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Bad time to tie the knot in Hamsterley Forest

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Picture by Doug Jackson taken in Hamsterley Forest

Men are being advised to be wary of marriage proposals in Hamsterley Forest later this month!

For the spirit of the notorious Mary Anne Cotton, from West Auckland, who poisoned her four husbands in the 19th century has been revived and is looking for another lonely heart to couple up with.

She is one of the notorious figures from County Durham’s past to provide the spine tingling material for a magical Halloween event on Sunday 31 October.  Once again the Forestry Commission has linked up with the acclaimed Wear Valley-based Jackass Youth Theatre and Jack Drum theatre company to create a chilling evening in the 5,000 acre woodland, near Bishop Auckland.

Julie Ward, of Jack Drum, explained:

“We've found no shortage of folklore, myths, legends and dastardly deeds to bring to life, from cows seen flying over rooftops at the height of the Middle Age witch hunts to the tale of the Durham Beast and Cut Throat Jenny.”

To take part in the spectacular event you will need to book on 01388 488312.  The cost is £6 per person and ghost walks set out from Hamsterley Forest Visitor Centre from 5.30pm. More information at

Media calls: Richard Darn on 01226 246351.  Mobile 0750 8010411

Note to editor

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. To find out more visit