A Romanian village was left deserted after its inhabitants fled in panic after mistaking disco lights in a nearby town for an alien invasion.

Villagers in Cristinesti, eastern Romania, thought they were under attack by aliens when they saw bright, multicoloured lights in the sky and started leaving the village en masse.

But police who were called out to investigate discovered the lights were coming from an open air disco in the town of Herta near the Ukrainian border, the daily Adevarul reported.

They persuaded the villagers to eventually return to their homes.

Costel Roman, one of the villagers, said: "Everybody was out on the streets and wondering what to do if the aliens landed.

"We believed we were seeing UFOs and some old legends from around here about clocks stopping, animals.