Drew Sinton hunts ghosts. For the past 20 years, he has searched for things that go bump in the night.
Mr Sinton is called on to investigate haunted places and people in and around Victoria on behalf of organisations and individuals ranging from the Anglican Church to mental health and legal service commissions.
The most common question he is asked, of course, is: "Have you seen a ghost?"
"I have been set up many times by sceptics trying to make a fool of me, so I am always wary about talking about it," Mr Sinton said. "But, yes, I have seen a ghost.
"Ghosts range from blurry, white shapes through to clearly defined, full-color images.
"The most common figure, though, is a shadowy black form. That is what I once saw."
Mr Sinton said he rarely became frightened investigating paranormal activity, but admitted a "haunting" in Heidelberg in 1993 scared him.
"I was working with the church out that way trying to help this guy who said he had been attacked by a black shadow," he said.
"When I saw this man he had massive claw marks all down his body. I have never seen anything like it before."
A former field researcher for the Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research and a member of the Society for Psychical Research, Mr Sinton said he first became interested in ghosts while working as a journalist in Adelaide.
"I started out writing about such things and the further into it I got, the more interested I became.
"I started collecting people's stories, but then gradually they started to ask for help as well. I found priests and mediums to help people through their problems.
"It hasn't been a popular occupation to have. When the movie The Exorcist came out, people warned me against messing with evil. But it is a bit like a wet-paint sign. You can see the danger, but can't avoid touching it."
Mr Sinton said classic signs of a ghost included mysteriously hearing your name being called, unexplained footsteps and unusual temperature changes.
Some people were clairvoyant (they see apparitions), others clairaudient (they hear things) or clairsentient (they feel them).
"I am clairsentient," he said. "I think most people are born with abilities in this area."
Mr Sinton will conduct a lecture at his store, The Haunted Bookshop, in McKillop St, Melbourne, on Thursday.
"Matters discussed include the types of hauntings experienced around Melbourne, how to investigate a haunted house, types of ghosts recognised by psychical researchers and how to defend yourself in a haunted house."
A guest at the lecture will be clairvoyant Angelica Danton, a former solicitor who claims to have grown up in a haunted house in Essendon.
"Apparently it was built in the 1920s and there was a murder committed there," she said.
"All my family had one experience or another with it."
Mr Sinton said he did not charge people because he saw his help as "giving something back to the medium off which I earn my living".
Mr Sinton said his bookshop specialised in books on paranormal and mystical studies.
"We get all kinds coming in - Satanists, Christian fundamentalists, nuns, witches, people who think they are vampires, basically anyone interested in the occult," he said.