WITCHES were flushed out of a crowd of shoppers and summarily tried by a judge before being put in front of a firing squad.

As if by magic, the witches escaped their fate and the militiamen ended up in the stocks.

This didn't just happen in Salem in the 17th century, but in Wimborne in May 2000.

Stories unfolded of chickens that had stopped laying eggs and cows that had stopped milking.

The ghastly scenarios were played out by members of the Wimborne Drama Company to publicise their production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible at the Tivoli Theatre.