If you don’t experience true fear in Tony Spera’s line of work — you’re doing something wrong, according to the local paranormal investigator.

Spera — son-in-law of famous demonologists and ghost hunters, Ed and Lorraine Warren — still remembers his first encounter with something he said felt threatening and dangerous.

It was the early 1980’s and he with the Warrens, exploring the ruins of a 14th century abbey in Whitby, England

“I was setting up my 35mm camera on a tripod when I felt something behind me,” Spera told The Herald recently. “It was a black mass, blacker than night and spinning like a cyclone of wind.”

Spera said he fell to his knees, drained of energy, as the mass came closer. He was saved when Ed Warren — who passed away in 2006 — came running to his aide, wielding holy water as a weapon.

While it was the first time he felt a presence like that, Spera said it wasn’t the last. He has many stories from his years in this unconventional line of work, with the Warrens as his mentors. Those stories — including more on the Warren investigations that became the basis for major motion pictures — will be shared during “A Supernatural Night with Tony Spera,” Thursday, Oct. 25 at Shelton High School. The 7 p.m. program is an SHS Swim Team Fundraiser.

Spera, who is married to the Ed and Lorraine’s daughter, Judy, still actively investigates cases and lectures on the “The Warren Files.” Lorraine Warren, now 91, is retired from the lecture circuit. Ed Warren passed away in 2006.

Spera worked as a consultant on the popular movies The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2. The movie Annabelle was also based on a Warren investigation. The original Annabelle doll is still kept at the Warren’s occult museum in their Monroe home. Spera notes the recent release of the horror movie, The Nun, also has some basis in Warren investigations, however small.

“The nun idea didn’t come out of nowhere,” Spera said. “We submitted some 75 cases to Warner Bros. and one of those was the Borley Nun.”

The Borley Rectory in England has a reputation as one of the most haunted houses in England. A church on the property dates back to the 12th Century. When the Warrens investigated years ago, according to Spera, Lorraine Warren felt the presence of a nun in that location. According to local legend, a nun and priest reportedly had an affair in the 1300s. As punishment, the nun was walled up alive in the convent walls. Historians have not been able to verify the story.

“Sometimes a spirits remain,” Spera said. “Especially following a tragic death, a spirit may be confused or feel comfortable staying in the same place.”

At the Oct. 25 event, Spera will share photographs and video evidence of hauntings and possessions.

Spera doesn’t discourage people from going on their own investigations, but he wants them to be armed with enough information and a means of protection.

“Having only a little knowledge is dangerous,” Spera said.

Spera, like the Warrens, leans on his strong Christian faith for protection. He said anyone who wants to try ghost-hunting should envision themselves in a white light of protection.

There are other ways novice ghost-hunters can protect against anything dark.

“Do an act of kindness everyday — something that gets you closer to God,” Spera said. “Good works work.”

When asked if he watches any of the popular ghost-hunting television shows Spera said he will, every now and then, but he doesn’t take it too seriously.

It’s always the same thing: ‘Did you see that,’ ‘Did you feel that,’” Spera jokes of some popular shows. “It’s like a guy who has gone to war and then watches a war movie. It’s entertaining but he knows it isn’t real.”

Tickets

A Supernatural Night with Tony Spera is Thursday Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at ShowTix4u.com, by searching for “A Supernatural Night with Tony Spera.” Limited tickets will be available for cash only at the door.

The Swim Team Parents say the proceeds will be used to support purchasing of team apparel, equipment, scholarships, our team banquet, and gifts for our graduating seniors, and coaches.

For more on the Tony Spera’s work, visit Warrens.net.