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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 April, 2003, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Ghosthunters get a fright
Killbhope lead mine
The Killhope lead mine in Weardale was started in 1853
A group of ghostbusters had to leave a County Durham museum - after finding the experience too frightening.

The trio left Killhope lead mine in Weardale in the early hours of Sunday after hearing "strange noises".

Dean Maynard, Danny Jones and Ron Wilson had asked to spend the night at the North of England Lead Mining Museum, to raise money for a Newcastle based cancer Charity.

The three men are interested in the paranormal and brought along hi-tech equipment to photograph what they call "orbs" - thought to be the life force energy of ghosts.

But at 0100 BST on Sunday they said they witnessed some orbs in what was the sleeping area of the mine, as well as hearing some eerie noises.

The trio stuck it out until 0300 BST, when a woman's "screaming" in nearby woods, prompted an early evacuation.

The mine was started in 1853 and closed about 1910, reopening briefly during World War I.

For a few short years in the 1870s, the mine was one of the richest in Britain.

Restoration started in 1980, and today Killhope is the most complete lead mining site in Britain.

A spokesman for the museum said: "We can assure visitors that although the museum may be spooky at night, there's nothing to fear during the day."

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