Fiendish fun as Norwich celebrates Halloween

Macabre tales of Norwich's sinister history and ghoulish canoe trips were among the fiendish fun as Norfolk celebrated Halloween over the weekend.

Halloween can be one of the busiest nights of the year for Norfolk police, but the wet weather last night made their job a bit easier.

While the trick or treaters counted up their haul of sweeties, there were plenty of organised activities to make the flesh crawl and chill the blood.

Families started off the Halloween weekend with a frightening Friday in the woods of Whitlingham Country Park.

The usually peaceful park setting was transformed into a horrible haven for witches, wizards and werewolves at the Broads Authority's Halloween Workshop.

More than 20 children took part in two sessions of fiendish fun from 4pm to 6pm, for under eight year olds, and from 6pm to 7.30pm for over eights.

Youngsters had their faces painted and learn the art of pumpkin carving, wand and badge making, join in traditional games such as apple bobbing, and venture out on a creepy ghost walk through the woods on a look out for ghosts, ghouls and horrid horrors.

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Whitlingham Country Park manager Russell Wilson said the event, which has seen numbers grow year on year since it was started in 2007, was a highlight in the park's events calendar.

He said: 'This is one of the events that we look forward to each year as it's great fun, and an entirely new use of the country park. The event keeps going from strength to strength, and this is our busiest year ever. We'd love people to see that Whitlingham Country Park can be enjoyed all year round, not just in the summer.'

Elsewhere people ventured out in Norwich over the weekend for some spooky stories of Tales from Beyond the Grave and terrifying tours of Norwich with the mysterious Man in Black from the Adam and Eve on Bishopgate.

The Halloween special ran from Wednesday, October 27 right through until last night<sun/31>with two tours a night from the city's oldest pub.

But while people taking part in the ghost walks were surrounded by darkness, children in a village on the outskirts of Norwich celebrated the light with an alternative Halloween event.

Families who did not want to take part in trick or treating attended a Light Party Disco in the Mission Room opposite Horsham St Faith Parish Church yesterday<31>instead.

And brave souls, some of them dressed as ghosts and ghouls, also took to the dark waters of the River Wensum for a special Halloween paddle.

They joined TheCanoeMan Mark Wilkinson, who usually offers more tranquil trips around the Norfolk Broads, on the petrifying paddle from Friars Quay to Thorpe Green.

Police said the wet weather over the weekend made their job of keeping tabs on trouble at Halloween a bit easier - but officers still had to deal with the usual problems around Norfolk of troublesome youngsters hurling eggs.

In the run up to the spooky celebration, Norfolk police had appealed for everyone to have an enjoyable Halloween, while respecting those who did not want to get involved.

A spokesman for the force last night said the force had been 'kept ticking over' by a few problems such as youngsters throwing eggs, but said the wet weather had kept people indoors.