GHOSTLY goings on in Colne are spiriting a tourism boost for the area.

For a new Colne "Heroes and Villains" tour, led by celebrated "ghost host" Simon Entwistle is aiming to bring in visitors and fascinate locals with spellbinding historical stories.

Mayor of Pendle Coun Dorothy Lord joined the first hour-long walk last night as Simon delved into the town's colourful past.

Simon was born in Colne and is delighted to be returning to his roots after conducting similar tours across East Lancashire, including Blackburn, Darwen and Accrington.

He said: "It takes in heroes and villains and legends. There are some ghost stories and murders as well.

"I really enjoyed researching the whole of the town. Colne has a lot of characters. We are hoping to get quite a few ghost tours into the area and it will be a big boost to tourism.

"The Colne tour is fantastic. It's full of history and great material. It's great to bring these characters back from history. It's important we don't forget our heritage. I think we should all be really proud of the area."

Last night's first tour started from the Wallace Hartley monument, Albert Road - a memorial to Simon's favourite "hero" of the tour.

Hartley was the courageous band leader on the Titanic who turned down the chance to escape in a lifeboat. One of the worst villains is Richard Hartley who in 1795 killed his girlfriend Hannah Corbridge when she declined to marry him. He hid her body in a tea case to avoid detectives but was later spotted by a witness carrying her body back to Tum Hills.

He was hanged; her spirit is said to still haunt the hills.

The walk, a partnership between Simon and Pendle Council, will take place on the third Monday of every month until October.