Thursday, August 29, 2019

Maybe It Would Be Easier to Move

I don't know how many of you watch The Dead Files, but I am a true aficionado. I watch repeats. I even record and watch repeats. I've gotten to the point where I remember the clients and their houses just from reading some of the episode descriptions. I also record and watch the new shows. But while I enjoy watching Amy do her walk and explain about the dead--and other things--that she is running into, and while I get a real charge out of Steve's interviews and his research, the two things about that show that float my boat are 1) The Sketch, and 2) The Reveal.

If you don't know the show, after her walk-through of a malevolently haunted site, Amy will sit down with a sketch artist to have one or two renderings done of the thing or things she finds most disturbing on her walk. Somehow, she's always able to decide on just one or two. Me, I'd be having the sketch artist doing a mural-sized canvas. But that's beside the point. The sketches, which are not shown to Steve, the clients, or those watching at home until The Reveal, are amazing. They've included everything from headless, twelve-foot creatures that Amy described as "guardians" of the property, to angry hags and creepy dead men with serial-killer tendencies. 

The show also includes a clip of Amy sitting with the artist, describing what she saw. I always wonder if the artist goes home that night with nightmares. I also have always wondered what happens to the sketches. I don't imagine the clients want those freaky drawings anywhere in their houses after they've seen them. I doubt that Amy keeps a scrap book of them: she's already seen the real thing up-close and personal. I always think the show should auction them off as a fund-raiser to start an account for the poor people who are told that they need to leave their homes and don't have the financial resources to do it, but that's just a thought. I have no idea where those pictures go.

I like the sketch technique so much I borrowed it for my own series. I even had the pleasure of interviewing a police sketch artist to find out how they do what they do. Good thing Nick Borja is an artist, isn't it? And I resolved my own issue with the picture he produced, too. I won't spoil it in case you have not yet read Drawing Vengeance (and if you haven't, please get right on that! But only after reading Haunted and Dead Voices, of course) but there is no question about the real purpose of the picture that Nick draws at Cassie's request.

At the end of The Reveal, Amy tells the clients what they need to do to stay safe. Sometimes she has to tell them to move. If Amy Allen told me  to move, I'd take her word for it. She's scary. But lots of times she gives them various solutions to their problems and no two are ever alike. There are some of the expected answers, such as bringing in a priest or minister to perform a blessing or even an exorcism. Sometimes she'll tell them to find a demonologist, a Wiccan, or perhaps a shaman from the local Native American nation to bring peace to the property. She uses tar water and salt and sometimes a vial of something that she doesn't exactly specify. Occasionally she'll tell them they need a psychic knower, or a Reiki Master, or even a voodoo practitioner. She has been known to suggest a curandero or a chaos magician (I have no idea).

The one piece of advice I have seen her give on a couple of occasions, and the one that would probably be the hardest for me, is when she tells them they need to clean their entire house, top to bottom, all surfaces. I would probably say, "We need to move." Moving might actually be easier than cleaning my entire house, top to bottom, every surface. And I live in a small, three-bedroom ranch, too.

Confession time: I am an amazingly indifferent housekeeper. I used to be really good about it, but something happened and I morphed into a person who tends to focus on some things and not see others, like the giant dust bunnies and webs that decorate the corners of my house, or the amazing amount of splotch that builds up on my windows and that I usually intend to clean off next spring. Or when hell freezes over, whichever comes first. 

I'd say you could ask Jim about how bad a housekeeper I am, except that he's exactly like me. We are not model homemakers, either of us. When I say, "I didn't get to the bathrooms, yet" he'll answer with "That's okay, I didn't get to the floors." We understand each other perfectly.

So if Amy told me I needed to clean my house top to bottom I'd probably shake her hand and tell her, "I think we might just move after all."

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