PARANORMAL investigators are about to run a course at Swindon’s New College.

However, would-be students shouldn’t expect to be schooled in Hollywood-style ghostbusting with weird weapons.

That’s because the experts in charge are from Paranormal Site Investigators (PSI), an organisation devoted to promoting clear thought and preventing people from being scared witless by perfectly explainable natural phenomena.

In a world where many people accept ghosts as readily as if the theme song to Rentaghost were holy writ, PSI sounds a very strong note of scepticism.

To PSI, heavy footsteps in your attic may indeed indicate a “spectre telepathic”, but only after dodgy plumbing, mice, deathwatch beetle and every other rational possibility have been thoroughly ruled out.

In years of investigations, they have yet to encounter anything indisputably supernatural.

PSI co-founder Dave Wood said: “The course is called ‘Why Do People Experience Ghosts?’ “It focuses on the sorts of paranormal experiences people feel they have. We start from the assumption that people have these experiences and honestly believe them to be supernatural, and ask why they have these beliefs.

“We’re very much sceptics in the traditional sense of the word – we always look for rational explanations.”

The course is being run twice, once over three weekly Wednesday sessions beginning this evening, and again between 10am and 4pm on March 28.

Its subject matter is billed as: “The psychology of anomalous experience – an introduction to the psychological reasons why normal people experience what they think are ghosts.”

Dave Wood and partner Nicky Sewell founded PSI in 2004, having met when involved in paranormal investigation while studying psychology at university in Plymouth.

The couple are both 27, and Dave works as a trainer for a charity while Nicky is a civil servant.

The two will deliver the course, and are quite clear on what participants can expect.

As they say in the publicity material: “You can learn about unscientific ideas on cable TV and about spiritualist ideas at your local circle – but if you want rationality, this is for you.”

PSI has more than 1,300 online members and more than a dozen active investigators. The organisation has investigated many claims of supernatural phenomena in the Swindon.

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