The Slocum House ghost story gets airing on TV show

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter




photo Steve DiSchiavi, left, interviews Susan Tissot at the Clark County Historical Museum while filming an episode of “The Dead Files” in Vancouver. It airs Friday.


A Vancouver man who died years ago might still be showing up from time to time at a local landmark to knock things off shelves and generally creep people out.

That’s the topic of “The Dead Files,” a ghost-centric television program scheduled to air at 10 p.m. Friday.

The weekly show on The Travel Channel (Comcast channel 65 or 765) will look to answer some questions about the Slocum House, on the south side of Esther Short Park.

The historic structure, built about 140 years ago, most recently was the home of a community theater group. But according to theater members who spent quite a bit of time there, things inside the Slocum House don’t always go according to the script.

Brian Kniffel, segment producer for with “The Dead Files,” said members of the theater group contacted the show.

“They came to us and said, ‘Here’s the stuff we’ve been experiencing. We’d like you to check it out.’”

Basically, they felt that a ghost was living (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms) in their theater, said Clark County Historical Museum Director Susan Tissot, who also participated in the episode.

Brief online previews hint at some issues: unexplained footsteps and laughter, items falling off shelves, a brief glimpse of a man who died awhile ago, and two theater seats that nobody wants to sit in.

According to its website, the show’s two investigators approach each case from different perspectives: Steve DiSchiavi is a retired New York City homicide detective and Amy Allan is a medium.

“They are a paranormal team like no other, combining their unique, eclectic and often-conflicting skills to solve unexplained paranormal phenomena in haunted locations across America,” said the website.

The production crew was in Vancouver in late January and early February.

“The show features an evening walk through the Slocum House with Amy, the paranormalist, and a daytime segment with Steve, their retired homicide detective,” Tissot said.

Staff members of the theater group were interviewed at the Slocum House, and DiSchiavi did an on-camera interview with Tissot in the museum. He also interviewed local author and historian Jeff Davis, who provided some details about the Slocum family.

The museum also was where the crew filmed the “reveal.” That, the website explains, is the moment of truth where “all of the team’s findings gel into one undeniable -- and often terrifying -- conclusion.”

Tom Vogt: 360-735-4558;;