A horror movie queen was among those taking part in strange goings on at Goodleigh on Saturday. It was wassailing night at Ostlers Cider Mill, the traditional time for the apple trees to be blessed. Mill owner Peter Hartnoll welcomed as his special guest

A horror movie queen was among those taking part in strange goings on at Goodleigh on Saturday.It was wassailing night at Ostlers Cider Mill, the traditional time for the apple trees to be blessed.Mill owner Peter Hartnoll welcomed as his special guest the former Hammer Films' "Queen of Horror" Ingrid Pitt, star of such films as Countess Dracula, Vampire Lovers, The House that Dripped Blood and The Wicker Man, which included scenes in an apple orchard.Exmoor Border Morris men and women brought added colour to the occasion as they danced in blue costumes with their faces blackened.The wassailers gathered around the apple trees to sing a traditional song, make loud noises to ward off evil spirits and hang slices of toast for the birds in the branches. They also poured cider around the roots.The traditional ceremony is performed each year to encourage a good crop of apples in the autumn.Mr Hartnoll planted the 1,200-tree orchards at Goodleigh and has been running his cider mill there for 17 years.He produces natural ciders and specialises in cider vinegar, which he sells across the UK."Everything here is made in the traditional way, as it has been since Roman times," Mr Hartnoll said.