AN AUDIENCE was spooked by Malmesbury's infamous and spooky characters last weekend.

Organised by Athelstan Museum and Malmesbury Civic Trust, this years’ series of guided historical walks around the town finished with two sell out Halloween themed walks on October 27.

The audiences were thrilled and spooked by new and familiar characters, all drawn from Malmesbury’s deep and turbulent past.

Appearing for the first time were Margaret de Coumbe who featured on a most wanted list of local criminals in 1343, and Mrs Dewel, the housekeeper of Malmesbury’s infamous eighteenth century election fixer, Edmund Wilkins.

Other famous and notorious characters who appeared around town included a coven of Malmesbury witches who based themselves in the Market Cross, Cavalier Sir Ronald Bouchier, Eilmer the flying monk, Abbot Brithwold, King Athelstan, the Grey Lady and Thomas Hobbes.

The walks finished at The Old White Lion Inn where the audiences met unfortunate barmaid Hannah Twynnoy and the tiger she teased.

Walk organiser Campbell Ritchie said: “We had great fun putting on the Halloween walks and it was fantastic to have such a positive response from our audiences.

“Even the cold and drizzle didn’t dampen the spirits while our living audience benefitted from the warm hospitality at The Old White Lion.

“We would like to thank Athelstan Players, the Kings Arms, The Old Bell and Paul and Frances Smith, residents at The Old White Lion, for their special contributions. towards helping us expose some Malmesbury history that stays hidden at other times of the year.

“This was a fitting finale to this years’ walks programme, which has raised hundreds of pounds for Athelstan Museum, Malmesbury Civic Trust, Malmesbury Carnival and Wessex Week.”