Interview with Steve Di Schiavi


Nice, no-nonsense interview from an open-minded skeptic. The key to finding the truth? Research.

Originally posted on Sheila Renee Parker:

Today I’m welcoming Steve Di Schiavi, co-host of The Travel Channel’s exciting show, The Dead Files. Thank you, Steve for stopping by!

Sheila ~ Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Steve ~ I was born & raised in Brooklyn, NY to 1st generation Italian parents…I served 3 years in the USMC after being asked to leave HS.. lol, honorably discharged and joined the NYPD, spent almost 22 years retiring from the Manhattan North Homicide Squad…

Sheila~ How did you get to become the co-host of the hit television series, The Dead Files?

Steve ~ ABC News filmed a documentary called NYPD 24/7 that was acclaimed and won an Emmy.. I was the featured detective in the 1st executive saw it and I was asked if I would be interested in doing television…

Sheila ~ What’s it like working with Amy Allan?

Steve ~ She amazes me every…

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Chocolate Shamanism


On a friend’s recommendation, I attended a spiritual ceremony performed by a shaman who offered attendees what I can only describe as seriously potent hot cocoa. You drink it with the intention of bringing love into your heart to help heal the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual bodies.

Cacao is the basis of chocolate and is not a psychotropic like peyote. In its pure form, it is quite bitter. This particular batch had been grown and prayed over for the purpose of ceremony.

Chocolate and shamanism? Let the healing begin!

If you know me at all, you know that no matter how enlightened I grow to be, I’m still a skeptic at heart. But I’m also big on discovery – trying things to find what works. I’ve attended a lot of functions on endorsed by people who raved about their experience only to have mine fall short, or even flat.

What did I know going in? I was going to drink ceremonial chocolate, and it may or may not be a healing experience. The shaman said that once we had consumed the full dosage, we’d feel all kinds of emotional love. Did I need love and healing? Well, doesn’t everyone? I have a chronic backache and a past that has taken a few chunks out of me. So, I’m open to some heart chakra mojo.

After drinking half the dose (four ounces) of cacao, the shaman led the group in a short meditation. I can’t say the cacao offered any assistance, as my shamanic journey was equal to any I’d had without cacao. My head began to feel like someone had wrapped a quilted turban around it. My own voice sounded altered to my ears. But I can’t say the meditation felt different than any I’d done on my own.

Round two, another four ounces, another journey. The earth didn’t move, and I didn’t have any sort of trip. I wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion, spouting “I love you, man” or weeping uncontrollably like a couple others. Perhaps I’m too jaded, or put a wall of skepticism up. I enjoyed the energy of like minds coming together to heal. A couple attendees had just walked away from the rat race, a couple others were recovering from grief, and some were just curious and sought a deeper experience. Everyone was seeking love or healing through inner journeying after conventional methodology had failed.

On the two-hour drive home, I felt relaxed and satisfied that I’d had an enjoyable afternoon, but I can’t say I embraced the medicine of Mama Cacao. I didn’t feel any more loving toward myself (or other drivers) or feel as if the world should be in perfect harmony.

Then I got up the next morning.

Immediately, I noticed that my back was only mildly sore. After a four- hour drive, and another four hours of sitting on the floor, I should have been much stiffer and far less mobile, even hanging onto furniture to move through the room. I’ve had chronic back pain since I was ten. I’ve seen chiropractors, massage therapists, orthopedic doctors who have offered traditional methods that only provided temporary relief. This healing, too, was temporary, but strong enough to notice in a short period.

I also felt more empathic to the feelings and emotions of others. I, myself, was not more emotional, just aware of everyone else’s, even if they were not opening expressing themselves. The ceremony seemed to have had a longer lasting effect as it continues more than a week later.

Even though I didn’t have a moving experience at the time, the aftereffects have been noticeably clear. Chocolate and shamanism do go well together. Don’t knock it, till you try it.

Empire State Haunts

melrose hall

if you find yourself kicking around NY State, here is the latest list of haunted houses you might want to take a look at.

Booze with Boos?

Haunted Winchester Mystery House to Allow Overnight Stays (and Booze)!

In my opinion, booze is not a good idea. This is what gets Ouija board users in trouble. It only makes people disrespectful of the living and the dead. Plus the impairment of the senses will distort any paranormal phenomena experience. How would you know if you made contact or hallucinated?

To Believe or Not Believe

Religion 2

Why can’t we just agree to disagree?

This post follows on the heels of my last. I had forwarded the article on Jimmy Carter leaving his church to my FB feed without comment or opinion. A grave mistake on my part as it caused a war of words between two of my FB friends over beliefs.

The article was both religious and political, which is like lighting a stick of dynamite next to a chunk of C-4. I reserve my personal opinions for my blog instead of using a more public forum. But their fiery exchange made me ask: what causes people to get so wound up when someone opposes their belief system?

Intellect + Emotion = Passion

Passion can be expressed with kindness, courtesy, and objectivity instead of aggression. I’ve learned not to attack the belief system of another just because it doesn’t match my own. Everyone has the right to believe what they chose. So I was a little stunned to see two mature, respectable adults slinging mud at each other over someone else’s shifting belief system. Unbeknownst to them, these two people have much more in common that they’d care to believe. Both are from the same generation, the same country, both educated, kind, generous, creative people, who lost all objectivity when faced with a political and religious topic. I wish they would have been able to have a spirited debate without resorting to cheap shots and name-calling.

It was like a bad joke. A Christian and an Atheist walk into a bar. Had I been the bartender, I’d have hosed them down with the soda dispenser.

People have been battling over religion and politics since their inception. I wonder, what does God, (if he exists) think about that? Is he amused, binge watching the live theater of Earth with a bowl of popcorn? Or is he saddened that people spend so much energy focusing on differences failing to recognize their common ground? There is far more commonality in the world’s many religions than differences. As human beings, we would grow so much greater as a world community if we honored and respected each other instead of fought battles over who was right or wrong.

Aren’t there many paths to the same destination? Does God really care which route we took to get there? Will we have all these answers when we die? Because we’re all going to die.  And there are a million ways to go. Death is a very personal and individual experience. So why don’t we expect our every experience will be individual? Especially our belief systems.

What good does it do anyone to tear down someone else’s belief system? Is it good, kind, or necessary? Does it create peace and harmony?

I’ve heard people say to their kids, “What someone else thinks of you is none of your business.”

Okay. If it’s none of my business what someone thinks of me, then it’s none of God’s business what I think of him, right? And, therefore, it’s none of anyone else’s business either.  If God exists, isn’t he more evolved than us? I don’t think God wastes time thinking about what anyone thinks of him. So I don’t waste time on it either.

I’m married to someone whose beliefs differ greatly from mine. We are living proof that people of opposing beliefs can co-exist in harmony. We have stood in separate lines at the voting polls. We read and view news differently, keep our hot-button opinions to ourselves, and respect each other’s right to think and feel differently. We don’t criticize, attack, or judge each other for those differences. Our home is peaceful because we have plenty more in common than the couple things we don’t. I like to think we are passionate about the things we share, instead of the things we don’t.

Nobody likes being judged. It’s destructive. Seek to uplift and create, not destroy. Spend your energy on what is near and dear to you, and don’t worry about what other people think and believe. You want something to believe in? Believe in your ability to be tolerant and kind to others who hold opposing beliefs. The world is big enough for all of us.

Descent from Organized Religions

Pres carter

Former President Jimmy Carter has left his church because he believes in equality. For any white male to take a stand for women’s rights, this is huge.  I applaud anyone who stands up for their beliefs, especially against huge opposition. In the wake of the HBO released documentary on Scientology,interviewing leaders that left that church, I hope this becomes a trend.

I left organized religion at age 15, after being badgered into participating in one last rite solely to please my family. It pains me to see intelligent people push agendas because they blindly accept the claim that God is behind their actions. And they hold the Bible up every time.

Use your “God given” free will and stand up for you own beliefs instead of following the herd.

Here’s the article President Carter wrote:

12 Signs You’ve Lived Other Lives

green purple flower

If you’ve ever wondered if you’ve lived before, whether you believe in reincarnation or not, this list from Higher Perspectives might help.

A part of me wonders if we just psychically tap into another person’s experience instead of it being a past life belonging to you.

Haunting: Australia


Has anyone seen this? I watched it for the first time this week. It features Robb Demarest from Ghost Hunters International as lead dog of a team compiled of psychics, mediums, and metaphysical experts to investigate one haunted location at a time. The difference between this and Ghost Hunters is scripting, (not to mention posing like bad-asses). Even Robb appears to be acting when he does outside commentary. The only authentic stuff is caught on room cameras when a team member is having an experience. I would like to hear more from the mediums and psychics on exactly what they are “seeing” or “feeling” – how they get their information specifically.

Most annoying to me is the narrator who tries to set the tone with a drawn out “spooky” voice. Please. There is far more talk than action in this show and I, for one, would like a major reboot.

If you want to see for yourself, you can catch it on Syfy on Wednesday nights, 10 PM. If you’re having insomnia, this show might be the sleep-aid you’ve been looking for.

Tomb Unearthed in France

celtic tomb

Do you think the spirit of the person buried for so long is disturbed now? I’ve heard stories of cemeteries being moved, or relocated for new construction becoming paranormally active and wondered how long someone needs to be interred before they are no longer offended by physical disturbance. Reports of energy attached to objects that create chaos, even illness, for the person who claimed possession of them are spooky. I think of this every time I find something unique in an antique or consignment shop. I never knew who owned it before, how deep their attachment was to it, or from where the object originated.

Would you bring home something you thought was buried in an ancient tomb?

Did Edison Believe in Spirit Communication?


According to this article Edison believed in an afterlife and the possibility of spirit communication. Probably was not a popular concept to openly express in his day.


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