PREPARATIONS are being stepped up for this year’s Halloween events in a West Somerset village where nearly every house is said to be haunted.

Dunster will see the now-traditional ghost tours of Dunster Castle, as well as Extour’s village ghost walks – while Janie and Nigel Deeming, the new owners of the 15th century Stags Head Inn, are hosting a Halloween party on Friday, October 27.

Renowned for being the oldest inn in Dunster, and even having its own resident ghost, Stags Head Inn’s spooky night starts at 5.30 pm when the bar’s doors open to customers.

Janie said: “We really hope that people will come dressed up in all sorts of fabulous outfits.”

Her own outfit, which she is keeping a secret until the party, is expected to arrive by the end of this week.

She said: “It is great fun to choose outfits, but if you have not had time to buy one, be creative.

“Ragged old clothes and a bit of white face paint will go a long way.

“The best-dressed customer will also win a prize.”

The build-up for the pub’s evening starts at 7.30 pm when Janie, artist Tim Wetherell, and Nina Dodd, author of a new book ‘Witches, Giants and a Ghost Cat’, will take to the stage to recount some of the many eerie tales told of the ancient village.

Janie said: “Nearly every building in Dunster is believed to have a ghost or two, and Nina has done a great job recording the stories.

“We will be reading passages from the book, many of which are based on our West Street.”

As pat of Janie’s and Nigel’s aim of turning the inn into a fully-pledged community pub, they have gifted many pumpkins to Dunster First School for the children to ‘work their magic on’. 

Janie said: “These carved pumpkins will be on display at the Halloween party on the 27th and the attendees given a chance to vote for the best one.”

For the creatures of the night who enjoy a drink, music and dancing, there will also be Halloween-inspired cocktails and local DJ Si Manning playing spooky tunes.

Janie has also arranged an opportunity for customers to showcase their talents on a karaoke machine from 9 pm.