That was the word writer-director Jason Hewlett used to describe the rebirth of “We Want to Believe” with the paranormal streaming service Paraflixx.
After the abrupt end of the YouTube channel The Paranormal Network on Halloween 2022, lead investigator Peter Renn, Hewlett and the Canadian Paranormal Society team weren’t sure what to do or where to go to keep their show from passing on to the digital afterlife.
“When this opportunity came up, we wanted to jump on it,” Hewlett said during a July Zoom interview. “And with the Paranormal Network, we had a whole bunch of stuff that had run, and in terms of YouTube content, we had years’ worth of stuff that hadn’t aired yet.”
The team discussed their options and consulted with past collaborators within the paranormal community, including “Small Town Monsters” producer Seth Breedlove and fellow British Columbian cryptozoologist Jason Kenzie, who suggested Paraflixx.
“It was something that was always on our radar,” Hewlett said. “I had reached out to (Kenzie) for my Ogopogo book because he interviewed someone who said they were a witness to Ogopogo.”
Restarting a new YouTube channel was not an option, as he wasn’t interested in rebuilding the audience again. Paraflixx provided the audience that the “We Want to Believe” team needed.
“Do we put it up on our own YouTube channel and fight that fight all over again?” Hewlett said. “I didn’t want to do that. I had enough of YouTube at that point; the whole algorithm and all that stuff.”
The U.S.-based, ad-free streaming service Paraflixx was launched on May 21, 2021, and is available on all smart devices. Natalie Jones is the CEO and is also known as the founder of the Texas Paracon. Hewlett connected with her and sent along a re-edited episode as their pilot, featuring their investigations of Red Barn in Vernon and the Baillie House in Merritt, B.C.
“It was almost like providence that we had been talking about it on a drive and (Kenzie) brought up that this is where all this stuff we were shooting with would show up,” he said, “So I approached (Jones).”
Paraflixx watched the pilot and loved it. They wanted to know how much more could the Canadian Paranormal Society team deliver. Additionally, the team was able to keep their creative rights, with the only caveat being that they acknowledge Paraflixx as the originator.
“It was like a breath of fresh air to be able to keep doing this because we love doing it,” Hewlett said. “We’re investigating anyways, so might as well film it while we’re out there.”
Season 1 of “We Want to Believe” will feature six episodes, recut for the streaming service. The first episode premiered on Paraflixx on June 30. Episode 2 featured their extensive investigation into Sasquatch, where they toured around Mount Lolo near Kamloops.
Episode 3 of “We Want to Believe” premieres on Paraflixx on July 14. The team’s investigation of Barkerville, one of B.C.’s gold rush heritage sites, will round out the season at Halloween.
Season 2 will come after that, including investigations of more gold rush towns, a chiropractic clinic and Vernon’s Caetani House.