Haunted Bookshop & Ghost Tour

Zombies, ghouls or are they misread spirits?

Moonee Valley Gazette 2 February, 1998 pp 1 & 9
By Joanne Trzcinski with photography by Simon Schluter

Drew Sinton"As you walk down the street, who's to say that every person you encounter is real?" ghost hunter Drew Sinton matter-of-factly asks.

"You could be walking past spirits and not even know it."

Mr Sinton has been investigating reports of ghosts for years, including one in a curator's cottage in Queens Park, Moonee Ponds.

"It's humiliating to call a ghost hunter," Mr Sinton says. "They've tried everything else. They don't want to believe it's a real ghost. They're just perplexed."

Mr Sinton said many ghosts or spirits did not realise they were dead. "(The ghost) is (wandering and) wondering, 'What the hell's going on?'

It happens a lot. We're in a society where we're not really taught how to die," he says.

Spectre inspector tells a chilling tale

The day is warm but Drew Sinton is chilling. A self-styled "ghost-hunter", Mr Sinton has been investigating reports of ghosts for years, and has been led to high-rise flats, new houses, theatres, pubs, even plots of land in search of troubled spirits.

"I've always been drawn to the darkness. I love mystery. To me, that is the last frontier."

Recently Mr Sinton, a former journalist and copywriter, gave a talk at a community centre on hauntings when a man confided in him.

The man told him a room in his house was haunted; the dog and cat would not go in it, the children refused to sleep there, objects would move and the room was freezing cold

The man was determined to get to the bottom of it so he sat down in the room and meditated. He saw an image of an Aboriginal man pinned to the ground by a spear. The Aboriginal told the man he couldn't get up The man said: ''Of course you can move, you're a spirit''

The Aboriginal got up and left and the haunting ended.

Mr Sinton says when he first started investigating ghosts in the north and western suburbs he concentrated on historical accounts.

He recalls a time when he heard of a haunted curator's cottage in Queens Park, Moonee Ponds.

Mr Sinton says when he first started investigating ghosts in the north and western suburbs he concentrated on historical accounts.

He recalls a time when he heard of a haunted curator's cottage in Queens Park, Moonee Ponds.

"I investigated the house in 1992 after the curator's family told me they had seen the ghost at the bottom of the stairs and on the landing," he says.

The ghost was of a young girl and he discovered the cottage had once been a temporary hospital and a young girl had died there from the influenza epidemic of 1919.

Not long after that he was called to investigate a house in Moreland.

"A family was terrorised by, of all things, the sound of a new-born baby crying.

"The crying was traced to the main bedroom and an adjoining room but no baby was ever found. The house's history went back to a time when baby farmers like Frances Knorr would accept foster infants, take the money allowed, murder them and apply for more.

"Her tiny victims were found buried in Brunswick and Carlton." The family moved house.

In 1992, Mr Sinton met an Anglican priest who was involved in a haunting in Broadmeadows.

"Most of the ghostly happenings took place around a woman who was brought into St Michael's and All Angels church in Camp Rd.

"Soon after prayers commenced, to everyone's horror. the woman emitted a bloodcurdling scream, which (literally) flew up over the pews, around the nave, before flying out the window.

"The woman was okay but dogs could actually be heard barking as the scream disappeared down the street."

He says on another occasion he met a Broadmeadows woman who told him she was being haunted by a man in a long black cloak and a broad-rimmed hat.

"The ghost appeared to the woman early one morning explaining, telepathically, that he had come to collect the woman s husband who was sleeping beside her.

"The ghost disappeared only after the woman had said the 23rd Psalm. I would have dismissed the woman's experience as a dream had I not heard similar accounts involving similar sightings in other parts of Melbourne."

Mr Sinton says he does not go out to people's homes to investigate ghost sightings as often as he used to, preferring to closely question people over the phone.

If he does go out, he takes a medium with him (the service is free).

The more he studies the supernatural, the more his mind is opened to things he previously dismissed.

A Victorian Catholic priest, who practices exorcism, says he can tell whether a house is haunted by a tingling sensation up and down his body.

To get rid of the trouble, he walks around the room ordering out the spirit and saying prayers.

The priest, who prefers not to be named, also rids evil spirits from people's bodies using the old rite of exorcism.

"It's hard work," he says.

A session might take about two hours with the person then being sent off for a couple of months to attend mass and communion - "that can fix things up''.

A Melbourne Anglican priest, who also wishes to remain anonymous, says: "Spirits do exist".

Like the Catholic priest, he also gets rid of spirits possessing a body.

"Sometimes a person will come to you very troubled and sometimes you identify the spirit is involved with it," the priest says.

To get rid of the spirit, the priest does "as Jesus did" and commands it to go.

"The reality is you're dealing with an evil power that is quite powerful.

"I've seen people who are quite frail but when the spirit manifests itself, they have enormous strength.

"You need to be very careful, very prayerful yourself. You need to pray and don't leave any chink in your own armour."

Other Haunted Bookshop offerings you might enjoy ...

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Drew Sinton
Witches Bible
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Psychic's Handbook
Rider Waite

"When you have bought your fill of paranormal books, tarot cards and occult jewellery, you can come back at 8.30 pm on a Saturday for one of Sinton's very popular ghost walk tours of Melbourne" - Narrelle Harris, author Witch Honour

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