St Mary’s Guildhall in Coventry has enjoyed a long and varied history since its construction in the 1340s. Coventrys first Lord Mayor was created here in 1349, and even before the guilds were abolished in 1552 the hall had acquired a secondary use as the towns Council chamber. It retained this function until the nineteenth century when new council offices were established nearby.
Over the years the hall has also been employed as a venue for civic functions and banquets, a prison for Mary Queen of Scots, an armoury during the English civil war, a theatre when Shakespeare came to town, and as a soup kitchen when a collapse in the weaving industry left many weavers close to starvation. At times rooms have been rented out to private tenants, so the building has rarely been empty. This history suggests that there are many tales still to be told about exactly what has gone on here over the years. There have been suggestions of unlawful hangings here in the past.
The hall contains many hidden nooks and crannies, and an undercroft where there have been many sightings of monks wandering around.
In the cloisters a man dressed in old fashioned clothing is regularly seen, and the presence of spirit can be felt all around as we enter the building, whispers approach, and seem to surround you as you turn each corner, and you can never be surewhat you will find next.
The Great Hall, and staircases are also said to be haunted, while chanting is often heard coming from the monks room.
Poltergeist activity is not uncommon here, with stones being thrown at visitors, and in some cases visitors have felt their scarves tighten around their necks as they walk through the building. Many of the ghosts here are thought to be sad children and there are areas of the Hall that can induce feelings of great sadness, so visitors should watch carefully for mood changes during an exploration here. One particularly spectacular event said to have taken place here is the appearance of a large orb, about the size of a balloon, which contained a face, that transformed in front of a group of visitors.