It is known as the York Terror Trail – and for one member of the public it lived up to that name.

They spotted people carrying guns on the streets of York on Tuesday night (October 18), and called the police.

Armed officers caught up with the group in Petergate – and established the weapons in question were unloaded BB guns carried by actors from the Terror Trail.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “A member of the public raised concerns with police on Tuesday evening about a man seen carrying a weapon on Petergate, York.

“Officers attended, quickly established that they were actors in a play, and they were given words of advice.”

He added that the organisers had informed police what was happening in advance, so officers attended just to check out the report.

Halloween special

Rehearsals for Hallows Gate.  Photograph: The York Terror Trail on Facebook

Rehearsals for Hallows Gate. Photograph: The York Terror Trail on Facebook

Damian Freddi, the owner of Nightshade Productions which runs the nightly York Terror Trail around “the dark side” of the city, said they first approached the police two weeks ago about their new show.

This is the group’s latest Halloween special. Called Hallows Gate: The Hourglass Devastation it tells a story of how the tour guides face “their greatest challenge yet as the Ministry of Time attempts to invade and take over the tour in their pursuit of temporal refugees”.

For this they needed to carry fake guns, and after consulting with police they were given permission to use them for the show, which takes place around the streets of York city centre.

Tuesday night’s dress rehearsal was interrupted by the visit of the police, who asked them to keep the fake weapons out of sight when not performing.

The first performance is tonight (Wednesday, October 19). Damian said the show is an allegory on the situation in Syria and the resulting refugee crisis.

It has partly been inspired by street entertainer Purpleman’s Syrian mercy missions, and a collection will be taken after each performance towards his toy fund for child refugees.

Previous Nightshade shows have included A Christmas Carol last December, and The Three Musketeers brought to life on the streets of York.

Hallows Gate runs from October 19-31. It begins at 6.45pm at the Golden Fleece Inn on Pavement. Tickets are £5, available here, or turn up at the Golden Fleece on the night.