The first ghost Jason King ever saw was his brother's. And when the spectre told Jason that he needed to find their estranged father, who disappeared during their childhood, his life was changed forever.
The moment marks the starting point for the story of Ghosthunter, an Audible Original podcast launched today and created by documentarian Ben Lawrence. The podcast is part family memoir and part true crime, following a Western Sydney security guard and self-taught ghost hunter confronting a terrible family secret.
Over the course of seven years, Lawrence becomes entwined with the eccentric charm and unusual nature of King's unwavering belief in the supernatural and how it could be the key to unlocking his forgotten childhood. But things get complicated when a three-year police investigation interrupts their research into the King family's murky past.
Years of self-reflection, estranged characters from the past and haunted paranormal incidents bring the pair to a confronting conclusion - that the most terrifying ghosts are sometimes the ones we find within ourselves.
Ben Lawrence, documentarian and Ghosthunter host, said: "You never know how deep the rabbit hole will take you. There were so many personal twists and turns over the seven years creating Ghosthunter that I found myself deeply immersed in Jason's life, I was even the best man at his wedding."
"The podcast format meant I was also free to spend an extended amount of time telling the story, giving Ghosthunter the space and detail it needed to develop fully."
Ben Naparstek, Director of Original Content, Audible.com.au, said: "Listeners will find themselves captivated by the premium sound experience and narrative of Ghosthunter as it examines the intrinsic way human beings deal with trauma."
"Listeners are taken on a captivating audio journey of paranormal ghost hunts, court hearings and the raw emotion of people faced by hard truths."
Ghosthunter is part of a slate of Australian Audible Original content being produced locally in 2019 and beyond. The first content launch was It Burns, a podcast by media personality Marc Fennell examining the dark underbelly of competitive chilli culture.
Ghosthunter is available now, only on Audible. The podcast is free for members at audible.com.au/ghosthunter or free with a 30 day trial.
Please note this series contains mature content and listener discretion is advised.
Episode 1: The Things We Cannot Remember
When documentarian Ben Lawrence meets local ghost hunter, Jason King, he discovers that Jason's story goes far beyond the paranormal. The two men embark on a search for Jason's estranged father, who Jason hopes will have answers about his childhood.
Episode 2: The Things We Cannot Explain
A mysterious woman named Cathy contacts Jason; she is also looking for his father. The police call revealing they too have been trying to locate Jason's father and as all three investigations converge, a dark secret is revealed.
Episode 3: The Things We Cannot Forget
Cathy meets with Ben and reveals how she is haunted by her past. The police investigation comes to a head and Ben discovers shocking information about Jason.
Episode 4: The Things We Cannot Confront
Jason supports Cathy on her day in court but is struggling with everything that has happened. Ben receives some hard-hitting truths from Jason's sister and realises he has to confront Jason.
Episode 5: The Things We Cannot Undo
Ben learns more about Jason's father's past, and a social worker sheds light on Jason's childhood. Jason introduces Ben to his new girlfriend Julia and Ben confronts Jason about everything he has discovered.