mini-series which serves as a temporary annexation from the regular Ghost Adventures show. In the main series, Zach and Aaron and Billy and Jay actually travel outside of the four walls of Zach’s museum (usually) and outside of their hometown of Las Vegas (usually, too). They have adventures in Kentucky nightclubs and ancient plots of land in West Haven, Utah. They move, they run and they are in action – or inaction – throughout the nation and, in fact, throughout the world. This is fun stuff and much missed during an era where a majority of us tend to agree that it might still be a wee bit too soon to barrel back into the world. However, Ghost Adventures: Quarantine, in the words of the Bard himself (or was it John Lennon?): “’Tis enough, twill serve.”
Ghost Adventures Quarantine: Perimeter of Fear can be seen every Thursday evening. Check your local listings for times.