Ghost Adventures is a polarizing show; viewers either laugh at the sometimes theatrical character of Zak Bagans and the questionable validity of some of the paranormal evidence, or they appreciate the show for what it is and suspend their disbelief for a moment.
As the seasons progress, Ghost Adventures gradually shed its more embarrassing habits and focused primarily on collecting evidence, garnering better and better ratings on IMDb. It’s left to viewers to decide upon the legitimacy of said evidence. This is a niche genre, with company like Sightings and Paranormal Witness. But, for believers and casual viewers alike, Ghost Adventures is well-received and worth the watch.
Updated on September 20th, 2022 by Tanner Fox: The best Ghost Adventures episodes have stuck with fans of the show for years and are likely to haunt them for years to come. Though the scores that fans give the episodes on IMDb may change over time, the scariest parts of Ghost Adventures show just how engaging the series can get.
25 Curse Of Ranch Island
Back in Bagan’s hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, the Ghost Adventures team sets up shop in a communal compound named “Ranch Island.” Following a tragedy on the property the year before, residents started experiencing paranormal activity. During the beginning of the overnight investigation, Bagan begins to feel sick and dizzy and takes off in his car.
In an interesting EVP session on the rooftop lounge area, the team tells the spirit that they’re there to listen to it, and it calls back, “Sure, got it.” As the episode progresses, Bagan continues to be affected by a negative energy, even having to lie down. Stark cold spots and more male voices being heard on devices develop over the course of the night.
24 Twin Bridges Orphanage
The GAC visits the town of Twin Bridges, Montana in this episode. They were reportedly the first paranormal team to investigate the old Twin Bridges Orphanage which was supposedly haunted by hundreds of spirits.
Since the orphanage first opened its doors in 1894 it supposedly had several strange deaths of children and while locked inside, the crew tried to make contact with them and the old matrons. Child spirits are easily some of the eeriest spectators the crew could come up against, and it doesn’t get much scarier than a spooky old orphanage.
23 Upper Fruitland Curse
This episode takes the group to Upper Fruitland, New Mexico where they help a family investigate an ominous haunting that includes the spectral appearance of a faceless young boy. One reason this episode is so popular is that it features horrifying video footage of a chair seemingly moving of its own accord.
There is further investigative evidence of something being amiss inside the house when the video captures strange figures on tape and snarling sounds are picked up on the devices. Even Jay begins to feel sick while inside the home.
22 McPike Mansion
The McPike Mansion is a rather legendary old residence tucked away in Alton, Illinois. It is considered to be one of the scariest places in America and has been featured on multiple television shows in addition to Ghost Adventures.
The old Victorian mansion has a very long history of strange activity and reported paranormal phenomena. A few members of the crew thought that satanic worship might have taken place on the property at some point, but that was never proven. It is supposedly haunted by its former owner and domestic servant.
21 Old Lincoln County Hospital
In this episode, the crew travels to Tennessee to investigate an abandoned hospital. That’s simply an innately creepy setting, anywhere. There’s a reason some of the best horror movies are set in hospitals. But this episode has a fascinating turn of events—the police get involved. Briefly, while attempting an interview, the police arrive at the scene of filming.
A local commander in the police department describes the potential paranormal activity, which can’t be a more welcome testimony. Still, a single piece of evidence can make all the difference in fan appreciation. The presence of a potential shadow figure is a compelling piece of footage. The episode is paced well, and the crew also uses some interesting new gear.
20 Haunted Harvey House
It’s always interesting when this crew is the first team allowed to officially investigate an establishment. At the very least, it adds some credibility to them, given that certain locations have particular reputations at stake. This episode features two very old buildings in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
And once again, apparent shadow figures are the most alarming and memorable encounters in the episode. Two dark, fleeting shadows whoosh past a doorway. It’s some pretty startling footage, akin to anything in a Paranormal Activity movie. But the GAC also collects a wide range of numerous voices, and they utilize a good range of tech.
19 Cerro Gordo Ghost Town
In this episode, which first debuted in November 2019, the gang investigates a mysterious and supposedly haunted old mining town. The name Cerro Gordo loosely translates to “Fat Hill,” and it’s a ghost town located in the Inyo Mountains of California.
Fittingly, it is located close to Death Valley, and it’s not easy to get to since it is hidden away in the cliffs. Many murders occurred there as it was a classic “Old West” town complete with shootouts, mining accidents, and more. The town had brothels, gambling houses, and saloons, but no sheriff or church to speak of.
18 The Washoe Club: Final Chapter
This location was featured in the original Ghost Adventures documentary from 2004 and is one of the creepiest locations the Ghost Adventures crew has visited. That history is inherently appealing for longtime fans. It’s especially moving that two people who helped with the previous Washoe investigation have since passed on. And according to some strangely coincidental and intelligent communication, the team believes those friends are reaching out.
It’s one of the more personal investigations, with intriguing visual and audio evidence. We see a strange SLS figure, the full spectrum camera captures an odd mist, and there’s a long sequence of alleged footsteps. Also, a brief visit to a candy shop provides some surprisingly good humor, which rarely works on this show.
17 Lewis Flats School
This investigation is set at a school that burned down and became a taxidermy-filled steakhouse. The episode almost immediately gets straight to the evidence, rather than the typical half-interview formula. It’s pretty intriguing, with EMF spikes, intelligent audio responses, and even the classic horror staple of fluctuating lights.
The most alarming moment is the extraordinarily distinct shadow behind a doorway. Clear enough to suggest a living intruder, who apparently left some animal bones. That kind of threat is equally disconcerting as any alleged ghost. Still, after a couple of thrown objects, Aaron Goodwin is left by himself. He’s scared out of his mind by some strange sounds, later jumping at his own reflection. It’s both compelling and pretty amusing.
16 Crescent Hotel
Location can be everything, and there have been some iconic locations on Ghost Adventures. Learning the dark, true history of various establishments is both educational and entertaining. In this episode, the Crescent Hotel is revealed to be the home of a real-life villain: a man named Norman Baker, who used the location as a hospital to prey on cancer victims.
He offered a cure that was secretly lethal and made millions. Host Zak Bagan opens up about losing his father to cancer a month prior, which adds emotional depth to the episode. Also, most of the episode focuses on the investigation rather than interviews, and the GAC uses a good variety of technology, more than usual. The EVPs and SLS oddities are definitely unsettling.
15 Mayhem In Millville
The GA crew visited the home of a descendant of the infamous Jessop polygamist cult in Utah that had over 200 family members—leader Joe Jessop had five wives and 239 grandchildren. Bagan and his team investigated one of the oldest homes in Millville, Utah, owned by Cindy Lou Hensen. To start, there’s a voice that can be heard telling them to “get out” during their tour of the house.
Later on, they capture a shot of light coming out from a closet that had been nailed closed for 40 years. Suffering from an upper respiratory infection, Bagan headed the investigation by walkie-talkie from a van outside. When he asked the malevolent force about Jesus, it answered back, “Let God Thank.” Even more chilling, when he asked what the spirit wanted, it said “James,” which is the name of the tenant who had been greatly affected by the house and even burst into tears upon entering it.
14 Halloween Special: Curse of the Harrisville Farmhouse
After the very successful first Halloween special, GA continued the tradition. This 2019 special episode involved Bagan and the crew traveling to the infamous Harrisville Farmhouse to investigate the Perron family haunting. The name and subject matter may be familiar to viewers because the 300-year-old farmhouse served as the basis for The Conjuring films.
The farmhouse is just one of many real-life haunted places that have inspired movies. The Perron family was formerly the subject of an investigation by famed demonologists, Lorraine and Ed Warren. The case is as famous for the pair as other notable hauntings such as Amityville and Annabelle the doll.
13 Hell Hole Prison
Prisons have long been terrifying, awful places, regardless of any purported paranormal activity. Guards and prisoners perpetuate violence within the walls of old and new prisons alike. But in this episode, the crew collects SLS evidence of some remarkably friendly types.
It may sound silly, but an entire band of ghosts appears to perform on a stage. They react with intelligent responses to the team’s communication. It’s a profoundly strange, amusing, and impressive piece of footage. It’s easy to understand how it obtained a high IMDb rating.
12 Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital
It doesn’t make much sense to take a location as creepy as a tuberculosis hospital and turn it into Inn. Although, The Shining’s Overlook Hotel did cast an eerie shadow over that, too. The owners of this episode’s Inn, tragically, are revealed to have lost two children.
No matter the viewer’s position on the supernatural, this show consistently deals with genuine grief and loss. It’s later suggested that one of the kids is reaching out, seemingly providing intelligent responses in benevolent contact. The most unnerving evidence is an EVP recording of outright, frustrated screaming. It’s a disturbing sound, even for non-believers.
11 Benson Grist Mill
Another stop in Utah for the ghost hunting team was the 150-year-old Benson Grist Mill in Stansbury Park. Built under the direction of Brigham Young, the famous Mormon for which the university is named, the mill was the site of the drowning of a young girl.
Upon entering the Booth barn on the property, some members of the crew have a negative and nauseous feeling. Eyewitnesses reported a man dressed in black in the upstairs part of the mill. During the night, Bagan collects a Class A EVP of a man’s voice in the mill saying “bicycle.” When he asks the spirit why he said that word, it answers, “I was thinkin’ about it.”
10 Stone Lion Inn
The adventurers travel to Oklahoma to investigate a small bed and breakfast that was once used as a mortuary. Now, the owner runs a murder mystery show there and is purportedly enacting genuine satanic rituals. Besides this silliness, there’s some really interesting history. The episode recounts the true story of a train robber’s corpse ending up as a mummified tourist attraction for decades.
It’s fairly disturbing, with real photos of the remains on display. However, this episode also compiles some pretty incredible evidence, including alleged poltergeist activity. Doors apparently move on their own, and a camera’s tripod is completely knocked over. Poltergeist footage is the crown jewel of such investigations and prompts entertaining discussion between viewers.
9 Ghost Train Of Ely
In this episode, Bagan and the crew investigate a 100-year-old train in Nevada and lock themselves in for the night. The episode was special because it was the first time that Ghost Adventures had worked on a moving train in the history of the show. The entire crew was masked and practiced social distancing, which was a good message for the show to send to its many viewers.
Its great rating on IMDb is most likely due to some captivating paranormal research including a voice on the Mel Meter saying “come back” near the Chainman Mine where Chinese laborers were entombed and not recovered, mixed with some pretty comedic moments. Bagan is spooked by a cat at one point, and his crewmate Aaron Goodwin is started by his own shadow. Bagan even tells a train-themed dad joke: “What kind of train eats toffee?” (a chew chew train).
8 Halloween Special: Horror At Joe Exotic Zoo
Tiger King, the entertaining and horrifying documentary about Joe Exotic and other exotic animal zoos in America, went completely viral early in 2020. The Netflix series showcased some of the worst things Joe Exotic ever did, including animal cruelty and setting up a hit on rival Carole Baskin. For the 2020 Halloween special, it was fitting that Bagan and his team traveled to the infamous Oklahoma location.
They were even able to interview Jeff and Lauren Lowe and employees who were also featured in the documentary. A large part of the investigation and interviews centered around Travis Maldonado, who tragically died on the property. A team of cadaver dogs picked up the scent of human remains in a body of water, and the overnight investigation featured a deep echo tube experiment headed by Bill Chappell.\
7 Industrial District Of The Damned
A break-in led the owners of a 120-year-old building in Salt Lake City, Utah, to discover an apparent ritual that took place in the basement. Oddly enough, nothing was stolen, but the contents of the building were in disarray. Although the ritual included a pentagram made of sticks and flowers, which is traditionally Pagan and not evil in nature, as they incorrectly assume on the show, most of their investigation is about the spirit that was already in the building previously.
Many of the workers in the building claimed that things had attached to them and followed them home. The crew searches for evidence of a supposed “old hag” spirit in the basement and captures the voices of other spirits upstairs.
6 Petrified In Pahrump
The Ghost Adventures team heads out to rural Navada to investigate a winery plagued by paranormal phenomena. Reportedly constructed atop an old burial site, strange accidents and rumors of a curse have the staff on edge.
While most spirit sightings on Ghost Adventures are blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments, this episode was full of obvious scares. In particular, the crew saw a lot of activity in a second-floor apartment. There, they captured various loud and unexplained crashes and bangs, a TV turned on by itself, and what may have been a being crawling across a wall. This was easily among the scariest of the preternatural series’ more recent outings.