Carl is a tall, older man with thinning grey hair and a grey beard. He uses glasses and generally dresses in a shirt and a jacket.
Carl is a good man who uses his gift as a medium in order to help those ailed by supernatural phenomena. However, he seems to be less brave than Elise, as he called on her to take the lead when he is too fearful of the Bride in Black, who haunted Josh Lambert in 1986. Despite his fear, he proves his bravery beyond doubt in later years when he investigated the death of Elise Rainier and the supernatural phenomena that still haunted the Lambert family.
According to Elise, he was the second best person she had ever worked with, which according to Carl, it is quite remarkable.
In 1986, Carl, along with Elise, went to Lorraine Lambert to investigate what was terrorizing her son. During a game of Hot and Cold, Elise makes her way to his bedroom closet, despite Josh's warnings and is scratched along the arm. As a result, Lorraine, Carl, and Elise agree that making Josh forget his astral projection abilities is the best thing to do.
After seeing a white figure in her house, Lorraine visits Elise's colleagues Specs and Tucker to seek an explanation behind what is going on. In doing so, they call upon Carl, who listens to Lorraine's story and attempts to contact Elise on the other side using word-dice. Through the dice, they are told to find answers at the "Our Lady of Angels" hospital (the former workplace of Lorraine). They discover the Old Woman to actually be a deranged serial killer named Parker Crane, who had befriended Josh into taking his energy. They also discover that it wasn't Elise that spoke to them, but Parker's mother.
Carl arrives at the house to drug the possessed Josh one evening while Specs and Tucker monitor from their van parked outside. The plan fails, however, and Josh incapacitates Carl, Specs and Tucker. Carl inadvertently travels to the Further and finds the real Josh. They eventually find Elise and the three eventually find Michelle Crane and kill her; causing Parker to forget about her as well as trying to possess Josh. After Parker Crane is defeated, he returns with Dalton and Josh, he hypnotizes Dalton and Josh to forget their astral projection abilities and everything that happened with it. His further fate is left unknown as he does not accompany Specs and Tucker at their next house.
Insidious : Chapter 3 :
Carl appears in the film when Elise is scared to help people with her abilities and then Carl boost up her confidence by saying : "If someone gets hurt on the streets they call the police but if it is something you can't see they go to people like us to help". Carl reminds Elise the little kid they helped, Josh Lambert, to forget his abilities and then tell Elise she is stronger than them, she is alive but not them. This talk makes Elise more confident in herself and then goes back to the Brenner's house to help Quinn. After that, Carl is not seen again throughout the movie.
Powers and abilities
Mediumship: Carl is able to contact and sense the spirits of the dead, which he uses to help the living by confronting malicious hauntings or by contacting loving benevolent spirits for people like a dead loved one. To accomplish this feat, he usually uses word-dice, which may be supernaturally moved into forming words after he asks a question. However, attempting contact is not always successful and when it is, it may not necessarily be the person he tried reaching.
Clairvoyant: The ability to gain information or premonitions on: objects, people, places or events. He displayed this ability when entering a room the hospital "Our Lady of Angels" where he has sudden flashes of Parker Crane's face as a man and disguised as a woman. He has another flash of information when he touched Parker Crane's black veil, which showed him a past event where Parker was putting on his disguise as a woman, to then pick up a serrated knife and walk towards a crying woman in ropes on a sofa.
Astral Projection: Able to project his Astral Self into the Further and ghostly planes of existence.