On Saturday 12thApril 2014, Twilight Shadows Paranormal conducted a paranormal
investigation at the Guildhall in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
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 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.
GRAND JURY ROOM
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.
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
Can we hear your
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
Do you like how
the building looks now?
Can you hear the
drunk people outside?
Do you like them?
jokingly.....Shall we drag them into the cells for their bad
Are there any
other spirits here with you in this room?
Can you help us
to move this table?
Yes. (Very loud
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.
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
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
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.
CROWN COURT ROOM
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.
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