Chad Calek is one of the most notable figures in the world of paranormal investigation. Since appearing in six seasons of the A&E hit “Paranormal State” from 2008 to 2011, Calek has toured the world to speak at colleges, investigate hauntings and promote his own independent documentaries directly to his sizable fan base.
But Calek wasn’t always a believer. That all changed when he was 12 and his family moved from Texas to a house in Iowa that he claims was haunted.
“I came from one side of the spectrum all the way to the other,” Calek told the Asbury Park Press’ “Fan Theory” podcast. “I was raised an atheist. I did not believe in God, in spirituality, in the other side, in ghosts, spirits, anything like that. I’m a military brat, my dad was an Air Force engineer, very much a man of massive science, and that was just the world I lived in.
“So moving to this haunted house and experiencing legitimate activity, it just completely rocked my world, and it wasn’t something that I could just let go. I wanted answers, and I wanted to understand what was happening at my house versus what was happening at other haunted locations, and it was just like the itch that every time you’d scratch it would itch even more.”
Fast forward a few decades, and now Calek is a globally recognized investigator and filmmaker. He brings his latest work, “Sir NoFace,” a documentary about a particularly vivid Australian haunting, through our area this month.
The film screens screens Wednesday, Aug. 16, at the White Eagle Hall in Jersey City and Thursday, Aug. 17, at the Asbury Park Press Stage at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.
“Down the rabbit hole we go, and the next thing we know I’m 40 years old,” Calek said. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’ve traveled the world, I’ve spent the night in the most haunted locations around and just through fate’s hand I’m able to be a part of telling this story of ‘Sir NoFace’ with Craig Powell.”
Eventually, Powell introduced Calek to the former naval base on Cockatoo Island, where he had conducted a two-year paranormal investigation sanctioned by the Australian government.
“He told me about this footage, and he played it for me, of this spirit called Sir … that stepped out of the wall, turns and looks directly into the camera,” Calek recounted to “Fan Theory.” “And guys, when I say he turns and looks directly into the camera I am telling you that you don’t got to squint to look for this. It’s not some dark figure amidst darkness you have to look really hard to see. No, this is plain as day. This figure steps out of the wall, looks directly into the camera.
“When I saw the footage, I was floored, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this looks amazing,’ but of course my radar goes off, like my BS radar. So I said to Craig, ‘Here’s the thing: This story you told me is amazing. This evidence that you’ve played is amazing. I want to tell your story, but I’m going to make one of two documentaries. I’m going to make one documentary that has the most definitive footage ever captured, proving that ghosts exist, or the other documentary is going to be about a guy who tried to hoax me and I exposed him. So which do you want to make?’ “
The resulting film, Calek explained, “is essentially my attempt to completely debunk his footage, and the depths that I go to debunk it. The audience will be shocked to see how many times you think, ‘Oh, well this is going to prove that it’s fake’ (or) ‘Oh, this is going to prove that it’s fake,’ only to learn that no, it’s not. There are some jaw-dropping moments in this film that really kind of sealed the deal on that.”
To hear our full conversation with Chad Calek about his ghost-hunting history and the Sir NoFace Lives Tour, listen to the episode of the Asbury Park Press’ “Fan Theory” on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at app.com/fantheory and on iTunes, Soundcloud and Google Play.
SIR NOFACE LIVES TOUR
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16
WHERE: White Eagle Hall, 337 Newark Ave., Jersey City
TICKETS: $25 to $200
INFO: 201-885-5166 or www.whiteeaglehalljc.com
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17
WHERE: The Asbury Park Press Stage at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank
TICKETS: $20 to $250
INFO: 732-842-9000 or www.countbasietheatre.org