The Dead Files: Part I

The Dead Files: Part I

By Rick Hinton

“My name is Amy Allan. I see dead people. I speak to dead people. And they speak to me. But there’s only one way to know if my findings are right. I rely on my partner.”

“I’m Steve Dischiavi. I’m a retired New York City homicide detective. And I know every person, every house, has secrets. It’s my job to reveal them.”

This is the introduction to the Travel Channel show, The Dead Files, airing on Friday nights. It premiered on Sept. 23, 2011. Ten seasons later, the show is still running strong. I generally avoid paranormal television. Yeah … I used to watch it, but through the years it got boring, repetitive and laughable as countless names and faces stumbled about in the dark — all probing for answers for the greater good. However, this show …

Rick & Laura Hinton … with an eerie resemblance to Steve & Amy. (Photo by Rick Hinton)

I like the premise … it’s unique. Steve and Amy explore each case individually, using their particular skill sets. They then meet at the end of the episode to compare findings with one another, as well as their client. It’s often not very pretty. Steve Dischiavi gathers facts in a no-nonsense cop manner by researching the history of the location and interviewing the clients and witnesses. Steve pits the paranormal against Criminology. He, after 10 seasons, still remains somewhat of a skeptic about “ghosties”. (You’d think he might have changed his mind a bit.) However, he believes and trusts in his partner Amy’s abilities.

Amy Allan started experiencing the spiritual world at age 4, an inheritance from her mother and grandfather. As a physical medium, she combines science and spiritualism to arrive at facts during her walkthrough of a location. With her cameraman and former husband, Matthew Anderson, (can you say awkward?) they traverse the site while Amy absorbs her often troubling findings.

I’m generally skeptical of psychics. I just am. It’s too easy to misrepresent findings on just a feeling, and not true ability. There are a lot of so-called mediums who have watched way too much television and because of some scattered experience years ago, suddenly arrive at the conclusion they have psychic abilities. What is said to a client can have lasting ramifications! These wannabes, strolling through a purportedly haunted house and spouting out gibberish, can change the scope of an investigation … taking it into a direction it shouldn’t go in. I believe Amy Allan is the real deal. I also know some local real deals (Jill, Christy, Tim … you know who you are). I’ve also met some fruit loops. But … that’s another story for next week.

I like this show! I will continue to watch because every episode I learn something about fact finding and logical thought. However, I won’t be sitting on the couch every Friday night while Laura feeds me grapes, waiting for it to come on — I DVR it and we watch at our convenience … I hate commercials (it breaks the rhythm). And, Steve and Amy remind me of myself and Laura: me … the fact finder, and Laura … the sensitive that knows when to leave.

[Amy]   “But Steve and I never speak.”

[Steve]   “We never communicate during an investigation.”

[Amy]    “Until the very end.”

[Steve]   “Then we uncover whether it’s safe to stay …”

[Amy]    “… or time to get out.”


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