Drew Sinton is a modern day ghost hunter. His relative youth and warm personality bely his studious commitment to his work; the firm conviction and relentless curiosity which he embodies.
Drew refers to himself as a psychical researcher, a term he likes better than parapsychologist. His diligent pursuit of events and manifestations which defy physical explanation has lead to the documentation of a diverse array of fascinating cases. But, the greater part of this work for Drew at least, is the opportunity to help those who have reached the end of the line; searching for an end or at least an understanding of strange and sometimes frightening situations which entrap them.
None the less, he is the first one to tell you that not all hauntings nor visitations are of a threatening nature. In some cases the apparition may simply be like a tape-looped video recording of old Uncle Arthur's frequently repeated trips from dinner table to garden shed or something equally banal.
Occasionally the reported disembodied footsteps turn out to be far from that but rather are the product of the childish sense of humour of co-tenants too spineless to tell the victim of their orchestrations to "move out!" as was found when investigating a supposed haunting of a converted studio/warehouse in Footscray recently. After some exploration the spook turned out to be a broom used to rap on the floor boards from the basement below!
One might have expected to find a wizened Peter Cushing type greet us as the door swung open that evening rather than a fellow just on thirty who one might imagine is distracted by things far more mundane. How did this come to be? How indeed? Perhaps partial blame may be levelled at his father, a merchant seaman. Strong on oral tradition, he introduced Drew to ghost stories at an early age nourishing the ripening imagination of a young boy. And as the boy grew so too increased his appetite for the preternatural and the unexplained. An innocent enough pursuit at first.
It was easy to laugh as animated and smiling Drew explained how he progressed from a journalistic semi-detachment to find himself deeply entrenched.
"OK I'll write down your story," he gesticulated. Then the investigative aspect began to emerge. Ploughing through the possibilities. Studying psychology and physics. Carrying out the usual scientific tests. Gathering data and frustration all the way. Looking for logical explanations to often perplexing puzzles.
Then they turned around and told me, "No, you're not just taking down my story. You're going to help me."
"Say what?!" he said. "No. No, this is getting too weird!" It was as if he was reliving that first reproach. So, that is indeed where things truly began. And as the saying goes, when in deep water become a diver.
Drew works cooperatively with an expansive network of trained professionals and naturally gifted persons. Psychiatrists, psychologists, police, priests, sensitives and psychics. People from vastly different backgrounds and at times divergent ideologies. Drew himself, is studying Theology. His prime concern is the alleviation of others' pain but there is no denying this man, sharp as a tack and refreshingly communicative, has a hankering for a good ghost story. Preferably true rather than tall tales.
He views his role as an intercessor; a go-between putting people in touch with those who can most appropriately assist them when all other avenues of approach may have lead nowhere. He emphasised his frustration with parapsychological researchers who never go out into the field. Never leaving the safety-net of their sterile labs. Repeating the same tests with the same results ad infinitum. Not going from site to site where phenomena are reportedly occurring and are being tested and documented in situ.
Not actually helping the people who have often called on them in desperation. Even an harmless manifestation may be frightening if not put into comprehensible terms. And should a house be truly haunted and the associated phenomena is getting out of hand, when things do much more than "go bump in the night", no one is going to thank you for taking a few notes and reading a thermometer. Sometimes wonders do not cease, so easily.
We talked into the hours beyond midnight. When finally it was time to draw things to a close we had crossed much strange terrain. Journeying through such subjects together as ley lines, ouija boards and demonology, I think we were all out of breath with many miles still left to travel. We shared many tales. Some bear witness to great tragedy yet others bore tears and laughter. All in all we spent a fascinating evening.