‘Ghost Adventures’: Jay Wasley on Terrifying Findings at Hoover Dam
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Just when you thought it was safe to take a summer vacation by the lake or spend time at that historic hotel, you may want to check with the Ghost Adventures crew first. In the first episode of a new season, now on Discovery Channel, paranormal investigators Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley, and Jay Wasley uncover the deadly secrets of the Hoover Dam's Lake Mead. Over the course of a two-hour special, they'll face some of the most intense experiences in the show's 17-year history.
"I think this new season we push the bar," Wasley said. "We push our limits physically and spiritually. We don't hold back."
Future episodes see the team delve into the Barclay Hotel's blood-soaked history, a real ghost town in Mentryville, the haunted Commerce Casino and Hotel in Nevada, and Los Angeles' peculiar Longfellow-Hastings' Octagon House. We caught up with Wasley to shed further light on what's to come.
This season of Ghost Adventures moves to Discovery Channel. Must mean a lot to know the show is still growing.
Jay Wasley: For me, it's very exciting. All of this is due to our amazing fan base. The fans have been with us since the beginning. They've watched us grow and evolve. It's our Ghost Adventures, but they are right there with us. We can't do it without them.
First up is Lake Mead, which is so expansive. Talk a bit about the challenges you met.
The Lake Mead investigation was a big undertaking for us. It's a big national park with water, land, and mountains. We were hearing stories through our preliminary investigation of a lot of intense stories. So, we knew this wasn't going to be a, no pun intended, walk in the park. We got there, and things got bigger and bigger. We started discovering more things as we heard these stories firsthand. This all set the tone that we were really in for more than finding paranormal evidence but the dangers we could run into spiritually and physically.
You and Zak are the first to venture through these dark tunnels. That looked like quite an unnerving experience.
One thing I love about our show is we go to some truly unique places. Places I never even knew existed without traveling with the show. When we first came upon these tunnels, it was very jaw-dropping. That was the first time going there when I went with Zak to investigate. We are riding these bikes up and bringing all this equipment, and then all these tunnels start to appear. It was so ominous. Right away, as soon as we went into that first tunnel, we started experiencing activity, feeling things, and catching some amazing evidence.
I feel people don't really think about the physicality that can be involved when you guys are conducting these investigations. That is evident with Lake Mead when you're spending hours riding through rocky terrain on ATVs.
The Lake Mead investigation was truly an adventure. Physically, it wore us all out. With the number of steps we put in, we probably set records on our iPhones. We had to take an ATV out for an almost two-hour ride to the middle of nowhere. That's what is scary too. If something goes wrong, it's not like you can get help instantaneously. Logistically, then it's a matter of how we get up there. We tried a helicopter first. That ended up being some trouble. Then we resorted to a two-hour ATV ride that was fun at times but also brutal. It was cold at the time we were filming. The physical stress we put on ourselves, we were definitely pushed with this investigation. I think in a weird way that helps with the paranormal experiences as well because our bodies and minds were already stressed getting there. Our guard is down. We're fragile and open to whatever is going to be there, which adds another terrifying element.
A lot of the places you investigate are actually accessible to the public. I feel like the show could be a double-edged sword for business. It could be, "I want to go because Ghost Adventures has been there." Or "Oh no, that's the place Ghost Adventures has gone."
I think there has been a boom in paranormal tourism over the years. There have been different locations we've been that have become spots fans will travel to because they want to experience it. I think a lot of businesses are open to it. They can do tours. From my standpoint, a lot of this is keeping the history alive. A lot of these locations have such a long and amazing history, it's sad to me when buildings don't embrace that. They try to hide or bury the history or do a reset where they knock the old building down and build something new. I like to see these businesses, and locations, embrace and keep history alive. And if that is giving tours in a paranormal or historical sense, I love it.
Is there one location this season you're most excited for viewers to check out?
One that sticks out to me is in Downtown Los Angeles. A previous investigation we did, which was massive, was the Cecil Hotel. It's infamously known as a haunted location. We were able to gain access to what I call the cousin of the Cecil Hotel, which is the Barclay Hotel. Another massive downtown building in Los Angeles that has a very similar history to the Cecil. It had that vibe. There is something about a massive old terrifying hotel. Each one of those hundred-plus rooms has its own story to tell. I loved it. Getting into that building specifically was a highlight of the season for me.
The folks behind The Commerce Casino and Hotel in Elko, Nevada is one that seems to have embraced its history.
That one is very interesting because it's an older building but they are kind of revamping it and starting a new business in there. But the owners and workers are all having trouble. We run into that a lot when we do this investigation where they are starting to renovate and it stirs up the activity. I don't know if it's changing history and the spirits don't like that, but that was what going on with The Commercial Casino and Hotel.
A lake that seems to invite fear and death ?
-- Ghost Adventures (@GhostAdventures) May 9, 2023
Is there anything new that stands out this season in terms of technology or equipment?
This new season we are using a lot of new technology. We are always trying to evolve and find new ways to approach investigations. One of them is technology. We've had a LiDAR mapping system, which is state of the art. It still blows my mind the quality this machine produces and how accurately it can scan an entire location and pick up anomalies. We're also working with engineers to put together different pieces of equipment. Also, bringing old pieces of equipment and coming up with new ways to use it. It's a never-ending constant evolution.
Do you still have a bucket list destination?
It's a big world. I would love to go to Japan and the (Aokigahara) 'suicide forest.' Europe too. We think here in America that something is old when it's a hundred years. For Europe, it's a thousand years old. There are so many layers of history there. There is a chapel (Sedlec Ossuary) in the Czech Republic made completely out of human bones. That's a location I'd like to get to. I'm a storyteller. I love history. I think these places are just saturated in it.
What would you say you do to decompress after an intense investigation?
I think it has taken me a few years to figure out a routine to shake off negativity and prevent any spirits attach and linger with you. For me personally, it's a lot of art. I like to come home and play music. I like to create. I like to write. Also, nature. I spend a lot of time going for hikes, taking my dog for walks. It's a grounding experience for me.
Ghost Adventures premiere, May 31, 10/9c, Discovery Channel