Thrill-seekers are being invited to bob for apples in a shark tank at the Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire.

"This is apple-bobbing with a twist," an Alton Towers representative said.

The theme park is best known for rides including Ripsaw, Nemesis and Oblivion. But in a bid to up the ante for daredevils, visitors are now being invited to plunge their heads into water teeming with blacktip reef sharks.

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The blacktip reef shark is said to be timid and therefore unlikely to pose any danger to humans.

The species is usually found in nearshore waters of the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific. The sharks should feel at home in the water tank, as they tend to stick to water that is only a few metres deep.

Bobbing for apples with sharks is being introduced to coincide with Halloween. However, Katherine Duckworth from Alton Towers said: "For those too spooked to take to the shark-infested waters, we've also got a range of haunting horrors that cater for all ages.'

But according to health chiefs, the traditional Halloween game is dangerous enough as it is.

Consultant ophthalmologist Parwez Hossain warned: "Casualty staff have seen children and adults turning up on Halloween with scratches on the cornea and blunt eye injuries from impacts caused by apple bobbing.

'We are not telling people to avoid fun and games but we are asking people to take a bit of extra care while enjoying themselves at Halloween."