WITCHES, ghosts and ghouls - as well as pumpkins and skulls - were all in evidence for Hallowe'en in York today.

At the National Railway Museum, former all-England champion Jimmy Reid, 81, swept all before him in the museum's half-term pumpkin challenge.

His 480lb pumpkin was so heavy it was delivered on a lorry then driven in to the museum on a forklift truck.

Jimmy, of Gilling West, near Richmond, said: "It's a good one, I enjoyed growing it. I've had a bit of practice though, I've had them up to nearly 700 pounds in the past."

A museum spokeswoman said the competition had been held as part of the museum's half-term activities.

"We wanted to get into the spirit of Hallowe'en as well and it has gone really well. The pumpkins will be here until November 4 for people who want to see them."

The spookiness continued down at York Dungeon, where a human skull accidentally sold by a shop assistant was today returned.

Staff at the dungeon went frantic earlier this month when retail supervisor Natalie Edwards sold the skull for £30 after she mistook it for a fake.

The genuine human skull has been a prop at the dungeon since it opened in 1986 and is one of a pair owned by the visitor attraction.

It had been temporarily left on a bookshelf and was spotted by Corrinne Lane, who was searching for a Christmas present for her son while visiting the city. She was tracked down, and today her son, Darren Lane, travelled to York from Leicester to return the skull to relieved staff.

Darren, 27, has been collecting skulls for five years and currently has 46 in his collection.

Display supervisor Eddie Saul said: "We were speechless when we heard that Natalie had sold it. At the same time we had to admire her salesmanship. If it's not nailed down she will try and sell anything."

Natalie charged £30 for the novel dungeon souvenir, but the attraction had to fork out £50 to get it back, as well as paying for Darren's travel costs.

For more Hallowe'en fun, check out tonight's annual Ghost Hunt, which meets in Shambles at 7.30pm, try the Original Ghost Walk at King's Staith from 8pm, or go on the Ghost Trail, which meets at 7.30pm at the Minster.

Alternatively go on a spooky cruise on the YorkBoat Ghost Cruise, board at King's Staith from 6.30pm for 7pm sail.

Updated: 15:54 Thursday, October 31, 2002