The Dead Files

The Dead Files – Lizzie Borden House – S02E01

I’m by no means a fan of this show, (I had such high hopes when it first came on) but I’m intrigued by the location. So when Amy and Steve got a call from the owner asking them to investigate strange occurrences in the now Bed and Breakfast, I thought it was worth a look.

We’ll skip over Amy’s flailing arms and the multitude of silly faces she makes and get to the heart of the matter. She basically makes the claim that the murders took place due to sexual abuse and incest. While doing her walkthrough, she gets the feeling Andrew Borden sexually abused his daughters. She continually says there was a lot of "freaky" sex things going on in the house. When talking to her assistant, she says she sees Lizzie and her sister sexually involved with each other. She also believes that Lizzie and her sister were both involved in the murder.

That is one hell of a bombshell to drop. Despite the fact there is really no true evidence to support these claims, how valid is the idea? The level of violence suggests some serious levels of rage. You don’t do that sort of damage while in the middle of stealing trinkets off the fireplace mantel. The bodies were defiled in their own way, and the sheer number of blows and weapon of choice somewhat indicate a sexual outlet.

I think it’s been said before, that due to the violence of the scene, the murderer would have been intimately familiar with the family and it wouldn’t have been a random event. The abuse would certainly make sense and shed light on the motives. But the opportunity and how it was all carried out is still unknown. Amy also makes the comment that Lizzie is mentally ill. Was she driven to madness over the events or did she succumb to disease? From everything I’ve read she was considered quite mentally sound and I haven’t seen anything that says she began to deteriorate as she got older. Is she picking up on someone else? Is she out in left field?

Another odd piece is the Ouija Board. Let me just state, I put no value in a Ouija other than it being neat to look. I don’t believe a cardboard cutout with writing on it is a direct communication device to the spirit world. If that were so, you could tune in the Bible or any other religious text like a radio. And if it is so damn easy to communicate with the dead using one, why isn’t anyone in the paranormal field using it? It makes a lot more sense than getting spirits to turn flashlights on and off or scanning through radio waves. But moving on…

There just happens to be a Ouija tossed under the couch where Mr. Borden died? Coincidence? Prop? Set up? And is Amy saying that the guests and employees have actually been able to make contact with the Borden’s and those spirits want them to stop? They’re tired of all the questions? If you’re making contact people, ask what the hell happened? That side story seemed to have some direction, but ultimately didn’t go anywhere. Have people made contact? Did they get any interaction? Seems like we may have had something there.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Ghost Hunters did an investigation of the Lizzie Borden house and concluded there was no activity there. The Ghost Adventures team investigated and felt they got plenty of evidence to support Lizzie was there. They even believe they spoke to her.

So what do we have here? Were Lizzie and her sister victims of sexual abuse and incest? Were they forced to have a relationship with each other (while the father watched)? Did the girls have a misguided love for each other that the father tried to stop and because of his interference he was punished? Did the mother stand by and let everything happen? Was the mother at the helm of the abuse and the father did nothing? Was it both of them? Did Amy uncover some new evidence or did she just heap more myth and accusations onto an already convoluted case?

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The Dead Files – Death and Dolls – S01E04

I think my patience has run its course with this show. Conducting an investigation from these two mindsets is a great idea, but watching Amy is grating to say the least. Her spasms, spouting gibberish, flopping her hands around like she has an illness and her general mannerism while onsite is more than I can deal with. It’s like watching a 4 year old talk about pooh-pooh. I can’t stand the faces, the rolling of the eyes and all that damn fidgeting. We don’t see Chip Coffey, Michelle Belanger or Lorraine Warren act like this when they go on site and they supposedly have the same abilities. Why is Amy on the edge of pure lunacy?

Amy also claims that it takes a lot to scare her, but every episode so far she has flat out said, "I don’t like this, this scares me". In each episode, she’s been freaked out to the point of having to leave and run away. This is supposed to be her job and each location keeps bringing up things she’s never dealt with or experiences before.

This episode was just another exercise in aggravation. Maybe there is something to the Native American practice of sending their dead down the river because there were too many bodies afflicted with disease. Are we really going to believe that these dolls are trapping their souls? If the spirits were already there how come the other owners didn’t complain of anything? How is it the dolls trapped the spirits if the spirits have been there for decades? If this entire area was used by the Native Americans how come other people in the area aren’t having the same problem? Why is it just localized to one house? Even Amy said she could feel spirits all over the place outside? And a child who is obsessed about death and destruction? No surprise there. Considering what’s on TV, in video games and on the web how is a kid going to avoid that kind of stuff? But no no, we have to make the connection that this kid is like Amy because she read Anne Frank. Come on, give me a break.

This show is firmly entrenched in the ridiculous. I haven’t been enjoying these episodes so I may have to skip the rest. I think the Travel Channel has a dud on their hands.

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The Dead Files – Terror in the Shadows – S01E03

There were a lot of problems with this episode. First off, if Amy has such a hard time dealing with the entities she encounters and feels the urge to run away all the time, why does she keep doing this? She’s constantly going on about how she can’t be in a certain room, can’t go down the stairs, doesn’t like the way she feels and feels pain all the time. If it’s that big a deal maybe you should just stay home? These past three episodes have been about you nearly coming unglued and wanting to hide under the bed. Either face your demons, figuratively and literally, or quit going into people’s houses that might have a problem. If the sight of pizza makes you ill, working at a Pizza Hut might be a bad career choice for you. Just sayin’.

The other problem I have is the claim that shadow figures tried to kill her. When she was four, Amy bit into a power cord and electrocuted herself. She claims that shadow figures encouraged her to do it. Since this sort of thing happens all the time, is she now making the claim that children who bite power cords and stick forks in sockets are at the mercy of shadow figures? I just have a hard time accepting an everyday occurrence and something caused by mystical shadow figures.

What does Amy actually uncover amidst her cowering the corner? She claims there are multiple shadow figures in the house draining the life out of people. She feels they’re evil and could be working to kill someone. Amy is constantly muttering how she’s surrounded by dark energy and they’re all out to get her. She barely manages to stay in one room for more than a few seconds and each place she stops is worse than the last. Finally, she bolts out of the house because she can’t take anymore. When she gathers her wits and can speak again she claims that not only are there shadow people lurking around, but there’s a poltergeist as well. A poltergeist that one of the family members has brought around.

To get away from the house Amy heads over to the garage area where she nearly has another breakdown and claims that two people died in a truck. After only a minute or two, she has to make a hasty retreat from there as well.

Meanwhile Steve interviews the mom, daughter and son to get an idea of what’s going on. They all claim to have had experiences in the house, but mom denies that any of it is real. She believes her kids have seen and experienced things, but she glosses over it and feels she needs to move on with her life. The kids are afraid to sleep upstairs in the house. They didn’t like the place as kids and they don’t like being back as adults. They’re actually afraid for their mom since she lives there alone.

Really the only thing Steve can find is that a death did occur in the garage where a father killed himself and his small son through asphyxia. He hooked up the tailpipe to the interior of a truck and kept it running until they both perished. Horrible to be sure, but how does this explain the shadow figures?

When Amy visits the house to talk to everyone, she’s firmly convinced the mom is causing the poltergeist. She has repressed feelings about the loss of her mother and father as well as the loss of her husband. Because she’s in denial, it’s created this dark energy. Amy doesn’t explain where the shadow figures came from because she doesn’t know. The only thing she can really offer is that mom needs to start dealing with her feelings and maybe some of the energy will dissipate. Not to be rude, but she really doesn’t have much to offer here. Amy basically says she would run away from the house and never come back. Not exactly helpful for the homeowners is it? What do we need to burn the place to the ground to cleanse it?

The kids don’t feel their mother is the cause of the poltergeist either, but that’s to be expected. Not many kids are going to believe their mom is responsible for an evil ball of energy roaming through the house.

When all is said and done, we really don’t settle much. Amy is scared witless by the house and the kids are left in the same situation as before. Is there really something going on in the house or is there some other explanation for the events? Has mom and her repressed feelings about death generated something evil? Is the house really infested with ill-meaning shadow figures?

Is seems to me this is a prime location for a paranormal investigation. Let’s see, who could be get to show up?

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The Dead Files – The Devil Made Me Do It – S01E02

I really want to like this show because of the premise. You take a psychic and a New York cop, take them to a location where paranormal activity is reported, let them come to their own conclusions and then compare notes. The show isn’t too bad and the information they uncover is intriguing, but Amy Allen, the medium, acts like such a complete loon at times it’s hard to deal with. When she’s just talking and going over details, she’s fine. She’s coherent and everything seems normal. On the walkthrough, she becomes babbling and incoherent. Her actions and mannerisms are the cliché way you see characters in a movie act during a séance. It’s just hard to deal with the constant almost nonsensical chatter she comes out with. It’s like listening to an 8-year old hopped up on Pixie Sticks. Plus, that stupid grainy overlay they put up when she’s talking is ridiculous. This isn’t Paranormal Activity. Get rid of that damn thing.

Stephen Dischiavi, the New York cop, always comes across as calm and collected. He has a matter of fact way of doing business and that keeps things grounded. He keeps the show from being laughable. I like what they’re doing, but there are some parts that are really hard to tolerate.

For this investigation, they go to a restaurant where strange phenomena have been occurring. The owner has seen figures and heard noises. The staff has also seen and heard things and many of them won’t go down there anymore. It sounds like there’s trouble in the basement. So what’s going on down there?

Amy does a tour of the place and flat out says she’s scared to go down to the basement of the building. She feels something evil is down there. Meanwhile, Stephen discovers a murder took place down there. The former owner of the property was beaten to death with a hammer. It turns out the owner made a sexual advance toward a male employee and that employee turned on him and beat him over a dozen times in the head and face.

Amy gets the strong impression of something evil and demonic down there. She’s constantly fidgeting with her hands and saying the place is bad. Amy begins to get impressions of what happened and goes to a sketch artist to get a picture of what she sees. Interestingly, the artist’s sketch looks somewhat like the man who’s been incarcerated for the crime. Amy is saying there is a lot of bad energy down there and it’s been there for a long time. This event may have been brought on by someone possessed by negative energy.

It’s a pretty interesting ride and terribly tragic story. One mistake made by both men and lives are ruined. One man’s dead and the other will spend the rest of his life in jail. But is he a victim too? Was he taken over by some force? Was he truly not himself when the events happened?

Amy gets the owner to perform cleansing rituals on the basement to keep the evil entity in check. Is this something they need to do forever? Will this evil force move on? Will it grow stronger and cause even more destruction? It’s hard to say how things will play out, but the restaurant staff aren’t taking any chances.

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