The Bones of Borley
By Andrew Clarke 'Yes indeed. Look, no strings, no wires attached'
Harry Price (April 1944)
Introduction . The Bones of Borley are a collection of essays that were written to explore a particular thought or theme. They do not attempt to construct an encyclopaedia on the subject of the haunting
The Thump Ghosts . 'When Mr Price arrived down to investigate, immediately we were astonished at an onset of 'phenomena'--bangs, clattering, keys thrown etc. We could not help being led to suppose that he himself was producing some of the effects'
(The Rectors' wife, October 1951)
In the Bedroom with Harry Price . 'It would seem to have been the ‘Misses Bulls’ that suggested such a curious after-dinner entertainment.'
BullSheet! The Bulls at Borley Rectory . 'It was as if it were an extended family joke, to be related with pride, but with a slight air of mischief'
Legless at Borley Rectory . 'his dog looked in the direction of the phantom or whatever it was and growled and cowered in fright. The legless man disappeared as he watched'
(Peter Underwood, Borley Postscript p13)
Borley Rectory and the travelling Scissorman . It has always puzzled me that the Bulls should be so quick to ascribe a supernatural cause to seeing trespassers in the garden
Borley Rectory and the Green Baize Door . Anyone who went back in a time-machine would be amazed by the sheer number of people employed either full, or part, time by a house like Borley Rectory
The Foyster Diaries. . Mr. Foyster very assiduously kept a record of all these strange events, and his diary finally assumed gigantic proportions.
(Harry Price, The Most Haunted House in England)
The Smell of fear . 'I don't know what it was; I never did discover what it was, but it was there and it was very pleasant, and a lot of people beside me had noticed that. '
(Mrs Foyster, The Rector's wife)
The Borley BellSheet . ''If some invisible person is present and can hear these words, please stop the ringing for a moment.' Instantly every bell became silent.'
(Guy L'Estrange quoted in End of Borley Rectory p60)
Edwin and the High Water Mark . '"They all saw another bottle materialize in the air above them. First it was a mushroom shape, then its form changed to that of a bottle. "
(Harry Price The End of Borley Rectory p 37 )
'No Hand Was Visible'-The Wall Writings. . '" Edwin said that it was a spirit, trying to get in touch with me. He wrote "What do you want?" I washed it from the wall and was very annoyed at Edwin, because I had to wash the walls and I didn't like it at all.
(Marianne Foyster, The Swanson Interview )
Price's Second Visit. . '"Faced with the prospect of research which might provide the most definite evidence of the survival of the spirit after death, [Harry Price] apparently found more important things to do. "
A Demented Female and The Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle . 'She seemed to glide rather than walk and wore a diaphanous night-dress that reached to the ground. When he asked her where she was going she replied 'to-make-some-tea' very slowly, almost trance-like."
(Borley Postscript, by Peter Underwood p117)
Lawless, The Lodger . Marianne was having an affair with the lodger, Frank Peerless
The Well Tank Bothers Me . For some reason, the investigators thought that a 'Well Tank' would be in the cellars, and whole chapters of books have been written that maintain this misunderstanding. This is an elementary mistake. Well Tanks are never in cellars.
The Ghostly Coach . Walking home from Sudbury one night, he became aware of galloping horses, then he saw lights coming toward him and he stepped off the road to let the carriage pass. He saw distinctly one man or two in the box, driving; they had no heads, only hands and the lower part of the body. As he watched, the whole thing vanished'
Where was Borley Rectory? . The book by Price 'The End of Borley Rectory' had the theme of murder. The crime was supposedly committed at the rectory and the victim buried in the cellars. The unquiet spirit was then responsible for the haunting. It couldn't have been the Victorian rectory of the Bull family, or even the Georgian rectory of the Herringhams. It must have been an earlier building.
Harry Price and the Flying Brick . When we later discovered that Mr Price, who was in on the joke, had the effrontery to pass off the episode as gospel proof of poltergeists we were delighted at his adventurous spirit.
Things that go creak in the night . If you lived in a house that was taken from a pattern book intended for an urban setting, as Henry Bull did, you would know about draughts and their effects.
Tunnels! . It was not a tunnel, or a store for treasure, but a storm-water culvert, and very effective it would have been in keeping Borley Place dry.
The Icy Hand, and other stories . I noticed that he was white as a sheet, and trembling; not at all happy at my making light of his story. 'It was the Nun!' he whispered. .
Dramatis Personae . "I consider Price one of the biggest crooks going and I know of no other crook who has got away with it for so long unmasked". W M Salter, secretary of the SPR in a personal letter
Photo Gallery . A collection of the most famous of the photographs of the Borley Rectory affair