An experiment under scientific conditions by Goldsmiths, University of London, asked two psychics to identify five randomly selected people from behind a screen.

The volunteers for the ‘Halloween Challenge’ were then asked to try and identify themselves from the descriptions.

The result of one in five “entirely consistent with the operation of chance alone”, Professor Chris French of the university’s Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit told BBC.

One of the mediums Patricia Putt reckons the test “doesn’t prove a thing”, saying she needed to see and hear people to read them and that the controlled setting wasn’t conducive to her work.

She added the test, which medium Kim Whitton also attempted, was weighted in favour of the scientists’ preconceptions and that the experimenters “are very closed-minded”.

Professor French is a noted skeptic.

Putt was involved in a similar unsuccessful test under French in 2009 when she attempted a reading to win a $1m cash prize put up by the James Randi Educational Foundation for anyone who could “demonstrate paranormal powers under controlled condition”.

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