Lynette Jennings doesn't look much like a ghostbuster. She has none of the high-tech gadgets sported by the lead characters in the hit 80s movie.
But the 62-year-old clairvoyant says there is increasing demand for her ability to clear homes of unwanted spirits and negative energies.
Jennings performs up to three "clearings" a week and said requests for her time had more than doubled in the past five years.
She says she's not an exorcist - that term is reserved for people who cast out demons.
Most spirits made their presence known by creating a heavy or cold feeling in the house, or by flicking lights on and off, she said.
"If they want to be noticed and if they've got a message they'll play havoc with the electricity."
Jennings charged up to $150 for her services but said she would never insist anyone have a clearing. She warned to be wary of people who did.
"If somebody says you should do this or should do that, just walk away."
Wellington-based Jonette Murray said she received about one query a week, and noted a slight increase in demand.
"I think that's more to do with shows like Sensing Murder and Ghost Hunt than a surge in paranormal activity," she said.
Murray, who generally charged about $85, said most of her customers wanted to give a new home or workplace a positive energy.
Maggie Kay from North Shore's Soul Healing Therapies advertises house clearing for between $180 and $300. She said demand was increasing because people were becoming more aware of their energy space.
Auckland woman Toni Morris had her home cleared by Jennings six weeks ago. Although not "100 per cent convinced" by the experience, she said lights were no longer going on and off for no apparent reason. The clearing came about after she went to Jennings for a tarot-card reading.
Jennings asked whether her home had any connection to young children, perhaps as an orphanage, and said she had a "bad feeling" about it.
Morris' home in Auckland's Glen Eden was a maternity hospital for five years in the 1940s. Initially sceptical, Morris was surprised when Jennings drew an accurate plan of the house without having seen it.
The next day Jennings and her husband performed a ritual in each room. In Morris' baby daughter's bedroom, Jennings detected the spirits of two young children.
"I asked why they were there and she said it was because the mother was grieving so much for them it stopped the energy from passing over," Morris said. "There could be something in it, but I'm not 100 per cent convinced."
Vicki Hyde, spokeswoman for New Zealand Skeptics, said psychic industries were based on manipulation of vulnerable people. She said a better way to make a new home feel better was to get to know your neighbours.
Catholic priest John O'Connor said house blessings were "normal and routine" and priests never charged for their services and would respond to requests from people of any religion.
"We know the power of God is stronger than the power of evil.
"Call a priest and invite them to bless the house. It's very normal and routine for us."By Heather McCracken