Is Zak Bagans returning for season 12 of Halloween Wars?

Halloween Wars - Courtesy Food Network
Halloween Wars - Courtesy Food Network /

Food Network’s Halloween Wars had some pretty significant changes last year, and some of those changes have carried over into the upcoming new season, while others have not.

Halloween Wars is returning for its 12th season on September 18, and fans have been crossing their fingers for a return to the “old days”, when the series was hosted by Jonathon Bennett. Last season, Ghost Adventures’ Zak Bagans took over the hosting duties, via pre-recorded webcam segments – he wasn’t even on set for the competition. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the new format. Bagans is fine as a ghost hunter, but I did not enjoy his phoned-in segments on Halloween Wars.

Another of our writers wrote an article last year about the changes, and I don’t think I have ever seen a longer comment thread generated for our site. Those comments were almost all negative.

Horror director Todd Tucker and Shinmin Li had provided their expertise as judges in past seasons, but only Shinmin returned last season, joined by Aarti Sequeira and Eddie Jackson. The three are all Food Network personalities, but Tucker’s horror knowledge was greatly missed.

Halloween Wars
Judges Todd Tucker, & Shinmin Li along with Guest Judge Caleb McLaughlin to help determine the winner of the final Spine Chiller challenge, as seen on Halloween Wars, Season 9. photo provided by Food Network /

The biggest issue Halloween Wars fans had with last season was the fact that there were no pumpkin carvers or sugar artists. One of the things that made the competition so interesting had always been the various specialties of the team members, and cutting those two roles did NOT make viewers happy.

Just let this sink in: A Halloween competition with no pumpkins. The reported reason for the lack of pumpkins was pandemic related; Food Network had to film the episodes much earlier in the year than usual, and pumpkins were nowhere to be found.

So, where does Halloween Wars stand this year?

The good news is, the pumpkins are back, and judging by the trailer for the new season, so are the sugar artists. This should result in more varied and intricate designs, and most likely, more personality clashes, which are always entertaining.

Even though the fan feedback on social media was NOT good for last year’s change in format, Bagans is back as the host. I don’t personally understand why that decision was made, because it just didn’t work, but maybe the ratings were better than I thought.

The same judges are back this year, so it doesn’t look like Todd Tucker will be making a return, and it appears the set from last year is being used again for season 12. I can deal with all of that, but I really don’t understand why the decision was made to bring Bagans back as the host.

Will I still watch the upcoming season of Halloween Wars? You bet your broomstick I will, because I love to immerse myself in all things Halloween during this time of year. But I am disappointed that the fans’ voices were not heard regarding the choice of hosts.

Next. Ghostober: All of the Halloween shows coming to Food Network. dark

Halloween Wars fans, we want to hear your thoughts on the changes for the show? Are you happy the pumpkins are back? How do you feel about Zak Bagans returning as host? Sound off in the comments section.