Q & A With Amy Allan and Steve Di Schiavi
Get up close and personal with the paranormal investigative team on Travel Channel's new TV show, The Dead Files. Medium Amy Allan and retired NYPD homicide detective Steve Di Schiavi answer our questions to help us get to know them a little better.
INTERVIEW WITH AMY ALLAN
Q: For those who may not know, what’s the difference between a medium and a psychic?
A: “In my studies, I do like to make a distinction! A medium is someone who only works with the dead. A psychic, well, it depends on what type. For instance, a psychic knower is someone who knows things about the past, present and possible future.”
Q: What are your top 5 scariest moments from working in the paranormal field?
A: "I think the physical attacks are the worst. Being dragged around, hair pulled, arms held down, things like that. Being caught off guard. When they have followed me home and I did not know and they jump out of the closet and attack you in the middle of the night. There was this one time and I know it is going to sound ridiculous, but..... I was on this case where this guy had shot himself in front of his girlfriend, he was crazy. Well, he came to my house and he was standing at the end of my bed dressed like a ghost? With a white sheet over him! For some reason this scared the hell out of me!? I look back and laugh now, but at the time it was horrifying! I would say those are the thing I dislike the most."
Q: How did you know you possessed the special talents of a medium?
A: “Hmm…I really did not understand fully what was going on until I was much older. I would say I understood the terminology and application of that to myself when I was in my 20s. I have had experiences since I was a child.”
Q: When did you reveal to others that you had this special talent? How did friends and family react when you told them?
A: “I did not reveal anything. I just did things that others thought were strange and or scary things always happened around me. I did not even know what exactly was happening. I told my friends and family that I would be ‘coming out’ when I was in my 20s and was working with Dr. Roll. There was some hesitation. I think my family would have preferred at that time I only work as a parapsychologist and not be so open about my abilities. They have since become firm supporters, and it has opened up a great line of communication about what our families have been through.”
Q: What’s it like to work with Steve on The Dead Files? Are there moments on the show that surprised you?
A: “Steve is great! Though I do not get to spend much time with anyone on set, when we would be in the same room together, he had a way of making everyone laugh and joke and such. It really lightened up the mood! We would get into trouble for joking too much! There are a lot of moments on the show that surprised me. Every reveal shocked me!”
Q: Who are some of your favorite people, groups or organizations who investigate and explore paranormal activity?
A: “Dr. William Roll, Michael Esposito, Christopher O'Brian and all the people who are dedicating their lives in search of the truth.”
Q: Did you have someone who guided you to help “fine tune” your abilities as a medium?
A: “There were many people throughout my life, from the time I was in elementary school until today who have helped me on my journey.”
Q: Have negative spirits, paranormal entities ever followed you back to your home? If so, how did you handle it?
A: “Yes. It depends on what it is and how I am feeling as to what is done about it.”
Q: Do you have a few quick tips on how viewers or fans can get rid of negative or evil spirits that may lurk in their home?
A: “Honestly, tell them to get out! Do a cleansing ritual, one that you personally believe in, drawing from your faith and/or belief system. This works nearly every time!”
Q: Which 5 people, who’ve passed away, would you like to communicate using your talents as a medium?
A: “Vicky Stovall, she was with me throughout the filming, but I would like us to be able to just kick back and chat again. Who wouldn’t want to communicate with Einstein, but also Vincent Price, Crowley and Jesus. ”
Q: Why do you think The Dead Files is different from other paranormal TV shows?
A: “The producers adhered to the rules! I follow a very scientific methodology when I approach an investigation, and one of the main things is that I know nothing! Otherwise, I become distracted and cannot do my job. So, I think that there is a lot of integrity that this show holds. It is two worlds colliding, too. Within my life method science and the paranormal come together, I wanted this within the show, too. Steve brings the facts and I bring in the world of the paranormal, and together we can create a whole picture of what may or may not have taken place. The biggest difference is that we are not looking for ghosts. We are just going in blind and seeing what is really going on.”
Q: What are your top 5 favorite travel destinations? Why?
A: “Yugoslavia - Belgrade/Budva – I lived there on and off for some time and I love it there! I love the people, the food, everything about it! Budapest - I love the architecture and the way bizarre things always happen in the plazas. Greece - My mother’s family is from Greece and I love it there. It’s so much fun. Greeks know how to party! Vienna - The MUSEUMS! San Francisco - Matt and I love San Fran, and everything about it!”
Q: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
A: “I’m an introvert!”
INTEVIEW WITH STEVE DI SCHIAVI
Q: Why did you decide to be a part of The Dead Files? Were you a skeptic about spirits and the paranormal? If so, did something happen to make you a believer?
A: “I thought it was a really interesting angle to do a paranormal investigation – two different aspects to solve the case. I want to believe in the paranormal, but I’m the kind of guy who needs to see it to believe it. I don’t dismiss the potential of paranormal activity, but I haven’t personally experienced it.”
Q: Are there any cold homicide cases you’ve worked on during your career as a detective that you think a medium would have been helpful in solving? Was this your first time working with a medium?
A: “I never even thought about using a medium until now. I’ve used a psychic before, but that was different. I’m still learning what the difference between a psychic and medium is. So yes, this was the first time working with a medium.”
Q: Have you had personal experiences with the paranormal or spirits? If so, what were they?
A: “No, I haven’t had any experiences.”
Q: Why do you think your expertise and background as a former NYPD homicide detective is an important role on The Dead Files?
A: “I bring a clinical side to an investigation. It’s black and white for me…it’s all about the facts. My experience in investigating crimes and drawing on clues to find the truth is what I bring to the show.”
Q: You’ve seen a lot as a NYPD homicide detective. What were your toughest moments on the job?
A: “Being a first responder at the World Trade Center during 9/11. A couple of times on the job, I was knocking on a door while shots were being fired through the door at me. One time a bullet grazed my pant leg and missed my calf by half an inch.”
Q: Did you always want to be a homicide detective? If so, why?
A: “Once I became a police officer, being a homicide detective was the only thing I wanted to be. For me, a homicide detective was the ultimate most prestigious detective you can be. A homicide detective is the best detective in the world.”
Q: Did you have to go through special training to become a homicide detective?
A: “You’re chosen by your experience and skill as a detective to make the cut as a homicide detective. While I was a detective, I took all the basic criminal detective courses that were required to prep me for the job.”
Q: Do you watch TV shows like CSI or Law & Order? Is there any truth to these shows, including the high-tech forensic procedures shown on them?
A: I’ve seen them but do not watch them on a regular basis. Some of it is accurate, but most of it is not.
Q: Why do you think “The Dead Files” is different from other paranormal TV shows?
A: “We’re not ghost hunters. What each of us brings to the investigation is very different. On my end, I don’t believe what someone is telling me until I see the proof. I’m a skeptic of the person, not the paranormal. I need to see the evidence to believe what they are saying.”
Q: What are your top 5 favorite travel destinations? Why?
A: “Bora Bora, Bermuda, Caribbean, Hawaii or any place with sandy beaches and drinks with umbrellas in them.”
Q: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I play the drums, and I’m into heavy metal.”