WARREN COATES looks at the ghosts of the former Northern Bank of Ireland in Belfast
The former “Northern Bank of Ireland” (now The Lyric Theatre, one of whose supporters is the noted actor Liam Neeson) is yet another stately Belfast commercial building with a connection to Sir Charles Lanyon.
Upon this site in 1769 was built a single-storey market with arcade, commissioned by Lord Donegall.
Raised in 1776, the seven-year-old market was replaced by “Assembly Rooms,” for the staging of county balls and other social events such as the harp festival of July 1792.
Fashionable society immediately began referring to the area of Bridge Street, North Street, Waring Street, and Rosemary Lane as “The Four Corners”.
In the aftermath of the 1798 rebellion, the Assembly Rooms were pressed into service as courtrooms for the trial of rebel leader Henry Joy McCracken of the Antrim Unitedmen, who was subsequently hanged in public exhibition in the High Street.
When it was the Northern bank employees would not go upstairs on their own, sightings included men wearing powdered wigs, one of which would point and speak to the employers.
Other stories are of a woman seen crying and holding her head, my own investigations got some great results and some great EVPs.
WARREN COATES is the Spooky Isles’ Northern Ireland correspondent. He is the founder of the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association. For further information on NIPRA, please check out its great website here at www.nipra.co.uk.
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