Steve DiSchiavi on Season 8, 'Supernatural' and More
"I've sacrificed myself my whole life; I was in the Marine Corps, I was a cop for 23 years, I was a homicide detective. All I did was serve the public. So, for me, this is just another extension of it."
It’s been a long wait for new episodes, huh, Dead Files fans? But with season 8 around the corner, we caught up with co-host Steve DiSchiavi to get the scoop on what’s to come, whether he’s ever felt a presence and how he spends his time off. (Hint: It involves the supernatural.)
Missed our recent Facebook Live from the set? Head over to The Dead Files' official Facebook page to see the full video.
Which case has affected you the most?
Well, the only one that affected me emotionally was Browns Summit, NC. It was a special needs child, who wasn't a child – she was 21, I think. She was being terrorized by whatever was in the house, and Amy actually thought [she] was even being possessed because she was so vulnerable. But the family was so sweet, and it was heartbreaking to watch them go through [it] because I have a daughter, as well.
I've been through so much in my life and done a lot, so most of this stuff doesn't really phase me. But what bothers me the most is seeing people in distress. Watching how terrified they are ... it's almost a combination of all [the cases]. It's not that any particular one stands out; it's that they all have the same common denominator. They all need [help] and don't know where to turn, which is the worst feeling in the world.
What's your hope for the families when you leave?
I'm hoping with a combination of what I do and what Amy does that we can give them hope. A lot of people complain, say [the families] don't take Amy's advice. Well, this stuff doesn't happen overnight. If you call the clients two months after we leave and they say they haven't gotten a priest in yet or something like that, the fans will go crazy: "Oh, I can't believe they didn't take Amy's advice." Maybe they just didn't get to it yet. Once it's put on the show that they're still searching, that's it; that's all you're going to see. The next day they could get a priest and it wouldn't matter because it's already documented on the show. I get a lot of questions from fans [about that] and if I know personally that they did later on, I'll tell them ... I keep in touch with a lot of the clients. We become friends on Facebook or Twitter.
We just did an episode in Kentucky, and the mother and daughter both reached out to me on Facebook to thank me again. It was a pretty intense reveal, and the outcome Amy gave them wasn't really good. But they were grateful to know what was going on, and they were grateful that we gave them answers as to what to do. [They said] "Thank you, I'm feeling much better now and I moved out of the house. I'm sleeping better at night." And then they have to work on getting rid of the house, basically.
Have you ever felt anything, personally?
Not a thing. I've been in rooms interviewing people, and they'll say, "Don't you feel it? Don't you feel this presence?" And I'm like, "No, I don't feel anything." Then they get annoyed with me ... For me, I've never had any feelings at all. I'll try to empathize, and I'll say, for example, if I'm in a basement with a client, "Oh this is creepy, I wouldn't want to come down here." That's just me being empathetic to the area we're in and understanding why you might not want to be down there. For me, I'm not creeped out by basements. Nobody dead ever tried to kill me so I'm not worried about the dead.
What is it that attracted you to working on these cases with Amy if the paranormal isn't necessarily your thing?
This is a question for the masses because I get this question asked a lot. I was asked to do the show, and once I found out it was a paranormal show I said, "No, absolutely not, I'm not doing this." But when me and the creator, Jim Casey, sat down, we discussed how it could be a detective-oriented investigation on my side. Because I am an open-minded skeptic. I'm not a skeptic of the paranormal. People get this wrong in me; I do believe there's stuff going on. Do I believe all of it? No. But I do believe there's something going on. I hope there's an afterlife. My problem is with the living. I'm a skeptic of them, not the paranormal.
Amy's abilities really shocked me. I worked with mediums in the past and psychics on homicide cases. But her abilities are uncanny and mind-blowing, for lack of a better word. I'm like, how could she possibly know that when I found out that information like two hours before we sat down for the reveal? It'll come up in the reveal, and it's not something we were going to talk about because we didn't know it was going come up. All of the sudden, I'm like, "You've got to be kidding me!" So, I'm a believer in her abilities, not all psychics. I don't trust a lot of them. A lot of them are snake oil salesmen, in my opinion. But they give people like Amy a bad name.
What's been your experience working on location (i.e. with people in the neighborhood, etc.)?
Sometimes we'll go to a location and the house will be pretty remote so we don't have to worry about neighbors. But other times, like this one we're doing here in Tennessee, neighbors are very upset that we're there. They think we're going to bring a bad name to the neighborhood and if they try to sell their house, there's going to be a problem. We have neighbors that get in our faces, saying, "I want you guys out of here." But, it's not their house, it's not their property. We've had the cops called on us because Amy's doing her walk at 2 in the morning and there are lights all over the place and people are wondering what's going on. As a neighbor, I understand that. People are just nosy and want to know what's going on. If they know the show and recognize us, then it's usually OK. But if they don't know the show and they're very close-minded to the paranormal and they find out we're doing a paranormal show, they get even more crazy. So, there have been some tense situations on set, but we've been pretty good at handling it.
What's it like being on the road?
Sucks. It absolutely sucks. People say I'm so lucky because I get to travel, but to pack and unpack six times in two weeks ... living out of a suitcase and you get a hotel that you'll be at for eight days and the bed is hard, you have no recourse. It's like, I'm stuck here, and I've gotta make the best of it. We're on the road now for almost 24 days; three different cities, three different states. I just want to get home. But, on the other side of it, as much as it sucks, when I see clients cry with happiness at the end of a reveal, that's worth it for me. That's the icing on the cake.
Let's talk a little bit about season 8, which premieres on Saturday. What are you most excited for fans to see?
Season 8 was pretty intense. We did 13 episodes, and I'd say at least 10 of them, [the reveals] were heartbreaking and intense and earth-shattering for a lot of these clients. Then, we did a cool one; we did a tattoo parlor that had a great backstory. That'll really tug at people's heartstrings. It's haunted, but the backstory was so sweet and heartbreaking that people are really going to want to watch it. And they weren't our usual clients, they were big, tough guys with tattoos all over them. It was like looking at myself across the table [laughs]. It was different from any other episode we've done. That was in Chicago.
What are you most looking forward to doing when you get home?
I DVR my shows. What do people call it? Their guilty pleasure? I watch Supernatural; I'm addicted. I can't stream it on the road sometimes, but as soon as I get home — I don't even unpack. My clothes stay in my bag for like, two days. I sit on the couch, turn on the boob tube and watch my shows.
Which [Supernatural] brother do you identify with more? Sam or Dean?
Me? Dean, I'm a Dean. I'm totally Dean. Sam's too wishy-washy for me.
The Dead Files is all-new, May 6 at 10|9c.