“Dead Files” Host Steve DiSchiavi Talks About The New Season And More

April 4, 2020

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: horrorfuelinfo@gmail.com

One of the most popular paranormal series on TV today (and one of my personal favorites) is Travel Channel’s “The Dead Files”.



The series follows psychic empath Amy Allan and retired NYPD homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi. The team splits up with Amy heading to the location plagued by paranormal activity while Steve investigates the location’s history. In the end, the two meet with the families to discuss their findings and how to move forward and solve the issue.



I sat down with Steve to discuss his role in the series and his experience prior to joining the show which is now in its thirteenth season. Outspoken and brutally honest, Steve holds nothing back.


Horror Fuel: “How did you go from being an NYPD detective to starring on “The Dead Files?”


Steve: “You want the short version or the long version? I’ll give you the short version. ABC News did a documentary on the NYPD as part of a series. It included the homicide squad. I was the featured detective in the first episode. And Jim Casey who created The Dead Files was pitching the show to the network executive. Whoever he was pitching the show to had seen me on the documentary and suggested to him that if he wanted to do the show to get a hold of me. That’s how it started.

I never wanted to become an actor or be on TV at all.”


Horror Fuel: “I’m glad it worked out though.”


Steve: “I appreciate that. It’s just one of those things. I have a lot of friends who are actors who are not happy with me because they’ve struggled their whole lives. It’s not my fault.”


Horror Fuel: “I understand. What is like working with a psychic medium, like Amy?”


Steve: “I worked with some psychics while I was in homicide, nobody the caliber of Amy’s abilities. It’s odd that somebody doesn’t know anything about what you’re investigating and are still able to pinpoint things that are so accurate. It makes you shake your head.

I’m not a skeptic like everyone thinks I am. I consider myself an open-minded skeptic. I’m more of a skeptic of people. I’m a skeptic of people who claim to be a skeptic. But I wouldn’t do the show if I had any reservations about Amy’s abilities. My reputation and my integrity are all I have. I’m not going to jeopardize that just to be on TV.”


Horror Fuel: “That’s one reason I like the show so much. I love that Amy embraces the supernatural but that you remain objective. Dead files is one of a kind.”


Steve: “Yeah, the concept is pretty unique. Other shows attempt to do what we do, but we have a unique way of investigating the paranormal.”


Horror Fuel: “That’s very true. And you deal with a lot of difficult situations. What’s been your most difficult case so far, emotionally?”


Steve: “That’s a tough one. As far as emotionally, anything to do with kids really bothers me. I’m a father, my daughter is 29 now. There was one in North Carolina – the town was Browns Summit – the girl was special needs and she was probably 19 or 20 at the time. Hearing her sob about what was going on in the house, all she wanted to do is tell the paranormal to take her and leave her family alone. When I met her it was so hard to hold back tears from listening to her sob. I’ll never forget her out of all the 200 episodes in. She’s still the one that stands out for me.”


Horror Fuel: “Poor girl. I imagine it was hard not to get emotional in heartbreaking situations like that.”


Steve: “After working on the streets for 22 years, giving notifications and giving people the news that their loved one was just murdered or killed in a car wreck, you start to get numb to it, but it still takes a toll on you.”


Horror Fuel: “I imagine it does.

Have you ever had anything paranormal follow you home?


Steve: “Never happened. I haven’t had one before the show or one after. I’ve never had an incident where something was attached to me or anything like that. I’m pretty much paranormal free [laughter].”


Horror Fuel: “[laughter] They’re probably intimidated by you. You’re quite the imposing figure.”


Steve: “I’ve been told that I was. I’ve been called a diffuser by several mediums. They say that when I walk into a room where there’s something paranormal, it leaves. Not because I’m a tough guy or anything, but they just don’t want to be around me which is good. I have no ambitions to have a paranormal experience. I’d rather just live life the way it is. I’ve never had an experience and I’m fine with that.”


Horror Fuel: “I appreciate that. With everything that you investigate and find is 100% authentic and not influenced by a desire to confirm the paranormal.

How do you choose your cases?”


Steve: “Thank you. We vet our clients very well. If there’s children or elderly, or special needs involved, those always get priority. There are a lot of cases that don’t involve any of those. When people are sincere, you can tell, they really believe what’s happening to them are real.”


Horror Fuel: “I’m a fan of the show. I like that it’s not over the top, that there’s no jumping at every noise like with some other series.”


Steve: “We don’t try to put a square peg in a round hole. If Amy’s findings and my findings don’t match, it’s no big deal. All that matters is telling people how to stop and fix what’s going on.”


Horror Fuel: “Right. Can you fill us in on the next episode?”


Steve: “We’re on season 13. This is the one in Ohio, I think this is the one where I had issues with the husband. Amy basically told them that they had to get the hell out of there, but he thought the house was more important than his family. I get the financial aspect, but the woman was being terrorized. I went down in the basement and she was freaking out, but I empathize with these people.


I don’t find basements creepy. For me, it’s just a basement. But I’m not going to tell them, ‘Oh, it’s great.’ Of course, I’m going to empathize with them. I’m not going to be like “What the hell are you afraid of? It’s fine. I’d put a pool table down here [laughter].” I’m not going to do that. People ask me all the time if I’m freaked out when I go into these homes. No, not really. When you’ve been shot at and been involved with life-threatening situations, it’s hard to have a structure scare you.”


Horror Fuel: “I get it. Things get crazy in New York. You may have been a little desensitized. I imagine after having guns pointed at you, the paranormal might not seem so bad.”


Steve: “I love my fans, love ’em to death but when they say ‘Oh, you’re so brave to go in these homes.’ I’m like, ‘not really.’ People who are brave are those who are out there every day on the streets. For me, personally, I don’t find anything courageous in what I do. People out there responding to emergencies are courageous. Our troops are courageous, stuff like that. For me, when people say I’m courageous, it’s a hard pill for me to swallow. Helping people is something I’ve been doing for a long time. I was in the Boy Scouts, then the Marine corp., then the police department, and now I’m doing this. My whole life has been towards service.”


Horror Fuel: “You have been doing it your whole life. Anyone who tries to improve other peoples’ lives has my respect. And you’re doing that.”


Steve: “I get that. When I see what these people are going through and how they feel about it, and when I’m able to help them along with Amy, there’s no better feeling. I love being able to tell people how they fix it and that it’s going to be okay. We’ve been doing that at the end of each episode for a while. People have been sending little clips of how they’ve been doing. I think the fans like that a lot. It’s a very personal thing.”


Horror Fuel: “That’s a great feature. It brings the whole thing full circle.”


Steve: “We used to these revisit episodes, but they canceled those five or six years ago. It was good because you were able to see the process of everybody going through the process we told them to do to fix things. It was a big hit with the fans but the network just stopped doing them.”


Horror Fuel: “I do wish they would bring that back.”


Steve: “Me too. Think about it, Amy says you gotta get a shaman or their kid needs an exorcism. Wouldn’t you want to see that as a fan?”


Horror Fuel: “Absolutely!”


Steve: That’s what we used to do with those revisit episodes. But the network is the network, they make the decisions. It’s a shame we can’t do those anymore. I remember watching them go through some wild stuff. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s just creepy, voodoo priestess, chaos magicians, it’s not stuff from your everyday life.”


Horror Fuel: “That would be so cool to see.

Is there a favorite episode or experience from the new season you can tell us about?”


Steve: I think they’ve passed already. We were dodging hurricanes between Florida and Elizabeth City, North Carolina. We were in the hurricane’s path and it was intense trying to get filming done while dealing with that. I think that every episode this season is different. It’s hard to say which one is best. I don’t want to take away from anyone’s investigation. But we finished up in Tusan, Arizona – I think it’s the season finale. It’s a wild one, out in the middle on nowhere. I can’t give much away about it, but we had a lot of problems like mudslides. We got stuck, the guy that owned the property had no actual roads for five miles back on his property. We had torrential rains that caused the crew to get stuck. I mean stuck, stuck. That’s going to be an interesting episode. The funny thing about that episode is the guy goes, ‘Welcome to my oasis.’ I was like, ‘Hey bro, I hate to upset you, but from what I see it’s far from an oasis.’ I didn’t want to make fun of the guy, but is it really an oasis if you’re getting things thrown at you in the middle of the night?”


Horror Fuel: “Yeah, that sounds pretty rough. I would love to see some behind-the-scenes footage of that.”


Steve: “Let me tell you something, some of this stuff, like with the hurricane – it was pretty intense – we were in staying in a Hampton Inn in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and the top of the elevator shaft went flying off. It was bad. It woke us up at 4:00 in the morning. It was the only hotel in town that had a generator, so. That was our second time back to Elizabeth City. We did an episode there in season one.”


Horror Fuel: “I’m sure that had to be terrifying.”


Steve: ” I live in Florida now so I’m getting used to the whole hurricane thing. I’m a Floridian these days.”


Tune in for the thrilling new season of the “The Dead Files” on Thursdays nights at 10 pm on Travel Channel! Be sure to follow Steve DiSchiavi on Instagram and Facebook for updates and more. For more on this series and others please visit TravelChannel.com


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