Exclusive: Opening The Dead Files - An In-Depth Interview with Amy Allan
For many years I've watched just about every paranormal related show there is. Around 90% of them include a medium or some kind of sensitive who usually ends up making things seem silly what with their "feelings" and such. On "The Dead Files," however, this is far from the case.
Amy Allan is the co-host of the Travel Channel TV show "The Dead Files" and also a physical medium who uses her abilities to communicate with the dead in some of the most frighteningly real ways imaginable. Simply put, she's either the greatest actress in the world or 100% legit. Together with her co-host, retired homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi (interview here), the duo investigate hauntings and phenomena all over the country including Alcatraz and the famed Lizzie Borden House. They bring with them a no bullshit approach that's rarely seen nowadays, and to say it's compelling is a bit of an understatement.
Recently Amy sat down with us to discuss not only the show but also what led her to it.
"The first memory I have of dealing with the paranormal was when I was four years old and had encountered shadow people," says Allan. "I really thought they were my friends. They came every night and I would see them on the walls. It was actually a male and a female presence. They were really friendly and nice. We were friends over a long period of time, and eventually they asked me to go with them. They told me to bite the electrical cord on my humidifier, which I did and was electrocuted. After that I realized obviously that they weren't good, and that's kind of when they got scary. They would peel off of the wall and stare at me, or they would scream at me. It was a very traumatizing experience, not only because they were shadow people and they were negative and they tried to kill me, but also because I really thought that they were my friends. They betrayed me in the utmost manner by trying to inflict harm on me."
Growing up, things only became more confusing and frustrating for the young woman.
"Throughout my younger years there would be random experiences like when I was eight or ten years old. I would see people when I was with my friends that they couldn't see. and I really didn't understand that. For instance, one time my friend and I were playing in the living room of my house. We had set up like a little Barbie kingdom of sorts. We then went to get some food, some snacks. When we came back, everything was ruined. Things were all tossed around and torn up, and my friend just screamed and ran out of the house. I was just standing there looking at this little boy who had lived in my house and who was dead. I didn't understand why she would freak out and was afraid. She didn't see him; she only saw what had happened to the Barbies, and that was one of the moments where I was like, 'Hmmm… that's odd. She was afraid but couldn't see him, but I could and wasn't scared at all.' That was just one of those moments. It took until I was about thirteen years old for me to realize that I was different, and I was really upset by this. I just wanted to be normal. I didn't want to see these things. I just wanted to be like everybody else."
Realizing that being normal would never be the case, Allan tried to learn more about what was happening to her.
Amy continued, "For years I had studied the subject of death and the paranormal. I read all of the books and research papers… I was very into the science of it all. In my twenties I started using my ability professionally. I said to myself, 'Okay, I have this thing and it is not going away. What can I do with it?' I started doing lots of research to help me get a handle on these abilities so that I could start helping others to understand what they were going through. At first I started giving readings as a means to help people find closure with their loved ones. That was good, but my thing was always that I was seeing all these dead people who were trapped in homes and couldn't get out. I felt really bad for them, and above all it was them that I wanted to help the most. It really started with me wanting to help the dead more than the living!" *laughs* "The way that the living deal with death and dying and the dead sometimes irritates me. Trying to understand living individuals' perspective on these things has been a real learning experience for me. I try to educate them so that they have a bit more compassion for those who have passed. We tend to Westernize the subject of death here. It's very sterilized and we try to keep the subject away from us, but it's not. It's something that we're all going to experience."
That being said, Amy got immediately to work.
"Over the years I began working with private detectives and police officers and agents. The way that we do the show is very similar to what I did while out in the field. When the idea for the show came about, it was imperative that my partner be someone that was an outside source. Someone who wasn't biased by me and hadn't worked with me. That was Steve [Di Schiavi]. It's an amazing thing that we have together. We work really, really well with each other. He's an amazing guy, and he knows his shit! *laughs*
Source: "The Dead Files" on Travel Channel