These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Zak: Hey, I think I got the wrist action down! *beat* I should just not talk...
Fetish Fuel: Zak will never pass up a chance to strap himself into some sort of restraining device. Also, he wore a soldier's uniform at Gettysburg.
Zak's obsession with being restrained aside, he did seem oddly excited to be locked in The Birdcage Theater with all those "soiled doves". Makes you wonder if there might be another reason why he does this.
Harsher in Hindsight: After the airing of the Black Moon Manor episode, the owner of the home was contacted by direct descendents of the family that owned the property before him after he allegedly falsified the history of the home, leading to the negative haunts. After this, the family sued him and led him to close his haunted attraction and demolish the property in December of 2012, leaving several unhappy paranormal investigative teams that wanted the opportunity to ghost hunt at the home.
Ho Yay: Accidental or unintentional, but hilarious nonetheless.
In one example, Zak is trying to find the source of a smell (they're in the dark with only night vision.)
Zak: Aaron, come here. Turn around. *sniffs* No, it's not you...
Aaron: Pfft, I smell pretty.
Another time, while Nick and Zak are walking around a snake-infested hillside:
Zak: [if he gets bit by a rattlesnake] Will you suck the poison out of me?
Nick: I don't want to suck anything out of you!
Iron Woobie: All three of them. Aaron in particular, for having to go through all of this, despite having these ghosts ruin his marriage.
Narm: Any time Zak attempts to intimidate, enrage, or otherwise bully a ghost, it's Narmtastic.
Also, apparently every anomaly in photography, lighting, sound, or temperature is caused by a ghost. Every time it gets a little colder, the lights gets slightly blurry, they hear a noise, or see something (conveniently off-camera), they all freak out, run around, and scream. It's hilarious. You can't yell, "dude" over and over again and expect it to be taken seriously.
A large chunk of viewers watch the show solely for this reason.
Never Live It Down: While they were at the Ancient Ram Inn, Zak got confused and said he was touched by the incubus (a male demon), as opposed to the succubus (female demon). He's been repeatedly ribbed about this ever since.
"I'm gonna put it between my legs cause I hear that's where the incubus likes it."
It kinda gives the word "ribbed" a whole new meaning.
Nightmare Fuel: The EVPs they catch, though sometimes they don't sound like anything resembling human speech, which someties makes them even creepier.
And while they might not always sound human, but many times what they're saying is very clear. Like in that one episode where other paranormal investigators were hearing voices saying that they hate Nick and Zak very pronouncedly after the team had investigated at the Washoe Club.
The Penhurst Hospital and Moon River Brewery investigations. Especially toward the end of the latter.
This trope applies to most shows attempting to record evidence of paranormal activity for haunted houses. A notable example is on Ghost Adventures, where the team leader Zak Bagans was hit by a coat-rack near the door at Pennhurst State School. They reviewed the footage onscreen to make sure it hadn't just tipped over, and saw that the original position was on the other side of the wall.
The episode where Zak seemingly gets possessed at Preston Castle. He goes to investigate where he thinks the murderer-ghost is, then suddenly freezes and starts babbling about 'we shouldn't go down there,' and 'I don't feel so good,' while the cameramen look at each other in confusion. Then he suddenly wanders off in the opposite direction and the next thing you know, his buddies have found him sitting in the middle of some random room with his eyes glowing. Granted, the ghost in question seemed to be that of the victim and trying to protect Zak and the crew, but the image of him sitting serenely with eyes glowing like something out of a horror movie, seemingly focused on something nobody else can see, while he smiles this almost demonic smile and tells his buddies that he's perfectly fine...it gives me chills.
If that one was bad, the incident on Poveglia Island was a million times worse - at Preston, it was just a spirit possession. On Poveglia, it was a demonic possession—out of nowhere, Zak started screaming and cursing at the other investigators (who are his friends), hurling himself at the walls, and the look on his face... Not only did they leave out most of the footage because they were so uncomfortable watching it, they stopped an investigation for the first time to perform a cleansing ritual. Compared to that, the later catches of EVPs in English, despite Poveglia being closed to tourists for centuries, so the odds of someone dying who speaks English on the island are pretty unlikely, is relatively normal for the show's fare.
There's also Nick's possible demonic possession at the Moon River Brewing Co. in Savannah, GA. The look on his face freaked Zak out and made him jump back, and when Nick looked up at Aaron's camera a moment later... Well, let's just say that another person described the expression as not fear, but intent, as in the intent to kill. Nick doesn't remember much of the possession, just that he heard a voice telling him to kill Zak and Aaron. *shivers*
During the Live Episode on the night before Halloween, Silent Hill fans may be disturbed by one of the gang's devices emitting static when a ghost talked.
Most paranormal investigation shows need to do quite a bit of editing for their footage (getting rid of static, increasing the contrast/lighting, etc.). Zak's team makes sure the audio/video is as clear as possible, so you can clearly hear inexplicable screaming or a baby crying or a voice saying, "I hate you."
Good god, a brief clip (not by Zak) of the man-baby in Clovis Wolfe Manor was really, really, creepy.
A photo that was taken by Zak of a stairway at the Kell's Pub in Seattle is similar...a weird, child-sized figure sitting on the stairs with a weird squooshed head. It's believed to be the ghost of a little girl said to haunt the place. An EVP saying "Looking for my child..." seconds after seems to confirm this. Nonetheless, the look of it reminded me of the infamous "Man Baby" as opposed to a "ghost girl".
Before the show began airing, Zak, Nick, and Aaron did an investigation at the Washoe Club. They were called back because EVPs caught more recently mention them by name, including one spirit saying very clearly 'hate Nick.' And during the investigation, another EVP of 'I hate Nick' was captured. It's the personalized message that makes it High Octane.
Nick seems to be referred to the most often by EVP catches. Some just say his name, but there have been a few at places other than Washoe that say they hate him.
Online material involved them going back to Bobby Mackey's and getting a recording of a spirit mimicking Zak's voice perfectly.
The documentary filmed prior to the series can be terrifying when watching it after several episodes of the show beforehand - you become used to seeing the guys as confident and able to work through their fears. But at the Goldfield Hotel, a spirit throws a brick in full view of the camera and their flashlights, and they run - correction, they haul ass, even getting separated and lost in the basement in the process. Hearing their frightened voices as they call to each other, trying to find one another is absolutely terrifying. Zak and Nick (Aaron wasn't on this investigation) actually jumped out of a second story fire escape, abandoning the lockdown.
After the live event at Bobby Mackey's the demonic spirits followed them home, Aaron's marriage broke up because of their investigation. Do Not mess with the demonic, EVER.
Has enough examples to spawn its own section at the Live Action TV page.
On the return to Bobby Mackey's, they caught an EVP saying "I'll kill your wife." When narrating, Zak said it was likely aimed at Nick, since he's the only member with a spouse.
During the investigation in Salem, Massachusetts, the device that lets ghosts select words to say repeatedly started saying "apple apple apple apple apple apple apple" when the witch and warlock were performing their ritual, to the point where they had to turn it off to keep it from interfering.
There was the investigation in La Palazza where they had a woman who looked like the former resident of the house (who the ghosts/demons seemed to like watching shower while making lewd comments) wrap a towel around her to appear naked to lure out these comments for recording. What they got instead was a demonic sounding voice screaming "KILL HER!"
At the Villisca Axe Murder House, along with some very disturbing EVPs, the team caught footage of a door - a wide open door - slamming shut on its own, immediately after some footsteps sounded.
Everything that happened in the basement of the Mizpah Hotel during Aaron's solo investigation, but the door of the out-of-order elevator opening and closing on its own was especially creepy.
The Lizzie Borden House episode, especially since they all but say that the apparent reason Lizzie killed her dad was that he sexually abused her, and even though they beep a word out of "respect for the dead" it's pretty clear from context what they're talking about. Even outside of the context of the historical murders that's pretty disturbing.
Return to Goldfield - They catch an EVP saying 'You're fuckin' in my house.' You'd THINK its spine-shivering ability would be dulled by the fact that it requires censoring, but the menace is all in the last three words - the voice gets low, gravelly and distorted at the end, the sound of either static or the voice being something demonic.
And, for that matter, at one point the PX device, which allows spirits to manipulate energy to vocalize words audible to our ears, go absolutely NUTS. The PX is a new device, but it's similar enough to other devices they've used that when it emits a long ear-piercing shriek of feedback, you know it's not supposed to be doing that.
Well, that and almost every message it gave them...
Tear Jerker: It was revealed by Aaron that after investigating Bobby Mackey's Music World, ghosts had followed the three of them home, and even led to the end of Aaron's marriage. The ghosts tormented his wife so much that even though they were best friends, they had to call it off. Goes with Kick the Dog on their third trip to Bobby Mackey's, the EVPs revealing the ghosts taunting Aaron.
At Gettysburg, they got an EVP of a young woman saying 'I'm pregnant.' The team believes it to be the spirit of Jennie Wade, the only civilian casualty of the battle. It adds another layer of tragedy to an already tragic event.
Zak's grandmother died while they were investigating the Winchester Mystery House. Made even worse in the ending with it highlighting a photo of Zak that he gave to his grandmother (Who never missed an episode of her grandson's show, mind you.).
When investigating Gary Galka's House, it's supposed to be a true tearjerker, including Gary and his wife crying through the interviews. (Though to be fair, it is about their deceased daughter that they are trying to find closure for)
During the "Aftershocks" episode about the Yorktown Hospital its revealed that Spirit (the donkey that scared the crap out of Zak when the GAC visited) was killed. What makes it worse is that Spirit's owner believes the killer is a living person and not a spirit; according to the owner there are people in town who feel he is taking advantage of the spirits in the hospital.