There comes a point in a man’s life where he’s called upon to put his shoulder to the wheel.
He takes the steady job.
He takes out the mortgage. He thinks about his children all day. Or at least, most of the day.
“It’s to make myself feel life is as magical as I thought it was when I was a kid,” said Jordan Bonaparte, 36, on Tuesday. “I take the mystery and wrap it around myself and make the world feel not as boring and monotonous as my day job and mortgage would make you think.”
After work and supper and putting his five-year-old Dominic to bed, Bonaparte heads to the basement of his Clayton Park home to immerse himself in mystery.
Like the mystery of Esther Cox, an 18-year-old Amherst woman allegedly tormented by a poltergeist in 1878. Doctors and ministers who visited her house on Prince Street at the time corroborated the stories of objects flying around the house, water boiling in a pot on a table and a spirit that communicated through knocks on the floor.
Or the mysteries of UFO sightings in Clarenville and Shag Harbour.
And, more powerfully, the mysteries surround the disappearances of young women such as Emma Fillipoff in Victoria, British Columbia.
What Bonaparte has discovered is that a lot of other people are seeking mystery too.
Within the next two weeks, four million people will have downloaded his Night Time Podcast.
Through it, Bonaparte dives deep into supernatural, sci-fi and true crime stories. Though most are Atlantic Canadian, he has broadened his reach to investigate missing person cases across Canada.
“I tell a story through interviews and research and without interjecting my own opinion,” said Bonaparte.
“I try to put something more comprehensive together than what is already out there.”
In that he goes against the trend of much of the storytelling you will find on the internet — regurgitated information with video and audio spliced together to get clicks that doesn’t go to primary sources to gather a story.
There are the fun stories — the stories of the supernatural that fill him and his listeners with wonder and unease at what truths may lurk beyond the world we can see.
There are the quests — like to find out what happened to Emma Fillipoff.
The 26-year-old was last seen barefoot on a Victoria, B.C., street by police officers on Nov. 28, 2012.
It’s a quest that’s led to him interviewing her mother, friends and a suspect in her disappearance.
It’s a quest that has consumed many hours of his podcast and even more of his own thoughts.
“Through it I’ve become close with her mother and some of her friends,” said Bonaparte.
The driving force for it all is curiosity.
Bonaparte works during the day in the insurance business — which pays the bills but is in the realm of calculated risks and certainties.
It’s at night that he gets to wonder and share.
“My ‘government age’ is 36, but on the inside I’m more like 14 or 15,” said Bonaparte.
“My son appears in a few of the shows, too. My wife I drive insane because I’m always talking about it.”
There are commercials on the podcast which pay his costs. With such a big audience, Bonaparte could turn it into a business and focus entirely on Night Time.
But he’s 36, with another kid on the way and a mortgage and a car payment, and he’s already put his shoulder to the wheel.
So Bonaparte plans to keep his wonder as a personal passion rather than water it down with the trappings of a commercial enterprise.
He figures it’s better that way.