Don’t panic – but more than 300 ghosts are about to overrun our city.

Happily, a gateway to the underworld hasn’t opened up underneath Clifford’s Tower. Instead the spirits are here for the first Great York Ghost Search.

The free, family-friendly walking trail will see ghost hunters hunt down 26 individually-designed ghost lamps hidden in shop windows across Europe’s most haunted city.

Find ’em all and you will be a champion ghostbuster – and in with a chance of winning a family trip to London.

Win a London break

Another of the custom-made ghost lamps

Students and their tutors from York College have customised 16 of the 26 ghost lamps. The other ten have been created by city designers and artists.

They come in all shapes and sizes, from the ‘black widow’ ghoul to one that is vomiting rainbow-coloured ectoplasm.

Everyone is invited to join in the hunt to discover the ghost lamps, each decorated and named, from A to Z.

The Great York Ghost Search

Maps from Visit York, Museum Street

Thurs Oct 26-Tues Oct 31

Ghost search maps giving clues will be available from the Visit York on Museum Street.

Or you can download one here.

Participants write down the name of each ghost as they find them. Pop your completed cards through the letterbox of Visit York.

If you spot all 26 illuminated ghosts you can enter a prize draw to win a family trip to Kidzania in London with rail travel and a two-night stay included, provided by Acomb Travel.

Ghosts to keep

Some of the miniature ghosts up for grabs

As well as the shop window ghosts, 300 miniature handmade ceramic ghosts will be hidden in secret locations around York.

If children are lucky enough to find one, they will be able to keep it.

At about 4pm on each day of the search, 50 new mini ceramic ghosts will be hidden in nooks and crannies along the special mini ghost search route.

If you don’t find one, don’t despair – 200 limited edition ghosts will be on sale at Visit York, with proceeds going to charity.

The search is being co-ordinated by Angus McArthur, owner of Snowhome, Gillygate, and Make It York, in partnership with York College.

“We wanted to create something that used this hauntingly atmospheric old city as a backdrop for a hand’s on search and would fire up the imagination,” Angus said.

Students at York College with some of their creations

Sally Greenaway, head of Visit York, said: “York has long been known for its ghoulish past and as Europe’s most-haunted city.

“We wanted to do something really different to mark our special spooky status.”