Away from the bright lights, bustling casinos, and sold-out shows in Las Vegas is a museum unlike any other located on the quiet city outskirts. Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum is filled with cursed objects and items once belonging to infamous serial killers and is a supposed hotspot for paranormal activity. My dad and I stumbled upon the museum while spending the weekend in Vegas so I could take the SAT.
When observing the museum from the outside – a run-down and seemingly ordinary house – we didn’t think the tour would have much to offer. As we entered the first room with our group of 11 other people (an intentional move to make us an unlucky group of 13), we found ourselves surrounded by countless random horror oddities. Creepy dolls, human-sized silicone clowns, and gory masks were all interesting to look at, but the room felt more like a random collection of objects instead of a display, and I was worried that the entire tour was going to be like this.
Thankfully, the first room was merely an “introduction” room, because every other room in the museum was a highly immersive experience that drastically changed the tone of the tour. Each room in the tour was accompanied by a video of Zak Bagans, host of the TV show “Ghost Adventures” and owner of the museum, explaining the backstory and haunted origins of the objects. Some rooms were relatively light-hearted, such as props from famous horror movies. In contrast, other rooms were extremely intense and displayed objects directly related to someone’s death, murder (like the ashes of the Zodiac Killer or the murder kit of Ted Bundy), or have a purported paranormal backstory.
“One of the most intense rooms and my personal favorite of the tour was the display of the Devil’s Rocking Chair,” my dad shared.
Belonging to the Glatzel family, the chair would rock back and forth violently in their home. 11-year-old David Glatzel, who was supposedly possessed by the Devil, claimed he could see a “beast” who sat in the rocking chair, which would also be the site of his exorcism. After his exorcism, David’s older sister’s fiancé, Arne Cheyenne Johnson, murdered his landlord and claimed that he was possessed during the murder, which led to the infamous “The Devil Made Me Do It” case. Zak Bagans bought the chair for $67,000 and has it on display in the museum, where my dad and I saw it toward the end of our tour.
Along with the crucifixes that were used in the actual exorcism, the room was modeled to resemble David Glatzel’s room with the rocking chair in the middle, and it made me feel like I was actually there,” my dad said after the visit. “The audio clip of the exorcism also added to the environment. His voice didn’t sound like an 11-year-old boy – it was hoarse and sounded like a man’s.”
The room I found the most memorable was the display of the Dybbuk Box, a box containing a violent spirit, and is known as “The Most Haunted Object in the World,” according to the tour. Before we saw the box, the video explaining its backstory described how it had tormented its previous owners with paranormal activity, and how rapper Post Malone was cursed by the box.
Shortly after taking a tour of the museum and coming into close contact with the box, Post Malone had a plane emergency when two tires of his private jet blew out on the runway. A few days later, his old house was broken into by armed robbers, and if that wasn’t enough, just a week after that, he was involved in a car crash. The video explains its cursed origin and the barrier between the box and the visitors (introduced after Post Malone’s experiences). Dark lighting added to the eerie atmosphere of the room.
Overall, the museum was an excellent experience that was more than worth the $54 entry fee. The tour was over two hours long, and we went through more than 15 rooms. I would not recommend this to the faint of heart or overly sensitive, as it is a rather intense experience. There was even a “funhouse” with scare actors and large animatronics meant to frighten visitors, which caught my entire group off-guard. I would most definitely recommend visiting the museum, especially if you are a fan of horror, and if you want to experience something different from the traditional entertainment in Las Vegas.
Title of attraction: Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum
Location: 600 E Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104
Run Dates/Hours of Operation: Wednesday – Monday (Closed Tuesday): 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
General Admission ages 14+ : $54
RIP All Access (Upgraded Experience): $86
Local/Senior/Military (Proof of ID Required): $48
RIP All Access – Local/Senior/Military (Proof of ID Required): $80