Rob Lowe has always been into the supernatural — and we’re not talking about his ability to never age.
“From the time I was a kid, I’ve always been interested in unexplained phenomena and spooky mysteries,” Lowe, 53, says in the current issue of PEOPLE. “When I had kids of my own, we would tell campfire stories, and I would share that with them. It was a way that we bonded as father and sons.”
Now Lowe has taken his sons Matthew, 23, and John Owen, 21, on the road with him to explore supernatural locations and urban-legend sites as part of his new A&E reality docu-series, The Lowe Files.
“I’m in law school, my brother is in school and my dad is always working, so the three of us don’t get to be together that often,” says Matthew. “It really just felt like a fun trip we were on, and cameras just happened to be around.”
Rob and Matthew have always shared a fascination with supernatural TV shows, but John Owen says he’s never bought into the same things as his father and brother.
- For more from the Lowe men — and the dish on 17 other of Summer’s hottest new and returning shows — pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now
“I think it was necessary that I went, because I provided a healthy dose of skepticism. If it were just my dad and brother, I think they would actually lose their minds. They are what I call ‘borderline conspiracy theorists.’ “
On The Lowe Files, the Lowe men will investigated haunted properties and search for creatures like Sasquatch — but also bond as a family with sentimental pit stops like the museum at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, home where Rob shot his 1983 hit The Outsiders.
“I hadn’t been there since I was younger than my boys are now,” says Rob. “It’s now a museum, and I got to try on my old wardrobe, which happily still fit. It was amazing to sort of revisit my 19-year-old self with my kids.”
“It was really special to get to feel like a part of that part of my dad’s life,” says John Owen.
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Rob’s wife Sheryl Berkoff didn’t join her husband and sons on the adventure, but she was still included in on the fun.
“She hates bugs, dirt, things like that, so we would call her up while we were putting on our tick repellent and watch her freak out,” says Rob. “But she was really supportive.”
Rob admits filming the show was an “arduous adventure” but he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“We were out in the desert all night long, driving around the Pacific Northwest with our monitors looking for Sasquatch. And I accidentally ran over Matthew’s foot,” he says. “Sometimes we found amazing stuff, and other times we found absolutely nothing — but it made no difference because my favorite thing about it was just the three of us driving around in the car together.”
The Lowe Files will premiere in August on A&E.