The D.C.-born paranormal investigator, tv personality, business owner, and author rose to mainstream stardom on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.
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He has captured the attention of fans of the creepy and macabre with his investigation of haunted houses and locations with a dark past.
But he’s also drawn attention for the respirator he wears in every episode.
The answer is surprisingly simple—and for dedicated Zak Bagans fans, it’s pretty obvious.
You’ll find it at the end of this article…or you can read on to learn more about the ghost hunting entertainer.
The Origin Story
Zachary Alexander Bagans was born in Washington, D.C., on the 5th of April 1977.
He spent his early years in the US capital before his family relocated to Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he attended Glenbard West High School.
Zak’s mom, interior designer Nancy Knapp, divorced his father and remarried after the pair had Zak and his older sister, Meredith.
With her second husband, she had two more kids—Sky and Phil.
After graduating from Glenbard West in 1995, Zak wasn’t sure where to go next.
He wanted to pursue filmmaking as a career—that much he knew for sure—but he was also fascinated with history.
He attended Western Michigan University but dropped out in the first year and enrolled at the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan.
Getty ImagesAfter graduating from film school, Zak made the move to Las Vegas to try and make a go of his dreams.
It was rough, and he took on several jobs to cover the bills.
He also worked as a wedding DJ for several years, while he formed a cast and crew to make his first documentary film.
In 2004, he produced Ghost Adventures as a feature-length film.
The show was picked up by the SciFi Channel several years later and caught the eye of the executives at the Travel Channel.
In 2008, he was signed on to create a successor series alongside Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin.
The show experienced massive success and had racked up 24 seasons and 230+ episodes by 2021.
Following the insane success of his ghost hunting show—and huge public demand for eerie tourist ventures—Zak launched a show called Deadly Possessions in 2016. The show followed him as he curated creepy pieces of history for a new kind of museum in Vegas.
In 2017 he opened the museum, which comprises more than 30 rooms filled with artifacts.
Some of these macabre artifacts include Dr. Kevorkian’s Death Van, Bela Lugosi’s mirror, and the Dybbuk Box—a wine cabinet haunted by a mythological Jewish dybbuk.
The story told by the Dybbuk box’s original owner was the inspiration for the 2012 cult horror film, The Possession.
Hot off the back of a top-rated TV show and a museum spin-off, Bagans released two books: Dark World: Into the Shadows and Ghost-Hunting For Dummies.
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What’s That Got To Do With His Mask?
The simple truth is, Zak Bagans has asthma—and he spends every episode of Ghost Adventures digging around in old, damp, dust-filled buildings.
He often warns his viewers to be careful of airborne contaminants in old buildings, to wear a respirator, and to be careful of mold.
Loyal fans of Bagans’ shows are quick to point out that there is no mystery behind the mask.
One commenter went so far as to post: “Every single time he puts a respirator on, he says, ‘I’m wearing this because I have asthma.’ Every. Single. Time.”
Zak is so famous for always wearing the respirator masks that he often leaves one at the sites he visits, autographed for whoever finds it on their own Ghost Adventure.
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Think a tour of some haunted stuff sounds good? Check out Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum here.