Prepare to be scared

THERE will be ghostly goings on across Suffolk this Hallowe'en - with sinister sights, gory ghouls and trick or treaters on your doorstep. RICHARD CORNWELL highlights one event to look forward to.

THERE will be ghostly goings on across Suffolk this Hallowe'en - with sinister sights, gory ghouls and trick or treaters on your doorstep. RICHARD CORNWELL highlights one event to look forward to.

EVEN during the daytime, Landguard Fort is a little bit eerie.

Dark tunnels, creepy courtyards and the sombre weight of history are wrapped in a cloak of mystery as twilight descends.

But at the end of this month the site is to be transformed into a coven for witches and home to some of history's most notorious and evil villains, plus spooks and spectres and even the Grim Reaper himself. It's all part of a Frite Nite at the monument at Felixstowe to capture the spirit of Hallowe'en - and is strictly for the steely nerved, an adults only event with no place for children.

Organiser Doreen Giff said the evening would be packed with wicked and wonderful goings on that would shock and surprise those taking part.

“I have wanted to do something like this for a long time and I am very excited about it - the fort is an ideal place because it is so eerie and at night it will be very dark and scary,” she said.

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“There has been a fort since the 1500s and probably has its fair share of ghosts, too, so we may get some unexpected visitors. There will certainly be a few shocks and surprises for people on the night!”

The evening will include various tableaux of scary scenes, including Jack the Ripper dealing with one of his victims, Sweeney Todd in his barber's shop and Mrs Lovett making her people pies, a ghost walk with tales of murder and mayhem, plus mediums and tarot card readers.

There will also be wine and refreshments.

The fort has a host of stories of dastardly deeds from down the centuries, including several murders, suicides, as well as characters such as governor Phillip Thicknesse, who reputedly slept in a coffin, and a man with smallpox locked up and left to rot in one of the bastions so his fellow soldiers would not catch it.

Richard Bradshaw, author of Things That Go Bump in the Fort, said: “One of the murders is said to have been of a man drowned in his bathroom after he was beaten up.

“We had a psychic research team at the fort one night and a medium told us the story - using exactly the same details as a previous medium two-and-a-half years earlier which was very spooky. They both gave exactly the same dates for the incident, too, between 1912 and 1918.”

George Buckland, who will be Sweeney Todd, said: “I am really looking forward to it. It's a great setting and should be a lot of fun.”

Admission to the Frite Nite on Wednesday October 31 is by ticket only. Buy tickets in advance -from Doreen Giff on 01394 273013 or 0776 583 5003, or from the fort. On the night you must arrive by 8pm, no under 18s.

Began as a pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Britain.

All Hallows' Eve - the day before the Christian Feast of All Hallows', or All Saints' Day - and moved to its present date in the ninth century.

Celebrated by the Celts as the Day of the Dead - they believed the spirits rose from the dead and to attract them people left food on the doors. Celts wore masks to scare off evil spirits.

Traditional activities include trick or treat, costume parties and parties with a horror theme.

Two cities in the USA claim the title of Halloween Capital of the World - Anoka, Minnesota, and Salem, Massachusetts.

It's also called Pooky Night - named after the puca, a mischievous spirit - in some parts of Ireland.

By Tracey Sparling

And now for something to scare even the adults!

Staunch, the alternative clothing store in Eagle Street, Ipswich, has opened a new Little Shop of Terrors inside.

With brains oozing and tongues lolling, the new range of latex masks are inspired by films like Donnie Darko, House of 1,000 Corpses, and Day of the Dead.

Shop owner Rupert Pheasant took a year to find the best masks he could, and now imports them from the US. They have arrived just in time for Hallowe'en, and he was delighted to sell four yesterday morning.

The masks will also be on show at the Fire&Ice nightclub on Monday nights - and one will be given as prize on the first Wednesday in November.

They cost from £40 to buy - the complete Donnie Darko rabbit costume costs £350 - or are also available for hire for £20 for two days, plus deposit. You can also buy fake teeth and puppets from the range.

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