With all of the ghost hunting shows on TV, it might seem like there's no way left to put a unique twist on the topic. That's where the Travel Channel show "The Dead Files" comes in. Pairing medium Amy Allan with retired New York Police Department Homicide Detective Steve DiSchiavi, the series gives a decidedly original spin to the genre.
In each episode, Allan and DiSchiavi examine a client's case from their own area of expertise. In the end they come together to compare notes and reveal their findings to their clients.
Steve DiSchiavi explains how clients are chosenIn a recent exclusive interview, DiSchiavi talked about how he works with producers to choose the subjects for a given show. He admits that he's drawn to willing participants who need assistance: "When you have a family with dynamics with children involved, with somebody who could lose everything because the business is faltering because of what's going on. Those are people you want to help. So I lean more towards a family in crisis. People who just don't know what the hell is going on, don't know how to handle it."
Conversely he was very clear about the cases he steers clear of: "I don't want to hear about a guy who part of his body is dead but has a ghost in it. These are the kind of strange things we get."
And he certainly doesn't want to deal with anyone who just wants their time in the spotlight. DiSchiavi noted, "We don't want the person who wants to be on TV. We don't want the 15-minutes-of-fame person on TV that's going to take away from our show and take away from our integrity and our reputation because I'm not going to allow that to happen."
A ghostly outcome isn't a guarantee on "The Dead Files"Choosing carefully is important since shooting each installment of the series unfolds organically. Since it's not staged, the team goes into each story hoping that there will be a big payoff.
As DiSchiavi recounted, "It is what it is. If [Amy] goes into a location and doesn't see anything, we don't have an episode. We don't make stuff up so it fits in. So far, thank God, we've been lucky."
As Allan pointed out, they've been very fortunate in that regard. She remarked, "I've had that happen doing my own investigations where there's nothing. And if that were to happen, it's something that we would still show because it's something that does happen quite frequently for people who are just doing it out in the field."
So far, so good. Check out all the eerie drama on "The Dead Files" every Friday night at 10 PM EST on the Travel Channel.
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