Skepticism runs rampant in our society. When it comes to fake news, government conspiracies and political divisiveness, nobody can agree. That also applies to the subject of ghosts.
Someone who describes himself as a skeptical believer is award-winning documentary filmmaker and world-renowned paranormal investigator Chad Calek, who hosted A&E’s hit reality series “Paranormal State.”
“I captured some of the best footage in the world, but I’ve also debunked some of the biggest legends and lore in the world,” said Calek, calling from Florida. “I think that skepticism is the key to being a good investigator. You have to be able to decipher the BS from the real.
“And the better you are at debunking, the better you will be at capturing real footage and determining what’s real. I always go into any case attempting to be able to debunk it. How could have this naturally happened? How could this person have faked it? What was their motive? How would they have done it?”
It’s those questions and mindset that Calek believes leads to credibility surrounding his “Sir NoFace”documentary — a mystery that took him halfway around the world. The project chronicles the Australian government-sanctioned paranormal investigation that led to Craig Powell’s filming of a full-body apparition. The film claims this definitively proves for the first time in history the existence of ghosts.
Calek first brought “Sir NoFace” to Northeast Ohio last summer for a test run at The Agora. Now the documentarian is back with an event Aug. 23 at Playhouse Square’s Hanna Theatre that he said provides a new experience.
“It’s a much tighter version that moves a lot faster with additional footage,” Calek said. “There’s a different ending because there are updates on what’s going on in the last year.”
The upcoming Cleveland event includes a screening of “Sir NoFace,” as well as the new “A Blood Red Sky” documentary. There’s also a Q&A session allowing skeptics to talk directly to the filmmaker, who said initially he set out to debunk Powell’s entire story.
In fact, he said early on he told Powell his intention was to make one of two documentaries: One that told the story of this guy who went on this amazing adventure with footage that proves ghosts are real or to expose the same man as a liar and a hoax.
“I wanted Craig to know when this starts, you don’t control the stop button,” Calek said. “He looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘Brother, I have nothing to fear. Knock yourself out.’ And there were four different times I thought I caught him in a lie. I thought I had him, and it turns out I didn’t.
“It’s truly astonishing. The entire story — how it started with the government, why it started and the footage — is unbelievable. I don’t know if I’ll ever make a documentary again that is this fascinating or mind-bending.”
Speaking of mind-bending, can he assure theatergoers attending the Cleveland event will leave with minds blown?
“Their minds will be blown,” Calek said. “You can see this for yourself.”
‘SIR NOFACE LIVES TOUR’
When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23.
Where: Hanna Theatre, 2067 E. 14th St., Cleveland.
Tickets: $25 to $200.
Info: 216-241-6000 or PlayhouseSquare.org.