The Haunted Bookshop – Mc Killop Street, MelbourneJanuary 3, 2008
The Haunted Bookshop website says “Dark and Brooding” “Occult books and Tarot since 1997”: meaning that this shop has only been around for about ten years. Not that you’d know it when you walk inside. The decor is every fantasy/occult/gothic lover’s dream – somewhere between a Victorian Cabinet of Curiousities, a New Orleans Juju shop, Buffy’s ‘The Magic Box’ and Harry Potter’s ‘Flourish and Blotts’ – this place looks like your legit spooky haven of all things supernatural. Which is spot on, really, as Drew Sinton’s bookshop definitely is a haven for all things supernatural – or at least books on them plus it’s the hub of his quite famous Melbourne Ghost Tour.
Drew Sinton – you may have spotted him as a kookster-for-comment in Melbourne Weekly, The Age or have even seen his Ghostbusting TV series on Channel 31 ‘ Haunted Australia’. As far as odd and fascinating characters go – not to mention actual dabblers with the Forces of Darkness – he is the real deal. He runs the Haunted Bookshop as well as all the other bits and pieces above, and has stocked it wall to musty wall with books on ghosts, witches, ufos, druids, devils and the vast parade of Creatures of the Night – vampires, werewolves, etc etc. He also sells tarot decks and juju trinkets for those who feel like a little voodoo magic (or have read too many Anne Rice books).
The Haunted Bookshop is pretty unique – set out in a way which plays into the romantic ideas and fancies (or, possibly, unacknowledged truths, whichever perspective you have) of a Victorian period Clairvoyant’s Den or Curioe Shoppe you really do feel as though you’ve entered more than a retail shop but a forgotten era where mysticism and magic were the talk of the town and any moment you’d be invited to a seance or Spiritualist meet. As for the books on display – well, if you’re after the lastest Stephen King perhaps don’t bother. But if you’re interested in reading about the veiled world of hauntings, ufo’s, the supernatural or witches – this shop has everything including rare editions of new and antique tomes. There are books for the casually curious which will assist you to take a quick dip into this world, plus specialist and detailed books for those who know what they’re looking for.
The best thing about the Haunted Bookshop: atmosphere plus the Haunted Melbourne ghost tour. Plus they have both a working website and even a Myspace!!! Wonders will never cease!
The downside: it has odd opening hours, especially the early closes and limited weekend openings. Details: 15 McKILLOP STREET MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA 03 9670 2585