Matthew James is asleep when he suddenly starts having what feels like a heart attack. He finds himself gasping for air as pain grips his chest. It feels real but it's not.
When the pain subsides, he recognises the feelings belonged to someone who had died and he was experiencing what they went through in the moments of their death.
As a medium and clairvoyant, Mr James says his experience of feelings like this aren't unusual, or even typically as dramatic. He's once had a professional chef inside his head, instructing him on how to make garlic prawns.
"Now what you do is, you take it off the heat and you turn the pan over and you let the garlic continue to cook in the heat, then you take the garlic out, then you put the prawns in," he recalls the chef telling him.
It's only later that day he discovered the chef was a client's late father, and his signature dish was garlic prawns.
To have some kind of the belief in the paranormal is not that uncommon. Many of us will have seen something we can't quite explain, or know someone who has.
But those who subscribe to a belief system rooted in the paranormal, or are willing to admit to it, are in a tiny minority. According to the 2006 census, just 1.31 per cent of Canberrans practiced 'other religions', into which such spiritual beliefs fall.
Paranormal experiences have been a part of Matthew James' life since he was a child. He remembers how, as a five-year-old, he would be excited to go to bed because he would be visited by an old man who resembled Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. He now believes that man was a wizard enrolling him for his life.
"I used to talk to him as a child, it was mind-to-mind though, you have to understand it was telepathy," Mr James said.
"I used to close my eyes and he'd take me somewhere, I'd go on a journey, (it was) like an out-of-body experience. I'd go across the stars or I'd go here, or I'd say 'go take me places'."
Mr James now works full-time as a psychic and clairvoyant in Canberra, and uses elements of smell, physical feelings, taste, mental images and voice vibrations to communicate with people who have died.
In his 30 years of readings, he claims there have been only four times where he was unable to read a person. He concludes there was a reason why he wasn't meant to.
"What happens if she had a terminal illness, what happens if she's got something that she wasn't to know about? It was better for me to not actually read her," he said.
"There's always a reason, put it that way. There's always a reason."
Another Canberran whose job is based on their paranormal beliefs is Lilitu Babalon, who identifies as a witch. She owns the city's only pagan shop, The Crystal Chalice (earlier known as Lilitu's Books) at Gold Creek.
She believes witchcraft is an "earth-honouring religion", and that the changes in the earth's seasons reflect the changes people go through in their lives.
All types of customers walk through her shop doors, from grandparents with their children, to conservative professional adults. She understands why some people are very guarded about their pagan or Wiccan beliefs.
"Some people are very private about it, I figure I've got nothing to lose, no one is going to sack me. I work for myself I don't have to worry about that sort of thing," she said.
"But you know, if you work in a sensitive area in the public service or a conservative organisation, you might not want to tell people about your religious or spiritual beliefs."
Her shop sells many tools and books for witchcraft, however she is a collector rather than a user of tools like wands and believes "if you can't do it with your pointy finger don't do it all".
Unlike Matthew James and Lilitu Babalon, Robert Catlin came to experience the paranormal later in life. He used to be a sceptic who would say "only crazy people see ghosts'.
Mr Catlin was sipping a beer at a Goulburn pub one night when one of his mates suggested they go looking for ghosts.
A visit to Kenmore hospital – a former psychiatric hospital at Goulburn established in 1895 – changed his views for life. His shared his first 'paranormal investigation' with three other men, and he claims the lonely building came to life at 2am with female voices chatting loudly all around them.
"The place sort of came alive, there were all these voices talking all around you, they were talking to each other, they were yelling, they were screaming… There was banging on the walls, and there was banging coming up the stairs," he said.
The experience left him yearning for more. And in 2010 he decided to continue investigating Kenmore and devoted three years of his life to the building.
Later that year he ended up working there as a caretaker, and even started living at the gatehouse.
"I used to work there during the day, investigate at night," he said.
His three years at Kenmore consisted of 268 investigations at approximately 60 individual buildings.
Mr Catlin now works fulltime as a disability support worker but continues to do paranormal investigating as a hobby.
People are surprised and interested when he has told them he is also a paranormal investigator.
"Everyone has or knows someone who has a ghost story. It's very, very common. Everyone's I've met has been really fascinated in it."