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Series / The Dead Files

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The Dead Files is a Paranormal Investigation series on The Travel Channel, starring psychic medium Amy Allen and retired NYPD detective Steve DiSchavi. It debuted in 2011 and has had 9 seasons as of early 2018.

The show's premise is that Allen and DiSchavi conduct separate investigations of the reported paranormal activity, with no contact with each other until they reveal their findings to their client(s). Steve interviews the clients and people connected to them and investigates the history of the location where the supposed haunting is occurring, usually uncovering many dark events connected to the location. Amy does a psychic reading of the location at night, with her ex-husband as her cameraman (and a separate camera crew that's not acknowledged). Afterward, she has a sketch artist do a rendering of one or two of the things she saw during the reading. Once the investigations are complete, Amy and Steve meet with the clients and reveal their findings, and Amy gives her recommendations about how the clients can deal with the paranormal issues.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Cluster F-Bomb: In the more recent seasons, Amy gets much more liberal with the profanity as she's reacting to things in her readings.
  • Confession Cam:
    • Steve is often filmed talking about aspects of the cases and what he's going to be doing via a camera in his car.
    • Amy does this at times during her reading (talking about her experiences), during the sketch sequence (talking about what she's describing to the sketch artist), and at the end of the episode (making a brief commentary about the overall experience and her recommendations for how to deal with the episode's haunting(s)).
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Subverted; while Amy's reading is done at night with all the lights out, it's never consistent as to whether she's filmed in black and white or in color, either by her ex's hand-held camera or the other film crew.
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  • Every Episode Ending: Each episode ends with static statements talking about what the clients have (or haven't) done in regards to Amy's advice and the state of the activity.
  • Occult Detective: DiSchavi's role plays with the concept; aside from hearing the clients' paranormal claims, his research is strictly real-world, although it usually provides grounding for the experiences Amy has during her readings.
  • Once per Episode: While the show's actual material varies, its structure is based on a framework that never varies, so every episode you'll see:
    • The opening scene is Steve in his car on his way to meet with the client(s). In the early seasons he also made some remark about the show's "separate investigations" premise.
    • Steve "searching through old records" or "searching through old archives".
    • Amy's ex making a mostly-canned statement about how he obscures/removes personal items in the client's location so as not to give Amy leading information; this is played over scenes of him doing so.
    • Amy's "There were several disturbing things on my walk, but two stood out" when it comes to her completed investigation before she seeks the sketch artist.
    • Amy's "Yes, that's what I saw" or some variant thereof, when the sketch artist asks if their work is accurate.
    • Steve stating "I'll ask Amy to describe her walk for us." near the start of the reveal and "For that answer, I'm gonna turn it over to Amy." as her cue to talk about how to deal with the haunting at the end of the reveal.
  • Paranormal Investigation: With the twist that the medium does the paranormal part, the detective does the real world research, and then they combine their findings in front of the client(s).
  • Pop-Up Trivia: The “Revealed” episodes feature fan tweets, quotes from Amy and Steve, and bits of information about the show and the particular episode (some of which are very tongue-in-cheek).
  • Precision F-Strike: Many episodes have Amy and/or Steve having at least one reaction that gets bleeped, usually due to Amy reacting to her experience(s) and/or Steve's findings and Steve reacting to things he learns and/or disgust with some of the people he learns about or what's in Amy's sketches.
  • Stealth Pun: There's an unspoken one in each episode. The combo of Amy doing her readings at night and her ex removing or obscuring all items in the location that could reveal anything about the clients prior to the reading leave her literally and metaphorically in the dark about what's happening.


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