Tuesday, March 6, 2012 | 4:29 p.m.
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“Ghost Adventures” chief investigator and TV series producer Zak Bagans didn’t expect what his team experienced when they locked down Frank Sinatra’s one-time Strip penthouse suite at the Riviera. The spirit sleuths, including paranormal specialists Aaron Goodwin and Nick Groff, filmed throughout the night for the new sixth season of “Ghost Adventures,” which premieres Friday on the Travel Channel.
“Whatever party we had in Sinatra’s suite, we had guests -- dead guests,” Zak told me. “It was *$&@*@ nuts. I totally didn’t expect it what we encountered. I thought I’d seen, heard and investigated everything, but not this. I can’t tell you everything because it would spoil too much of what we must show on television.”
The ghost hunters did reveal that everybody present witnessed new Miss Nevada USA Jade Kelsall’s experience with one ghost. Said Jade: “I got crazy scared. At first, it was a dream come true to sit in with the investigation team because I love the show, but I got my heels scared off. This was no joke. My face was a picture of scared.”
Zak continued: “Jade was not a believer at first. She was quite vocal about saying that during the night. At one point, she was sitting on a bed in Sinatra’s suite where we began receiving activity on an electromagnetic device that detects the energy of a spirit.
“There’s no other explanation for it. Jade told us she felt ‘fingers running down her back.’ She wore a very tight jacket, and when we lifted it, there were red marks where she’d felt the fingers. We did not presume this was a bad spirit -- just a touchy, feely one.
“But after this, we all began feeling a cold pocket of energy move away from Jade and toward a wall. I was able to measure and record this with a Mel-meter to validate the mass.”
The Sinatra penthouse had long been rumored to be haunted, and Zak invited Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil to throw a “Girls, Girls, Girls” party there. They also got Sinatra’s one-time pianist Bruce Westcott, who’d played in that very suite, to re-create the yesteryear moods.
On an unknown cue, the room was plunged into darkness and everybody went silent as Zak’s equipment, night-vision cameras and electromagnetic meters began recording the experiences.
He told me: “Bruce even said ‘this feels very weird in here’ several times. Everyone, including the guests who were skeptics, stated, ‘I don’t believe in ghosts, but there is something here.’ They repeated it over and over. It was an energy that not only could physically be felt, but it also spoke to us answering what hotel we were at -- ‘Rivi-era’ -- and touched Jade, our biggest skeptic, leaving red marks on her back.
“We think the spirit was attracted to Jade rather than being a bad presence. We also all captured a spirit voice asking my question, ‘What is the name of this hotel?’ And we received an Asian-accented female spirit voice say ‘Rivi-era’ clear as day. We captured that live, and everybody heard it in Sinatra’s suite.”
The team had permission to investigate unusual phenomena on the hotel’s ninth floor, and it was completely shut down and locked off from dusk to dawn for the filming. Said Zak: “It was about 3 a.m. An energy that I can’t explain made contact with Vince and myself. The energy answered my questions exactly. That severely affected us both emotionally.”
Vince, who is about to open a strip club in Las Vegas, told me: “ It was insane -- real crazy stuff that went on in there. I never expected it to be that overwhelming. After what went down, everybody in the group now believes in ghosts. ” The team is now reviewing all of the audiovisual materials recorded to show the compelling evidence in an upcoming edition of the top-rated show.
Zak commented: “I never believed in ghosts until I came face to face with one. “ His Las Vegas-based “Ghost Adventures” team has now filmed more than 60 episodes of the show, which began in October 2008. Zak and Nick have been shown on the series in three filmed spirit possessions.
“All I can say is that Vince, Nick, Aaron and I were shocked by this investigation as to the level of activity we encountered,” Zak summed up.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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