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The Dead Files: The Detective & the Medium


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#1

Glass Ocean

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Posted Oct 2, 2011 @ 7:38 PM

Fridays on the Travel Channel:

The Dead Files brings us an unusual duo: John, the retired New Yawk detective, and Amy, the neo-Goth medium, who get called to supposedly haunted sites by their owners. The two of them do not interact until the reveal in front of the client, where it seems like they actually have not spoken unless more A-list acting is going on than the typical reality show can afford.

John meets with the client to find out what s/he claims has been happening on site, and then interviews others who have had experiences at that location. He goes to the library to do research, maybe interviews still-active policemen, even makes his way to a prison to chat with an inmate. He puts his background in policework to good use as well as adding a healthy dose of common sense.

In the meantime, Amy does a cold walk-thru of the same site, aided by a helper whose name I've already forgotten, whose job it is to remove any visual cues before she gets there. He also works the handheld camera and interacts with her as she explains whatever it is that she's experiencing while it's happening. I've got to say that she does an awful lot of repeating when she's getting her impressions, which starts working my nerves after a while. But two episodes in, she's had quite a few direct hits -- far more than chance would predict. She doesn't always pick up on every detail, but she nails the ones she does get.

The editors intercut scenes of John and Amy to enhance our enjoyment of the story as it unfolds, and then the reveal ties both sides together in front of the client. To say the clients have been gobsmacked would be an understatement, since it seems that they have never taken the time to dig into the past of their own properties, as shocking as that may seem to the average ghost-hunting fan in the audience.

All in all, the show manages to give us a Mulder-and-Scully approach to hauntings that basically rings true if you happen to believe in mediums and detectives.
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#2

HD Dee Dee

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Posted Oct 2, 2011 @ 9:54 PM

I just finished watching the first episode. I think Amy is going to be getting on my nerves very, very shortly, but I think I'll stick it out. Ghosts and crimes and a little dose of history -- it's like the perfect storm of candid reality for me! The only thing that could be better is if they were trying to sell their haunted house.
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#3

YankeeInNC

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Posted Oct 3, 2011 @ 6:55 PM

I thought I was going to like this show, but after watching the first episode I realized I recognized the "homeowner" of the haunted bed and breakfast he was re-doing. It was Elvis who was on an episode of LA Ink playing a wacky carpenter guy. It kind of pissed me off. If he would have said he was an actor in Cali before moving back to the east coast I may have believed it. But since he didn't I'm going to have to call fake on this show. JMO

Edited by YankeeinNC, Oct 3, 2011 @ 6:56 PM.

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#4

msbeesknees

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Posted Oct 4, 2011 @ 2:19 AM

if its got ghosts in it, you know i'll be watching it but yeah, so far this show blows.

its obvious to me that amy is a fraud and that she says extremely vague statements that can be edited to fit any situation. look, she has to have known that SOMETHING tragic happened at the location she's been called upon to "read" otherwise why would she be there??

"something ... very.... bad happened down here..." gee you fucking think so einstein?? blargh... she is all kinds of phoniness. do producers really think their audience is going to be that gullible? with all of the paranormal focused shows on nowadays, this one has got to be the most far reaching and disappointing. we are just not that stupid travel channel. try again.
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#5

KittyMarthaPoo

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Posted Oct 4, 2011 @ 9:00 AM

like yourself, msbeesknees, if there's a show about ghosts, then I'm there too! :)

Amy is very creepy looking. That dyed black wispy hair, very white skin, big staring eyes. And her stilted manner of speech & the odd movements of her hands sort of creep me out too.

I'm very disappointed to learn that Elvis was on some other show too & he did not inform us that he was some sort of small-part actor.

Of course, though, I'll keep watching :)
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#6

Glass Ocean

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Posted Oct 4, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

Amy is very creepy looking. That dyed black wispy hair, very white skin, big staring eyes. And her stilted manner of speech & the odd movements of her hands sort of creep me out too.


I'm not a fan of her Goth look either and I find it distracting. I believe the hand movements are her attempt to interpret what she feels coming thru, like chopping motions or hand wringing -- whether it's the ghost's emotional state or physical actions during the crime. The speech mannerisms, I'm not so sure about.
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#7

msbeesknees

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Posted Oct 4, 2011 @ 1:27 PM

I believe the hand movements are her attempt to interpret what she feels coming thru, like chopping motions or hand wringing -- whether it's the ghost's emotional state or physical actions during the crime.


as a skeptic who WANTS to believe, i read them as distractions. its an old con that "mediums" do to look authentic. they become agitated, flustered, do lots of hand gestures and wringing, become overly emotional, often cry or laugh... all to convince the observer that she is truly experiencing contact with a ghost or demon or whatever. i'm not buying it. douchbag acorah from most haunted used to do this kind of crap with nothing to back it up. its all show.
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#8

HD Dee Dee

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Posted Oct 4, 2011 @ 10:29 PM

Msbeeknees, IMHO, you have hit exactly what bugs me about Amy. She has all the affectations that phony mediums do -- like you said, the emotional swings, the jittery hand movements. Acora is always my go-to guy for fakery. He had all the "tells". One of the other things that, in my experience, indicates a fake is when they start saying how "bad" something is or how "dangerous" a spirit or situation is. They have to make it very dramatic in order to win over their audience. Acora was over the top in this regard. Amy has it toned down a BIT, but only a tiny little bit.

And she totally lost me with the "Oh, we must lecture this guy because he opened a portal". Right. With all the ghost hunters out there, if you could open a portal and have a bunch of spirits leaping through it, they'd be doing it all the dang time, in their own homes, to catch stuff.

Sorry if I sound ranty, but I always feel with stuff like that that ... well, you know -- how dumb do they think we are?
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#9

msbeesknees

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Posted Oct 5, 2011 @ 12:13 AM

And she totally lost me with the "Oh, we must lecture this guy because he opened a portal". Right. With all the ghost hunters out there, if you could open a portal and have a bunch of spirits leaping through it, they'd be doing it all the dang time, in their own homes, to catch stuff.


GRRR, amy super pissed me off with that too HD Dee Dee! she was so condescending to that guy who didn't want to close the "portal" and do things HER way, "oh he'll be back," she says, "they always come to me for help in the end." i was like, oh no you di'n't bitch. you need to back the fuck off and let that man be.

and last week??? WTF was that? uhm the last time i checked, burning some smokey ass sage and saying a some lame banishing prayer 3 times a week did not send "demons" packing. i almost threw my dinner at the tv i was so annoyed. GAH!
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#10

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Posted Oct 30, 2011 @ 9:45 PM

I must be the only person who likes Amy thus far. I think her mannerisms are very typical with someone who is trying to listen but gets distracted (in her case, by the dead). Not saying she's legit because, you know, but I'm not giving up on this show quite yet.
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#11

Happy Belly

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Posted Oct 30, 2011 @ 9:54 PM

Door, I stand solidly by your side because I like her too. Not sure what it is about her I like, but one thing that does intrigue me is how she can look so different in one shot to another. Strange. But I do like the show and I like the end where the detective and the medium meet and compare notes. Amazing how close they get at times.
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#12

Glass Ocean

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Posted Oct 31, 2011 @ 11:59 AM

Does this woman ever blink? She does that eye-widening thing so often along with the surprised! eyebrow arching that it puts me off. I actually want to like her but she does have a whole lot of affected mannerisms going on. OTOH I think the detective is hoot and adore his NYC down-home accent. The funny thing is that he does treat each investigation as tho' it were a crime scene. listening intently and occasionally prompting to dig a bit deeper. Still professional --"have you yourself experienced anything unusual, sir?" in that style.

In the Ybar City investigation, he was certain that the son of the original owner of the clinic-turned-hotel was a serial killer after his research into that guy [reading the fake suicide note, etc.], yet he bowed to Amy's feel of the ghost she encountered. I figured there might be a little arguing involved between the two of them and some re-interpretation of what she "saw", but he just dropped it. Too bad.
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#13

KittyMarthaPoo

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Posted Oct 31, 2011 @ 12:05 PM

it's an old con that "mediums" do to look authentic. they become agitated, flustered, do lots of hand gestures and wringing, become overly emotional, often cry or laugh... all to convince the observer that she is truly experiencing contact with a ghost or demon or whatever.


Agreed.

However, though, I find all that hand-wringing distracting. And I think she looks creeepy as hell.

Derek Acorah - OMG I remember him! I loved Most Haunted. And "Sam" his spirit guide!!! LMAO. Couldn't stand that blonde woman. She was hysterical all the time.
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#14

auntiemel

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Posted Nov 20, 2011 @ 4:46 PM

I keep thinking I'm going to give this show up because I find Amy so annoying and distracting, but I kind of have a little crush on Steve the detective, so I keep coming back! :D
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#15

Glass Ocean

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Posted Nov 20, 2011 @ 5:52 PM

I genuinely enjoyed the NOLA investigation -- what a story! Plus I thought Amy did quite a good job with tons of disparate clues, like the men with "funny hats" thing. Note that I'm assuming that Amy is in fact a real medium, and I try to look at each story as if I were her getting that information from the other side, because the success or failure of her reading has eveything to do with how she interprets those clues from the other side. There were so many people involved in numerous killings and torture within a small area that I could understand why it would get quite confusing.

Tarring and feathering -- o dear! When I was younger and heard about that, it never occurred to me about how hot the tar would be and how it would adhere to the skin. Just brutal. And then a lynching! I had no idea that the tentacles of the Klan reached all the way to the Keys.

On top of Amy and Steve, we got to meet the couple who live in that tiny shotgun style house, including Ken, the guy with medium-style abilities. At the end, I did not understand what the hell he was saying to the girlfriend, warning her against using Reiki and other energy work to help those who were dying. What was that about? Anybody else have any ideas?

PS You know what nostril flaring looks like? I've decided that Amy does eyeball flaring in a similar way and does it a lot.
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#16

Jess Sayin

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Posted Nov 26, 2011 @ 5:19 PM

I keep thinking I'm going to give this show up because I find Amy so annoying and distracting

As much as I enjoy the premise of this show, I find it unwatchable because of her. I would enjoy this show much more if that woman (the medium) wasn't on it! Her dramatic over-eNuNcIaTioN of words, and over-the-top "channeling" and what not really, REALLY bug. Get rid of her altogether or find someone more credible because she's a total mockery of a stereotypical medium. I love the detective and feel sorry he's been partnered with her.
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#17

Glass Ocean

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Posted Nov 27, 2011 @ 12:08 PM

A maybe naive question: is the Goth look still in anywhere? I feel like it's a real disavantage that Amy sports that look with the black nail polish and slightly strange hair style, then tatoos showing with an exotic black dress. Plus I'm strongly against the bit in the intro where the camera focuses on her eyes and the special effects department turns them yellow. Bad move.
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#18

Door

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Posted Nov 29, 2011 @ 10:58 AM

I still like the Goth look (I don't sport it, but still find it attractive). I think it's a fairly timeless look, in the vein of Rockabilly, vintage, etc., when done well. YMMV.
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#19

austentatious

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Posted Mar 23, 2012 @ 3:28 PM

Amy, the medium on this show, was also the medium in the 2 part, Discovery Channel 2002 series, "A Haunting in Georgia" that was just on the Green Channel. I've seen the show before but had no reference point for Amy.
She wasn't so weird in the "Georgia" show, but some of her mannerisms were there, just toned down. She was in all black in the show, too.
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#20

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Posted Apr 21, 2012 @ 7:54 AM

The season opener was sloppier than I could have ever imagined. So much is known about the Borden case, it seemed needlessly salacious to speculate on the incest angle.

They totally ignored Abby as a victim, focusing totally on Andrew. But forensic evidence (remember that, detective?) shows she was attacked first, and much more aggressively. Abby was the primary victim, the focus of the killer's aggression. Andrew was almost an afterthought.

That's been the key argument around the incest angle for years - Lizzie was used to being the woman of the house, the focus of her father's attention, however negative and abusive. Then stepmom comes in and distracts Andrew from his daughter. There are multiple accounts of Lizzie hating her stepmother.

They didn't even mention that Abby was Lizzie's stepmother. The referred to her as mother throughout.

They also didn't even mention the servant Bridget, who was also under suspicion at some points, as well as a local handyman. There was almost no consideration that anyone other than Lizzie could be guilty. Great investigation, detective.

The whole angle of the crazy ghost of Lizzie causing hallucinations - I can see why the owner was skeptical. If the ghost was capable of creating halucinations, why didn't Amy question her own perceptions of the incest and violence? Couldn't they have been images created by the crazy ghost too?

A completely sloppy and hysterical investigation. Amy was twitching and rolling her eyes so much, she looked like she was crazy herself. So much drama! I don't know if she herself believes her crap, but crap it is.

The only thing I liked about the episode was that the ghosts were irrated by being disturbed by tourists with a oija board. But the owner is working the haunted angle, she has no wish for the ghosts to move on or to rest in peace.
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#21

ubi

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Posted Apr 21, 2012 @ 9:02 AM

I found it amusing that in the opening credits, the so-called psychic claims she does her investigations blind, without any knowledge of the place, while her partner does the research, followed by her announcing that she was investigating the most well-known site in America, if not one of the most! I think I heard her claim to have no knowledge of Lizzie Bordon, but I was laughing pretty hard by then.
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#22

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Posted Jun 18, 2012 @ 2:53 PM

Ok, so I still watch this stupid stuff as a guilty pleasure. I was amused to see that the tall shadow figure with glowing eyes wasn't referred to as an evil entity, but rather a prankster spirit who was just trying to get a rise out of people. Given how freaked out the visitors were, that seemed to be a way of diffusing their fears, while acknowledging their experience.

Of course the really bad entity was a spoiled rich woman who thought nothing was good enough for her. Cliche city!
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#23

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Posted Jun 25, 2012 @ 11:35 AM

I think I really am the only one watching this show. Thanks for the customized amusement, Travel Channel!

Last week's episode was actually creepy. Though the scariness was kinda balanced by the lady who lived there 30 years and never had any paranormal experiences.

They introduced this weird idea that the depressed woman ghost (who lost her husband and 5 children to yellow fever and her fortune to post-Civil War economic devastation) created the entity that looms over beds at night out of her own misery and now this entity has an evil life of its own. That's a new one by me.
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#24

harrie

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Posted Jun 25, 2012 @ 8:56 PM

I watch this almost regularly, even if I don't take it as particularly true/realistic. Another guilty pleasure viewer here. I find the medium annoying, yet fascinating to watch.

As you noted, the woman in last week's episode (who fell/was pushed and fell two flights) seemed believable (at least to me), and then the other woman says nothing ever happened while she lived there. Huh! It reminds me of the Amityville Horror house, where just the one family experienced demonic happenings - and were also in danger of being in over their heads, housewise, no? - leading many (including me) to the conclusion that the family faked it all. But I don't know why this woman would fake falling two flights, since that's a potentially lethal fall. As for the depressed woman creating the entity, I thought she meant that the evil entity was attracted by the funk - like the way a Ouija board acts as a portal, almost - and drew additional strength from the negativity, not so much that the funk took on a life of its own. Either way, bottom line is think happy thoughts.
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#25

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Posted Sep 1, 2012 @ 2:32 AM

I regularly watch this too, even though I pretty much can't stand Amy. I remember her from "A Haunting in Georgia." Her speaking style bugs, and it sounds like she switches accents depending on who she's talking to. But I like the creepy feel of the show and I like Steve, even if he does leave his mouth hanging open a lot...

I also just discovered that Amy's cameraman is her husband.
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#26

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Posted Sep 1, 2012 @ 7:43 PM

I also watch this show ( and programs like it) as a guilty pleasure. I'm not sure what I believe. I like to consider myself a pranormal agnostic. Harrie , in regards to the Amityville story, I think most people concluded that the story was an elaborate fraud by the family involved. They were having financial difficulties and, to this day, no family living in that house has reported any "activity". I always believed that this was a phony story by people seeking money and fame. However, I did watch a program on Chiller Tv exploring the real life stories behind some horror movies that made me at least open to the idea that maybe it wasn't all a complete fabrication. One of the children (now an grown man) of the house in Amityville answered questions. He said that one of the things that bothered him about the movie was that it portrayed the stepfather as a victim. He said that even before moving into the house, the stepfather was fascinated with the occult and that after moving in, that fascination became an obsession. The stepson claimed he was constantly holding seances and casting spells in the house and that one of the reasons why he bought the house was because of its sordid history and not despite it. So, maybe the reason why they were the only family to have problems was because they were the only family deliberately provoking a negative energy. Maybe the stepson was just so scarred by a crazy stepfathers delusion that it became a joint family delusion. Maybe I was originally right and this is all a part of an elaborate fraud, and now the son is carring on the family business with everyones blessing. The possibilities make the story more interesting for me.

I haven't been watching for very long, but the episode I found the most disturbing thus far is the one about the female "doctor" that starved her patients to death. That was an incredibly bizarre piece of history that I knew nothing about prior and had to google afterwards. As always, I don't know about the haunting but the facts alone and lack of justice was enough to stick with me.

Edited by IcyLuna, Sep 1, 2012 @ 7:47 PM.

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#27

bzkdz

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Posted Sep 1, 2012 @ 9:50 PM

I want to know if Amy's cameraman (her husband apparently) ever sees anything strange or has experiences. It seems like Amy experiences so much when they're walking around.. he must have some things happen while he's there too. And what about the detective? He goes to all the same places, does nothing ever happen while he's there? I also think it's interesting how Ghost Hunters usually find fairly harmless entities, while other shows like Dead Files are almost always finding demons and really scary things. It freaks me out a little lol.

That Museum show also did a piece on that Dr. who starved her patients.
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#28

Noddy

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Posted Oct 14, 2012 @ 4:53 AM

I tuned in to "The Dead Files," thinking maybe Amy would have learned a few more words besides "scary" and "like," and that I would even find something to like about the show this time.

Somewhere between Steve's contrived expressions of incredulity and Amy's campfire narration of the scary spiritual energy she taps into every two minutes or so, the show's future became clear to me.

The network will soon look for a final resting spot in which to bury The Dead Files.

They should do this very soon before the show has a chance to leave a lasting energy imprint. Viewing this trio for even one more season would be ghastly. Even to the ghosts.
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#29

ari333

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

People fall through their attic floor very frequently. Other than that, she seemed believable and/or afraid of something.

The medium bugs me in the way she says something AFTER someone complains of it or states something.

host: "Yellow fever victims can look like the walking dead."
medium: "I'm seeing zombies, walking dead..."

The way the medium raises her voice? in the middle? or at the end? of sentences? like that? drives me crazy?
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#30

PattyorSelma

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Posted Nov 25, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

Amy doesn't bother me at all. If I was seeing what she claims to see, I'd be making weird faces too. She's got the biggest eyes and when she opens them really wide, I can believe that something truly creepy is in front of her. I don't know how she handles seeing all those dead bodies. And I do believe that she does see them.

Her artist assisted drawings of the people she sees are always on target with photos or other witness descriptions. She can't be right that often without having some sort of vision.

The rerun this past Friday of the Alaska hotel scared my hubby. He doesn't watch this show but caught the part about the three-headed creature that had a monkey face. It freaked him out and he had to leave the room. I do not think I would hang around for one second after seeing something like that!
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