Alumni Spotlight: Alum Aaron Sagers Gets Paranormal
Jun 28, 2023
by Elisabeth Shirley, '22
On the day of his graduation, Flagler alumnus Aaron Sagers took his family on an unofficial ghost tour of St. Augustine, showing them the most haunted spots of the city and telling stories of the Hotel Ponce De Leon, including a floor tile that Henry Flagler’s face is supposedly emblazoned on. He wore his cap and gown the entire time.
Sagers, ‘01, always had an interest in the paranormal, which comes as no surprise with his alma mater in what some consider one of the most haunted cities in the nation. He has now turned that fascination into a career writing about the paranormal on his website ParanormalPopCulture.com which would later inspire the Travel Channel series “Paranormal Paparazzi.”
Along with that, Sagers has involved himself in a wide array of projects, hosting on Netflix’s “28 Days Haunted,” an Editor at Large for Syfy, creator of the NightMerica podcast, on Travel Channel’s “Paranormal Caught on Camera” and so much more. “I’ve always been fascinated with spooky stuff,” he said. “As a kid, I would read comic books and sci-fi novels, watch horror movies and shows – I was a big “Twilight Zone” fan – and I would read ghost stories.”
Sagers graduated from Flagler College with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Theater. After graduation, he worked in PR for some time before deciding to pursue his master’s degree in Journalism at New York University, where he would later work as a professor.
Before his paranormal work emerged, he was working in magazines and freelancing. He talked about travel and entertainment culture and eventually worked as an editor for a magazine with the Chicago Tribune, and even had a syndicated column with McClatchy-Tribune company that was pop culture related.
Around 2004-05, Sagers noticed paranormal shows began to emerge, as well as on social media. He realized that those television shows were going to connect a certain audience and social media would give access beyond the borders of city limits and local community boards.
As he started to write more about the paranormal, he was inspired to launch his website, Paranormal Pop Culture, weaving his skills as a journalist into the world of paranormal. “The idea was to merge the lifestyle and entertainment components of the paranormal in a news magazine format,” said Sagers.
After that, it was off to the races and Sagers found himself being asked to do a lot of paranormal things. All the while, he was still involved in magazine writing, doing features, and writing for CNN, The Huffington Post (now HuffPost) and a number of other unique and interesting projects.
Best known today as a Paranormal Journalist and expert at paranormal pop culture history, Sagers still holds onto valuable ethics of journalism that got him started.
“I like to start conservations and encourage understanding,” he said. “I talk about the verifiable history and actual facts of the story and then the tales that are told after the fact. I think ghost stories, whether someone chooses to believe or not, is history demanding to be told and a way to keep history alive.”
This has meant there are no limits to where Sagers will go, and he has traveled everywhere from Iceland to Mt. Fuji in Japan. His work has even allowed him to come full circle back to the city he graduated in, getting hired to do events in St. Augustine talking about the lighthouse or the old jail, which all come with their fair share of ghost stories.
“What fuels my passion is just insatiable curiosity and a genuine fascination with the world,” he said, adding that he desires to travel and experience as many different cultures as he can. Sagers said now that he is getting older, he still has that curiosity, but also seeks to help others. “It is easy to be dismissed as a younger writer or a younger storyteller, and I want to be a booster of all that.”
Now, he is always interested in seeing the latest trends and the transformation of technology. One thing he said that has allowed him adaptability and success is keeping an open mind, and embracing trends and new media rather than rejecting it.
“Be curious, but also realize that you can forge the path that you want to make. That path might not even be in sight yet, like we don't know how technology is going to radically change in the next 3, 5, 10 years. Look ahead and think about how your skills and interests now will apply to the road ahead,” he said. “Don't feel like you have to follow the traditional paths and methodologies.”Tagged As