Jason Hewlett: I want to believe
I want to believe. I must believe. Am I alone in this belief? Who can I talk to that will share this belief with me? Who will believe me? How can I find out more about what I experienced? Finally, where will this lead me?
These are questions that a lot of us that have had paranormal experiences must ask ourselves. I say, “a lot of us” and not everyone, because some people choose to block out the things they don’t understand. They believe, if it doesn’t fit in their version of reality, be it scientific or faith-based, that what they witnessed is an impossibility and shouldn’t exist. For Jason Hewlett, the answer to these questions needed an appropriate response. Jason Hewlett wants to believe.
Jason Hewlett is sometimes called a ghost hunter. To call anyone a ghost hunter never really gives that person the appreciation nor does it cover everything they are looking for when you say, ghost hunter. Ghosts are fleeting and mysterious, and it is very hard to catch proof of their existence. Ghosts are just one of many things that someone like Jason is looking for. If I had to give him a title, I think an appropriate one, would be Truth Seeker. Jason goes searching for the truth when it comes to all things paranormal. Whether it be Sasquatch, UFO/UAPs, and things that go bump in the night, Jason puts all these things in the realm of paranormal, when it comes to research and investigation. In his latest book, “We Want to Believe”, Jason tells of his experience with paranormal research alongside a friend, and 27-year Paranormal veteran, Peter Renn.
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When Jason was growing up, he loved films, telling, and writing stories, and had a deep fascination with the paranormal. At a young age, Jason had his first paranormal experience while picking up a friend of his with his mother around the age of 5. Sitting alone in the car as his mother went to fetch his friend from the house, a nonhuman face appeared to be looking into the car at Jason. This frightened him so much that he ducked down and refused to look up until his mother and friend returned to the car. He asked if anyone was around the car, and both responded that no one was outside the car while he was alone. Jason recounts, “The only way I can describe it was mongaloidish, and it scared the shit out of me!”. “This was 43 years ago, and this still scares me”. Jason goes on, “It startled me enough as a child that I would get these feeling that this thing, might pop back at night, or while I was at home.”
Flash forward to his early teens, Jason’s family had a cabin by a lake in British Columbia. Just after dinner, Jason and a friend went to explore the woods that they were quite familiar with. There was only one way in or out of these woods, and this time they stumbled upon something very strange. It was a clearing under a tree-like someone has moved all the pine needles away. In this clearing, there was a lean-to that was constructed onto the tree. They also found a fire pit and a bone that was the size of a forearm, that had been picked clean of all meat. The lean-to was too small for either boy to fit in, and it had been dug down a bit as if something was settling in for the night. It grew darker and both Jason and his friend left back to the cabin. Anxious to see the campsite again, both got up at first light and ventured out into the woods. Only this time, instead of a campsite, they found the spot covered with pine needles and appearing to be virtually undisturbed with no sign of the lean-to, firepit, or bone from the night before. Both were baffled by the experience. In later years, Jason would visit this same cabin and search for the makeshift camp with no luck. Both incidents fueled Jason to want to learn more about Bigfoot and the unknown.
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When Jason got to university, he studied journalism. While in a magazine writing class, he was given a whole semester to come up with a magazine article. Being the paranormal enthusiast, Jason assembled a small group of people, including a cameraman, psychic, and a skeptic, and performed his very first ghost hunt at an abandoned sanatorium. My reaction to Jason when he told me this was, “The balls on you man! How could you have picked a sanatorium, where thousands of people have died, as your first ghost hunt?”. Jason replied, “This was the most available place I had access to at the time of that article.” Though Jason didn’t catch much that night, he did continue to ghost hunt these locations and other locations off and on over the next several years. Jason became more involved with more paranormal investigations when he partnered up with Peter Renn of the Vancouver Paranormal Society.
Teaming up with Peter Renn while both were at the VPS (Vancouver Paranormal Society), Jason began going on more investigations. Peter is a seasoned investigator that has been on several thousand cases in his 27-year career. When it comes to paranormal investigating, Peter is about as hardcore an investigator there is. He has investigated such infamous places as the London Dungeon, The Bailey House, and a frontier prison in Australia. Jason with his journalism background and Peter with his construction background can go into an investigation with a unique skill set. While investigating residential properties, Jason and Peter like to interview the family to understand the alleged haunting, but also get a real feel of the property and find out where the active hotspots are. With this, they can assess if there has been any substance abuse or mental illness with the family or if there could be something structural with the property that could perpetuate a condition for a place to feel off-putting. Once this is complete the team will do a preliminary investigation and give the finding to the client. If the client, based on the preliminary investigation, wishes to proceed, then the team will do a complete investigation. Jason says, “A true investigation can take several visits to a property to find something, it’s not always like the TV shows, where they go in there on one night and everything starts happening right away, it takes time.”.
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I go on to ask Jason, “If I were a skeptic, and you had to take me to a location you knew for sure would change my outlook, what would it be?”. Jason replies, “Oh, The Bailey House, for sure. We started having experiences within the first couple of hours of the investigation. We captured an EVP of someone calling me a fucking prick!”. I ask Jason, “Beginning from where you were at college, to then teaming up with Peter, have you become more skeptical in your belief and investigations?” Jason responds, “The name of the show and book is “We Want to Believe”, we want to believe that this stuff is real, and with all that we experienced and what we have caught, I do believe that there is something out there. I think it’s just that, it’s paranormal and it’s out there and it’s natural, it’s been around as long as we have, we just haven’t got enough evidence, to prove what it is, cause science won’t even take a hard look at it. When it comes to investigating, I go in with a very open mind, but you must look at everything that happens with skepticism. It helped to be a journalist for so many years because you’re questioning everything when it comes to story.”
Jason and Peter have recently formed the Canadian Paranormal Foundation and continue to go on investigations together. These investigations not only cover hauntings but go into the realms of Bigfoot and UFO’S. Their unique investigating style can be found on the Paranormal Network channel on YouTube, with the same name as their book, “We Want to Believe”. If you would like to listen to this interview in its entirety, go to the Paranormality Magazine podcast on any of your preferred podcatchers or streaming platforms. Jason and I delve more into the investigative process and memorable experiences. You can find the book at Amazon.com, “We Want to Believe” along with a slue of many other titles by Beyond the Fray Publishing.