St Mary’s Guildhall was first built in the 1340's and there is no doubt that our overnight ghost hunt at St Mary's Guildhall could be terrifying and we are definitely going with some trepidation. There has been so much activity here that we know it is going to be an event full of action. We intend to carry out a séance in the undercroft and try to elicit some paranormal activity where we know many sightings of monks have been seen. Unlawful hangings, cold spots and poltergeist activity have all been experienced here at St. Mary’s Guildhall. Monks have been seen wandering through the undercroft. We will be taking you on a ghost hunt event that will leave you in doubt whatsoever that ghosts and spirits do exist so prepared to be terrified. Join the Haunted Happenings team to see if you will meet the ghostly figures and spirits that reside here.
We are also going to watch our guests very carefully to see if their mood changes in areas where people have felt unusually very sad. The cloisters has seen some spectral activity where a man dressed in period clothes has been seen regularly.
Ghost hunting is a fascinating experience at the best of times but when you can actually feel the presence of ghosts and spirits following your around it is difficult to relax at St Mary's Guildhall. With its Great Hall, hidden wooden staircases, Monks Room where chanting is often heard and the whispers as you turn each corner, there is no doubt that something or somebody is keeping a close eye on us. Your event at St Mary's Guildhall in Coventry will be action-packed. Carry out seances in the haunted Monks Room with its Medieval sloping floor or carry out table tipping in one of the hidden rooms where frantic activity has been witnessed. Glass moving is particularly good in the Great Hall where voices echo in the distance.
St Mary's Guildhall is a location that offers everything a ghost hunter looks for in an event. It is both terrifying and interesting with a wealth of history that you can feel all around you as you make your way through the many rooms and corridors. The staircases themselves are also reputedly haunted and the creaking of the floors as you walk by leaves you feeling extremely anxious and nervous.
Poltergeist activity has been witnessed at St. Mary’s Guildhall on many occasions and people have had their clothes pulled and we are afraid to say that sometimes scarves have been tightened around the necks of unsuspecting guests. Stones have been thrown at people and others have complained of feeling sick. The ghosts that haunt St Mary's Guildhall are thought to be that of children who are thought to look very sad. Spectral beings have also been observed during ghost hunts here. In fact there was one occasion where an orb was seen which was as large as a balloon and had a face inside of it that changed and transformed in front of our guests eyes. This was unnerving to watch and still gives us some real food for thought. There is a male who is dressed in period clothing who is said to wander through the Monks Room and certainly does not the presence of visitors.
Many famous names are associated with the history of St Mary's Guildhall.
Amongst the members of the guild of the Holy Trinity was Coventrian Richard Marler, the third wealthiest merchant in England, but a relative pauper compared with other guild members such as Kings Henry V, VI and VII, all of whom were entertained at the hall. Another noted member of the guild was Dick Whittington, three times mayor of London. One non-guild member, however, who had the rare pleasure of staying overnight at the hall was Mary Queen of Scots, who spent two months detained at various locations in the city of Coventry during the winter of 1569-70.
Later monarchs were entertained at the hall as guests of the city leaders, including King James II, who was received at the hall with such a quantity of food that the monarch's table collapsed, showering the royal party with 'Corporation Custard', a local delicacy.
From the mid fourteenth century onwards, the hall's secondary use was as a Council House, with Coventry 's first mayor, John Ward, being created in the Guildhall in 1349. This annual ceremony of 'mayor making' continued practically uninterrupted in the hall until 2002, when growing attendance required it to be moved to the larger space of the new Cathedral.
After the guilds were dissolved in 1552, the hall remained in use by the council, although by the late nineteenth century most day-to-day council business had moved to new buildings, and some rooms at the Guildhall were even being rented to tenants.
Alongside civic meetings and banquets, the hall also functioned on occasions as a theatre, its size, acoustics and profile making it an ideal location for such entertainment. It is almost certain that Shakespeare came to the city as a performer during his acting career and the Guildhall would have provided the main venue for these performances. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century the Guildhall witnessed frequent performances by the famed actress Sarah Siddons.
Through its history, the building served the council in a number of unusual ways, including as an Armoury during the English Civil War, and even as a soup kitchen for weavers who had been left destitute by a collapse in their trade in the nineteenth century. In 1779 John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had requested to preach in the Guildhall rather than outdoors during a thunderstorm. The Mayor refused permission in favour of a dancing master's class.