GHOST hunters are being invited on a candlelit tour of the Lord Mayor of York’s historic home as part of ghoulish goings-on during the city’s most spine chilling festival.

The seventh annual York Ghost Festival gets under way on Saturday, and will include for the first time a ghost tour of the Mansion House, in St Helen’s Square.

The spooky candlelit tours, which aim to unlock some of the murky secrets of the Georgian house, will take place next week on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, starting at 6.30pm. There will be something for all ages during the nine-day festival, co-ordinated by York’s “Ghostfinder General”, Rachel Lacy.

Rachel said: “There’s fun stuff for the kids, as well as serious investigations – we just want to get as many people as possible to come together and enjoy all aspects of the paranormal in York.”

Children aged seven to 12 are being invited to enrol at a Ghoul School at Micklegate Bar, which will be run by York Archaeological Trust, from 10am to 4pm every day of the festival.

Pupils will get the chance to make revolting and frightening props for Hallowe’en.

On Tuesday, storyteller Adrian Spendlow will lead a family walk across Hob Moor local nature reserve, starting at 7pm.

The Dean Court Hotel, near York Minster, is hosting supper and stories with Adrian on the Wednesday evening, while Barley Hall, off Stonegate, will be hosting candlelit ghost tours between 6pm and 8pm on the Thursday.

Also entering into the festival spirit is the Artful Dodger pub, in Micklegate, which is putting on five consecutive nights of ghost-themed parties, starting on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, on Hallowe’en itself, there will be a trick or treat ghost hunt, starting in Shambles, opposite the Golden Fleece, at 5.30pm.

And for more serious ghost hunters, Acomb Paranormal Society will be carrying out investigations at the Red Lion, in Merchantgate, on Hallowe’en, from 9.30pm to 2.30am.

Most events must be booked in advance. For a full list of activities, prices and booking details, log on to

...and the terrifying tale of Jack

YORK Dungeon is putting on what it expects to be its scariest Hallowe’en show ever this year.

The show for Samhain, the pagan word for Hallowe’en, will tell the traditional Irish folk tale of Jack O’Lantern, who tricked the devil so he could not send him to hell and ended up trapped in limbo.

The story is told by the devil from the apple tree where Jack snares him, and performed by two actors.

Performance supervisor Dan Millward said the attraction was expecting a busy Samhain.

He said: “We do have a lot more people come at Hallowe’en, but Jack O’Lantern is probably the scariest-looking character we’ve had. He is quite terrifying and I think it’s going to be the scariest year ever.”