Trying to get a ghostbuster to make haunted house calls just became a little harder.
Drew Sinton says the many northern suburbs houses that are inhabited by visitors from beyond the grave will have to stay that way. He has closed his business, Ghostbusters Victoria. The problem, he says, is not to do with the dead but with the living.
When there's something strange in the neighbourhood, who are you going to call? Not Ghostbusters.
Drew Sinton, owner of The Haunted Bookshop and host of The Haunted Melbourne Ghost Tour, has been forced to close his side-business, Ghostbusters Victoria.
The business was set up as a free service to those who had genuine problems with ghosts.
"I was getting a lot of cranks and practical jokers," Mr Sinton said.
"I ran it to help people and it was abused."
The crank calls became so bad that Mr Sinton decided that it just was not worth it. "I had to grill people to find out whether they were genuine."
At one stage he was getting two or three calls a week from sceptics trying to set him up. They would ring with phoney stories or give him an address for a vacant block.
He has a warning for anyone thinking of starting in the ghostbusting business: "It's not so much the dead you have to look out for, it's the living."
He says he has found plenty of genuine ghosts, mostly in the northern and western regions. The northern suburbs especially "seem to be a stomping ground" for those beyond the grave.
He does not know why the undead might prefer this area.
In his ghostbusting days, his methods for dealing with shades varied according to circumstances. He was often guided by the results of seances.
Anyone having trouble with ghosts can still come into The Haunted Bookshop for research and advice.
"The shop is set up to help inform people," Mr Sinton says.
One of the bookshop's staff is still prepared to bust the odd ghost. Charlie Allen, a psychic and clairvoyant, heads out to haunted houses armed with a newspaper.
His 30 years in the business have taught him that ghosts sometimes hang around because they don't realise their time on this mortal coil has expired, that they are "living" in the past.
Drawing their attention to the date on the paper helps convince the spirits to shuffle off to the other side.