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Destination? YouTube: Bagan’s ‘drama’ seemingly simmers

Last week we wrote a viral article about the drama unfolding during the last week surrounding the Travel Channels merger with Discovery Plus, and the subsequent cancellation of several of their popular paranormal shows. This isn’t so much of a surprise, as paranormal shows come and go frequently on the channel.

The real drama was kicked off by Dakota Landen who tweeted a video that seemed to imply that he was going to “spill some tea” on the channel’s paranormal frontman, Zak Bagans.

This was further fueled by Nick Groff who hinted at filming his own tell-all video. Groff and Bagans had a public falling out in 2014 that led to Groff leaving the show. 

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The hype was fueled by many fans and debaters on both sides. Our previous article covering this story received several angry messages and comments, one Bagans die-hard even made an empty threat to have us sued.

(Hi Instagram’s @ghostartsgac  We’re still waiting to hear from their legal team).

Despite some truly wild accusations flying around, many Twitter pundits believed the fuss being thrown up by Laden and Groff to be nothing more than a publicity stunt. 

And it seems that these pundits have been vindicated today, as after weeks of teasing a tell-all video, Laden and the former Destination Fear team have indeed dropped a video.

But instead of the dramatic takedown he had been hinting at, the video instead is a simple Ad for their new kickstarter campaign. The team will be taking their talents independent with a new project, cleverly named Project Fear.

The highly anticipated video leans into the Bagan’s drama stunt with the click-bait-style title “DESTINATION FEAR CANCELED FOR THIS REASON”, although the video never addresses the reason for the popular show’s cancellations and makes no reference to Zak Bagans.

Despite the lack of Bagan’s drama, the publicity stunt seems to have worked, as the campaign has already raised over $100,000 from fans in just a day’s time. According to the team, this should be enough funding for at least 3 seasons of their independent show.

With a seemingly dedicated fan base, it begs the question why would the team stoop to such sleazy marketing techniques? Likely for the same reason that Nick Groff jumped onto the trend, the indie creator route is a tough one.

Despite Groff being one of the most well known names in the field and having over a decade of being on television, his fans haven’t followed him into the digital realm.

Groff only has 70,000 subscribers on his Youtube, no meager sum, but compared to a television audience, or to other paranormal creators on Youtube, it is far from a smashing success.

Groff knows this, as his latest youtube production features some of those very same creators who are outperforming him on the platform. 

(Image: Twitter @NickGroff_)

Groff also has a show in circulation on several streaming platforms, including Discovery Plus (at least for now) titled Death Walker. Reviews for the show are, to say the least, mixed.

But the fact that it is circulating well shows Groff still has one foot firmly in the TV realm and can afford a lukewarm entrance into the Youtube field. The Project Fear team will have less flexibility.

They’re off the air and still relatively fresh faces on the scene. They have a dedicated fan base, but no one knows how they will transfer to the digital realm.

Better for them to get a payout from the fans still dedicated and interested (and under the impression that Zak Bagans fired them) now, then gamble on the chance of Youtube Ad revenue later.

Groff did end up releasing his ‘tell-all’ video. The 7 minute long video confirms the rumors that have been in circulation for nearly a decade, that Bagan’s has been actively keeping Groff’s Projects from airing on the Travel Channel. Many are not surprised that former partners and current rivals have hard feelings.

Most were upset that new information was revealed in the video, other than Gorff’s insistence that Landen can confirm his allegations against Bagans. It has yet to be seen if he will receive a boost in viewership for his new projects.

Tv tricks and tactics aside, we’re glad to have the new Project Fear team entering the independent realm, and understand why it’s a daunting task.

Independent paranormal projects have always been miles ahead when it comes to theory and experimentation than its TV-based counterpart, they’ll definitely have some catching up to do. But it’s a welcoming community that is more motivated by evidence than sensationalism, corporate producers, and overbearing personalities (cough*ZakBagans*cough). Welcome aboard Project Fear, we look forward to seeing what you’ve got!

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