OFFICIALS at a workingmen's club have decided the only spirits they want to disturb are those behind the bar after refusing permission for a charity ghost hunt - for health and safety reasons.

Fundraiser Julie Proudfoot had hoped she and fellow paranormal enthusiasts would discover what sort of ghostly goings-on were happening at the workingmen's club in Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Despite holding two similar events at the club, Mrs Proudfoot, 41, received a letter from the ruling committee stating that on this occasion, the event could not go ahead on health and safety grounds.

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“I was so angry, I just threw the letter on the fire.”

Mrs Proudfoot said she had planned to hold the event to coincide with other fundraising activities at the village's Queen's Head pub in memory of Michael Lee Taylor, who died in a road accident in Sunderland four years ago.

Money raised is being split between Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary and The Oaks Secondary School, in Spennymoor.

Mrs Proudfoot said the RVI was a cause close to her heart as two-year-old granddaughter Ayisha Dixon had been born 16-weeks prematurely and had received care at the hospital at the time and for a number of ongoing health problems.

“I am very disappointed. I could easily have raised £250 for each organisation,” she said.

“I had a medium coming along and a fully equipped paranormal group who were going to take a scientific approach to the ghost hunt.

“In 2009 and 2010, I did two ghost hunts to support the club when it was in trouble and there were no health and safety problems then.

“When we did those, we caught a lot of voices and there was tapping on mirrors – it is definitely haunted.

“When I put details on Facebook there were between 80 and 100 people who expressed an interest in coming along.”

Mrs Proudfoot said she had been on many ghost hunts to places such as Darlington's Civic Theatre, Bowes Castle and Egglestone Abbey.

Cockfield Workingmen's Club secretary Bob Metcalfe declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Mrs Proudfoot is hoping someone will come forward with the offer of an alternative venue for a ghost hunt.

Anyone who can help should search for Julie Proudfoot on Facebook and contact her through the site.