I am Haunted: Living Life Through the Dead - Zak Bagans, Kelly Crigger

Paranormal investigator Zak Bagans has traveled all over the world, seeking answers to life's deepest and most terrifying mysteries. What happens when we die? Why do some spirits move on while others remain stuck in some sort of in-between place? What do the spirits really want from us? Zak has dedicated his life to finding out the truth. He has bought a demon house in Indiana that has been described as a "portal to hell,"; summoned the devil at the Hellfire Club in Ireland, and been attacked by a possessed doll in Mexico. But sometimes it's his interactions with the living that rattle him the most, from innocent people harboring evil spirits to crazed fans to the victims of violent spirit attacks.
Through his investigations of the world's most haunted places, Zak has learned far more about the living and the dead than anyone should. He's been to the edge of death and back and come away with a spiritual key that unlocks doors to another world that few have ever seen.

Goodreads.com

 

 

 

 

I had to go look up my old review for Bagan's book Dark World and remind myself of my thoughts. I remembered loving that first book but it was a few years ago, so the specifics are a little fuzzy. Funny thing, I gave that one five stars at the time and I actually ended up liking this new book, I Am Haunted waaay more... so how to rate? 5 ++ stars, lol ?! 

 

While Dark World is entertaining in that it gives Ghost Adventures fans BTS looks at some of the most memorable episodes over the years, in I Am Haunted Bagans adds in more personal stories about how the paranormal research itself takes a toll on each GAC member individually. Obviously, given the title, he shares mostly his own experiences, struggles, illnesses, and triumphs relating to the work but also shares what he observes with other members such as Aaron and newly-on-camera Jay Wasley and Billy Tolley (Nick Groff has now left GA and does solo investigations). One thing that really stands out here is how considerate & appreciative Bagans is of everyone who works with him. For instance, when discussing personal information about Aaron, Zak is quick to say something to the effect of "he said it was okay to talk about this but after this, I won't say any more.". 

 

GA fans will likely burn through this read in a hurry, but it'll be quite the ride! It's a short memoir, only 269 pages and chock full of pictures on nearly every page, so it's not going to feel like a life commitment to get through... nothing like Clinton's autobio, let's say ;-)... but infinitely more engaging than a lot of non-fiction out there. The stories Bagans shares alternate between being honestly laugh-out-loud funny and chillingly creepy. He also gives you even more BTS stories that maybe you (if you are are Ghost Adventures fan, that is) were wondering about but didn't get an answer to in Dark World. He discusses his thoughts regarding the complaints he gets about all the reenactments and historical info worked into each GA episode, explaining why it's there --- I was just surprised to hear people complain about this, the history segments are some of my favorite parts on the show! Some other topics covered:

 

~~ whatever happened with that Netherworld show (I can't believe that whole thing about the guy nearly getting stabbed over a Nutella crepe! Craziness!)

 

~~ some of his biggest fears & phobias and how they affect how he does paranormal investigating

 

~~ his struggles with respiratory issues that led him to decide to get a nose job to open his airways (I'll just say here, I've always been self conscious about having a big nose for a girl, but it's just the size that bothers me. My nose is currently perfectly functional. Zak doesn't hold back when describing the whole process from start to finish, and I can now say I'm never having my sniffer cut into for anything that's purely vanity. I've now been freaked out into just accepting my face as is unless a truly and purely medical concern comes up. So thanks for that Zak!)

 

His experiences with being overtly sensitive to the emotions / feelings of others also struck a chord with me because it's something I've experienced myself my entire life and there is a good and bad side to it. While on one hand it does drive you to live life with great empathy and kindness towards others, it can also have times when it is very draining and you have to remind yourself that you can't help /save everyone all the time, and you also can't ignore taking care of yourself (which is what typically happens in the process). There also tends to be a sense of social isolation that comes with it because people that are wired this way can be misinterpreted as odd, freakish, creepy, too quiet, too introverted, etc. So it was comforting to read the experiences of someone else who has lived with this and pushed through the tougher days to put forth a lot of good into the world. 

 

Probably a given to say this, but yes, definitely, highly recommend this one to all Ghost Adventures fans :-)

 

 

If you didn't see my reviews for Dark World or Nick Groff's Chasing Spirits, you can see those here