SOUTH Tyneside youngsters enjoyed a fright at the museum as a host of creepy creatures came out to play for Halloween.
South Shields Museum and Art Gallery hosted an animal-handling event billed as being both creepy and cuddly, and there were plenty of spooky surprises in store.
The treats came in the form of cute rabbits and mice, and the tricks were supplied by a spider, giant cockroach and a bearded dragon lizard.
Children were dressed up in Halloween costumes as witches, wizards, skeletons and zombies – and they were happy to have spiders crawl over their heads and coackroaches slither up their arms.
The half-term holiday spook-tacular proved a huge hit with the little Halloween horrors and mums and dads.
A team from Animal Antics, an animal-handling group based at Choppington in Northumberland, also got into the spirit of the day by dressing for the occasion too.
The four-hour event at the Ocean Road museum was split up into eight 25-minute sessions attended by more than 100 youngsters altogether.
Visitors were able to learn about the creatures on display before taking the chance to hold and touch them.
Suzanne New, 30, took her two children, Ryan and Chloe Bays, aged eight and four respectively, along to the event.
She said: “It’s been really good. We only found out about it when we came into the museum to look at the snake in the creatures corner.
“It’s great for the half-term and something a bit different.
“The kids were really excited. I was surprised they were so brave as to put the spider on their hands.”
Cheryl McCarrick, events co-ordinator at the museum, said: “Adults and children have all had a really good time.
“We have had eight sessions throughout the day. Animal Antics came along dressed up, and the children have been in Halloween costumes. It’s been good fun for everyone.”
The museum has been calling for donations from visitors throughout the week in a bid to keep it free to enter and to fund attractions such as the creatures corner and art adventure.