Roz Dresfalez is a L.A.-based drag queen known as “The Bargain Bin Beauty,” but now she is taking her vintage looks from the club to the haunted house! Roz is the host of a new podcast, Ghosted!, where she invites people on to share their ghost stories and supernatural encounters. NewNowNext sat down with Roz to talk about her own ghostly encounters, how drag and the spiritual world are connected, and how she would happily be the world’s first drag queen ghost someday.
Why did you decide to start doing Ghosted?
Well, I used to have another podcast, which was really fun. And it was just talking about general stuff. And I stopped doing that podcast, and I really wanted to take a topic I was passionate about—I’ve always been a horror fan, and I’ve always had these weird experiences with the paranormal. So, I thought, Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to have some of my famous friends, just everyday people, maybe some experts, come in and talk about ghosts? But still make it fun, you know? I mean, it doesn’t have to be this spooky, dark [thing], although it does get dark at times. But we can talk about ghosts and still be silly about it! So, yeah. We gave it a shot, and here we are.
Did you know that there were people out there interested in drag and ghosts?
I think that a lot of people who are interested in drag queens have open minds to different forms of entertainment, especially people who are new to drag queens. And those kind of people often—well, you know, when you have an open mind, you open yourself up to the possibility of ghosts being a thing. I guess that’s what happened. I didn’t guess that that would be a connection; I just wanted to talk about ghosts. But, yeah. It turns out that a lot of people love both of those things.
I feel like doing it in L.A. is interesting—do you think there’s a plethora of supernatural stories in L.A.?
Uh, yeah! [Laughs] I think it’s true everywhere. I just think in L.A., there’s Hollywood ghosts. There’s ghosts—a lot of unfinished business—but just, you know, ghosts who really want to be seen. You didn’t get your 15 minutes of fame during your life, so why not get it in the afterlife? [Laughs] I think there are a lot of flashy ghosts in this town, yes. And I think that creative people are the ones who believe that anything’s possible. People like me, who move to L.A. and think that their dreams are going to come true… you have to really believe. You have to be a believer to believe in yourself, and I think that people with that mentality a lot of times believe that anything’s possible. Because it is, in my opinion! Yeah, I believe we’re surrounded [in L.A.] by a lot of people who believe ghosts are a thing. I mean, if ghosts are everywhere but nobody believes in it, it’s like if a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s around to hear it—what’s the saying? I don’t know.
Can you describe what the podcast is like?
It’s me talking about—I wanted it to be a ghost story show, specifically. I’m not an expert. I’m actually learning along with everyone else about ghosts and all the different ways that they can manifest. So I’m reading stories that people send me, listeners send me. We talk about it. Sometimes, I put my own little fun commentary on it. And then I also invite celebrities, everyday people, hopefully more experts coming up pretty soon. And we just talk about it. It’s something that can be spooky, but it’s also something that at times can be very sweet and sincere. I mean, we are talking about death, so it’s really interesting how we can have fun and feel like we’re at a slumber party. But, you know, we can also talk about life and what happens next.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
Yeah. I saw one ghost one time. It was my grandmother in childhood bedroom.
What’s the story behind that?
Well, my grandmother stuck around my house after she passed. I had a lot of experiences over the years—a lot of, like if I was being a little brat, something would flip off a table. And I’d be like, Oh, Grandma’s mad. I probably shouldn’t be rude to my mom. I did see her one time, when I was young, in my bedroom. I was just in my bed, and all of a sudden, I had a feeling that there was somebody else there. And I looked [up], and she was there. And then she just kind of disappeared. It was really brief, and it was the only time that I actually saw her. But, I had a cousin a couple of years ago house-sit for my parents. And she said, “Grandma’s still around!” She heard her walking around in the house. She actually heard her voice calling out to my grandfather. So, she’s there!
Have you had any more recent paranormal experiences?
Oh, yeah. I have stuff happen all the time. I would say most recently, I was at the Culver Hotel in Culver City. Doors were opening and stuff like that. And I was like, “Oh, what’s going on here?” And I asked one of the [staff] and they told me, “Oh, yeah. That’s our ghost.”
Do you have a favorite ghost from pop culture?
I really wish that there was a drag queen ghost. I haven’t encountered that yet. Which, if I’m the first drag queen ghost in history, I’ll be very happy to have that title. Hopefully not soon, but, hmm…pop culture ghosts. Well, in L.A., there’s about 15 places where you can see Marilyn Monroe, allegedly.
What about a favorite ghost movie?
I mean, I love The Exorcist. Yeah, I really like what The Conjuring movies are doing. I like them a lot. I recently got to interview with The Nun star, Debra Wilson—well, she’s not the nun, but she plays the voice of The Nun demon. And she actually does her—well, she gives us some of The Nun in the episode. [Laughs]
Is there a ghost of someone who you want to see?
You know, as much as I love ghosts, I don’t really want to experience them. I like to hear about it more than actually experience them. But I do tell all of my loved ones that I want them to come visit me. Whether they do or not, we’ll see.
Will you host any ghost hunting?
Oh, hell yeah. We have some good plans! I can’t wait for Halloween. I definitely have in mind to do some ghost hunts with listeners of the show, or do live shows. So, we’ll see. I really don’t want a ghost to snatch my wig off, but if that’s what I need to do for the art, then I will.
So, ghosts normally say boo. What would a drag queen ghost say?
[Laughs] Um… “I’m back, back, back again!” Isn’t that a Drag Race thing?