Witches in bid to break record

Sarah Boulter as Wendy the Witch.
Sarah Boulter as Wendy the Witch.

Witches will be flying in to a popular visitor attraction on Hallowe’en in a bid to break a world record – but news that the spook-tacular event is full has cast double, double, toil and trouble.

On Saturday, October 31, The Alnwick Garden is hosting an attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people dressed as witches in one location.

The record was set in Spain in November 2013 when 1,607 people came together, complete with black hats and brooms. They performed an incantation to bring them luck for the Spanish Christmas lottery.

Now, the Garden is aiming to go even better and in a bid to surpass the magic figure, it issued more than 3,000 free tickets to attract people to come along. Tickets were snapped up and now entry to the event has closed, meaning no more people can take part.

This has sparked anger among some wannabe witches, who have expressed their disappointment that the numbers are limited.

On the event’s Facebook page, Pixie Bradley wrote: “It is absolutely disgusting that there are limited numbers in this way!

“We have spent a fortune on cloaks, hats etc and have even made our own brooms. We have been looking forward to this for months as Hallowe’en is our favourite time of year. Our Hallowe’en is now ruined thanks to Alnwick Garden.”

Kris O’Donnell added: “So many folk bought rail tickets, like my girlfriend who lives much further south, and others booked local hotels, just to find out that free tickets were available, but gone by the time they found out.”

Garden director Mark Brassell said: “The record attempt is a ticketed event and we are delighted that it has proved to be so popular. The health and safety of our visitors is top priority to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all and is based on legal guidelines for events of this kind.

“It is a real shame that some people have missed out on getting tickets and we are amazed at how many witches are coming along on the day.”

Participants must be dressed in black with the traditional black pointy hat and black cloak and carry a broomstick. Witches will arrive from 2pm and the record attempt will commence at 4pm.

As part of the attempt and to meet the strict rules, the Garden is appealing for people to act as stewards. The role would involve each steward counting 50 participating witches.

For further details and to sign on as a steward, contact Sue Hurrell by emailing susan.hurrell@alnwickgarden.com or calling 01665 511350.