The ghost in the fruit machine of a Merton bookmakers has placed it among the most haunted shops of its kind in Britain.
Alan French, manager of the Wimbledon Chase branch of William Hill's, is convinced a fluttering phantom is keeping a sinister vigil over the bookies.
Phantom-rattled Alan believes the gambling ghost of a prolific punter who lived above the shop has possessed the one-armed bandit in the customer toilets and is making things go kerchunk in the night.
The fortune-hunter, known to him only as Bob, had a clockwork routine where he would descend from his flat and walk through the door of the toilets at precisely 10.15 am. There he would periodically play the fruit machine.
"He'd tramp up and down all day and we'd say, 'Hasn't he got a toilet in his room?'" said Alan who has not considered exorcism to remove the spirit.
"About five years ago Bob's daughter came into the shop to announce her father had died. At 5pm the same day, all the lights went out on the fruit machine. Somebody (unaware of his death) shouted out, 'We're haunted'," he added.
Initially sceptical and assuming it was a power surge, Alan noticed it was the lights only which flickered out – an event without precedent.
Further inexplicable happenings, such as a hand dryer in the same toilet turning itself on, convinced Alan of the presence of a speculating spectre.
The findings emerged after William Hill asked staff nationwide to report any paranormal activities, ahead of Hallowe'en.