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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 January 2006, 09:55 GMT
Spook lessons at historic castle
Muncaster Castle
Muncaster Castle's 'ghost' is one of its top attractions
A castle reputed to be one of the most haunted in the country is hosting a school for ghost hunters.

The course will take place at Muncaster Castle in the Lake District.

Academic Dr Jason Braithwaite will lead pupils through examples of how the brain and environment are involved in strange experiences.

For years visitors to the 13th Century castle have reported ghostly figures of women and children in the tapestry room, which was once used as a nursery.

'Scientific viewpoint'

Muncaster Castle lies above the River Esk and has remained in the same family, the Penningtons, since 1208.

The oldest part of the castle as it stands, is the Pele Tower of 1325. This was reportedly built to keep out the Scots.

Dr Braithwaite, is an independent research scientist from the Behavioural Brain Sciences Centre at Birmingham University.

For 15 years he has been researching the reasons why there are so many ghost sightings at Muncaster Castle and remains sceptical that ghosts exist.

He said: "This course is for people who have an open mind, it is for those who question these experiences and really want to find out more about them from a more serious and scientific viewpoint.

"By the end of the course students will be in a much better position to make their own minds up about what lies behind events that apparently have no rational explanation."

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