The spookiest tour in Wigan?

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BRACE yourselves for some spooky goings-on at Wigan’s historic old court buildings!

As Halloween looms, trips are being organised into the sepulchral bowels of the town’s former seat of justice in Crawford Street.

Running through the heart of Wigan’s late Victorian courthouse, prisons, corridors, hallways and cellars, the tour ends in the courtroom itself for a Halloween fair with chilling fun for people of all ages.

The thrill-filled event comes after it was announced the long-unused building was bought by business partners Pam Wright and Dr Hossein Najafian with the aim of transforming it into a pioneering new education complex.

In the meantime there will be different events and tours of the old courts for the borough to enjoy.

Director of The Old Courts Theatre and Events, Mike Rees, said: “We’ve been running horror events around the country for many years now so when I was approached to move in it to the old courts it seemed like the perfect location to run an event.

“However, as I have background in theatre and education I realised it was an ideal base to house our theatre and events company.

“We will also be working with companies with extensive film credits to create our monsters has meant we can take the idea of a haunted house to a new level – it’s genuinely terrifying.”

Large parts of the Old Courts, or Gerard Winstanley House as it was known, have sat unoccupied for a number of years after the County Court and council offices moved across town.

In recent months, however, the building has come back to life as an arts and enterprise hub with a range of creative industries based in offices and workshop spaces throughout.

Eventually Crawford College, as it is called, will be aimed at A-level students and will put it in direct competition with The Deanery High School and Wigan and Leigh College just a few hundred yards away.

The Old Courts Halloween Tour has been written by local writer Julie Mckiernan who has woven a tale that encompasses the history of Up Holland Priory, the courthouse itself and creates a world in which the gargoyles and grotesques of the Wigan Parish Church come to life.

Mike said: “Performers have been drawn from across the borough with a vast wealth of performance experience in stage, TV and film to create a unique and terrifying experience in which you’ll never know what lurks around the next corner.”

The Old Courts Halloween Tours will run from October 3 until November 1.

Tickets are priced at £12 for adults with £7 concessions plus free entrance to the Halloween Fayre.

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