Walking down the unlit lane to historic Croxteth Hall in Liverpool I knew I should have brought a torch — it was pitch black — but it was the perfect start for a walk-through horror show, even if it wasn’t orchestrated by the production crew!

Once inside, a group of about 15 of us made our way round a planned-route where we were met by character actors set to scare us half to death!

No-one wanted to accept an invitation to dine with the Phantom and the paperwork passed round a few hands before two brave souls relented!

The invite came to fruition at the end of the 15-minute show when the pair dined with a very crazed Phantom and blackened statues, or so they seemed, ‘came to life’ and frightened us all stupid!

Strobe lighting and eerie sound affects — including a few big bangs that scared most of us to death! — added to the drama as we were guided through what seemed like every corner of this grand old home.

I think I would have preferred a shorter route but it was a good chance to tour a place I haven’t visited in years!

Actors often imitated the still life-size statues draped over fires or at dining tables inside the stately home and when they spoke you couldn’t help but jump, even if you’d guessed they were ‘real’.

I confess to causing a bit of confusion at one point, turning right in the line to leave when I should have turned left, but thankfully all the actors coped well in character with such impromptu audience moments, seizing the opportunity to throw in the odd quip.

My only grumble is the amount of people let in at any one time. I would have preferred a more intimate number as everyone seemed to be fighting for the front row in some of the smaller rooms.