Twilight Shadows Paranormal


On Saturday 12thApril 2014, Twilight Shadows Paranormal conducted a paranormal investigation at the Guildhall in Salisbury, Wiltshire.


The original Guildhall was constructed during the medieval period and it was known as the Bishop's Guildhall. This was because the Bishop controlled the building and practiced his feudal rights of criminal and civil justice. Following a fire, the building fell into disrepair and in 1795, an act of parliament was passed which relinquished the bishop's rights to the building and it was returned to the city. However, there was a stipulation that the new city gaol was added to the building.

The current building which dates back to 1795, is the fourth building of its type to be built inside the Guildhall Square. The building had two courtrooms in which the notorious Judge Park sentenced 28 defendants to death. One of these death sentences was metered out for the theft of just half a crown.

The courts are now not used in the building. However, the Oak Court remains and is used for events such as weddings and conferences. The cell block was added to the building in 1889 and was used as holding cells as recently as 2000. It is said that strange sounds are heard from the cells which have been reported by many people including the builders who worked on the more recent refurbishment of the building.



We started our investigation in the Grand Jury Room. We set up a trigger object in here as we were informed that certain items have been moved in this room, suggesting poltergeist activity. (We discovered at the end of our investigation that our trigger object did not move). There were two large tables in this room and we sat at one table and 'called out' to any spirits that may be present. Quite quickly, I felt a tap on the table directly underneath my hand, closely followed by another tap. Dave could also feel tapping at his end of the table. Jacky asked for the tapping to continue. It did continue and increased while we were discussing our technical equipment.

Ben started knocking on the table and the spirit responded, imitating the pattern of knocks. It even gave Ben his favourite, 'Shave and a Haircut' knocking sequence. We all felt that we had a spirit of good humour with us. The spirit seemed to be affecting some of our equipment as lights were switched on after we had switched the monitor off. Jacky asked, “Are you affecting my little light?” There was a loud knock on the table. We started to have fun with this spirit as there was an air of positive energy in the room. I began to ask questions but as soon as I had uttered a couple of words, the spirit started knocking on the table. I asked if the spirit could respond to our questions with one knock for yes and twice for no. The spirit seemed compliant so, I asked:

Are you a mayor?


Were you one of the mayors whose portrait is hanging in the banqueting hall?


Are you the mayor that was painted after his death?


Can you speak to us using our electrical equipment? (No response). Can you speak to us?


Can we hear your voice?

Yes. (We didn't).

We gave a lot of dates and the spirit responded when we asked if they were in the building during the 1800's.

Can you see how it looks now?

Yes. (Very loud knock).

Do you like how the building looks now?


Can you hear the drunk people outside?


Do you like them?


I asked jokingly.....Shall we drag them into the cells for their bad behaviour?


Are there any other spirits here with you in this room?


Can you help us to move this table?

Yes. (Very loud bang).

The table started to move immediately. We sat around the table with taps, bangs and shudders but we did not receive anymore information. Jacky said, “There is movement over there” and we heard a shuffling sound, which sounded like the movement of feet in the far corner. Although the building was warm, I suddenly felt freezing cold. Jacky asked me, “Do you feel like someone is standing right behind you? I saw a movement right behind you.”

We asked if the spirit ever went into the Oak Courtroom and we received an affirmative response. We asked if the spirit would join us there but no response was evident to this question. We heard footsteps in the room with us. Initially they were near Dave and Loretta but then they were in all parts of the room. There were footsteps everywhere. We were stunned and just sat for ages listening to them.

Jacky suddenly jumped. She said that she had heard a loud breath right in her ear. The footsteps were still running around the room and there were banging noises from one corner. Ben stamped loudly three times and this was immediately copied. Ben repeated the three stamps and it was copied again and once again after that. After this the energy started to weaken. We decided to move to our next location.


This court was still in use three years ago. We decided to conduct a role play, with Ben as the judge and me as the accused. It was difficult to take this seriously and we ended up in fits of giggles. We 'called out' for a while and Loretta initially heard a tap behind her. We then all heard several tapping noises. The atmosphere felt quite normal and not spooky at all. Although we spent a considerable time in the Oak Courtroom, nothing significant happened.


We all sat around a large table in this room. I was hopeful that we would have some strange experiences as I had been told that other paranormal groups had found this room particularly active. One of the night vision cameras which had been fully charged, drained immediately but apart from this our experience was uneventful.


Andrew and I went down to the cells with Dave. Dave locked us into a cell together and went back upstairs to the rest of the group. Andrew had previously sat in cell 1 on a lone vigil and been touched on the face. Other people have heard the jangling of keys while down in the cells. Tracey had heard keys when she had been locked in the cells earlier. She had thought that someone was on their way to let her out and then nobody had come. Earlier in the evening while Dave and I were exploring, we heard footsteps running behind us. It was quite scary and we actually ran up the corridor with the footsteps chasing us.

I 'called out.' I asked if Andrew and I could hear the jangling of keys, footsteps or perhaps a spirit voice. Andrew and I heard a rattling sound immediately, followed by the sound of movement and a knock. We heard these sounds several times just outside the door. We sat for a long while inside the small cell until eventually Dave returned to see how we were. We told him about the noises and Dave confirmed that the rest of the team were upstairs. We decided that we wanted to stay longer so Dave went back upstairs, leaving us locked in together. We heard movement a couple of times but then it was quiet and nothing else happened.


Nothing of a paranormal nature occurred in this area.


Some of the team stood around a large table in this room and some sat in the chairs that were lined up around the room. There were old portraits hanging in the room. One of the portraits was painted after the death of the sitter. If you look carefully, you can identify this portrait. It looks quite sinister.

I 'called out' asking for the spirits of the Guildhall to make their presence known to us. The table knocked and then moved. At this point we captured an EVP which whispered, 'Get him.' It was a woman's voice. Ben knocked out 'Shave and a Haircut' and two knocks on the table were rapped out.

Jacky said that she could feel a presence behind her and the table immediately shuddered and moved forcibly. There were other tapping noises in the room. The table tipped up onto one side and the men in the group tried leaning hard onto the table to return the legs to the floor but they couldn't. As soon as they stopped trying, the table crashed to the floor. I asked if this was a male spirit and we received an affirmative response. After asking, we received information that there were three spirits in the room with us. I asked if more spirits could join us. We all heard a rustling which sounded like the rustle of a taffeta dress. The table moved across the room. There was a pleasant feeling in the room and we did not feel as if we were intruding. The table moved again towards the other side of the room.

We experienced a lull in activity and I asked aloud if there were any spirits still with us. The Spirit Box immediately responded with, 'One.' The table started moving around the room again. Suddenly Jacky (who had been sitting on a chair filming), jumped up from her chair. She was clearly shocked and when she calmed down, she told us all that her chair had been pulled backwards with her sitting on it. The Spirit Box said 'Fred' several times. It then said, 'Mirror.' There was a mirror hanging on the wall.

The Ovilus started to spell out letters and said, 'You are.' It then said, 'Arthur' and Emily (twice). It also said, 'Male, men, member of the order and bid you.' I asked if we were communicating with the spirit of a major but there was no response. Ben asked if the spirit could give a date and we immediately heard '1860' followed by 'Fred.' Ben asked if Fred's portrait was hanging in the room and we were told, 'Yes.' There was a portrait of a gentleman called Frederick hanging on the wall. We had been trying unsuccessfully to do automatic writing with a planchette and we asked if the spirit could direct the planchette towards the portrait of Frederick. It did. Ben asked if Fred had moved Jacky's chair and we heard, 'Yes' from the ovilus. After this, the atmosphere started to decline and we decided to change rooms.


This room felt flat and nothing happened in here.


While we were down in the cells and the area around them, we repeatedly heard sounds coming from the Oak Courtroom. We kept checking upstairs inside the courtroom and it was empty. We were excited as the team were all accounted for.

Some of the team had been down in the cell area earlier, had heard a growl and had things thrown at them. I 'called out' and asked any spirits present to interact with us. We were all quiet and then Ben said that something had hit his leg. He shone his torch and saw a stone just by his feet. Several other stones were thrown in his direction. We all heard footsteps running behind Jacky. I asked if we could hear footsteps again and we all heard some coming towards us. I asked if the spirit could whistle and Ben and Matt said that they heard a faint whistle. Something was thrown at Matt. Ben thought that he saw a shadow walk by him and then something quite large was thrown. Loretta saw it fly out of the darkness. We heard movement in the corridor and we all wondered what or who was making this noise.

Dave and Matt walked up the corridor and as they approached a gate, it closed. We heard footsteps again and there was a shuffling noise behind Dave. There were footsteps on the stairs. Matt and I heard a loud sigh right beside us and Matt felt a sudden breeze at the same time. I felt something touch the back of my head. We all heard footsteps just above us in the Oak Courtroom. The boys ran up there and as we thought, there was nobody there. There were three loud thumps on the wall. Ben asked for the three thumps again and there were three quieter thumps which Dave and Matt heard. We all heard more footsteps and a door slam. Dave and Matt went to investigate but as we thought, there was nobody there. Matt said that the footsteps were in the dock but the dock was empty. We were all together so we knew that none of the team were making the noises.

A stone was thrown and one of our sensor lights came on for no reason. Several more stones were thrown. Matt was now sitting in the Oak Courtroom by himself and shouting down to us that there was lots of bangs and sounds of movement around him.

Following this, we experienced some quiet time and as dawn was approaching, we decided to end the investigation. The team really enjoyed our paranormal investigation at the Guildhall in Salisbury and we all said that we'd like to return one day.

Written by: Maria Williams.