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Review: Travel Channel's Dead Files

Updated on August 29, 2014

The Dead Files

The Travel Channel has a new ghost show to add on their supernatural resume, The Dead Files featuring Amy Allan and her partner Steve DiSchiavi. As of May 2014, there have been five seasons with 54 episodes. The Dead Files has been picked up for a sixth season.

Amy Allan is a self-proclaimed medium, who goes around the nation with her partner, Steve DiSchiavi, a retired NYPD detective. They both claim that they do not speak to each other during the week of investigation. DiSchoavi's job is to speak to the witnesses, and research any history on the property's background and the house's previous occupants. Many times, DiSchoavi uncovers murders and unexplained deaths from decades to centuries ago. He is an incredible researcher, and his background as an NYPD detective is obvious when he speaks to the witnesses.

During the evenings, Amh Allan is recorded going to the property, walking around and listening to what the dead tells her, and what she witnesses. Allam has said that she can get into the mind of the spirit, and knows what they are thinking and feeling. Often, Amy Allan claims that the spirits get incredibly angry at her for her mind intrusion, and they can cause her intense physical pain.
Each episode are recorded under the same format.

DiSchiavi is recorded driving to the location, telling the camera the basic information that he has been told by the client. If Allan had been told any information beforehand, such as for her safety, he informs the viewers. On certain occasions, they do break the rule of speaking with each other if there is a question of safety, or if they believe that there is abuse going on in the home.

Before Allan goes to the location, her assistant and ex-husband goes through the house and hides anything that may sway her reading of the house. Allan goes through the house describing everything she sees and hears in great detail. Anderson asks her questions to prompt her to give more in-depth answers. If she feels ills, he is the one who reassures her and gives her comfort.

Then, the viewer sees what DiSchiavi recorded 12-hours earlier, speaking to the owners and anyone who could have witnessed any hauntings. He gathers all information on the house and past owners. If death had occurred on the property, he goes to the library to get pictures and new clippings. If the death was recent, he talks to the police who investigated.

Allan has some artistic ability and usually sketches what she sees. If she is unable to sketch the artwork, she hires a sketch artist. At the reveal, she explains what she saw and feels about the house. If she thinks the house is not safe, she tell them what they can do to make it safer. Sometimes this means hiring a warlock, a psychologist psychic, a priest to do an exorcism, and occasionally she outright tells the owners the house is too dangerous to stay.

I do not know if I believe what I see on the show. I think that Allan is mostly genuine, and I think that DiSchiavi is hesitant. DiSchiavi is a retired detective and active private investigator. Perhaps his hesitation is due to his training


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    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Well, my new philosophy is to call on Jesus who, according to the written record of the New Testament, was able to cast out demons. His apostles could do that too, in His name. (see book of Acts)

      In the past, before I was a Christian, I did regular cleansings of my home including the burning of sage, and placing salt crystals in the rooms. Well, anyone could do that without Amy being there to tell them to. But honestly, I think daily prayer is more effective than salt or sage. Problem is that most people with haunted houses aren't turning to Jesus, and aren't saved. If they were, they would be protected from demons because Jesus protects His people.

      I'm still very psychic. If an entity were in my presence I'd probably be able to sense it, detect it... and know whether it was dangerous. But I don't pursue that information; it just comes to me because it is natural. Yes, it could be a gift, but like most psychic people I believe everyone could do that particularly if they were to give up substances like tobacco and alcohol and drugs... clearing their minds, so they'd work properly.

      Many Christians ask (in prayer) for God to put a "hedge of protection" around them or someone they're praying for. The hedge idea comes from the Book of Job. Job had a hedge of protection, and Satan complained about it to God and asked Him to remove it so that he could test Job with afflictions.

      Christians believe themselves to be protected by the blood of Jesus just as during Passover the lamb's blood was put on the door frames to protect the families living there. The origin of that ritual was recorded in the book of Exodus when all the firstborn in Egypt (people and animals too) were killed in one night, except for those in homes with the lamb's blood on the door frame. That's why the blood of Jesus (Lamb of God) is considered a protection.

      Hope this helps, and thanks for the conversation. It is nice to be able to get to know you... and as you can tell, I do love to explore these kinds of subjects.

    • Alli Rose profile image

      Alli Rose Smith 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      I just think if you a have a psychic ability, I see that as being a gift from God, unless one prays to a darkness for the power. If Amy is legit, she's doing good work. What if a person is really experiencing ghosts or deamons, who should they call? Someone with her ability is sometimes needed, because not all house blessings work, and people need to know what's going on. I see your point of view, and you make a very good argument.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Even though the Israelites were the "chosen people" they weren't perfect nor did they follow the laws given by Moses... such as no psychic contact with the dead. Most of the kings were attracted to the pagan beliefs of the people who inhabited Canaan before they got there - and those pagans believed in sacrificing their own children among other things. It all made me see the Israelites weren't chosen because of perfection, but because they were to show us what happens when you don't follow the laws. (This ended with captivity and exile, for them, in Assyria and Babylonia.) So yes, many if not most of them probably consulted psychics and did many other things forbidden in Mosaic law. All in all, a very fascinating history!

    • Alli Rose profile image

      Alli Rose Smith 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      That's a really good point.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      King Saul was not a righteous king. He wasn't devoted to God. I've been reading the histories during the last few months (1/2 Samuel/Kings/Chronicles) . . . there were very few God-fearing kings and Saul wasn't one of them; that's why God replaced him with David instead of one of his (Saul's) descendants.

    • Alli Rose profile image

      Alli Rose Smith 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      King Saul sought a medium to communicate with Samuel, who passed on a message to him from God . True, the message wasn't good, he was going to die the next day, but he was able to communicate with a richeous man from the grave.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I used to watch this show and thought Amy Allan's observations were spot on... at great risk to her own health, however. When you deal with the psychic realm you're opening yourself up to demons. Now, it won't always be demons you communicate with. There are plenty of ordinary human beings lost in outer darkness, but the demons also can pretend to be humans. It can be very confusing. For that reason the Bible states that we should not participate in psychic exploration. I became a Christian a year ago and stopped experimenting with my psychic abilities... as far as trying to contact the dead. That's not to say my psychic sense doesn't still pick up on information - some of it quite interesting, to me, anyway - but it comes naturally and unbidden. I do not pursue it.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 3 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I don't have cable so have never seen this show, but I have visited AND inhabited many haunted residences in my many-decades life, and would be more than a bit skeptical about the accuracy of Amy Allan's findings. Of the DOZENS of places I either knew or sensed to be haunted, I've only come across TWO that were inhabited by a malevolent spirit. In both, the live inhabitants continued to reside in them, peacefully cohabiting with their uninvited "guest" by avoiding areas in the structure the spirit was known to exhibit activity, or they simply adopted an "Oh well" attitude and ignored such activity.

      A year or so ago I was a guest for the weekend in one such residence, and counter to years of experience, was so totally freaked out by my friend's resident ghost that I'll stay in a hotel during future visits. That ghost, btw, technically wasn't "malevolent" in the sense that she was "dangerous", only extremely irritating in the things she did.

      That said, great hub. Upped and shared, but you might want to proof it for typos. Just sayin'.... ;D

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Hello Alli Rose,

      I have watched Dead Files through out the years that is has been showing on the History Channel. You have written a fine summation

      of the show and what has become a methodical format. While you find DiShiavi hesitant, I appreciate that he works from delving into facts

      from historical records and interviews from witnesses.

      Amy's abilities seem to always be spot on. I have never known of a psychic that can deliver absolute information as often as it appears that she does. It makes me reticent to believe her accuracy without having been clued in on some of the information.

      I think there is no need to show the assistant going into the house removing pictures and other relics that could be a contributing factor

      to Amy's reading. There could simply be an announcement that all relics have been hidden from view.

      You have written a fine synopsis of this show. Have you ever questioned

      why so many spirits stay earth bound? Why wouldn't they feel compelled to cross over into the light? I have so many questions about the after life. Guess we will all find out eventually.

      Alli, thank you for your service in the military. Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated.