I read about ghosts. I write about ghosts. I apparently have a bit of an obsession about them. And in this blog I try to share stories. However, even I, the sort of crazy person who says to perfect strangers "Tell me a ghost story" will occasionally run out of fresh tales. So then what?
I have two plans of action for such a dilemma: 1. Books, and 2. TV.
And that, folks, is where I am today (and likely to be some time in the future, as well.) So today I will resort to my all-time favorite paranormal reality TV show - The Dead Files.
If you haven't seen this show, you're missing something. No one else has paired up a physical medium with a retired NY homicide detective (who would think of something like that?) And no one else conducts investigations like these two. The premise is that someone is having paranormal difficulties and so Amy Allan (the medium) and Steve DiSchiavi (the retired police detective) will investigate the situation, each in her or his individual manner. Amy will take a walk through the house, picking up on what or who is there. Steve will interview the residents or owners, then do historical research including interviews with local historians, law enforcement personnel, and genealogists. Then they get back together with the people who are having the problems, explain what they have found, and tell them what to do to resolve the situation and reclaim their peace and serenity. (The only other problem-solving show I've ever seen was probably The Haunted Collector with John Zaffis. Believe me, he'll turn up here again at some point.)
In all the time that I have watched this show, I have seen Mr. DiSchiavi uncover murders, suicides, massacres, accidents, almost anything that could cause a tragedy and a psychic disturbance. And I have seen Ms. Allan come up with ghosts, poltergeists, PK manifestations, demons, curses, and really unsettling entities that she explains "were never human." YIKES.
Here's an example: on one show, an entire family was experiencing apparitions, unexplained noises, feelings of being watched, and constant nightmares, among other things. Ms. Allan told them what she had found on her walk, and Mr. DiSchiavi backed up her findings with his research. THEN she said something like "But the other thing going on is that your children are experiencing alien abduction, and I can't help with that." Um... Uhhh...
My sister, who thinks Communion is one of the scariest movies she has ever seen, would have been running for the hills, at that point. Seriously? Alien abduction? But Ms. Allan has talked about aliens in more than one episode and she's not necessarily talking about beings that hover over the house in spaceships and zap sleeping humans into their labs. Frequently she'll mention that "alien" can mean a being from another dimension. Some poor folks seem to have portals to other dimensions in their backyards. Or their basements. Or their upstairs hallway between two bedrooms. YIKES again.
I realize that for complete skeptics and other non-believers, this is probably heading off into the territory known as madness or nonsense or fantasy. That's their prerogative.
But I also know that The Dead Files frequently goes back to the places they were called to (this version of the show is called The Dead Files: Revisited) to see how things have been resolved or changed if the clients followed Amy's advice. Lots of times there is a really happy ending, but not always. Sometimes, the family or owners will have been told to move away, and so there can be no follow-up at the original site of investigation.
I suggest that if you're ever looking for a scary story, like I frequently am, that you give this show a try. I'm not trying to write an ad for them, either. I'm just saying that as far as freaky tales go, they have some of the best I've ever seen.