The brook, which is generally, as you’d expect, clear, took on a deep crimson hue, prompting villagers in the nearby Moulton to fear for their lives as the mystery was left unsolved.

Rumours of the apocalypse and a washed-up dead animal soon did the rounds.

One nearby resident wrote on Facebook: “The start of the Book of Revelations. Thou local waters will turn red like blood is the sign of the coming of the Antichrist.”

Pep Finn-Scinaldi, 28, who also lives near the brook, said: “At first I thought something had died as it looked like blood. But when it was all the way along we said it must have been a whale to create that much blood.”

However, it was soon revealed that the red colouring was caused by an ink spillage – and it wasn’t blood.

Environment Agency chiefs were called out to inspect the curious phenomenon, and a spokesman explained: “The water has returned to its natural colour and, apart from the discolouration, we do not believe there were any negative environmental effects. The red colour was caused by a water-based ink which has no environmental impact.”

We bet the person who took to Facebook to announce the coming of the Antichrist has since deleted that comment…

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