A TELEVISION antiques expert was not put off by the threat of ghostly goings-on when he was invited to the first auction at a Taunton business.

David Harper, of Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip fame, popped into the Antiques on High sale in Silver Street last Wednesday (January 17).

Also there as guest of honour was Taunton Mayor Cllr Nick O'Donnell.

But the spirits seemed to stay away as bidding started at the Aloysius Fortescue and Smythe auction house debut event.

AFS Auctions director Vincent Page said the visit last year of a ghost whisperer has held an intriguing fascination for many who visit the antiques centre.

A number of them are calling for ghost tours to be introduced and Mr Page said that is likely to happen "within the next couple of months".

He added: "You may not see anything, but you will sure as hell hear some very weird goings on."

Mr Page said the auction was "a resounding success", with many dealers from the traditional Monday market putting up more than 350 lots.

Antiques guru David Harper, who was filming the proceedings, was impressed by the number of people actually in the room.

Mr Page said: "With so many auctions being online only now, we have tried to re-instil some of the good old fashioned atmosphere which is so sadly lacking from so many of today’s auctions.

"Being online is great but sadly this has affected the amount of people in the room and it’s all a bit too clinical for many and there is clearly a demand for some tradition which is very much demonstrated by the amount of people we had here.

"Being live online as well through the easy Live Auction platform was clearly welcomed by people who couldn’t get there, with just over 100 people registered online for the auction, and with items sold to the USA and other foreign parts, clearly the online platform has its place in the market."

The next auction at the premises is on February 21, with a closing date for entries of February 12, and then on every third Wednesday of the month throughout the year.