I watched my first episode of the Travel Channel's The Dead Files a few days ago; the episode was called "Hotel Nowhere" and aired in May 2013. The show stars Amy Allan, a psychic medium who communicates with the dead, and Steve Dischiavi, a former homicide detective who researches the history of the haunted location. Amy and Steve never speak to each other during an investigation, only at the end. In this episode, Amy and Steve meet Todd, a single father who bought a California mansion that he planned on turning into a hotel. Todd says that he’s heard footsteps, and people have been touched when no one is near them. He has turned the house into a haunted attraction eight years in a row, and over 30,000 people have come through, so he’s afraid that he’s “stirred things up.” Laura, one of Todd’s haunted attraction employees, says she was standing in a closet and something grabbed her and pulled her farther into the closest; when she got out and shone her flashlight in there, there was no one there. She quit that night.
Todd once saw a black entity in the bedroom, and it rushed at him; Todd screamed and it disappeared. He tells Steve that the house used to be a sanitarium. Over the past few years, Todd has had about 100 groups come in and investigate the house. While Todd and Steve talk, Amy walks through the mansion and senses mentally ill and sick presences. Glenda, Todd’s sister, feels uneasy in the house and “gets the shakes” every time she goes there; she says her friend got really ill, like she was having a heart attack, when she visited the house and ended up in the hospital for 3 days…and no one could ever figure out what was wrong with her. Glenda also says that something touches her every time she’s in the house; she thinks that Todd should bulldoze the house and says she would never spend the night alone there. In the basement, Amy says the spirits hang out there, and she senses people banging on the walls, trying to get out. The dead are telling her that they’re fed up “with the living antagonizing them.”
Steve meets with David Hadden, the county coroner, to learn more about the sanitarium. Hadden says it originally took in tuberculosis patients, and dead bodies were kept in the basement until the mortician could get them. After tuberculosis died down, the sanitarium began accepting mental patients and did not treat them well; “they’d chain them to toilets and sinks, they’d have them lying nude in the hallway, some did electroshock therapy and lobotomies, or they’d over-medicate them.” In the library, Steve finds an article saying a man named Tony Andrews bought the property, but lost it in foreclosure; Tony died of cirrhosis at age 36. Outside Amy senses a spirit who says he “rules the roost” and was forced to get rid of the property; she says he thought it was great when he had it and is not happy about what it turned into, and Amy has a bad feeling about him.
After Amy and Steve complete their separate investigations, Amy tells Todd that she sensed spirits of mentally ill people“ crawling on the ceiling and down the side of the stairs” and that saw someone throwing up; Todd says that people have come to the house and suddenly vomited. Amy also tells Todd that she saw mistreatment, such as a woman “who was being held down and beaten” and “a patient having his head beat in." Todd says that when he had the structure torn down that used to house mental patients, the paranormal activity increased. Amy says that she saw a man and a woman who kept saying “We did a good job,” and Steve tells her that a woman used to own the sanitarium and sold it to Orrell Lamoreaux, who later died in the house. Todd wants to advertise his future hotel as a haunted one, but Amy advises Todd to provide counseling for the spirits (using a transpersonal psychologist) and to have an exorcism to get rid of the spirits who don’t respond to counseling. Amy says the spirits are aggressive, and Todd could be putting his guests’ lives in danger. Todd has not contacted a transpersonal psychologist and is still planning to turn the mansion into a hotel.
The Dead Files was an interesting show, but I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the other paranormal shows I've watched, such as Ghost Bait or When Ghosts Attack. Once Todd opens his haunted hotel, I hope no one is actually dumb enough to stay there...that sounds like a really bad idea.
My rating: 7/10