From the dark side, in the holy wars, Friday the 13th: it's getting on to 4pm, on a slow day at The Haunted Bookshop in McKillop Street.
Drew Sinton says the school crowd should be arriving about now, if it wasn't for the wet and the cold. "We get a lot of Catholic school kids in blazers, with Latin written on the crests on their pockets... I'd say that most of the people who come here to buy witchcraft books have had a Catholic upbringing. It makes sense. Witchcraft and Catholicism are both built on ritual and structure."
As we speak, a young man comes into the store - a cozy charming place of horned heads, dangling spiders, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and sideshow cobwebs. It looks like a quiet corner in Harry Potter's school library. The young man is seeking a book on numerology.
"Are you a Catholic schoolboy?" I ask.
"I used to be," he says.
Five minutes on, two young men of Italian extraction come in, looking to buy a ouija board. "Yeah, we were brought up Catholic."
Ah, these would be some of the young Catholics that Archbishop George Pell was reaching out to last week, warning them in a pastoral letter about the dangers of magazine horoscopes, and urging them to reject "New Age recipes" in their spiritual lives.
Dr Pell wrote: "Unless people stand for something, they will fall for anything... Think of the tens of thousands of Australians who look at their horoscopes each day to read their future in the stars."
Drew Sinton was sort of an archbishop, too, for a time. But that was for the other side, the darker side - as "Grotto Master" for the Church of Satan (Melbourne branch). Sinton is also author of The Antichrist Bible, and founder of antichrist.com.au. The website ran for four years, and was getting 1000 hits a day but Sinton closed it down last month because of protracted strife from Christian fundamentalists.
Indeed, every single book in his store is wrapped in plastic, to protect them from protesting Pentecostal vandals bearing jars of ink.
"They just keep turning up," says Sinton, who has little time for fundamentalists of any persuasion, "Christian or Satanist".
Apparently hardcore Satanists come into The Haunted Bookshop and complain bitterly that the place isn't dedicated exclusively to the devil and his literature. "They get a bit worked up and want to know... 'Why do you have books on astrology and magic'?" (And numerology, tarot, witchcraft, ghosts, fairies and angels.)
Sinton is intrigued by Dr Pell's recent proclamation and its timing.
A quick tour of the internet brings up the archbishop's birth date: June 8, 1941. "Which means he celebrated a birthday just last week... that's very interesting."
Well, according to numerology, cross-referenced with the tarot pack, George Pell's soul card is The Priestess, who is ruled by the moon, and drawn to witchcraft. "His growth card is The Magus or Magician and his personality card is Judgement. Blowing the trumpets, raising the dead, calling the flocks together. There's a few issues coming into conflict."