The Foxearth and District Local History Society
Fifteen Months in a Haunted House.
The Record of an [Experience]

By Lionel Foyster

Publisher's note

This is an important historical document, written by the rector of Borley, some two years after the events described, which extended from October 16th 1930 to 23rd January 1932. This period spanned the entire fifteen months from the time they moved in,  to the dramatic evening of the Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle, after which the haunting stopped.

He continued to work on the manuscript after he retired from his parish duties due to ill-health, but the work has never before been published in its entirity. It has been published here with the express permission of Vince O'Neil, Marianne Foyster's adopted son. When originally written, places and people were disguised, to the point that it was difficult to follow. Where possible I have restored the original names. Pl    ease be wary of accepting everything in this account as being the literal truth. We know that tricks were being played on the unfortunate rector, and the poor man was afflicted both by the early stages of Alzheimers, and by a condition that was diagnosed as acute rheumatism, a problem that required him to use a wheelchair at times. There are plenty of details about the background of the book here, in the essay 'The Foyster Diaries' and you would do well to read that before drawing any conclusion from what is written here.


The only pretensions to merit that this book claims, is the very simple one that it is a record of facts and therefore is true. True that is as far as the psychical part is concerned; it has been put into a different framework - names and circumstances altered and conversations introduced for obvious reasons; though many of the conversations were in substance much as reported. But the ghostly experiences recorded can be vouched for by at least one of the characters mentioned in the book, and most of them by my wife and myself: many of them also witnessed by other disinterested people. They have been recorded just as they happened, no matter how impossible they may appear to be, or what skeptical people may have to say on the subject. It is another instance of the old saying “Fact is stranger than fiction.”

I have felt it rather a duty on my part to record these facts. Just at the present time when there is so much materialism about, any conclusive evidence of the existence of a spiritual world is surely of value.

I have heard of one case already of a person led to investigate and finally to believe in the reality of that world from the happenings at “[Borley Rectory]”. And if one why should not there be others?

Upon what is commonly called “spiritualism” I express no opinion one way or the other, I merely narrate what happened and the part taken in it by spiritualists.

Since I first wrote my account, a slight recrudescence of the trouble has occurred. Shortly before we left the house in September 1935 a few phenomena took place that we could not account for by any ordinary explanation. Since then, visitors to the house have claimed to have had further inexplicable experiences I have however neither myself experienced, nor heard of anyone experiencing anything at all comparable to what took place prior to Jan. 23rd. 1932.


    We Settle In The House
  1. Marianne Sees a Ghost
  2. Trouble Brewing
  3. The Lavender Bag
  4. Bell-ringing in the Night
  5. We Find Ourselves Encountering Something Serious
  6. We Seek Help.
  7. A day to remember
  8. Some Power Left.
  9. The Presence of Evil.
  10. On the Warpath
  11. The Collar and the Walking Stick
  12. The Height of the Storm.
  13. Another Attack.
  14. The Disappearing Letter
  15. The Whitehouses Witness the Fire
  16. A Quieter Interlude
  17. The Wall-Writings.
  18. A Retreat
  19. Counter Attacks
  20. The First Seance
  21. Marianne is accused
  22. The Locked Doors
  23. Mr [Price] visits.
  24. 'Joe Miles' and the Jug
  25. The Poltergeist makes mischief
  26. We try to rid the house of unwelcome visitors
  27. Settlement.
  28. The Black Eyes
  29. Edwin witnesses 'demonstrations'.
  30. The Locked Door
  31. Contacted by the Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle
  32. The Visit of the 'Circle'
  33. A Cleansed House
  34. Afterwards
  35. The Mastoid and the Relic
  36. The Cleansing of Marianne
  37. A Slight Reoccurrence of the Phenomena
  38. In Conclusion
  39. Summary of events

We Settle In The House

And so we had started on our occupation of [Borley Rectory].

The next few days were quite busy; shopping in the nearest town, unpacking and generally settling in, besides the time that I had to give up to my work. The cottage was let and the tenants were not long in making their appearance. They consisted of a Yorkshireman, [Mitchell], his wife and seventeen-year-old son, Dick.

[Borley Rectory], I must explain, is a comparatively modern building. It was built about the year 1865 by a Mr. [Bull], who lived there till his death and then was succeeded by his son [Harry]. It is on the site of an older house that was pulled down to make place for it (which in its turn was, it is said, on the site of a Religious house suppressed probably in the 16th century). Its builder had added to it subsequently and now it nearly encloses a small courtyard.

The main house consists of hall, dining room, library and drawing room, with three bedrooms and a dressing room over them. The staircase, which is at the back of the hall, has a large window looking into the courtyard.

The north wing contains a long passage leading from the hall to the kitchen with a pantry and a small sitting room - my wife’s - opening out of it. A back staircase leads up to a passage on the first floor connecting the main house with bedrooms and a bathroom. Over the entrance porch there is a small room which was originally a bathroom, but the bathtub having been removed we fitted it up as an oratory.

The south wing is only connected with the house upstairs, here another passage leads to the bedrooms and the old schoolroom. The cottage is over the coach house and harness room, and there is no connection between it and the house itself. I mention all these details and insert plans because it will make subsequent events easier to follow.

And now I must mention the first personal experiences we had of anything at all strange.

Settling in took us a fairly long time and we were often tired in the evenings. And so one evening in the early days, since here was no sofa or lounge as yet available down­stairs, I went upstairs to lay my weary limbs on the bed for a few minutes. While I was there the following conversation took place.

“[Lionel]” It is [Marianne] and she is speaking from the foot of the stairs,  ”[Lionel], dear, is anything the matter?”

“No, dear” I replied “why should there be?”

“What were you calling for?”

“I? - Calling?” I said with some surprise”.

“Yes, you calling. Why, were you not?”

“I was not aware of it”.

Now it was her turn to be surprised. “But I distinctly heard your voice crying ‘[Marianne]’ and then again a minute later. I was afraid you must have been taken ill.”

“I neither called nor heard anything.”

“Well, that’s funny, it was just like your voice.”

“Imagination.” “I don’t see how it could’ve been, but call it that if you like.” She gave a sigh of resignation and re­turned to her room..

I did not think much of this occurrence at the time; it was something that might happen anywhere, I suppose. But a night or two afterwards it was my turn to hear sounds that could not be accounted for. I had taken little [Adelaide] up to bed, leaving my wife in her sitting room. While I was still upstairs I heard someone walking about in the hall below. “There Mama” I remarked, “I wonder what she is looking for.”

I mentioned when I arrived downstairs that I had heard her and was surprised to be met with the absolute denial that she had ever left the room.

“But there could be no mistake,” I said, rather indignantly “there were quite loud footsteps.”

“Surely it was not a burglar?” suggested my wife in some alarm.

“I’ll find him if it was” I replied. I took a light and explored. We were as yet far from being settled. The dining room, drawing room and library were mostly a wilderness of packing cases; round these I conscientiously perambulated, but discovered nothing.

Of course the burglar might have dodged and got away upstairs. Should I go too? Not good enough, I told myself. It was too big a job to make a tour of all those bedrooms. And anyhow it did not sound much like a burglar, for this class of visitor usually makes an effort to disguise his presence, and at least walks quietly. So I gave it up.

However this was no isolated experience, nor was it confined to myself. One afternoon about tea time I was out and expected back soon. Steps were heard in the hall. “There’s Daddy” said [Adelaide] and she ran to the door followed by her mother, to welcome me home. But no Daddy was forthcoming; nothing but an empty hall. He appeared sometime afterwards and was quite intrigued to hear of his footsteps having been heard while he himself was more than a mile away.

Now it is a mystified [Mitchell] who is in the house helping to unpack.

“Do you know where Mr. [Foyster] is? I heard him coming downstairs just now, but I can’t find him anywhere.”

“I think he has gone out, Mr. [Mitchell], “[Marianne] replied but she did not add that I had been out for an hour or so.

No, there was no doubt about it. Mysterious footsteps were heard; loud footsteps that could not be accounted for by any material explanation. What were we to think about it?

“It does seem rather a funny house after all” admitted [Marianne].

“It certainly wasn’t a cat this time” I added unless it was a veritable puss in boots.”

Marianne Sees a Ghost

Then still greater mystery. Mystery hidden from me. Mystery revealed only to [Marianne]. The first inkling I had was one evening when she broached the subject somewhat as follows: -

“Do you suppose - oh it must have been my imagination.”

“Do I suppose what, “ I replied “And what about your imagination.?”

“Just as I was coming along the landing, oh nothing”. She stopped short and was about to go away.

“Yes, tell me please” I pleaded. 

“Well just as I was going along the landing I could have sworn I saw someone standing by the spare room door. But it was the way the candle threw the shadow; it couldn’t have been anything. I am sorry I mentioned it.”

Nothing more was said on the subject for quite a little while. I hoped that it was only imagination. In the mean time [Marianne] had a full corroboration of the fact it certainly was not; far from it. However she kept her own counsel and said nothing to me for a while. Then one night it came out unexpectedly.

She had gone upstairs after a book; she came down again in rather a hurry and quickly closed the door. It took quite a little to upset [Marianne] but she certainly did look a trifle upset and had slightly changed colour. Why this haste and agitation?

“What makes you think that, [Lionel]?” she asked giving me a keen glance.

“Well you look rather as if something unusual had happened.

“Have you?” I demanded peremptorily.

[Marianne] paused a moment and looked doubtful. “Hang it all,” she remarked

“I suppose it will have to come out sooner or later. I was not going to let you know but it is no good trying to hide it. I might as well admit it at once. Yes, I have seen [Harry Bull].”

“You have, when and what did he do?” I asked full of curiosity.

“I was just going up stairs thinking of something far removed from him or the house when I fancied I heard a step behind me and looked round and … why there he was following me!

“What did you do?” I enquired eagerly.

“There was only one thing to do. I just rushed on as fast as I could into our bed­room, got the book and when I came out he was gone. So I ran down as quickly as possible” my wife concluded.

“Did he say anything?”


“Did you say anything?” I asked.

“Indeed I did not,” was the emphatic answer. But I wanted to know still more. “Have you seen him before besides the time you told me you thought it was your imagination?” I continued.

“Yes, he has appeared quite a few times lately,” she added in an aggrieved voice. “And do you know he always wears a peculiar colored dressing gown. I must ask Mrs. [Payne] if he had one like that.

She saw quite a lot of him in his last illness. She was a hospital nurse at one time, and she used to come over to help his wife and do things for him.” We sat down and then I went on with my catechizing. “How do you know it is [Harry Bull]?”

“I saw him once in his life time” [Marianne] replied patiently “though he doesn’t look quite the same as he did then. And I have seen his photograph, but he does not look quite the same as he does in that either. He is a little fatter and looks happier. Oh, it is him all right. He is quite like his brother George.”

“Now, can you imagine George [Bull] masquerading as a ghost?”

“No, he is not that kind of man I would accuse of doing that sort of thing.” I said after considering the matter. “And what would his object be anyway?” “Besides he is different to George; there is just a strong family likeness.”

But I was much too interested to get off the subject yet. “When else did you see him” was my next question.

“I could not tell you the exact days; it has been during the last few weeks” my wife answered opening her book.

“Where did you see him?”

“Always between the library and our bedroom - either in the hall or on the stairs, or on the landing at the head of the stairs.”

“That seems to be his beat” I reflected.

“I suppose, since he slept in our room it was part of the house he traversed most in his life time” put in [Marianne].

“Yes, I didn’t think of that. How exceedingly interesting. After all there seem to have been more in what the [Smith]s said than we or other people thought.” 

“I certainly think there was. “

But what next I wonder.”

“Now really, nothing bad has happened yet, has it?” I expostulated.

“It is all very well for you to talk; you don’t see those sort of things. I wish you could see [Harry Bull] too.” 

“No doubt it would be very interesting,” I retorted, “but I am just as pleased that I don’t. After all I think it is rather a good thing not to be psychic. But now if I should happen to be with you when he appears, please do tell me. I don’t mind doing the talking”.

“But I don’t want to him answer.” was the quick disclaimer.

“How would he answer I wonder? It would sound awfully funny to me to hear a voice coming out from nothing. But I don’t believe ghosts do talk.” I added “they only make signs”.

Mrs. [Payne] was duly interrogated about the dressing gown.

“I hope you won’t think me very inquisitive, Mrs. [Payne],” remarked [Marianne] one day “but did [Harry Bull] possess a sort of plum colored dressing gown?”

“Yes” she replied “he did, that just describes it. During the last few months he used to wear it round the house a good deal. I suppose it was more comfortable for him than a coat. But you don’t mean to say that old dressing gown has been left lying about?”

So this conclusively settled that point.

Trouble Brewing

This was, as [Marianne] said, not her only encounter with [Harry Bull]. She had seen him before, and she was to see him again. Sometime I was with her but saw absolutely nothing. However one evening, it seemed to [Marianne] that the spell was broken and that I had suddenly become clairvoyant. We had just come into our bed­room but the door was still open. All of a sudden [Harry Bull] appeared on the landing outside. There was not more than about two yards between us, probably less; and we were solemnly staring at each other.

I said nothing and [Marianne] was reveling in the hope that I had seen him at last. But alas, it was a vain hope; I was in blissful ignorance of my close proximity to a most interesting ghost.

If I had only known I should without doubt have begun to be inquisitive and asked questions. And yet if I had actually seen him should I have?

It is hard for one who has never seen a ghost to say what

the effect might be. At other times [Adelaide] was with her and on one of these occasions the little girl ejaculated “Oh, look” but whether this remark referred to [Harry] or not it is impossible to say.

The last time he appeared in this part of the story was a few weeks before Christmas. [Marianne] had, at that period, a sitting room upstairs. She was there alone one evening after dark. I was out of the house. Footsteps - evidently a man’s footsteps - suddenly resound on the stairs. Of course they must be John’s and she was at the moment busy making a Christmas present for John which naturally she did not wish him to see; in consequence she ran out to meet him.

She proceeded to the head of the stairs and whom should she discover only a few feet below her but .. [Harry Bull]?

[Marianne] needless to say went back - quicker probably than she ran out - and closed her door and that ended the incident. Whether [Harry] was hurt at this somewhat cold reception cannot at present be ascertained but for whatever reason, it was the last of his appearances for a long time.

In fact for some weeks the house became very much quieter than it had been. No footsteps or weird sounds that I can remember. [Borley Rectory] seemed to be losing its romance and becoming as ordinary and well behaved as all good houses should be.

If there was nothing worse than this, there was nothing very terrible even if some truth did underlie the stories connected with it. All the same there are a few things I would like to narrate before I go on to more exciting proceedings.

And first of all there were smells. But not drain smells nor rat smells nor any other kind of unpleasant odour: On the contrary, perfumes truly and wonderfully delightful. There were stories about our predecessors being troubled with bad smells but those we encountered at this time were quite otherwise.

Not an unpleasant smell of cooking often floated in through our open bed­room window between the hours of 11 p.m. and midnight. And this seemed strange since there was no dwelling near us except the cottage, which was on the other side of the house to our bed­room. Could it possibly be from some bonfire in a neighboring field? Queer smells can come from burning rubbish. But why did we not notice then at other hours?

“They are at it again,” [Marianne] would say on these occasions, “I would not go down to the back premises now for any money.”

“Why not?”

“Why not? Because I should probably find them just in the thick of it. All sitting round having a great time.”

Certainly it was a funny thing that crockery and utensils would disappear temporarily and then presently come back again. Where did they go? Who took them? What did they want them for? Was there any connection between their disappearance and the cooking smells? These were questions we could not answer then and cannot now.

But it was not to this that I was referring when I mentioned just now the delightful perfumes we experienced. They are hard to describe exactly. A mixture of lavender, eau de cologne and roses somehow blended together almost to perfection. This arose sometimes in the hall and [Mrs Biggl] coming in one morning remarked about the lavender we had; yet to our knowledge there was none in the house. But as a rule it was in our bedroom and on our bed that we noticed it. Suddenly it would come, from where we did not know, but that it was there no doubt could exist - wonderful, fragrant, almost overwhelming. It was not necessarily noticeable when we first arrived in the room; oftener it would suddenly come after we had been in bed for a while. We were always glad of it - not only because it was undoubtedly pleasant - but because in later and more troublesome times it meant that the good element was in the ascendant, and consequently we might expect peace.

Then there is another and less pleasant thing that took place in the early days of our residence that I must not omit. It happened in the bath room and in broad daylight.

[Marianne] went in to wash; the house by the way, except for [Adelaide], who was lying down, being empty. Before washing she took off her wrist watch and laid it on the mantelpiece; the bath room originally being a bed­room accounts for it having a fire place.

No visible being entered - who was there to enter? But when [Marianne], her ablutions performed turned to put on her watch she met with both an annoyance and a surprise; in fact it would be hard to say which of these two feelings predominated in her mind. For the bracelet had been detached from the watch, and although the latter was still there, the former had utterly disappeared.

She searched high and she searched low; in fire place and on the floor, but no bracelet was to be seen or as far as that goes has ever been seen up till the present day. And that was all she could say on the point.

Otherwise any little peculiar things happened were on the whole distinctly friendly. Articles mislaid were suddenly discovered laid out in a conspicuous place.

“Do you know John what an odd thing happened this morning,” said my wife during lunch one day. “I was in a great hurry to go out and I just simply could not find my bag. I was hurrying along the landing when suddenly the door opened. I don’t know what made it open, but I went to close it and there just inside the room lay the handbag I was looking for. It seemed rather odd. It looked as if some kind person had opened the door on purpose.”

“Most thoughtful. If it was a ghost and they always treat us like that it is a gain rather than anything else for two such untidy people as you and I to live in a haunted house.

The Lavender Bag

Then there is the story of the lavender bag; the bag of mystery. Neither of us had previously noticed it till I lifted it one evening off the mantelpiece of [Marianne]’s sitting room, where we had been enjoying each other’s company for a considerable time.

“Where did it come from?” I asked.

“I have not seen it before,” replied my wife surveying it.

“Mrs. [Pearson] was in the room this morning, perhaps she left it, I must ask her.

The next day the bag had disappeared but we were destined to see it again.

Mrs. [Pearson] questioned on the subject declared she certainly did not leave it since that had no lavender in their cottage.

A few mornings afterwards I was dressing in the bath room. As I put on my coat I thought that one of the pockets seemed to be bulging in rather an odd way. I put in my hand to see what it was that made it so full and pulled out the Lavender bag.

I communicated the news to [Marianne].

“What do you think I have just found in my pocket? You would never guess.” I said shewing it to her.

My wife opened her eyes in surprise.

:”How in the world did it get there?” She asked.

“All I can tell you is that it certainly was not there last night when I undressed.” I assured her.

“And I can promise you on my honour that I did not put it in.” “Well what shall I do with it for now?

“If you don’t want it, give it to me, I’ll put it in with my handkerchiefs. It certainly shan’t be wasted.”

How long it stayed there I cannot tell: for as far as I remember I never saw it again.

Bell-ringing in the Night

It was past mid-night and we were both of us preparing for bed when, “Ting-a-ling” suddenly the house resounded with the ringing of a bell.

“Who on earth rang that?” I called down the stairs.

It was the first time we had been out of bed so late since coming to live here for we were models of punctuality as far as going to bed was concerned, our first few weeks. But tonight we were late and someone or something did not seem to approve of such goings- on. Therefore came this warning “Ting-a-ling” and again “ting-a-ling.”

“Who rang that?” came the reply

“I certainly was not the guilty one.”

It was not the front door bell and it was not the back door bell and almost all the other bell wires had been cut by the [Smith]s in the hope of thus stopping the promiscuous bell ringing that had annoyed them so much. We had, of course, heard about it, but this was the first time we had actually experienced it ourselves. The first - but by no means the last

“Well anyhow it serves us right for being out of bed so late: moralized [Marianne] as she mounted the stairs.

“It sounds so beastly weird. It is bad enough in the day time for the bell to ring without any cause, but just after mid-night” I complained.

“I know it made me jump; I was quite close to it when it rang.”

Did a bell always ring when we were out of bed at midnight? I think it did the next time but after that - well it was hard to remember such comparatively trivial details. For these were but minor incidents and nothing in comparison with what was to come. All the same I record them because first of all they were inexplicable and we thought quite a little about them when they happened, and secondly I wish to give as full an account as possible as to how our experiences developed.

Time however slipped by; Christmas had come and gone and we were in February. We had got settled down and were getting used to the house by this time to its queer ways and to the possibility of strange noises.

It was, as I have said, quieter even than it had been. But then matters suddenly started up with a vengeance and in a way we had never even dreamt of or thought possible.

We Find Ourselves Encountering Something Serious

And this was how it began. One day I discovered a book lying on the windowsill of the W.C.

“[Marianne]’s untidiness” I thought, and then it passed out of my mind.

[Marianne] also saw it. “[Lionel]’s untidiness, he must have been reading it and dropped it here while washing his hands.”

It remained there a few days till at last I thought: - “If [Marianne] will not take this away, I will.”

So it went.

The following day another was in its place. My wife felt some slight protest was due. “[Lionel] why have you taken to dropping your books in the bath room where they will only get splashed and spoilt?”

“I have not, I thought it was you that had suddenly developed the habit.” I contradicted.

“I, I have never even seen them before that I know of.” was the indignant rejoinder. 

“All right then; I’ll take it away.”

But the next day still another was there. I began looking at these books. They were very old - over 100 years and they were theological, or I suppose I should rather say moral, treatises. A batch of them had been left in the house by the [Bull]s and were stored away on a shelf in the pantry.

I took this one away took and we were full of curiosity as to whether it would be replaced by a fourth, and if so when it was going to be taken up. It would be so odd to meet it traveling upstairs absolutely by itself with nothing visible carrying it.

“I have been upstairs,” I said “but nothing is there as yet.”

However later in the day the report was “Another book has arrived”, it must have come while we were sitting here. I am so sorry one of us didn’t happen to look out just as it was going along.”

Exactly how many times it happened I have not kept record, but one day as a variation a book was found on the floor on the further side of the closed door in the passage leading to the bath­room, as if, on account of the door being shut it could not be carried any further.

At least that was what I thought at the time, but I was soon to find out that that was no hindrance.

Now I come to a definite date: Wednesday Feb. 25th and the year 1931. On that particular morning I happened to remark “We seem quite short of milk jugs in general, and I miss our breakfast milk jug in particular.”

I have already referred to the bad habit milk jugs and other things as well occasionally had of mysteriously disappearing and as mysteriously appearing again. And so my wife’s reply was: -

“I have looked for them and a tea pot everywhere, but without any result. I do wish they would bring them back.”

And sure enough they did. There was news for me about them when I returned home that evening.

“Come here, [Lionel],” said my wife.

She led me into the kitchen and there on the table in front of me were the breakfast and one or two other jugs.

“Where did you find them?” I asked in surprise. 

“I was alone in the house while you were out this afternoon except for [Adelaide]” [Marianne] explained. “I had the back door locked and was sitting in my room, from where as you know I could quite well hear anyone coming in.

Presently I went into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea and - there they were. All together on a plate that had also disappeared. But I wish they would bring my tea pot back too.” she concluded.

Later I the evening that also had come back.

“ [Marianne],” I said. “you had better try asking for your bracelet”

Yes; she thought this was a good idea, she would. But I regret to say she was not as tactful in the way she asked for it as she might have been. For this was what she called out: - “I think it was very nasty of you taking my bracelet in the way you did. No lady would have done such a thing. Be good enough to bring it back at once please.”

This speech it would appear was much resented by the entity to whom it was addressed, so much so that revenge was planned. However all was quiet that night. Perhaps this evening took a little time to prepare.

Thursday Feb. 26th was a red letter - or should I say a black letter, day in the history of the house.

I started with our waking up to discover two books that had been placed under our bed while we were asleep; anyhow they were certainly not there to our knowledge the night before. Later in the morning bells began ringing. First the front door. How annoying it is when one is busy for the front door bell to ring and then after answering it to find no one there. This was [Marianne]’s experience.

Following this, just to show that it was not anybody from outside, two or three other bells pealed - whether they had bell pulls or not. But the afternoon brought another surprise. My wife came to me in the library.

“Do come into the kitchen, [Lionel] and look if you want to see something really crazy.”

There above all places on the rack over the range, was a whole consignment of books. Where they had come from we did not know. We had no recollection of seeing them in the house before. Some, all the same, were quite useful and I was glad of them.

“But do you know the tea pot has gone again.”

Later in the day I found a torn cover of a book with a page or two adhering, thrown on the floor in the room where they had before been so carefully put on the window sill. It looked like a sort of act of challenge - a throwing down the glove. Anyhow the actions of the spirits up to the present had been little more than a joke; from now on it was to be a very different master.

There was to be something not very far removed from devilry - something definitely bad in one of the parties with which we had to do; for we were without doubt surrounded by good spirits as well as evil.

The events of the day were by no means finished yet. The great coup was still to come and this is what occurred. It is approaching 11 p.m.; I am in the bath­room, [Marianne] somewhere in or round our bed­room. A cry of distress echoes through the large rambling house and [Marianne] is hastily making her way down the passage.

“Oh [Lionel],” she called out as she entered the room, her hand up to her face.

“Whatever is the matter?” I enquired.

“Just look at my eye.”

“What had you done?” I said looking at it. 

“What have I done? I’ve done nothing; I was hit by something or someone.”

“Where” I enquired in perplexity.

“In the eye” was the pitiful rejoinder” I saw stars, constellations of them.”

“But where were you when you were hit in the eye?” I persisted. “Just outside our room. I was carrying this candle; I saw no one and nothing; I was right out on the landing near nothing, when it came like a bolt from the blue. Something hard, it nearly stunned me for the moment and I shall have a black eye tomorrow.”

There was no doubt about it. There was a great cut under her left eye, and it was bleeding. But what in the world could it have been? Was I in my right senses? Or was I asleep and should I presently wake up and find it all a bad dream? I suggested a bat; but in February bats hibernate; and anyhow a bat could hardly have given a blow like that. No; it was not a bat. What then? All was could say was that [Marianne] had been struck a terrific blow in the eye by an invisible assailant.

But the blow was for some days far from invisible. As my wife had expected, a black eye resulted. How many people I wonder, conjectured that [Marianne] and I had had a fight? She would have hidden it, but of course callers had to come the next day, and we could not very well explain that it had been done by a ghost.

To return however to that never-to-be-forgotten evening and the bath room.

“[Lionel], I’m scared to pass that place again; something may be waiting for me still ”,  my wife pleaded.

“Well we can go back through the dressing room if you like.”

Then she braced herself together. “No, I won’t be a coward, I must get over it, so let’s do it at once.”

“All right, I’ll go ahead.” We made the journey back to our room quiet safely, and everything was quiet for the rest of the night.

Then came Friday and a new development but one to which we were soon to get quite accustomed. It was the night once more, but this time we were allowed to go to bed without molestation.

The light was out and all was serene, when: -What’s that?” A small object went with a plop against the wall, and fell on our bed. I moved my feet and it rattled on to the floor. Then suddenly a loud bang of a heavier object falling by my side.

“Whatever is happening, [Lionel]? Do you know something whizzed not very far above my face?” Exclaimed my wife. I speedily lit a lamp and found a hammer head with a broken piece of handle attached. This was a bit too thick.

“Look” I said, holding it up “and here’s the other thing; a cotton reel.”

“That was on the mantelpiece when I came into the room tonight.” “Well, what is going to happen next or am I still dreaming?”

“I must be dreaming as well then,” replied [Marianne] laying her head back on the pillow. “I think we will keep the lamp alight for a time anyhow, in case anything else is going to fly round.”

Nothing did however and presently we extinguished the light and went to sleep.

The next day though, I felt it was time some sort of action was taken. So I wrote for advice to my sister. Both she and her husband took interest in this kind of thing; he had had some experience of it when he was in the East and might be able to give helpful advice. This course on my part appeared to be the cause of a further attack.

I had just finished my letter and given it to the postman when [Marianne] brought tea into the library where I had been writing. [Adelaide] came with her.

Tea was placed on the table, my poor persecuted wife was about to sit down on a chair but baby intervened.

“Oh, Mummy” she cried, “needle.”

Sure enough, a pin was sticking right up on the seat of the chair - point upwards of course - all ready to run into the first person who sat there. So no one sat there, till I came in a minute or two afterwards and had duly investigated the phenomenon. Then after the pin had been extracted I sat there myself and [Marianne] took another seat - the chair I had been sitting in while writing just a short time before. She took it, but jumped up quicker than she sat down. Another pin.

After tea I stayed in the library to write, [Adelaide] accompanied her mother, when the latter took out the tea things. Not very long afterwards the little girl came back to say ‘Good night’

No lamp as it happened had been lit in the hall, but Baby as a rule did not at all mind the dark. On this occasion however, she fell over something just outside my door. I went at once to see what was happening.

“Get up, [Adelaide], not hurt are you?”

“It’s dark Daddy; Baby couldn’t see.”

“Well what the - Come here, dear, “ I called out from the doorway” and see this.”

“What is it?”

“Just an erection composed of an old lamp and an equally old saucepan. Where on earth do they come from?”

My wife came hastily down the kitchen passage. “I have never seen them before, to my knowledge” she replied on her arrival.

“Well I suppose they were placed there with the idea of tripping me up as I came out; probably carrying a lamp. But they happened to trip Baby up instead.”

The next move of the enemy was on a somewhat similar plan, it was about an hour later.

“Come to supper, [Lionel], in about five minutes.”


I was not very much more than five minutes later that [Lionel] arose and made his way to the kitchen where we were supping that evening. “Was there anything across the passage as you came from the library just now?” he asked when he got there. “No why?” [Marianne] stood poised with a dish in her hand. “Because there was the handle of the floor polisher with one end leaning up against the wall just this side of the baize door as I came along.”

“To trip you up again, I suppose” she resumed as she place the dish on the table.

“I suppose, but I escaped it.”

“I am not as lucky as you are,” she remarked on entering the room later in the evening. “I tripped badly over a tin of bath salts placed just inside the bath­room door.”

The attack quieted down for a few days and then started up once more. Sunday anyhow was as a rule a comparatively quiet day. But the next note I have of anything definite happening was on the following Thursday.

On that night after lights were out in our bed­room throwing began again. Two articles hurtled along, and then after quite an interval I was settling down to a well-earned sleep; but not just yet. I was roused by being knocked on the head with something hard.

Feeling somewhat resentful I asked my wife - “Did you throw that?”

“I just throw that, what is it?”

“Just my hair brush,” I replied putting my hand out and discovering that article.

“And why should I suddenly start knocking you on the head in the middle of the night with a hair brush?” was the indignant response. “Don’t you think I want to get to sleep as well as you?”

We Seek Help.

Bedtime once more. It began to appear that this was the favourite hour for attacks. It was only the night following the events just recorded, and here is another one being staged. For as I am in the bath room I hear a yell outside and something rattling along the passage.

I rushed to the door to find out whether [Marianne] had been injured or what had happened. No, she had not, but a missile had gone very close to her head, and it must have been thrown with some force from fairly close behind her for it had gone through the open door of the room at the far end.

“Oh, [Lionel],” she said “it just whizzed by me, what is it?” 

“I’ll go and see. Her it is “ I replied picking it up, “the knob off the door. Not at a nice thing to be hit with.” 

“Do you know, I just felt as if someone had pushed me slightly on one side, else I should have been hit.”

This last attack seemed to upset my wife a great deal; it was beginning to get on her nerves, and I told myself that something simply had to be done. But what? If it was a spirit or spirits that were molesting us - and what else could they be? There was only one way to meet them, and that was by counter spiritual forces. But where was I to go for help?

I knew from what had been said about our predecessors that if I told people round us in many cases all the sympathy I should get would be incredulous laughter - behind our backs at all events. Besides that we were anxious to keep it as quiet as possible since we did not want crowds of sight seers coming and making disturbances. However there was one man who I felt would sympathize and help if he possibly could and that was Mr. [Sellwood], the Rector of the church not very far away. Yes, I made up my mind, I would go to him and see what he could suggest; I could rely on him I knew not to spread it round, and I just must take some action.

Accordingly the next afternoon I set off. It was quite a distance, when one had to walk both ways, but I should have time all right, if I was quick.

As I walked along, naturally my mind was occupied with the object of my journey. How queer it seemed, how utterly impossible. What would the people I meet on the road think if they really knew what was happening in that house within a comparatively short distance of their own? A house haunted to the extent that ours was surely a rare enough phenomenon to attract considerable attention over a wide area.

Not many people had the experiences I was having now, not one in ten thousand, I supposed. What little idea, as they passed me by and almost rubbed shoulders with me, had they that I was a man with experiences of one in ten thousand? Well it was the only way in which I was ever at all likely to be a celebrity and I didn’t suppose any one grudged it me.

But here I was at last nearing my destination. I sincerely hoped my journey would not be in vain. No, for fortunately the man I had come to see was at home.

“How do you do, your Reverence, how are you?”

“Very well, thank you, and how are you?” “Pretty well, thanks, but desperately troubled” I said as I took a seat.

“No, I am afraid it is not a confession that will help me; it is a harder case to deal with than “Why, what is it?” “What is it, ghosts?” “Ghosts” He looked intently at me as I replied. “Yes, don’t you know we are living in a haunted house?” I said.

Mr. [Sellwood] shifted in his chair. “Of course I had heard stories about it,” he replied dubiously, “but I didn’t take them very seriously. You don’t really mean to tell me that there is anything in them?”

“Well I’ll just tell you some of our experiences now.”

I said when I had finished, “is there anything at all that you can recommend? Anything that can give us a quiet night tonight, as I am afraid my wife cannot stand very much more? Or anyhow I don’t want her to have a try.”

“What sort of thing do you mean?”

“If they are spirits they must be evil ones and therefore we need something to counteract evil. Have you any form of prayer that a layman could use?” I asked anxiously.

“Yes, and I have some Holy Water from a well-known shrine in the East of England. Would you care for that?”

“Most certainly I would” I replied gratefully “if you are sure you can spare it!”

So he gave it me and soon afterwards I started back.

“Let me know how you get on” were his last words as I left the house and I promised that I would.

It was late afternoon when I arrived home to find that my wife had been thrown at again during my absence and been hurt in the neck. This naturally did not tend to make her feel any better.

“Never mind, dear” I said “I hope anyhow we are going to have a quiet night. But are you feeling up to going round the house with me?”

“Of course I will presently; but there are a few things I just must do first.”

It was dark by the time we were both ready; then [Marianne] carried a lamp and I took the book and the Holy Water. We started in the hall and went along the passages and into the principle rooms, but the response was an opposite one to what we had anticipated.

While standing near the top of the back stairs a stone almost the size of my fist whizzed by my wife and struck me on the shoulder. I was not hurt - I never was really hurt on the various occasions when I was hit-but it was all the same rather upsetting. However we did not give up; we somehow struggled along and finished our programs as we had planned it; then [Marianne] had something of a collapse.

“Now sit down here, dear,” I said, when I had helped her into the kitchen. “What you need is a drop of brandy. You say there is none in the house? Well we must get some. In the mean time I’ll run across the road to the [Payne]’s and see if I can borrow a little. I’ll be as quick as I can.”

I hardly liked to leave her, but did not quite know what else was to be done. Anyhow I was successful in the object of my search and was soon back. [Marianne] revived somewhat.

“Do you know, [Lionel], there were some strange noises while you were out. They seemed to come from the direction of the sewing room.”

I made a voyage of discovery. “No wonder” I said, when I returned “a lot of the books have been thrown out of the shelves on to the floor. Now I had better put you onto a more comfortable seat than this; where would you like to go?”

“I think I’ll go into the sewing room, there is a nice fire in there.” 

“All right then I will go and ask Mrs. [Mitchell] to come and sit with you; ‘you are not fit to be left alone and I have some work to do.”

Mrs. [Mitchell] on hearing that Mrs. [Foyster] was not feeling very well was only too pleased to come. [Mitchell] also came into the house about some work he was doing. While he was there I happened to go into the hall with the intention of getting a book I wanted from the library. But I got no further than the hall and hastily turned back. When I came into the room [Marianne] looked up quickly.

“What is the matter, [Lionel]?”

“Oh, nothing much,” I replied, “Mr. [Mitchell] just come into the library with me will you?”

But [Marianne] was sharp enough to save the situation. “No, [Lionel],” she said, “Mr. [Mitchell] is doing just a little job for me. [Adelaide] can go with you, won’t she do?”

“Tell me” she added as [Mitchell] went out of the room “tell me what is it? There’s something the matter I could see that by your face when you came in just now.”

I evaded. “Oh, never mind, dear, it’s nothing.” 

“Do tell me please, I want to know: else I shall have to go and look myself” she insisted.

“Well if you will know, all the pictures in the hall and half way up the stair­case have been taken down and laid on the floor, except that very big one which has been pulled over on one side, as if it was too heavy for them to lift off. I am sorry for being so foolish and asking [Mitchell] to come with me but it gave me quite a turn.”

“I perfectly understand and I hated interfering but I did not want him to see anything if it could be helped.”

“You are quite right, I shouldn’t be such a coward.”

“You are not a coward at all, [Adelaide], run with Daddy.”

The mere fact of having someone alive and human seemed to make all the difference. [Adelaide] was entirely undisturbed. At barely three anything may happen and be all a part of the day’s work. She merely remarked “Don’t step on pictures” as she trotted by my side.

But we had not finished for the night even yet. Strange steps were heard round the house. These of course Mrs. [Mitchell] attributed to me. “Ee” she remarked to my wife as they sat together in the sewing room, “how plainly this house does sound; how plainly you can hear Mr. [Foyster] walking about upstairs.” But Mr. [Foyster] was not walking about upstairs; he was quietly sitting downstairs at his work.

It was after this that the idea came to me “Could it possibly be a man hiding up in the attics; some poor lunatic?” This idea had to be tested, and it was thoroughly tested as time went on and found to be utterly impossible; without as much as a leg to stand on. We began to test it immediately.

That night was very cold; a hard frost had just set in and in consequence we had, what was very rare, our bed­room windows closed. All the same things were thrown about the room after the light was put out. This proved conclusively that they did not come from the outside.

The next night we made further investigations. After carefully looking under the bed both doors of our room were locked, and again with lights out articles were thrown around. So this time it could be anyone from inside. It is true that on this occasion the window was open a few inches at the bottom but there is a verandah with a glass roof just outside, which would make throwing anything in very difficult. Presently I shut down the window at the bottom and opened it at the top and again an article was thrown.

A day to remember

Monday March 9th., a day I shall never forget all my life. It certainly deserves a section to itself.

First of all our pipes were frozen; this alone was bad enough. The plumber’s men came to thaw them out and pack them with straw and were in the house most of the morning. I, too, was moving about a good deal. But this did not appear in any way to curtail the activities of the “Fijis”.

[Marianne] opening the kitchen door would find a mysterious article placed on the floor of the passage just outside. “Look, [Lionel],” she would say, “at the latest. Where on earth did it come from, have you ever seen it before?”

“The latest” was a great heavy piece of iron, in shape something like a prehistoric spear head. “I most certainly have not. How they manage to get things here without anyone seeing them, beats me.”

“And the stones that have come rolling down that back stairs” she added.

Early in the afternoon my friend Mr. [Sellwood] looked in to see how we were getting on.

“I did not have a very encouraging report from you this morning,” he said, referring to a letter I had written to him on Sunday “so I thought I would run over in my car to see if there was anything I could possibly do.”

“do you know” he continued” I was very much taken with the idea you mentioned in your letter about its being a lunatic. I remember a Rectory I lived in once and the huge rambling attics. Might I go up and look at yours?”

“Certainly; you are free to go anywhere you like. I’ll show you the way up.”

Mr. [Sellwood] was up quite a little while and made full investigations. “Well, what do you think,” I asked him when he reappeared “have you seen anything that would lead you to suppose there is anyone hiding up there?”

“No;” he replied “no, I am quite satisfied. There is no one there. So there is only one way to account for what you told me has taken place; it must be spirits. Hello-” he broke off as a tinkle sounded from the kitchen passage.

“Only just a bell ringing’ would you like to come and look at it?” and I lead the way.

“Now where is that bell rung from?”

“Originally it was rung from a bed­room. But you know our predecessors cut almost all the bell wires. So I could not say where it is rung from now.”

He nodded his head. “Extraordinary; it’s the sort of thing one has to see oneself to believe.”

“And even then it is not easy to swallow it” “Now I’ll tell you what I’ll do, if you would like me to. I can’t come tomorrow, but on Wednesday morning I’ll come with a censer and incense and we’ll go right through the house, and see if we cannot exorcise whatever it is that is doing this. I dare say I could get Father Browne to come too; he lives a few miles beyond me. Do you know him?”

“Rather, he is my cousin.”

“Then you wouldn’t mind my telling him about it and seeing if I could get him to come?”

“I am only too grateful for anything that can help. I am just at my wit’s end to know what to do.”

“All right then; about ten o’clock on Wednesday.”

We were standing in the hall talking for a minute or two when there came a sudden ‘bang bang down the kitchen stairs. I rushed to the baize door dividing the hall from the kitchen passage, followed by Mr. [Sellwood]. He was just in time to see a big stone almost as it came to rest. Anyhow he could see the plaster it had taken off the corner of the wall at the foot of the stairs.

“Now I’m glad someone beside ourselves” I said “can give definite evidence.”

“Keep that stone and if you are in need of evidence I can swear to it.” I put it into a cupboard in the library and still have it there. [Marianne] came in at that minute and we told her what had just happened.

“You also have evidence that it was not me” she added, “because I have only just come in from the courtyard.” After the padre had gone I went out for a time.

When I returned after dark things were happening in an absolutely wild way. I don’t think I can remember all the incidents but here are some of them.

Before I came in [Marianne] sitting in her sewing room heard something bowling along the passage outside; going to see what it could be she discovered a nice log fire - very useful on a cold night. She promptly collared it, put it on the fire and called out ‘send me some more’.

Later on she went to the kitchen. Coming out of it with little [Adelaide] she closed the kitchen door behind her and had reached her sitting room door - a distance of about three yards - then a stone from the direction of the kitchen actually grazed her hair. Baby was not old enough to understand and took it all as a matter of course.

It was either on this night, or some other occasion when there was an outbreak, that, on a flint coming from nowhere in particular, she calmly looked up the ceiling and laconically remarked ‘Stones falling’ in the same sort of voice that someone might call attention to the fact that it was beginning to rain.

Soon after I came back I took the little girl up to bed. Was it heartless to leave her upstairs by herself that night? If we had thought so we certainly would not have done it. But on the other hand she was used to being alone and had no fear; nor as I have said, was she aware that anything unusual was happening. We felt too, on the other hand, that no violence would be done to a baby and in fact she was safer there than downstairs being further removed from the center of the disturbance.

She said ‘Goodnight Daddy’ as I left the room with her usual happy childish assurance and was very likely soon sleeping peacefully.

When I came down we sat together in the little sewing room. It was warm and peaceful there; a contrast to the bitter weather on one side and still worse weird happenings on the other.

Presently some article or other was needed from the kitchen.

“I’ll go,” said [Marianne], “I don’t mind.”

She accomplished the outward journey safely, but evidently some unusual occurrence was taking place as she returned, for I heard her making a dash for the sitting room door. The she jumped inside, quickly pushing it to, as if someone or something was after her, and indeed there was, for as she jumped in a heavy piece of iron came banging in on the floor behind her.

“Oh” she panted.

“What is it, dear?”

She directed her look towards the offending object. “Do you know I saw that thing being carried after me. I could not see the entity that was carrying it, but I could see it coming along and I tried to get in and shut the door before it could get in too.”

“At what height was it being carried?” I asked.

“Quite low, and it was going round in a circle.”

“Where did it come from, I wonder?” I said inspecting it.

“I saw it earlier in the day in the kitchen.”

The question then arose in my mind as to know how much more of this sort of thing we could stand, and what about attempting to stay in the house for the night.

“[Marianne],” I said, “can you stick this out tonight or not? Because if not it is time we were making some plans.”

She looked at her needlework thoughtfully and folded it over. “But where could we possible go?” She asked.

“Well, I suppose we could ask the [Payne]s to put us up.”

“Yes, I suppose we could.” Another moment’s pause and adjustment of the needlework, then “If you can stand it I can”

“If you can stand it, well of course I can too,” I replied.

“You see,” she went on “It is like this. I feel that if I once give way I should never be able to face the house again. Besides we should only be suspected possibly of incipient madness and at the best of a bad attack of nerves. And then - we couldn’t go there always.”

“All right” I said with an air of finality “we’ll stay here then.”

Presently we went into the kitchen and while there we had crowning proof, if one was needed, that it was no material agent we had to do with. As [Marianne] was making up the fire I happened to go out through the further door.

Suddenly from the opposite corner of the room a flint flew out and struck the door just as I went behind it. We had two duplex lamps lightening the room at the time, and there was no possibility of there being anyone else there undetected. What more convincing proof could we want?

It is often hard to make up one’s mind to go to bed especially on a cold winter’s night, when the fire in the sitting room is burning brightly and it is deadly cold upstairs, but I cannot ever remember an occasion on which it was so hard to go as on this particular night,, and I truly hope I shall never experience one like it again. According to past programmes the trouble in the house was usually at its worst at bed time. If then it had been so bad during the day, what must we expect now? So after we had returned to the sewing room I made a suggestion.

“It’s very nice and cozy in here and it has been quiet peaceful up to the present. What do you say to staying the night in this room? We don’t know what horrors they have waiting for us upstairs.”

“It is very nice and it is very tempting but I think we ought to try and get some rest if we can; we are not likely to sleep much down here.”

“No,” I replied rather reluctantly, “I suppose you are right. Well, if we are going to go to bed it is about time we started”

And so finally, after commending ourselves to the protection of a Higher Power, we made the effort and went. We certainly expected an attack, but we did not know from which quarter it would come. As a rule it came from one towards which no one at that particular moment happened to be looking. So before we started we decided to try and keep a good look out all round; one of us would be responsible for looking for possible dangers from ahead and the other from any that might come from behind.

Then I picked up a lamp and we opened the door and stepped out from our place of refuge to see what might be awaiting us outside. The passage was gloomy and the lamp cast dim shadows which dance in the distance till they met the darkness from round the corner. What enemy might be lurking round these corners or even be nearer to us than that, invisible to mortal eyes?

We went a few steps then at the foot of the stairs we had to call a halt. [Marianne], can you wonder? - collapsed for a few seconds. “You go on,” she said, “I’ll follow as soon as I can.”

“I go on and leave you here? Anything else in a small way?”

However she soon pulled herself together again, and we advance up the stair­case. One, two, three, four stairs and still no attack. Half way up and unmolested yet. The landing gained and the bath­room. We breathed again and felt very much encouraged.

“We have got safely so far, but perhaps they are preparing for a great demonstration along this passage.”

“Well, are you ready? Then let’s not wait. We will go the same way as we did before; it seemed to answer so well.”

We ventured out again; along the passage, round the corner into our room Once more in a Harbour of refuge and unattacked. This was indeed better than we had anticipated.

Now if there should be any skeptical reader who has persevered with my narrative so far I should like to point this out to him. If I was writing fiction then I should most certainly attempt to make the account of our journey up to bed that night sound rather more creepy and interesting by inserting some incident on the way. I might for instance very well put in what appears in the narrative as taking place just a fortnight later when [Marianne] was, humanly speaking, very nearly killed by the inside of a flat iron being hurled at her from only a few feet off and the chimney of the lamp she was carrying was smashed to smithereens. I think it would fit in much better here than where it does occur. I might elaborate it with my wife lying badly hurt and in a semi-conscious condition while I rush out for aid.

As it was this particular evening, which seemed to give so much promise of a thrilling story, ended rather tamely - for the reader. But not for us; we had had quite enough, we were very glad to be upstairs and finally in bed.

We kept a light burning and sleep for a time was out of the question but as there was no further throwing I dropped off soon after 3 a.m.

I was thankful indeed that demonstrations for the time had ceased, for I did not feel like standing much more that night.

I woke up soon after 5; [Marianne] was already awake. She pointed just behind her pillow. “Look there,” she said “they must have been throwing while we were asleep.”

“What was it?” A little pile of four or five stones.

“I doubt if they threw them,” I said, “I think they just put them there as much as to say, ‘See what we could do if we wanted to.’”

Some Power Left.

So here we were with another day before us; what was that day going to bring?

Anyhow we had the satisfaction of having braved it out the night before, which might possibly discourage the enemy. There was, too, only one more day before a real effort to dislodge them was to be attempted and I had great hopes of the help it might bring.

But Tuesday was a much quieter day. Possibly they had expended most of their surplus energy the day before; still they had some power left even yet. During the afternoon different articles were carried in and laid down in the kitchen passage.

Mrs. [Pearson], our char-woman, must have spent quiet a little while carrying things out; stones and various debris. I supposed she attributed it to [Adelaide], since one afternoon she complained that “that baby” had carried in a heavy thing that I did not find so very easy to lift.

But there it was and it had not been there a short time before and there was no one else round, so who else could have brought it in? She asked no questions fortunately for us, and there were no demonstrations while she was in the house, in her vicinity at any rate, except for bell ringing, else we might have lost the service of a very excellent char-lady, to say nothing of having strange reports circulating in the village.

The bell ringing, when it took place, certainly did worry her. On one occasion she went to the front door but no one was there. She tried the back door with the same unsatisfactory result. Presently she spied on the road a poor innocent youth returning home from school. Here undoubtedly was the culprit. “What do you think you are a-doing of, James, ringing the bell like that? Do you think I have nothing else to do then run to the door for nothing? Wait till I tell your mother about it” James continued on his way in mystified and injured silence.

On Tuesday afternoon we went out to tea, which I think cheered us up a bit. On returning we were standing round the hall stove for a time warming ourselves when suddenly, ‘crash’.

“What was that?” said my wife starting.

“A stone through the window,” I replied looking in that direction “it has broken one of those large panes, that’s all.”

“From outside or inside?”

“Most certainly from the inside. Well, it is the first bit of damage we’ve had done so far, so we ought not to complain I suppose. Still it is a nuisance, especially on a bitterly cold night like this.”

But [Marianne] is always intensely practical. “Put a picture frame right in the place” she advised; “that will keep the cold air out pretty well.”

I followed her advice. “But how on earth am I to make it stay up here” I said with my hand on the picture.

“I know; one of those weird things the Figis have carried in; we might as well make some use of them.”

“That’s fine.”

I think it was that night, I am not sure - but it really does not much matter - that we had some gifts presented to us. First of all while we were sitting at our supper I espied all of a sudden a small red tin traveling trunk behind my wife’s chair.

“Where did that come from?” I asked; “I don’t remember having seen it before.”

[Marianne] turned round to look. “What? That thing? Well I’ve never seen it before either.”

“A peace offering from the Goblins. It might be useful sometime or other.”

“Let’s see what is inside” We opened it with great interest but it contained nothing except some paper.

“All the same we might keep it.. We certainly can’t very well return it, as we have no idea to whom it belongs.”

It stayed in the house for quite a long time, but was never as far as I know used for anything and eventually disappeared.

When the hour to retire arrived we went upstairs together still uncertain as to what entertainments the enemy might have arranged for our benefit. There were surprises for us, but of a different kind to what we expected.

“Just look at this,” exclaimed [Marianne], holding up a very pretty powder box.

“Why, [Lionel], it is almost exactly like the one you were going to buy me for Christmas. You remember don’t you? By the time you spoke about it someone else had taken it and they hadn’t another one in the shop like it.”

“Yes, I remember perfectly. Now you have one; that’s great. But - look at this ring.”

“A wedding ring,” said my wife examining it, “I wonder whose it is. It is a good one.”

“We are accumulating some valuable things; after all there are some consolations for having to live in a haunted house.”

As we left the room [Marianne] stumbled over something outside the door - another present - a brick placed there while we were inside evidently for the purpose of tripping someone up

We were thankful once more for a quiet night, this time behind my pillow. And as for the wonderful ring; it was still there while I was dressing, but a few hours later it had clean disappeared and we have never seen it since.

The Presence of Evil.

Punctually at the time appointed Mr. [Sellwood] arrived. My cousin Arthur Browne came with him, also the latter’s wife. I met them at the door.

“How do you do, Arthur, it is awfully good of you to come. And how are you, Mary?”

“I am so glad I was able to” he replied as the party came in. “I did not think I should manage; then I found I could after all. What sort of night did you have?”

“Last night was very good. Only a brick to trip us up just outside the bath­room door and a couple of stones behind my pillow - and, oh yes, a stone through this window. But the night before was pretty wild.”

“If that’s a good night what must the wild ones be like” Mary put in as she took off her driving coat.

“Their Grand coup their piece de resistance or whatever you call it was this thing chasing [Marianne] down the passage and thrown in behind her as she came through the door” I said pointing at the piece of iron that had been thrown on Monday night.

“However you stand it, I can’t make out.”

“What else are we to do?”

“Well we hope we are going to do something towards calming them down a trifle today.”

We went over the house from attic to cellar; every room and portion of the house was censed and sprinkled with holy water; prayers were said and the house fully exorcised. There was no active demonstration this time, but the presence of evil was felt.

“Goblins” however do not like incense. So we discovered


I was away from home all that afternoon and only arrived back at about 6.30.

“How have things been? All quiet?” was my first anxious enquiry on my return.

“No,” replied my wife, “there has been some bell ringing.”

“Any throwing?”


I was bitterly disappointed. “What?” I asked.

“ A stone was thrown at Dick [Mitchell] who came in to do some odd jobs; but I believe he thought that I had thrown it as if I should want to throw stones at him. One was thrown on Monday which he attributed to [Adelaide].”

“Well, poor boy I suppose he did not know how else to account for it.”

It was strange that there was seldom any sort of manifestation when any of the [Mitchell]s were in the house. Often one of them would come in to do something or other for us. And yet when one really comes to think of it, was it strange? In the first place the ‘Goblins’ had no spite against them and it would seem were most anxious that their activities should not be spread abroad. In the second place, the presence of non-psychic people undoubtedly hindered them. On this occasion, Dick being about my height, they may possibly have mistaken him for me. Certain it is that on my arrival home there did not seem much doubt as to who was the centre of animosity that night. First a peal of bells, followed shortly afterwards by a stone in my direction. After that I was out of the house again for a time. When I came back, we were all three, as on the previous night, round the fire in the hall. ‘Bang’ a stone from above missed my head by only a few inches and fell with a thud onto the floor.

As I was the prime mover in bringing the clergy to the house that day I suppose they had a grievance against me.

I especially mention the fact that on this occasion [Marianne] was by my side and that the stone came from above since my wife more than once has been accused of staging the whole thing. Now, as I have previously stated, I have a great opinion of my wife’s powers but I do not think that even she is clever enough to have pulled through a huge hoax of this kind. Besides, what on early could have been her object? And, last but not least, [Marianne] and I know each other too well and trust each other too fully to conceive of such a thing. 

But bed time came round and for this night, at all events, we were assured of a quiet time for rest.

“Good” I remarked, “peace tonight.”

“Why do you say that?” came the sleepy answer.

“Hasn’t the perfume reached you yet?”

“Oh, yes, it has now. My word isn’t it strong. That means the good spirits are in attendant and we needn’t worry about being disturbed.”

And so, as always, it proved to be. … but only for that night.

On the Warpath

The next day the “Figis” were on the war path again. A new kind of annoyance to which we were occasionally subjected was inaugurated. I say ‘we’ but this was certainly more to do with my wife than myself.

“I am sure you will never guess their latest trick” she announced in a woe-begone voice, “Only the clean linen taken out of the kitchen cupboard and trailed across the floor.”

It was all very disappointing; for the events that had taken place since the exorcising were sufficient to show that at all events the intruders were not driven out. All that we could say was that ‘things were better’. We were soon to learn though that this was not enough; they were either to be completely silenced or left in and in the latter case anything that happened might quite well happen again. There was to be no half way. We might learn how to stop them temporarily or to hinder them, which in fact I think we presently did, but in the end it was to be, who would win out, who was to have possession of the house, they or we?

The day following some visitors came in connexion with the ghosts.

“I think,” said Mr. [Sellwood] one of the days that he was here “I think that the [Bull]s should be told about it. Do you mind if I tell George; I shall be seeing him this evening.?”

George [Bull] was a sceptic on the subject and wanted to see for himself. Consequently he wasted no time in coming up. [Sellwood] accompanied him. “And how have things been since Wednesday?” was the latter’s first enquiry on reaching the house.

“Well I have told Mr. [Bull] and he wants to see something.”

“Unfortunately they won’t perform to order. I only wish they would’ we should soon make a small fortune. A little advertising - the house full of people - then turn them out. But that would be just the time they would refuse to do anything at all.”

“Hm. - we saw nothing of this sort when we lived here” remarked George.

“I only wish you could have been here on Monday evening. You would have seen something then all right.” 

“Oh, I don’t say I am doubting your word; I only say I should like to see it myself.”

However this was not to be. But then, just as if it was on purpose to provoke, as the visitors were on the point of departing and while I was on the doorstep seeing them off, we heard a cry from inside the house. It was uttered by [Marianne]. We all three instantly rushed in. My wife was standing at the bottom of the back stairs with a nasty piece of metal in her hand.

“It was this,” she said, holding it up, “they threw this and it hit me on the head and I can tell you it hurt. It came down the back stairs.”

George [Bull] seized a stick and the pair of them rushed up the stairs as hard as they could go. But their search revealed nothing and no one. Also, the sceptical George was not convinced.

Wonderful are the ways of the ‘goblins’ and past comprehension. That day we were having our evening meal and all was going peaceably enough; I was seated at the table; [Marianne] had risen and was standing at the sideboard; when - ‘Bang’ a piece of brick had fallen on the table close by my place. If it had gone a few inches to the right or the left it would have broken something, as it was it just fitted it nicely between everything. Was this due to wonderful skill on the part of the thrower? Was it also due to reluctance on his or her part, to do damage? We were told afterwards that it was not due to either of these, but to protection from the Powers of good on the other side, just as men in this life are allowed to modify the evil planned by their fellow men.

I was several times urged by one of my relations that it was absolutely my duty to give up the house and go elsewhere; one of the arguments used was, suppose something serious was to happen to one of us? What would the other say, what possible defence could he or she put up? To tell a jury that it was due to evil spirits would be an almost impossible defence, and would be received with ridicule. Suppose a fatal accident had happened to my wife and I was accused of murder, what then? We felt pretty sure the answer to this was that such a thing would not happen, because it would not be allowed to. There is a limit placed on the harm that spirits in these cases are able to do; and there could not be anything much more serious than what we had already experienced ourselves.

This was most certainly borne out by what took place in our house. I was never really hurt. Several times I was nearly hit, but not quite. At other times when I was hit, the blow did not give the pain one would have expected it to - not as much as if the missile had been thrown by a human being.

Imagination? Well I am just telling my experiences; anyone is welcome to say what they like about them.

In the case of my wife, she was hit and was hurt far more seriously than I was, but never when she was wearing Scapula. It was only when either she had neglected putting it on, or, as in the case at the foot of the back stairs just related, it had been mysteriously taken off her, than an injury was received.

But I intend to say more on this subject later on.

The Collar and the Walking Stick

“[Marianne] I am going to write a memorandum of our experiences before I forget them. Don’t you think it would be a good idea? Then I can send it round to members of my family; they seem to be anxious to know what is happening.”

It was a Sunday evening; we had just had our tea and were sitting in the library. We were not expecting any visitors, so for the sake of comfort I took off my collar and sat down at the typewriter.

[Marianne] and [Adelaide] were ensconced in a chair by the fire. I had been typing for some time when I suddenly exclaimed: - “Hallo, did you see that?”

My wife shook her head. “No I was looking at this book with Baby. What was it?” she said.

“Only my collar demonstrating its disapproval by flying up against the back of my neck.”

A pause of some minutes while I pursued my task and then “Bang.” A walking stick that had been previously standing in a corner was now lying on the floor on the opposite side of the room.

“Someone or other does not seem to like my doing this.”

Another interval and then a piece of coke took it into it’s head to fly across. This was quite a good demonstration for a Sunday.

Next morning - I regret to have to say it - I was lazy and got up late. I regret for two reason; first because it is a lapse into a favourite sin, and secondly I missed a sight I should have much like to have seen.

[Marianne] was down first, and when she came upstairs again she had something to tell. “[Lionel], what do you think now?”

I turned over in bed and expressed my inability even to guess. So my wife continued:

“When I went into the kitchen you never saw such a sight. It looked as if a band of hooligans had been round. The table upside down with its legs sticking up in the air; the contents of the store cupboard partly inside it and partly scattered broadcast all over the room. Dick [Mitchell] came to the door, I didn’t know what he must have thought; probably that you and I had had a rare old scuffle last night. Anyway he helped me put it straight.”

“They have a great sense of humour, haven’t they?” I remarked.

Their sense of humour was illustrated again that evening. Our bed­room window had been left open and was discovered closed the wrong way round; the top where the bottom should have been, and the lower portion up at the top.

But soon after this their energies died down for a time. All that had been done the last few weeks must have been a great drain on their reserve of power. 

After these outbreaks it would appear that it is necessary for them to lie dormant till they have acquired more. There was indeed a little throwing, a little bell ringing, mysterious footsteps round the house for about a week or ten days, then an almost complete rest during the Easter season.

Before this however I had to go to bed with influenza. It was unfortunate. My poor wife had had enough on her mind lately without the addition of this.

Still [Marianne] is no quitter; she always rises to the occasion when it is most required of her. There was no question about it;

I had not been well for some days and on March 23rd I had to given in and to bed I had to go. And so that evening a dutiful wife is carrying her husband up something to eat. She has a tray in one hand and a duplex lamp in the other. Her husband lying in bed hears her approaching; she is little more than half way up, when…’crash, bang’.. the noise of broken glass flying and the lamp enters the room minus a chimney.

“What happened dear,” I asked anxiously.

“Oh, the usual thing,” was the calm reply.

“What did they throw?”

“I could not tell you what it was, but whatever it was must have been thrown from just a little way in front of me.

All I know is it caught the lamp chimney and so must have quite narrowly missed me.

“And that’s another lamp chimney gone” she added regretfully, “they are a beastly nuisance.”

“Well better the lamp chimney than you.”

“Best of all, neither one nor the other.”

The next day I ventured out onto the landing and looked down into the hall to see if I could discover what it was that had been thrown. I saw lying down there the inside piece of an iron - the part, that is, that it put into the fire to heat. It is not hard to imagine what the result would have been if this missile had hit my wife on the head; Another instance of protection.

It is said that one can get used to anything. Familiarity breeds contempt:. Witness [Marianne]’s calmness in spite of this narrow shave, and once more on the following evening.

On this latter occasion she was doing something just outside my room and it seemed that one or more of the ‘goblins’ was having an amusing time throwing at her; for every now and then for a minutes I heard the patter of some small object falling, aimed presumably at her, while she quietly carried on as if nothing at all out of the way was taking place.

But now an omen of hope - hope that is of peace for a spell.

“Mrs. [Mitchell] says she saw you standing on the landing just outside your room” [Marianne] announced the next evening.

The landing can be quite clearly seen at night from the courtyard through the big stair­case window if the blind is up.

“I don’t quite know how she managed to do that” I replied, seeing that I have not left the room this evening.”

On this being reported to Mrs. [Mitchell] she was quite indignant. “Ee, but I did see him quite plainly standing there in his dressing gown” she emphatically asserted.

“It must have been [Harry Bull],” I remarked when I heard this,

“I am supposed to be rather like him, and you know he always appears in his dressing gown. If it is him I hope it means we are going to have a quieter time, for we had none of these demonstrations of violence in the days you used so often to see him.”

There was further evidence that this was the solution of the difficulty for [Marianne] encountered him twice the next day, although she had not seen him previously since before Christmas.

On one of these occasions she was bringing up my tea. He was on the landing ahead and started to go forward as though he was going to open my door for her. However little [Adelaide] was coming up too and evidently not seeing him ran to open it; whereupon he moved away on one side.

Then came the period of perfect quiet which extended for a little over two weeks till the Saturday in Easter week.

But even during this time there was one incident I must not pass over. It was a couple of mornings after what I have just related. I was only convalescing and therefore was late in getting up.

[Marianne] was downstairs when I heard a piercing shriek from a remote part of the house. I jumped out of bed and ran out onto the landing.

“What is the matter, dear” I called out.

“Oh, nothing” came the reply.

“It must have been something,” I urged when [Marianne] next came up to my room. “Was it anything to do with the ‘goblins?’

“Well yes it was, but please don’t ask me anymore because I would rather not tell you.”

No doubt she was right with holding any further explanation just then when I was not well, but subsequently I got at the bottom of the mystery and this was what I learned. [Marianne] was proceeding along the kitchen passage. She had gone almost as far as the kitchen door when suddenly looking up she saw a sort of monstrosity just in front of her. It was shadowy, but seemed to her more like a gigantic bat than anything else. It put out a hand and touched her on the shoulder, and the touch was like that of a hand of iron. Then came the shriek.

This apparition was seen by others in the house both before and after this occasion and by [Marianne] again. Not being psychic I never saw it myself and am glad that I did not. It is generally referred to as “The Horror” it has also been called “The Shadow” and seems to have been one of the principle haunting entities but must be distinguished from the Nun.” Beyond this I know nothing whatever about it, though I think it is highly probable that it was responsible for the black eye my wife received, which opened the campaign of frightfulness. This however is pure conjecture.

As for the nun, she was seen long before our time - by different people; almost always as far as I know in the garden. She seems to have been the chief cause of the trouble - or rather the trouble centred round her. One reason for this was that she was an entity that the other spirits used for the purpose of tormenting us because she had what I believe is the very rare power of being able to move material objects.

The Height of the Storm.

“Have you ever,” a man asked me once, “have you ever been sitting writing and suddenly felt that there was someone else in the room behind you, and then glancing round seen a figure standing there looking over your shoulder? I have.”

I at once visualized myself sitting at my desk in the somewhat gloomy library of [Borley Rectory]; the room lit by a single lamp casting deep shadows in the corners. I gave an involuntary inward shiver and was thankful to be able to reply “No I have not.”

I am afraid I am rather a coward as far as ghosts are concerned, so anything in the nature of my friend’s experience or ghostly forms tapping on the windows from outside after dark; weird faces pressed against the panes or luminous eyes grimly scanning the room would have been more than I could possibly have endured. But such things are not a regular part of the [Borley Rectory] occurrences - as they are reported to be in other haunted houses. Even my wife, although being psychic, did not often encounter an apparition, and for my part as long as I did not “see anything” I could put up with a good deal. 

Certainly we had still plenty more to stand; experiences had been bad enough but they were to be worse yet before they improved.

And I come now to record what I consider to be the worst period of all during our residence.

But before the storm came a calm; The entities appeared to be having a rest and collecting power. This power I have been told they draw from living people in their vicinity and the more psychic a person is the easier they find it is to draw it. Probably it is only from thoroughly psychic subjects that they can draw it at all. In this case my wife would be the chief one in our family to suffer.

This theory in our experiences accorded pretty nearly with the facts. Certain it is that [Marianne] was not at all well during this period. None the less as usual she kept up her courage and looked at the bright side.

“They have quieted down a good deal lately” she remarked to me one day there has been nothing much for four weeks or more.”

“Don’t boast, my lady,” I replied, “and you are not even touching wood.”

“Oh, I don’t deceive myself by thinking it is all over. But we have gone through so much surely we can stick it out to the end now.”

I hoped so too and in any case did not wish to discourage her optimism, besides I needed all the encouragement she could give, myself.

I must record that we had had an addition to our household during the last few weeks. [Adelaide] we felt needed child company; this she certainly was not getting, our nearest child neighbour living quite a little distance away. And so her mother, ever on the look out, discovered an advertisement in ‘The Times’ of a small boy who wanted a home etc. Correspondence and an interview ensued and eventually a little chap a few months junior to our wee girl came to share our home for a time.

His father - a widower - brought him down. We were rather relieved that there was no demonstration while he was here, and we did not mention the subject. Since [Adelaide] had never been attacked there was no reason to suppose that [Douglas] would be either, and therefore what necessity to say anything about it?

‘When his father, on subsequent visits did discover the secret of the house he was first absolutely incredulous, and then, when forced to believe, merely curious.

On this particular April afternoon, while [Marianne] was getting tea, I came into the room and presently remarked on an empty jug. “I thought that the jug had milk in it a few minutes ago” I said.

“So it had” she replied.

This was not the first time that a milk jug had been reputed to have been found empty in a mysterious way. In consequence I remarked: - “Well let’s get a clean one and don’t fill that one up again. I would rather drink after the cat than after those beastly things.”

Now I was for it. This remark had evidently been overheard and had caused sore displeasure.

We sat down to tea, the two children and ourselves. Presently a stone unexpectedly flew out of a corner at me; - at a quarter at which no one happened at the moment to be looking. It hit me on the leg.  

Soon after followed an exclamation from my wife and a bang on the floor.

“Do you know, [Lionel]” she said, “that you only just moved in time. I looked up and thought that you were sure to be hit. It was coming straight at your head; but you suddenly jerked it forward and saved yourself.”

Yes, it was evidently directed at me, for tea over, I went out for a time and the throwing ceased. I came in and it started up again. I went upstairs with the children when they went to bed and the throwing was somewhere round the house. I came down and it recommenced in the room I went into. A flint brushed through my hair

I am not positive that it was on this particular evening that this happened; a sharp bang sounded on the drawing room door as I turned the key for the night. As I was getting into bed I was counting up to [Marianne] the number of times I had been thrown at that evening. I had just completed the enumeration with ‘eleven’ when another missile came flying at me; whereon I said ‘twelve’ and we both roared with laughter.

Something else was heard falling after the light was out and then quietness for the night. I think I certainly had had my share; twelve or thirteen times to be thrown at by invisible assailants between approximately 6 and 11 p.m. was not a bad record, but it taught me a lesson; namely to be careful as to what I said in the future.

Amongst the things thrown that evening were a number of quaint looking delft objects. They were about the size of a bantam’s egg with the end taken off and the weight of a golf ball; just a nice easy thing to throw. They were adorned with rabbits and hens and were of various colours. Where they came from was a mystery, or exactly what they were for. I collected them up till I had no fewer than ten stored away in the library cupboard. Then this person would ask for one and that person for another till my stock was reduced to two and I had resolutely to refuse to give any more away if I wanted to have any left as mementos.

Another Attack.

Comparative quiet for a few day and then another attack

It was a Saturday evening and though we had reached the month of May the weather was very chilly. 

There was no fire in the front part of our abode so we retired to the kitchen. There was also an uneasy feeling about the house and that meant greater chilliness; the powers of evil lower the temperature.

The children were in bed and [Marianne] and I were alone.

“I don’t like the feel of the house tonight,” she said as she busied herself round the room. And then soon after “Ah, did you hear that?”

A distant weird sound had suddenly struck our ears, “And that was not the first time.”

“Yes, and there it is again.” I added.

A storm was evidently brewing and presently it broke, whereupon we had about the worst half hour we had experienced so far. I was sitting down reading; my wife cooking something for our evening meal.” Bang.”

“There we are”

Some object was flung across the room. “Ugh” That really is too much.”

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“Only pepper thrown in my eyes” replied my wife with a handkerchief up to her face.

“Well I think everything is ready now; lets sit down and start despite the goblins.”

We sat down but it was not exactly a festive board. About every three minutes or so something came hurtling along. Now it was a stone, then a table knife hit me on the hand. We never knew when there was going to be a bang or from what quarter it would come. For a time we tried to take no notice of it, but it was, to say the lest of it a bit nerve wrecking.

“Look here can’t we do something to stop this?” said [Marianne] at last dropping her knife and fork and leaning back in her chair.

“I wish I had ordered some incense,” I said, “they do not seem to like that.”

“I tell you what,” a sudden bright idea had struck my wife “we have some creosote; lets try that.”

“Yes, it might do; where is it?” “It was left up in the bath room.”

“All right I’ll get it,” I said rising.

[Marianne], not feeling like being left alone, came after me. I had hardly expected to be allowed to bring it down unmolested; I was looking for some opposition and I was not to be disappointed.

As I went upstairs a piece of hard mortar got me in the neck, as was usually the case with me it hurt very little. 

I reached the bath room safely, procured the creosote and started back. As I came downstairs a spanner also came and went near enough to my head to touch my hair.

Arrived once more at the kitchen it did not take long to put some red hot coals on shovel and pour creosote over them; a pungent smoke resulted. First we fumigated that room then we went through the house.

“Now goblins,” I cried as I proceeded, “how do you like this?”

Through the hall, up the front stairs, along the landing and the bath room passage, down the back stairs, I made the circuit of the house, but neglected going into our bed­room.

The result was like magic; the trouble stopped right up short. After my round I returned to the kitchen and we were able to finish our meal in peace. No more throwing that night. 

“We seem to have found something they don’t like,” I remarked triumphantly as we resumed supper.

“The worst is,” replied [Marianne], “that I like it about as little as they do. I simply can’t stand it.

However even tonight they had not quite finished with us yet. We had settled in bed and the lights were out; I was almost off to sleep when - “What was that?”

Only pepper dropped onto our faces. - A second dose for [Marianne].

The Disappearing Letter

The next afternoon I was recounting recent events in a letter to my sister, but it was lost labour my sister was destined never to read it. For later on we all went to church. [Marianne] distinctly remembered seeing the letter just before she left the house, but on our return - no sign of it remained.

And this reminds me of another event that took place during the quiet weeks. When I began to keep a record of events I typed it in duplicate. Any copy that happened to be in the house was carefully kept in a large family bible; for extra safety in the New Testament portion. 

While there was no harm ever happened to it. But one day I took the second copy out to correct. While I was so engaged my wife announced supper. I would not leave my precious document in a room by itself, so I took it with me and laid it on the sideboard. Then I suddenly remembered that I had not washed my hands.

“Excuse me,” I apologized “I won’t be a minute.”

“I would like to wash mine too,” replied [Marianne] and followed me out.

We were not away from the room for more than about 60 seconds, but that was sufficient. I had forgotten about my manuscript for the moment, but I was soon reminded of it on returning by discovering one of the leaves lying on the floor.

I hastily picked it up and turned to where I had left the other sheets. Out of nine pages five had completely disappeared.

But to return to this Sunday evening. When we arrived back home [Marianne], as a precaution, did some fumigating with creosote. I have already mentioned that she especially hated the smell, no it was small wonder if she did not perform this duty as thoroughly as she might have done otherwise.

I felt it had not been done sufficiently and the enemy thought so too. Soon after she had finished the bells gave a triumphant ring as much as to say “that’s all we care about that.”

Indeed it appeared that it was only just about enough to stir up opposition for on [Marianne] going upstairs a stone whizzed by her. Presently as she approached the kitchen door - “Bang, crash, swish.” a jam jar had hurtled past her up against it and broken into a hundred pieces which scattered all over the passage.

“I was afraid you had been rather too lenient with the creosote,” I said,

“let me have a try.”

I was not so easy on the adversary and thereupon, as on the previous evening, trouble for the time being ceased.

The Whitehouses Witness the Fire

The next afternoon some comparatively near neighbors of ours, Sir [George] and Lady [Whitehouse] were in the house for tea. They were amongst the few to whom we had confided our troubles and who ‘mirable dictu’ took our word for what had happened and did not attribute it to nerves or human agency or [Marianne] in her unconscious moments.

Naturally therefore the conversation turned to our recent experiences.

“If only we knew then things were going to happen” said Lady [Whitehouse] “we would love to come up and witness them.”

“And we would equally love to have them witnessed, “ I rejoined.

“Yes, that will suit us perfectly. We’ll come as soon after dinner as we can.”

“And I will bring some lavender stalks in case they are needed,” added Lady [Whitehouse] “I think they will be better to burn than creosote.”

“If only they’ll come up to the scratch and perform” I put in. “However they seem to be in a performing mood again and Monday is a good day.”

“We’ll have to take our chance,” said Lady [Whitehouse] rising “Goodbye then, till tonight.”

They certainly were in a performing mood and whatever they might do later on or before an audience the soon started now.

By the time the guests arrived, shortly before 9 p.m. I already had a collection of six articles to show them that had been thrown since they were up in the afternoon.

But now, had they stopped?

We sat down and talked but nothing happened. We went on talking but still nothing happened. I looked at the clock, it was getting late; my disappointment was increasing yet still there was time if only they would begin at once.

Then [Marianne] went out of the room. She returned with somewhat startling news -

“There is smoke in the hall; there is a fire somewhere” she exclaimed.

Sir [George] and I had been out a short time previously and had noticed a smell of burning. We thought however it was coming into the house from outside and so was not worth mentioning. But now as we ran out of the room there was no doubt about it. The fire was in the house.

“It is coming from upstairs” called out one of the party.

We all rushed up.

“Yes it is certainly stronger up here.”

“Now in which room I wonder.”

We dashed about, opening first one door and then another.

“No, not in that room; I think it is in this direction.” 

“I thought it came from more over there.”

At last someone opened a locked up room - a room that as far as we knew had not been entered by anybody at all that day - and found it full of smoke. It was, in fact, too full of smoke for anyone to stay in it for more than a few seconds but that was long enough to open the window. The smoke soon cleared off sufficiently for us to discover the skirting board on fire.

“Where’s some water?”

“Here’s some.”

“Where can we get some more?”

“In the bath room, down this way.”

“Another jug full….and another still for safety.”

“There, I think it’s out all right now.”

In the confusion as we were rushing about I was hit on the back by some missile but our visitors had not the opportunity of witnessing that. Then we were all four standing in the room where the fire originated and a stone was thrown in at the door. Sir [George] pounced on it.

“I never thought I would ever see anything like this,” he said “but since I have I will keep this stone as a memento.”

“Now I will get my lavender stalks,” said Lady [Whitehouse] can you let me have a shovel, [Marianne]?”

“What I want to know” mused Sir [George], “is how that fire was lit. Can we get down underneath here?”

“Yes, let’s do a little investigating.” I replied walking to the window. “First of all looking out you will see that it opens right down on to the top of the greenhouse. This is heated by hot water and the fire place is at the other end; anyhow it has never been lit since we came here.

Underneath this room is a coal cellar; shall we come down and look at it?”

“Yes, I see” said Sir [George], when we had descended to the ground floor; “nothing at all there. And no flue runs along near where the fire started?”

“There’s a fire place in the next room, but that is on a higher level - there are three steps between the rooms and there has been no fire there today. Downstairs the nearest chimney is the drawing room, quite a distance away.”

“Most extraordinary.”

“There is only one solution and that is that the fire was deliberately set by someone or other,” I surmised.

“Well, who would come in and do that?” enquired Sir [George] with eyebrows raised.

“No one that I am aware of. I do not know of any enemies we have in the neighbourhood - except the ghosts. And if they can throw stones why could they not set a fire?” 

“Hallo, there’s another.” We had wandered on and were at that moment near the foot of the second back stairs down which a stone came unexpectedly rolling.

In the meantime Lady [Whitehouse] was running round with her lavender stalks for the purpose of smoking the goblins out, but her efforts were first of all merely met with the somewhat disconcerting result that things were thrown at her. However she persevered and after a time the smoke seemed to have some effect; anyhow the throwing ceased.

Presently we met together down stairs and [Marianne] made tea. This was always a consolation for [Marianne]. In any time of weariness or weakness; in sickness of body or sole in disconsolateness or discontent, she always found comfort in a cup of tea. Certainly this evening she did need a little stimulating after the experience we had had and I am a long way from grudging it.

Perhaps she ought to have had something stronger, she was not looking her best. Evidently Lady [Whitehouse] thought not. “Now, Mrs. [Foyster],” she said “come with us for tonight; all of you; yes the children and all. Plenty of room; we have no visitors just at present; the car is waiting outside ready to take you. They should come, Robert, shouldn’t they? Mr. [Foyster], I really mean it. Make your wife come; she is not in a fit condition to stay here.”

“But it is not only tonight,” feebly remonstrated [Marianne] “it is tomorrow and a host of tomorrows, and I am afraid that if we once give in and run away, speaking for myself, I shall never have courage to come back again.”

Lady [Whitehouse] quickly swept these arguments on one side. “Nonsense. Speaking for myself I don’t think I could sleep tonight thinking of you here” she decided “and I want to be able to/ so come.”

“Yes, come” said Sir [George],” you certainly should.”

“It is awfully kind of you,” I said hesitatingly “But on the one hand it seems a terrible imposition.”

“Not at all” put in Lady [Whitehouse] with decision.

“Not in the slightest” echoed Sir [George].

“And in the second place,” I went on feebly” we had made up our minds we were going to stick it out. But…”

“Do you think your wife looks like sticking anything more out just at present or you either as far as that goes? No, come and have a little change and then you will be in a much fitter condition to face this sort of thing.”

It was a very kind invitation and we finally accepted it, which was without doubt the wisest thing to do. We hastily packed up a few things, bundled the children in blankets scrambled into the car, and made our first retreat. None the less if the enemy had driven us away temporarily we had something on our side to boast of. We had two definite witnesses of what was taking place in the house. It was not a hallucination on our part. Though how could it be?

A Quieter Interlude

“What a blessing not to be half expecting to be hit on the head during the night or to wonder if anything will have disappeared in the morning,” remarked [Marianne] in a sleepy tone from her bed.

It was our first day at [Arthur] Hall, the residence of Sir [George] and Lady [Whitehouse] and it was a welcome change. The whole atmosphere seemed so peaceful on that lovely May morning to which we awoke, the birds singing and the sun pouring in at our window. It is true both these happen at [Borley Rectory] and we were no more than a little over a mile from it, yet it seemed like a different country.

Lady [Whitehouse], who rises early, called out to assure us that our home was still standing and had not been reduced to ashes during the night; it could just be seen from their garden. This was a real relief to me; I had been calling myself a coward and blaming myself for leaving the house under the circumstances.

What was I going to do if incendiary activities were repeated? What should we get from the insurance company? Who would believe it was the work of ghosts? Well, perhaps it would be all right, but I was not sure on this point.

“The worst is,” mused my wife, as she sipped her cup of early morning tea, “that we have got to go back and face it again tonight.”

However this was not so. Not only did our hostess invite us to stay on, but would not hear of anything else. I went up to the house during the morning and found a very mystified and curious Mrs. [Pearson]. Late as it had been it seems that a party from the cottage had witnessed our ignominious retreat from the scene of battle the night before.

I returned to [Arthur] Hall late in the day and that was my procedure most of the week. Once or twice [Marianne] came up with me, and as far as I remember

One evening, just before we left, something was thrown; otherwise the house was quiet. Another day a piece of paper behaved in a very mysterious manner. 

But first I must put on record the spirit writings that were found in the house. For some time past we had discovered from time to time my wife’s name written in a round almost childish hand on odd scraps of paper. [Adelaide], being only just over three could not write yet and who wrote them is unknown. But this particular piece of paper was lying in the kitchen. Just before we left the house that evening, [Marianne] went to the room in question to get something, and when she reached the door she stopped and called me. 

“John come here quickly.”

“What is it?”

“Do you see that piece of paper?” She pointed at a piece lying on the floor. 

“Well when I came in it was in the air, but it fell at once to the ground. Look,” she said picking it up, “it has something written on it. I can’t make it out, can you?”

I took the paper and scrutinized it. I certainly could not.

“Let’s take it down with us and see if anyone can decipher it this evening,” she suggested.

“No,” I replied, “they evidently have not finished writing whatever they were intending to write. Leave it here and see whether they don’t finish it to-night.”

“But I was wrong; for next morning paper had gone for good and all.

On Saturday we returned home. This series of dem­onstrations appeared to be over, and we had some more comparatively peaceful weeks. Had the ghosts migrated for the time being, or had they used up all their spare ‘power’ again and did they have to wait until they had collected some more?

Now and then an article of some sort was thrown, but we burnt incense and nothing further resulted; so we felt hopeful that we might by degrees get the whole trouble stopped.

Alas for our optimism, for we had not yet even touched bottom, but were still on the downward grade.

The Wall-Writings.

And so we entered the month of June. Now, in the pop­ular imagination, I suppose Christmas would be considered the worst time, or one of the worst times, for ghostly man­ifest­ations and June about the least likely. In our exper­iences with the Borley spirits it was just the opposite. June was the especial time for their activities, whereas the Great Church Festivals - of which of course Christ­mas is one - were the seasons at which they were the quietest.

However, to continue my narrative of events: On Sat­urday June 6th we had a visit from Lady [Whitehouse]. She brought with her a niece of Sir [George]’s who was staying just then at [Arthur] Hall. This lady, Miss [Edwin] [Whitehouse], was particularly interested in the subject of Poltergeistism and was most anxious to hear first-hand all that was to be heard, and to see anything that could be shewn.

“You have not seen the ghostly writings on the walls yet, Lady [Whitehouse],” said [Marianne], “would you care to come now?”

“Yes, I was telling [Edwin] something about them, and [he] was most interested.”

“Now how exactly did they come?” asked that lady.

“First of all my name was written on little pieces of paper, and then it started appearing on the walls,” my wife replied as she led the way upstairs. “How they came we have no ideas, they simply appeared. Now this was the first.”

“It looks as if the writer had been pulled away,” I remarked, “before he - or she - had finished; since the ‘I’ is not dotted and the end of the ‘e’ shoots up into the air. You see I wrote underneath it, ‘What can we do?’ but no notice whatever was taken of this.”

“But presently this appeared,” continued my wife moving a little further along the passage.

“[Marianne] please help get -” read Lady [Whitehouse], “and the dash looks as if the writer might have been pulled away again. “Are there any more?”

“Oh yes this is the next, - ‘[Marianne] get help (something undecipherable) bothers me.’ So I wrote under­neath - ‘I cannot understand tell me more: [Marianne]’. And you see an answer was added, but has been written over so that one can’t read it.”

“How very interesting,” said [Edwin Whitehouse], “I wonder very much what it was.”

“That’s all the writing we have at present; we don’t know though how much more there may be later on.”

I might as well add here, whilst I am on the subject, that a little later these words were written, “Get light mass and prayers here”. We think this was written whilst we were going about the house one day, since we were showing someone round and did not notice it, but passing the place shortly afterwards saw it there. Also when we first saw it we did not notice the word “here”, which soon afterwards was found added.

This was very clear and I intended to get a photograph taken of it, but before I had done so some officious person had washed it out; - it was written on the painted woodwork.

One more writing was discovered in the kitchen passage, “[Marianne] light mass prayers.” With these clues, it was possible to see that something very similar had been written at my wife’s request, but afterwards had had words scrawled over it, as mentioned above.

“I do hope,” said [Edwin Whitehouse], “that if anything happens at all while I am staying down here you’ll let me know. I should love to come and witness it if I might.”

We duly promised that we would. The whole matter was very much discussed that evening, and since talking on the subject generally - we found later on - helped to stir things up, it was not very surprising that after the ladies had gone a stone was thrown. But that was only the beginning of matters.

The next day, Sunday, [Marianne] was taken ill. She had not been over well the whole of the past week, but this morning she had quite a bad turn. It was finally decided to call in the doctor, who said it was caused by the condition of her heart and prescribed absolute rest and freedom from every kind of worry.

It was also considered advisable to move her into the spare room, next to our bed­room. It so happened that a lady had been invited to tea that afternoon who had heard stories about the disturbances, and she began asking me about them. This led to a great deal more talking on the subject and probably did not help matters.

Anyhow on Sunday evening trouble started once more.

Mr. [D'Arles], Ralph’s father, was down for the day, planning to go back to London quite late on his motorcycle. We were going upstairs together, when all of a sudden --- “Bang.”

“Hallo,” he exclaimed, “who is that throwing stones?”

Now what was going to happen? It was his first contract with the Fijis; how was he going to take it? And what could I say? It was no earthly use trying to conceal the matter in any way; the only thing was to tell straight out what it was and be done with it. So I replied, “It is a ghost we have.”

“A ghost? And how can a ghost throw stones?”

“Well our ghost does anyway,” I answered, as if it was rather a superior kind we kept and I was proud of its accomplishments. “Haven’t you heard any stories about the Borley ghost?”

“Heard - of course I have heard; but one doesn’t believe everything one hears in this life.”

“Well in this case it happens to be true. Why there’s another.”

During the war Mr. [D'Arles] was in the Secret Service; his professional interest therefore was at once aroused. “This needs investigation,” he mused, more to himself than to me, “serious investigation.”

“You are not afraid, are you? [Adelaide] has never been hurt, so I don’t know why Ralph …..”

“Afraid? Certainly not. But I want to know who or what it is that throw stones around a house.” He was eyeing me suspiciously I thought.

“Well I tell you it is our ghost.”

“Hm..m, your ghost. I’ll believe that if and when I am allowed to look into it.”

“You are welcome to come down and look into it any time that you feel inclined. There’s just one condition and that is that you do not publish the fact that we have a ghost here to the world. We prefer to keep the matter as much as possible to ourselves.”

“I certainly won’t publish anything till I am more sure of it.”

Well, even if he did not believe it was something that he took it calmly.

But the trouble was by no means confined to a harmless stone or two. [Marianne] needed quiet that night, and sleep; but sleep seemed to be just the very thing that the ‘goblins’ would deprive her of, it they possibly could. Her eyes had closed and she had just lost, or was on the point of losing consciousness, when, “crash”, a chair in the room had suddenly thought fit to throw itself over in some mysterious way.

Drowsiness settled on her once more, when, “crash” again; the chair had had a second seizure.

I was late retiring and dead tired. So soon after I had crept into the other bed, I was lost to this world and everything connected with it. But not so in my wife’s case. Weird sounds came through the door which made sleep almost impossible; what was making them? Steps about on the landing; who on earth was walking there? Even a “tap tap” came on the door. What did the taps mean? 

At last she felt she could not stand it much more and made violent attempts to awaken me.

“John! John!! John!!! Do wake. Don’t you hear those noises? Speak to me or do something, please.”

The only reply was an unsympathetic snort. So she had to give it up and lie there and listen and hope that, at all events, nothing would come into the room.

There they were again, “Bang, creak, tramp.” What was happening outside, and how much longer was it going on for, and was the door going to burst open presently and the invaders come within?

The hours passed slowly. Was it only ‘one’ the hall clock was striking, and now only ‘two’?

However all things come to an end at last, bad as well as good, and fortunately daylight comes early in June. And after daylight at length time for the household to arise and a chance of getting a much needed cup of tea.

Being tired I was late that morning, but the ‘Goblins’ were early - for them. It was only a little past 10 a.m. when I heard a small bang. “It must just be the puppy up to some mischief,” I thought to myself, “it is surely much too early for any demonstration as yet.”

The next thing was two little “pats” on the front stair­case, and going to investigate I discovered a pair of my shoes, which had lately been in my bed­room, lying there.

This was succeeded shortly afterwards by a really loud noise. “What is that?” called [Marianne] from her bed.

“Just a mere trifle; a clothes basket full of dirty clothes a few shoes and other articles of one sort or another. I think I had better send word to [Edwin] [Whitehouse],” I added, “she asked so anxiously to be informed if anything of interest happened while she was here. I know of someone who is going that way this morning. Do you mind if I run out for a minute?”

“No, of course not dear; I’m quite all right.”

I suppose I should not have gone; I had an uncomfortable feeling all the time I was out of the house that something would happen while I was away; but I thought it was a pity that this demonstration should be wasted; - so I went. I was not away very long, but sure enough I found that something had indeed happened when I arrived back.

There was a conglomeration of things lying on the stairs and in the hall, - clothes, books, a suit case, all in utter disorder. I ran to [Marianne].

“What has happened?” I enquired.

“Happened? All I know is that there was an awful noise going on in our room next door. I thought they were really going to take the bed out. I just could not stand it, so I got up and went in. Yes, dear, I know it was strictly against the doctor’s orders, but I couldn’t help it. There was no one I could call, and I simply could not stay quietly lying here, listening to that racket going on. Directly I went in it stopped.”

I too went into the room. It was in confusion. A small table thrown over things lying all about the place; the mattress turned and the bed moved.

“Well, if [Edwin Whitehouse] is coming up soon, I might as well leave things as they are so that he can see them. Don’t you think so?”

Presently, there was a ring at the front door. It seemed rather too soon for our expected visitor to be up already. Who could it be?

I went to the door, and to my horror encountered the doctor. I had not thought about his coming. What was I to say? He would thing that [Marianne] and I had been having quite a fight. Again the only course was to tell him the real reason and let him believe it or not as he chose, I decided.

“Oh, good morning, doctor. I’m-er-afraid you will find-er-the house in an awful mess. I hope you’ll excuse it. We have - er - Poltergeist here, if you know what they are, and they have been in action.”

“Yes I think I do,” he replied, but perhaps a little doubtfully.

I was rather surprised, since I did not know myself a few weeks before. He came in, and great must have been his wonder when he saw the heterogeneous collection of things in the hall and as he picked his way up the stairs between shoes and books and various articles of clothing.

However, like all well-bred Englishmen, he kept it to himself. He could not restrain his curiosity however when he was in his patient’s room.

“What was it your husband said you have in the house?” he asked in a mystified voice. “Poltergeist, was it?”

“Yes, in other words ghosts,” my wife replied with a laugh. “Oh from the way he put it I thought he meant painters; he said the house was in an awful mess, but it is not the sort of mess painters make.”

“No, we have been having a great time this morning, - or rather they have - throwing things about?”

Naturally he wanted to know a little more about it but his patient was not in a fit state to be excited by answering questions. The Fijis however had prepared a special exhibition for his benefit.

“I hear you have ghosts here,” he said to me as he came out of my wife’s room.

“Yes, they are throwing things. There they go now,” I said as a stone or some other thing came fixing along.”

“That was thrown by a ghost?” he asked somewhat incredulously. “Yes, and there’s another.”

“Well this is indeed very interesting. Of course I have heard about the Borley ghost before, but did not expect ever to see it in action.”

“Not very good for the patient I’m afraid. How is she?” I enquired, as we descended the stairs.

“Under all the circumstances as well as could be expected. Try and keep her as quiet as you can. That is the great thing.” “I’ll certainly try. I only hope this demonstration will be over soon.” “If it isn’t she should be moved, if possible.”

“I can hear what you say,” came a voice from the distance, “and I don’t want to go to the hospital, I shall soon be all right again.”

“Well, we’ll have to see how everything is to-morrow.” “Anyhow,” I thought to myself as the doctor said goodbye, “you have seen something you have never seen before, and I hope you will think it is a good substitute for you fee and make no charge.”

But what the doctor himself was thinking was another matter. Did he for a moment believe it was a ghost, or was he inwardly speculating how it was being done and why it was being done?

Another ring at the bell; this time it really was [Edwin Whitehouse].

“See, I have left everything untouched for your express benefit,” I greeted her with, pointing at the debris, “I even had to take the doctor through it all.”

“That was good of you. But did the ghosts really throw all these things about like this? And that heavy clothes basket?”

Demonstrations continued, but I cannot remember all the events of that memorable day. It was certainly the high water mark of Poltergeist activity during our sojourn in the house and a day tat I never shall forget. I felt that at all events we were getting valuable additions to our list of witnesses; no fewer than three in the last twenty-four hours. But of course there was always the question, “What did they think about it?”

[Edwin Whitehouse] was presently sitting with my wife in her room, when a stone flew up, and turning round suddenly he almost saw it start. This was a thing none of us ever did quite manage to accomplish; this occasion was I believe the nearest anyone really came to it, - unless it was when [Marianne] saw something being carried along the passage just outside her sitting room.

Later on I came upstairs and [Edwin Whitehouse] and myself having left the room were talking together at a little distance away. A sudden cry - a cry of distress - and a bump from the room we had just left called us back post haste.


“What is the matter I wonder,” I cried rushing back. “Something has happened,” returned the lady.

I should just think something had happened; for what did we see? Our invalid, who was suffering from a weak heart and was to be kept as quiet and peaceful as possible, and whom we had left a minute or tow before resting calmly on her bed, was now lying prone on the floor, - the mattress on top of her. She had just been ‘turfed’ as we called it at school; that is to say the mattress, blanket, etc. had been turned over wholesale.

She was in the same position in relation to them as she had been, but they were all lying on the floor and [Marianne] was face downwards. I have been assured since that it is possible for a person to accomplish the feat of turning themselves over this way unaided, but I am afraid I am not convinced - especially in the case of someone weakened by the trouble that my wife was suffering from that day.

“Oh Mrs. [Foyster], are you hurt?” cried our visitor, as she and I began to replace the mattress on the bed.

“No, not a bit thanks. Just a little started that’s all,” was the cheery reply.

“How did it happen?”

“I don’t know. All that I do know is that I was lying on this side, and without any warning the mattress went over, and I found myself here.”We soon lifted her back again, but after that we did not feel like leaving her alone. However presently our visitor had to be going, so it devolved on me to keep watch. After a time though everything seemed quiet and the invalid herself asleep.

“I’ll just creep down,” I thought, “and see if that kitchen fire is all right.” But I had not gone far, when again I heard a cry and rushing back once more found her pinned under the mattress on the floor.

“Oh I was asleep and they woke me up,” she exclaimed.

What was to be done? How could we go on like this?

Our char-woman was washing on Monday and did not come; and there were the children to be looked after, some sort of meals to be got, and I couldn’t as much as leave the room for a few minutes without the fear of something happening.

Burning incense did not seem to be any good; for one reason being June the windows were open, there was a breeze and the smoke quickly blew away. Beyond that it seemed as if nothing would or could restrain them that day.

“Please don’t ask Mrs. [Pearson] to come in here while things are going on like this,” pleaded [Marianne]; “she would be telling somebody or other, and it would be all over the village in no time.”

So I just did the best I could. The children could come in and keep her company while I went downstairs; thought they were only three years old, they would be better than no one. But help was at hand. Sir [George] and Lady [Whitehouse] were due to be at the village for a meeting that evening. Hearing the report of what was happening from their nephew, they determined that after it was over they would carry us all off once more to [Arthur] Hall. How could an invalid, especially one suffering from heart, hope to recover in such in atmosphere and amid such goings on? And so they looked in on their way to the meeting to let us know and prepare. Just before Lady [Whitehouse], walking on ahead, arrived, things began to get desperate; “bang” here, “bang” there, every few seconds it seemed something was thrown. The clothes basked, which I had carried upstairs, had already gone over the banisters again. Lady [Whitehouse] needed no telling; she heard the noise herself as she came up the drive.

“There is only one thing to be done,” she said; “your wife must go down to our house at once. Sir [George] will be here in a few minutes with the car. We must put her right in and take her off. I shall have to let the meeting I had come for go. I will take the children down with us. Then my husband can come back for the meeting and take you down when he goes. Here he is I expect,” she added as the door bell rang. “That will be all right Robert, won’t it?”

“Much the best thing to be done,” he replied when matters had been explained.

“Now Mr. [Foyster] can you put up a few things for your wife and I’ll see about the children?”

While preparations were hastily going on, poor [Marianne] was left alone for a few minutes again and -- was ‘turfed’ a third time.

“I only hope,” I said, “that they won’t make any attack while we are getting her downstairs.”

However this was accomplished without incident much to my relief. She was tucked safely into the car and in a few minutes was off and away.

A Retreat

And so we made our second retreat. But who could blame us? What else could we possibly do? Our only feeling was that of thankfulness that we had a haven to fly to, and gratitude to our rescuers. What would have happened before the night was over, if we had stayed, I have no idea; but judging by the way matters were going, it looked as if quite a hot time was being planned for us.

[Marianne] was forbidden to come back again for a time, until she had had a thorough change and rest.

After about a week at [Arthur] Hall, she went right away and paid some visits and did not return to the house till June was out. In the meantime [Adelaide] stayed with the [Whitehouse]s and Mrs. [Pearson] looked after the little boy at the cottage. For my part, I am afraid I could not bring myself to sleep in the house by myself; perhaps it was cowardly, but there it was. So sometimes I had someone in to sleep in one of the spare rooms; sometimes I passed the night at [Arthur] Hall; part of the time I was away from home, and one or two nights, while Dick was away, they put me up at the cottage. And so the time passed till, refreshed in body and mind, [Marianne] returned.

But there is just one thing to record. It happened on an evening when Mr. [D'Arles] was down staying with me. He was dead tired and had gone to bed early. I was making preparations to follow him, when I heard a noise somewhere in the house and wondered whether it proceeded from the room he was at the time occupying. Accordingly I knocked at his door and receiving no answer, opened it and went in. Directly I began to push the door, I could feel that there was something close up against it inside. This I discovered, when I had gained admittance, was an empty pot of paint.

“Excuse me for coming in unasked,” I apologised, “but I did knock at the door first.”

“Oh that’s all right,” came a sleepy reply.

“There was a noise in the house and I wondered whether it emanated from your corner,” I explained.

“I was asleep and heard nothing.”

“Well how about this” I said, lifting up the paint pot; “did you put it close up inside your door before you went to bed?”

“I was not even aware that it was in the room.”

“Well that was where it was; sorry for disturbing you. Good-night.”

It certainly was not [Marianne] that time.

Counter Attacks

has been lost

The numbering of the pages, however, continues uninterrupted.

“…the fact of their being present so works on the minds of certain people that they fancy they see something with their bodily eyes.  But I hardly think so. 

All I know is that I have been with people, who I have every reason to believe are perfectly truthful and reliable, and who have asserted that they saw things that I have been utterly unable to see. I can only say that I do not envy them their gift.  I would not have it for a great deal.”

“And nor would I,” she replied looking at the ground as if to say, “Please stop.”

And so the subject of our conversation changed.

The First Seance

At the beginning of August we returned home.  Soon afterwards we met Lady [Whitehouse].  She had not been idle in her efforts to help us during our absence and had good news for us. 

“I have heard of two distinct lots of people who are willing to come down and help you,” she told us eagerly.  “I wonder if you will care to try what they can do?  Anyhow I can’t imagine they will do you any harm.  At the worst they can but be failures.”

“No, and we are only too glad to try anything.” 

“Well, first there is Mr. [Braithwaite] - a cousin of the [Braithwaite]s of Norton.  You know them by name anyhow?”

“Yes, I have met them,” said [Marianne].

Lady [Whitehouse] proceeded with animation. “He is most interested in these matters, and he knows of two wonderful men, who will come down and make everything right he says if it can be made right.  He does not live here, you know, but he will be down for a visit very soon.”

“What are they going to do?”  I asked rather anxiously. 

“I have no idea, but Mr. [Braithwaite] will come and see you when he is down.  Then failing them, there is Mr. Slater, who knows of two more men.  He says, ‘if they cannot do something there is nothing that can be done.”

“It is very kind of you, Lady [Whitehouse], to take so much trouble.”

“Not at all. You deserve all the help you can get.  Try Mr. [Braithwaite]’s people first, because he won’t be here for very long.”

Mr. [Braithwaite] was down quite soon.  He came to see us, and arrangements were made and a day fixed.

“They will allow me to be in the room,” he said to me, “and possibly they may allow you to be there too.” 

“Have you any idea what they are going to do?” 

“Yes, there will be a sitting, and one of them will go into a trance, and the spirits will speak through him.  The other will do the interrogating.”

It was the first time I realised that I was being drawn into Spiritualism, - or something very much like it, - and I felt rather doubtful.  My views on the subject hitherto had been much the same as those held by Fr. Benson in “The Necromancers”.  I thought there was certainly something in it, but whatever was in it was bad, - even devilish.  However I did not quite see how I could turn back now; and - after all, something had to be done.

So the day arrived, and the hour - 6 p.m., and the company.  Mr [Braithwaite] introduced his two companions, Mr. Thompson, the medium, and Mr. Teed, the interrogator.  First of all they looked round the house and remarked it had a haunted atmosphere.  Then they decided that they would like to sit in the library.  Not only was I allowed in, but I was pressed into service.  Mr. [Braithwaite] and myself had to sit in the circle with the two chief actors.  [Marianne] was for the time being engaged elsewhere.

For the sake of anyone unfamiliar with what takes place at a “sitting”, I will explain that the medium goes into a trance, while in this condition it is claimed that his spirit vacates his body which is then temporarily inhabited by another spirit, who acts and speaks through the body it is possessing.  It was Teed’s part to draw out information from the spirit in possession.

We sat down and Mr. Thompson soon flew into a trance.  Then he began to talk.

“This is his Guide on the other side,” I was told, ( a sort of chucker out ); “he is an Indian.”

Very soon his manner changed.  “This is his Guide; a doctor.” He shook hands all round, and when he came to me asked if I was not troubled with rheumatism?

I admitted that I was, so he gave some general directions on the subject of food.

The proceedings were all Greek to me, but - here he was changing again.

The Interrogator got interested.

“Give me a drink,” cried the Medium, or rather the spirit in possession.

“My friend, you could not drink it if I did,” replied Teed.

“Give me a drink,” the spirit still persisted.

“Friend, you have no body to put it into; it -”

“Give me a drink, I say.”

“Who are you friend: what is your name?”

“My name? Why, Joe Miles to be sure.”

“And what is your occupation?”


“Yes, what do you do for a living?”

“I keep a public house, and I want a drink.”

“Are you aware that your body is dead and buried; it is only your spirit speaking to us.  You could not be doing that, but my friend here has kindly lent you his body to speak through.”

“What’s that? Dead and buried?”

“Yes, a long time ago I daresay.  What king was reigning when you had your public house?”

“King? Why King George of course.” 

“All the time?”

“No, there was another I believe.”

“William - “

“Yes, William; that’s the name.”

“Well then you have been dead just about a hundred years.”

“Dead a hundred years.  I don’t understand that.”

“But it’s true all the same.  Now, - have you been making a noise round this house?”

“Yes, sometimes.”

“Why have you done it?”

“I wanted to attract attention.”

“Why did you want to attract attention?”

“I wanted a drink.”

“Well now you understand you can’t drink, because you have no body to put it into.  So you won’t make any more noise round here will you?”

“No,” doubtfully.

“It disturbs the people who live here; they don’t like it. And they have never done you any harm; they are ready to help you if they can.”

And then followed about five or ten minutes of instruction and enlightenment for Mr. Joe Miles.  At the end of that time he promised reform.  He would make no more disturbances; he would go to church; he would live as any self-respecting ghost ought to live.

“There,” said Mr. Teed, “you have I think the cause of your worries.  You will I believe be troubled no further. If you are, speak nicely and gently to him as I did.  Don’t threaten but coax; remind him of his promise and soothe him down.  He will soon respond.”

Following him other spirits appeared on the stage; - or I should rather say, spoke through the medium’s lips.  There was Mary, the poor girl who had got into trouble and then killed her baby.  Joe the ostler, who had been kicked to death by a horse.  A farmer, who in this life had thought of nothing much else but of his farm and his stock, and invited us to come and see his beautiful team of horses. The village idiot, who had never understood much of anything. 

These were all dealt with in suitable ways by Mr. Teed.  They were instructed, enlightened and started off on the right way. 

He was quite pleased with his evening’s work.  I remarked that it seemed a much easier thing to convert the dead then it did the living, to which Mr. Teed gave a suitable explanation. 

There were undoubtedly were spirits around.  [Marianne], who had come in during the proceedings, saw [Harry Bull].  Someone else was a monk.  Mr. Teed went into a trance again with the idea of possibly getting [Harry] to speak, but was not successful.  [Marianne], being very psychic, went into a trance herself.

 The whole proceedings seemed to upset her very much. And the result? I am afraid we did not get much help.  Joe Miles, it ultimately turned out, was not the entity causing all the trouble.  So if he was converted it was not of much value as far as we were concerned.  Things went on much as usual; quiet spells; small outbreaks; something suddenly flying from apparently nowhere.

But Joe Miles became a household word.  When any sort of an outbreak took place now, it was he.

“There’s Joe Miles again,” [Marianne] would remark.

“Now Joe, Joe, you are not behaving nicely,” I would remonstrate, “remember your promise.  You said you would not do this any more.  Now please be quiet and good.  We can’t give you a drink you know.  In the first place I have nothing quite handy that you would care for, and in the second place, even if I had, you must remember that you have no body to put it into.” 

The only reply would be presently a stone or some other missile flying along.

We had a very nice letter afterwards from Mr. Thompson.  He urged [Marianne], since she had these wonderful psychic gifts, to use them.  How much good she might do with them and so on.  But [Marianne] had other gifts besides psychic, and a duty to her husband and her child and her own health, and therefore decided not to do so.

Marianne is accused

Unfortunately I ceased keeping a memorandum of events after June, and therefore have no exact record of the order in which they took place, while other happenings have been lost in oblivion.  The first of these results after all is not of very great importance; what really matters is that they did take place.

 So I think it was a short time before what I have just narrated, but am not quite certain, that the attack on the library happened.

It was in the evening.  I was outside the house but not very far away, when I heard hasty steps coming in my direction.  It was my wife.

“Oh John,” she said, breathlessly, “do come.  Such str­ange noises in the library; bangs and crashes, and I don’t like to go in alone.  Come in with me, do.”

“I was in the kitchen,” she explained as we made our way back to the house.  “They must be throwing the furniture about.” 

Truly they had been.  The room looked as if a hurricane had passed through it.  I am not, unfortunately, naturally tidy, but I admire tidiness, and this, - this was beyond everything.  My large writing desk thrown on its face; papers lying about: books pushed out of the book case; chairs overturned.

“How I would love Mr. And Mrs. X to come and see it,” said [Marianne] referring to some neighbours of our, who persistently looked with a somewhat peculiar expression on the ground whenever we told them anything about our troubles,

“I am sure they think it is all our imagination.”

“I’ll go and ask them” I said, and went at once.  Would they like to come?

Yes, they would certainly come. 

They came, they saw and - inwardly, I have not much doubt, they sniffed. 

Outwardly they made no very enlightening remarks.  So as to what they thought we could only guess.  Possibly it was, “Is not it terrible that she should do such a thing.”

“She, she, who in de world am she den?” Why of course no one else but my poor long suffering wife.  But after all this is only conjecture, for they were really good friends of ours. 

In other cases however my wife had been openly accused - even to her face.  As if it was not bad enough to have to put up with this, and live with this and be tortured with this, without having it all laid at one’s door.  As if anyone in their five senses would trail the clean linen, which one had oneself with much labour just washed, over a dirty floor.  As if anyone would, even if one could, hurl something at oneself, hit one’s own face and give oneself a black eye.  As if anyone could, even if one would, throw a thing from a different part of the room to that in which one was at that particular moment located. 

In spite of these improbabilities and impossibilities I had a visit from Mr. [Braithwaite] who came with a special message.  He looked very serious and as if he was doing something out of a huge sense of duty that he did not at all like doing, - and I do not doubt but that he was. 

He informed me that with great hesitation and diffidence he must tell me the truth of the whole matter.  It was my wife that was behind it all.  (This did not seem to fit in very well with the Joe Miles theory - but let that pass.) 

No doubt she did not know that she was doing it, but it was her all the same. 

She was subject to trances; that explained it.  I instanced the case of the library.  How could she be the agent when she was in the kitchen, and actually heard the noise from there? He replied it was quite possible.  The order of events he said might be as follows; -

·         First, [Marianne] went into a trance.

·         Secondly, unconsciously she made her way to the library.

·         While there she threw over the things we found misplaced. 

·         Next making her way back to the kitchen she came out of the trance and supposedly continued doing whatever it was she had in hand the moment the trance struck her, quite unaware of the fact that she had even stopped doing it.  At that moment she heard the noises which had in reality sounded to me seconds or minutes earlier, and thereupon came to look for me. 

The chief objection to this theory seemed to me that the explanation was harder to swallow than the thing it was supposed to explain; but then I suppose I was not a disinterested party.  Anyhow I was not convinced.  I made some further expostulations. But to what purpose? 

Mr. [Braithwaite] had been kindness itself in the whole matter, and he deserved our deepest gratitude.  So I thanked him politely and he went his way.

But poor [Marianne] much resented these insinuations.

The Locked Doors

“And what are we to do for a bed to-night, I wonder?”  my wife greeted me with near bed time one night.

“Why what is the matter now?”  I enquired anxiously.

“Only that both doors of our room are locked,” replied [Marianne].

Locking doors was a comparatively new annoyance then; but it was one which was very common during the latter part of our “fifteen months.”  How often it happened I have no record, and if I narrated every occasion it would only bore my readers.  It is sufficient to say that the enemy, it would seem, suddenly discovered how annoying this, could be and acted accordingly.

“And that is not all either,” continued my wife.  “[Adelaide] is locked into her room.” 

“What a blessing she is not a nervous child,” I replied. 

[Marianne] looked worried as we mounted the stairs. “I only hope she won’t happen to want anything during the night,” she remarked.

“Not likely.  But there we shall have to make the best of it.”

“As far as we are concerned,” said [Marianne] pausing on the landing, “of course we could go into the spare room, but I have it all ready for Fr. Clive Lugent to-morrow and I don’t want to have to get it ready again.  So if we could manage anything else, --”

“Oh ‘we’ll make out some way or other.  How about the little bed in the room over the kitchen?” I suggested.

“Yes, that was the one I was thinking of.”

So we tried it.  But it was a single bed and most uncomfortable for two people.  I soon went off to sleep, but woke up presently to find that [Marianne] had not had a wink; therefore I vacated in her favour.

But where to go, that was the question.  I tried sharing Ralph’s couch, but that did not seem to work.  So finally I pulled an easy chair into the kitchen and spent the rest of the near the made up fire.

Night problems had been settled, but morning had new ones of its own. There was first [Adelaide] locked in her room.

“Tom’s coming with a ladder,” I told my wife, “and I’ll carry her down.”

(Tom was the gardener.)

“With your rheumatism, don’t you think you had better let Tom take her?”

So [Adelaide] was rescued dramatically through the window by Tom and came down the ladder attired in her dressing gown quite thrilled by the experience.

But the doors; were we to have the locks taken off?

“I’ll apply the relic,” said [Marianne].

This remark of my wife’s need a little comment, for it introduces something new into my narrative and a something which played no small part from this time onward. 

This relic had been given a short time before to [Marianne], and it was a relic of no less a person than the Cure’ D’Ars, - a saintly French priest, who is reported to have had a great deal of trouble in his life from Poltergeist. 

Later another relic was donated, so during the last part of the time we had two, which proved very useful when one of them had temporarily disappeared, as occasionally happened  I feel we owe a great debt of gratitude to the kindly donor of these relics.  They meant more than I can say - perhaps even than I am aware - during those last months, when the whole thing was getting rather badly onto our nerves.  And demonstrations started and was the outlook black? 

[Marianne] went round the house with a relic and prayers, and it subsided.

“There is a nasty feeling about the house tonight,” she would say, “I think I will go round with the relic.” No trouble ensured.

And so to-day she said “I’ll apply the relic.”

The relic was thereupon applied, a prayer was said and the relic left on the handle.  Presently one of us passing that way tried the door and found it pen.

 Then it was taken to another door and left there.  In this way access was soon gained to both the locked rooms and our problem solved. 

On another day I came home and found the front door locked.  To find our front door locked during the day is the exception and not the rule.  So I went round by the back entrance and uttered a protest.

“I am not the guilty one,” pleaded [Marianne].

“Well who is?  But anyhow the best thing is to go and open it.”

This was not as easy as it sounded for when I got there, - the key had gone. 

Disconsolate, I retired to the library; but it also was locked and minus a key.  This was getting too much; what were we to do? To have to bring all our guests in by a back or side door?  To have to walk half way round the house before one could get one’s letters, papers and other things? To be barred indefinitely from my books and my centre of work?  It was exceedingly irritating to say the least of it.  But once more the relic came to our assistance.  Both doors were unlocked within the space of a few hours.  The keys subsequently appeared; from where and how I do not now remember.

And so we live and learn.  I was certainly learning a great deal during this time.  With regard to ‘relics’, I considered them in past years rather in light of a “Romish Superstition”; now I had to change my opinion.

Then there were Scapula.  We both wore scapula for months, - pinning them  on to our underclothes and changing them when we undressed to our night clothes.

 Though I was never what one could really call badly hurt, and I did not believe that I should be, I wore my scapula to please [Marianne].  With her though it was altogether another matter.  Four times she was injured quite severely, and in each case, for some reason or other, she had not her scapula on her. 

Twice however they were removed - on one occasion from [Marianne] and on another from myself.  Removed mysteriously, and while we slept as far as I can remember.  But after a short time they came back just as mysteriously; found pinned on clothes we were not wearing at the time.

So beloved Bishops of the Anglican Communion, I would like to ask, since you are Fathers of God, why do not you bless Scapula and send them out to help and protect your flocks from the assaults of evil spirits and from bodily dangers? Why compel them to go to Rome to get this protection? Is it that you have not the power? Which God forbid; or is it that you have not the faith? Which God forbid also.  Anyhow some of these so called ‘Mediaeval Superstitions’ seem to be more practical after all than many of us thought.

I have mentioned the name of Father Clive Lugent, from whom we were expecting a visit the day after we were excluded from our bedroom and our bed.  He was a dear very kindly Anglican priest.  We had heard about him as a great authority on these matters.  Getting into correspondence with us, he declared himself as quite willing to come down and do anything that he could.  We hoped that he would have spent the night and have a Communion service the next morning.  However his engagements made this utterly impossible.  He was however entirely sympathetic.  He too knew of many cases of those who had passed over being quite unaware that they were not still living in the flesh.  He said prayers and bade all evil spirits depart.  The house was much quieter on the night after his visit.

It was I believe the very next day that Mr. Slater came with his men.  I was not present, having an engagement that called me elsewhere, but from what I told, there does not seem to be very much to say about this visit. 

They looked round the house and gave it as their opinion that the trouble must be due to “human agency”.  There was, as far as they could see, no other way to account for what was happening. (They did not add, however, that [Marianne] was the human agent).  Since, as I have already narrated, we had tested this theory as thoroughly as we could, and had proved up to the hilt that it was utterly impossible, the conclusions of men who had seen nothing of the circumstances not having witnessed any of the demonstrations, did not shake our opinion.  At the same time I can only record our gratitude to Mr. Slater for taking sufficient interest to go to the trouble of bringing them down.

Mr [Price] visits.

“We can only try,” remarked [Marianne].  “Of course we can always try,” I agreed; “there is no harm done by trying; but I doubt if we shall succeed.”

As usual [Marianne] looked at the bright side.  “Oh I think we shall,” she replied optimistically. 

This wonderful thing we were to try for was not anything very hard for most people, but it was different for us.  It was simply to procure a resident maid.

“Whoever we get or wherever we get her from,” I went on, “she is sure very soon to be told, if that is she doesn’t know already.  And you are aware of what an aversion maids have to ghosts.”

“I don’t blame them,” said my wife emphatically.

None the less [Marianne]’s optimism was justified; we did get a maid.  But my pessimism was also partly justified, for when her friends heard where she was going, they very kindly primed her up with weird and ghostly stories.  Still she came, and stayed - well just about one week.  Then one evening she failed to return from an afternoon out sending an excuse about an illness, and the next day someone came for her luggage.

Nothing daunted, my wife made another effort.

“Perhaps if I could get someone younger,” she reflected  “ a girl that has just left school that I could train myself.” 

And so one day a little girl called Maggie arrived on the scene; a child just lately turned fourteen.

At that age many girls are very susceptible to the influence of people older than themselves; and so it proved with Maggie.  She took a great liking to [Marianne].  Certainly the latter was very good to her.  In consequence

everything that Mrs. [Foyster] did was right, and everything she said was so, and everything she thought was the proper thing to think.  If Mrs. [Foyster] was not afraid of the ghost, - well then there was no reason why Maggie should be.  And Maggie bravely went to bed and buried her head under the bed clothes with the light still burning in her room and was soon fast asleep.  If there was any unexpected noise after that, she did not hear it. 

But she had not been in the house many days before she had a great surprise. 

It was the night of Sept. 26th, and there was an almost total eclipse of the moon.  The first time I looked out to see it, the sky was clouded; presently I looked out again and there was a splendid view, which I wished to share with someone else.

“[Marianne],” I called out, “do come into the library and see the eclipse.”

[Marianne] was in the kitchen superintending the cooking of the evening meal.

“All right dear I’m coming.  Come along too, Maggie.”

We all three stood and looked at it for a few minutes.

“What a glorious night,” I exclaimed.

My wife suddenly roused up.

“Yes, but a glorious dinner will be spoilt if we stay looking at it much longer,” she replied.  “Maggie run and put the potatoes into the dish and I’ll take the meat out.”

Maggie went back and lifted the top off the potato saucepan standing on the range and - gasped.  There was not a potato there; it was absolutely cleaned out.  Her face was a study.

“Why, what is the matter Maggie?” asked [Marianne] coming in.

“Oh Mrs. [Foyster],” she said showing the empty saucepan, “what has happened to the potatoes?”

[Marianne] looked, then she roared with laughter  It was annoying, but there was a very comic side to it too.  We were so used to this sort of thing that it surprised us no more: but the poor child’s face of astonishment:

“Oh, Mrs. [Foyster],” she said, “but I did put them in, I really did.  Where have they gone?”

“You must have eaten them yourself, Maggie.”

The little girl looked at the saucepan doubtfully. 

“I must have a very big mouth and a very big appetite to eat that whole pot full of potatoes in so short a time,” she remarked.  “I only came into the room a few seconds ahead of you.”

But anyhow they had gone, and it was quite a joke with Maggie for some time to come to ask her where the potatoes went to.

So we had a potato-less meal; - but if nothing worse than that happened it would not have mattered much.  On the contrary just about this time things disappeared or were moved about to such an extent that it was very much beyond a joke.  For instance [Marianne] had just completed a big pile of typewriting, when the whole lot vanished.  A little portable typewriter that I had, went.  Of course it may have been burgled by someone, but on the other hand typewriters are not things that burglars as a rule run after.  And money, which they do, as far as we know never was taken.  It was moved sometimes, but it was left somewhere near.  One morning I found the contents of my pocket book thrown about the bathroom and much of my small change under the bath.  When I reckoned up there seemed to be a pound that I could not account for, but I was not really sure that it was in my  pocket book the night before. 

I had, besides this, other experiences with money.  I was the village treasurer for the local hospital contribution scheme. One day, while opening members’ envelopes and entering the month’s contributions I went out of the room.  When I came to add the money up, it would not tally with what I had down in the book; the cash was persistently 8d. Too much.  After wasting a lot of time in trying to get it right, or to find someone who had paid an 8d. Not acknowledged on their card, I had to give it up.  The only conclusion I could come to was that some of [Marianne]’s cash, which she had left lying about, had been transferred by some unknown person to my pile on the table. 

I determined that in future I would not leave money in the room by itself, if I could avoid doing so.  But on another occasion I was called out while at this same job.  When I came back, I was perturbed. 

[Marianne] came in at that moment. “What is the matter, dear?” she enquired.

“Only that I was called out while doing this, and find I am 4/6d short.”

“Let’s see if I can find it for you.”  But she had barely begun to look when I espied it myself.

“Why there’s half a crown of it,” I said, “up here.  And I do declare there is the other 2/- over there.” So that was easily accounted for.

But of other things, we could not know what would be missing next.  One could hardly call one’s things one’s own.  We did indeed find one place of safety for anything especially precious - if not too bulky - and that was between the leaves of a family Bible.  Nothing was ever taken from there.

Still on the whole can anyone be surprised that we were anxious, desperately anxious, to have the house settled if possible? Yet any hope of settlement seemed to be fading away, and we thought that the only thing was to put up with it all and possibly gradually wear it down.  Then we had the promise of another visit, which once more for a time raised our hopes. 

A letter came one day from a friend of mine who was interested in the house.  He had been that morning, he said, to see a Mr. [Price].   Now Mr. [Price] was the secretary of a psychic society and he had been to [Borley Rectory] during the time of my predecessor, and had instituted investigations which had not been completed.  He would very much like to come down again if he might and complete them.  He would charge nothing; - there was a certain sum of money allotted each year for these investigations.  All he needed was my consent and he would be here with fellow members and investigation would soon be in full swing.

I thought it sounded wonderful and consulted with [Marianne]. “The great thing,” I said, “is that they are used to looking into cases like ours; they are experts; and even if they do not do any good, I cannot see that they can do any harm.

“My wife seemed rather doubtful, but she replied -”Have them down by all means as far as I am concerned.  As you say I suppose they cannot do any harm.”

“But you are sceptical about their doing any good?” 

“I didn’t say so, but I am getting rather discouraged.”

“Well it seems [Price] was on the track before; we might as well let him finish it off,” I concluded.

So I wrote, and eventually he came.  He announced that he would arrive with some other members of the ‘council’ at a neighbouring village, and run up that evening to see how things were.

 We thought that this would be only a sort of preliminary visit, so [Marianne], who was very tired and wanted to go to bed early, went round with the relic for the sake of a quiet night.

But there we were wrong.  Mr. [Price] arrived with another gentleman and two ladies and they meant business then and there.  They brought refreshments with them and seemed ready to stay all night.  On the other hand the relic had been applied and all was quiet.  How was the work of the relic to be undone?

“Talking about it seems to stir things up more than any - things,” I suggested.  And so we talked.

“[Marianne] dear,” I said, presently, “you are so dead tired, do go to bed.”

“I think perhaps if the visitors will excuse me, I will,” she replied.

The rest of us still sat and still talked, and after a time were rewarded.  First a bell rang.  Then a little later a bottle crashed on the front stairs.  This naturally caused quiet an excitement amongst the members of the council. 

One or two other things presently flew about somewhere and they were still more interested.

In the mean time in response to [Marianne]’s request, I took her up a cup of tea.  As usual I attempted to go in by the door opening on to the landing, but - nothing doing: it had been mysteriously locked and the key of course gone. 

However the other door was open so I took it in that way.  Not very long afterwards I came up again.

“Hallo; this is locked too,” I exclaimed, trying the door I had lately entered by, “what is to be done now?” [Marianne] was imprisoned.

She certainly was in rather a bad way.  She was not feeling too well to start with, and now the light had gone out and the matches had disappeared.

“Oh Lionel,” she cried out, “I can’t stand this, we must try and get a door open.  Help me please.  Let’s go to this one.  I’ll kneel down on my side, and you kneel down on your’s and we will say the Lord’s Prayer.

I did as she asked me and we said it together.  Then eagerly we tried the door handle.  The door had been shot back.  How or by whom I could not tell; it was sufficient that my wife was no longer shut up alone in the dark unwell.

“The Council” meanwhile were making quite a noise over their investigations; they were running about the house; calling out to each other and in a general state of excitement.  The children were awake, the little servant girl wondering what on earth was happening, and it was getting late.

“I can’t put up with very much more of this,” my wife remonstrated; “Lionel do you think you could get them to go?”

I found the leader, explained the circumstances and requested that proceedings might close for the night.

“Most certainly if you wish,” he replied.  “Ladies I think perhaps it is time we went back to our hotel.”

There seemed a little disappointment, but at once they began preparations for departure, with a request that they might come up again in the morning

On their arrival next day one of the ladies came up to my wife and asked if she would be so kind as to show her over the house; she would so like to see it by daylight.  As soon as they were gone the other took me in tow and we walked round the garden. 

“Well, what do you think of the situation?” I asked, “have you any clue?”

“Yes we have: and I want to tell you in the absence of your wife.”

Just at that precise moment, however another visitor appeared. “Excuse me,” I said, “I think there is someone who wants to see Mrs. [Foyster]. Good morning [Edwin Whitehouse]; I’ll tell [Marianne] that you are in here.”

My wife came down and this entirely upset calculations.  “I did not want her to see me talking to you,” my lady said when I rejoined her, “I am afraid she will want to know what it is that I am saying.  But it can’t be helped.  We are all of the opinion, - in fact we have not the slightest doubt about it -that this trouble is caused by Mrs. [Foyster].

“Impossible,” I rejoined, “absolutely impossible!”

“Not at all.  Did you notice last night that it was soon after she went upstairs that things began to happen?”

There is no need for me to repeat the conversation, in fact I could not remember it if I wanted to.  The upshot of it was that [Marianne] got wind of what was being said, or anyhow a suspicion of it and was very much annoyed.

[Edwin Whitehouse] also heard and was equally indignant.  The secret was out, and the Council had to make the best of it. 

“Will you submit to a test?”  my wife was asked.

“Certainly,” said [Marianne].

So it was finally arranged that the company should meet again that night; the servant girl sent home and [Marianne] kept under careful surveillance.  Then they would see whether anything happened or not.

“I’ll be there too if I may?” said [Edwin Whitehouse].

And then once more we adjourned.


“I wish they would hurry up and come.”

[Marianne] and I were standing in the passage leading to the kitchen under a bell which was ringing away merrily at intervals, waiting for our visitors.

“Now how, I would like to know, do they imagine I am ringing that bell?” said my wife as she regarded it critically and with some hostility.  “But as soon as they come the wretched thing will stop.  You see if it doesn’t?”

And so of course it did.

“We wish you had been here earlier,” was the greeting we gave them when they did arrive, “that bell has been ringing off and on for nearly half an hour.”

“Well we have arrived now.  And you, Mrs. [Foyster], are under surveillance.”

“All right, survey me as much as you like, anything is better than being suspected of such conduct - rather of such a crime, as being responsible for all this.”

And so they surveyed and time slipped by.  Was nothing going to happen? 

We were getting anxious and feeling rather foolish; at least I was.

“Everything seems quiet enough now,” was the caustic comment.

But at last - patience rewarded - and tinkle and a rush to the passage.

“There it is; ‘that’s the bell.”

“And now are you satisfied?” said [Marianne].

“You are completely exonerated, Madam,” exclaimed one of the council members.

“Thank you.”

“Then let’s see where it was rung from,” called out another.

An excited throng rushed upstairs.  How pretty well all the bell wired, except the front and back door, had been cut by my predecessor and we had not taken the trouble to have them reconnected.  The wires of some were hanging in the bedrooms and these were tried in turn.  Presently a bell rang.

“Ah, there we have it;” said the first lady.

“Yes, but who pulled it?” asked the second.

“Well, it is next door to the room in which your little girl is lying in bed,” a gentleman put in.

“Poor little [Adelaide]; only three and a half years old, surely no one could suspect her of going into the next room in the pitch dark and climbing onto a box and of getting hold of a wire which is quite high up and pulling it to make a bell ring?” some one else protested.

“Anyhow we’ll seal up her room and the room from which the bell is rung and see whether it rings again, and then we can be sure,” was the council’s verdict.

So [Adelaide] was sealed up and the bell did not happen to ring any more, and in consequence she did not get her acquittal.

However one more incident that evening.  The front door bell rang.  It was Ralph’s father.  Presently he came in to where the company was.

“Mr. [D'Arles],” said the leader, “I understand that you have been in this house at different times.  What is your opinion of it?”

“One thing I do know,” he replied, “and that is that it can be neither Mr. Nor Mrs. [Foyster] who is responsible.  I have heard noises in the night and have got up and looked in at the door of their bedroom which happened to be open and see them both sound asleep in bed.”

'Joe Miles' and the Jug

“Bump;” and a very considerable bump too.

No wonder I was wide awake and fully alive to the situation in a moment, for I was lying in bed, it was in the middle of the night - or the early hours of the morning - and a second before I had been fast asleep.  But that bump.  Something or someone had dropped an article of no light weight on my poor unoffending head. 

Almost as soon as I was awake I realised who the “something or someone” was - no one else than our friend Joe Miles; but what the article could be I was curious to discover.  So I put out my hands from under the bed clothes to investigate and they soon came in contact with - a large bedroom water jug.  It was empty, fortunately, also fortunately unbroken, but there it was lying on the top of the bed.

“Well of all the things imaginable; if that does not best everything.” I had to say something or other to relieve my feelings, and of course in saying it I awoke [Marianne].

“What on earth is the matter,” exclaimed that person. 

“Nothing at all; only a water jug dropped on my head.  Rather a surprise when one is fast asleep,” I growled. 

“And from another bedroom than this,” she could just see it in the dim morning light.  “What will they be up to next?”

“It quite hurt you know.”

“I can believe it did.  Never mind; put it on the floor now and let’s try and get a little more sleep.  I’ll put it back in the morning.”

So the jug was left on the floor, but it proved too great a temptation for poor old Joe.  We were at last both of us nearly dozing off again, when there was another disturbance.

This time it was [Marianne] who sampled the taste, or rather the feel, of the jug.  It was taken up and neatly dropped onto her head, once more without being broken.

The Poltergeist makes mischief

“I have a very strong feeling,” said [Marianne], “yes, a very strong feeling…” she paused momentarily and nodded her head.

“Of what?” I replied.  “Do go on.”

“Oh, only that there is a burglar in the house to-night,” she continued airily.

“Only; that’s all?  But why, might I ask, if, as I suppose, you  have heard suspicious noises, why a burglar and not Joe Miles?”

“Well, in the first place,” resumed [Marianne], “they were stealthy footsteps.”

“And Joe Miles’ footsteps are as a rule anything but stealthy.  Yes and what else?”

“Stealthy footsteps in the room over the kitchen and going up to the attic, and then - well then there’s my sixth sense; and I very seldom find my sixth sense wrong, and it tells me that it is a burglar.”

“And so- “ I put in.

“And so I cannot go to bed without first of all investigating. And will you come with me?” she said finally.

“Certainly; where?”

“Just the rooms in that vicinity.  Let’s go at once.  I’ll take the poker,” she added seizing that article.  “Are you ready?”

“Quite ready.  I’ll take the lamp and - let’s see” I added, looking round, “the tongs, that’s about the only weapon I can see handy.”

“I think we had better go up the second back stairs first of all, and look at those rooms and then work along.”

“All right; I’ll lead the way.  A second cousin of mine was once credited with having said that when you are looking for a burglar the great thing is to have plenty of light and to make just row enough to let him know you are coming…”.

“Oh don’t tell that story again and please make less noise.  I don’t at all hold with that theory.”  So we proceeded in silence.

We mounted the stairs and examined the room on the left; no burglar there. 

Then the room on the right; equally burglarless.  Then the adjoining room where little [Adelaide] was peacefully slumbering quite unperturbed by any thought of danger, and afterwards the bathroom; and again in each case drew a blank. 

Next came the stairs to the attics.

“I distinctly heard footsteps going up these stairs,” said my wife, “so if there are visitors in the house that is doubtless where they are.” 

“Now I really must enter a protest against searching the attics,” I remonstrated: “in the first place it would be absolutely hopeless; and in the second -.”

“Of course who would ever think of it?  Anyone might hide amongst the beams and rafters even in the daytime, and at night it would be much easier.  This is far more effective. 

And thereupon my practical wife produced a piece of strong wire.  With this she proceeded very effectually to fasten up the attic door from outside.

“There,” she said, when she had accomplished it to her satisfaction, “I don’t think a burglar will break through that in a hurry.  Now let’s go to bed.”

I was perfectly satisfied to do so and much relieved that no further burglar hunting was required of me, being anyhow very sceptical as to his existence, or of the reliability, on this occasion anyhow, of [Marianne]’s sixth sense. 

So to bed we went. 

There seemed to be odd sounds floating about the house after we had gained that haven of rest; all the same it was not long before I fell asleep.  But in the middle of the night I awoke. 

The first thing I was aware of was a mysterious noise.

“What in the wide world is that?” I asked myself.  It was something new anyhow.  “Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap” it went

“It sounds to me,” I soliloquized, “like someone on a typewriter; a fast expert typist on [Marianne]’s typewriter - except that the bell does not go at the end of the line.  But I suppose an expert writer could easily avoid ringing the bell at the end of the line in order to make less noise, if he wanted to.”

Our door was open - if the sitting room door was open too, it would account for my being able to hear it.

Visions at once came to me of a burglar with a strong sense of humour, who having robbed the house was tapping off a parting message before leaving.  This certainly needed investigation.  How could I ever hold up my head again, if, after actually hearing the burglar on the typewriter, through cowardice or laziness I allowed him to go without making some effort to forestall his designs? 

What would be said of me?  I should. Be the laughing stock of all my friends.  I must act and quickly too: the message was not likely to be a long one.

So I made the effort, lit the lamp, and got out of bed, and in so doing inadvertently woke up [Marianne] as well.  I explained the situation to her as I put on my dressing gown, the typewriter in the meantime tapping away with the same unflagging energy.

On leaving the room the natural route seemed to be towards the typewriter, which generally resided in my wife’s sewing room, so I passed along the landing and down the bathroom passage.  But on arriving at the back staircase it occurred to me that it would most certainly be better first of all, at any rate, to inspect the wire fastenings put on that evening outside the attic door; so I ascended. There they were sure enough; to all appearance in exactly the same condition as they had been when adjusted a few hours previously.

“Now,” I argued to myself, “no burglar after having undone that wire and coming through the door, would take the trouble to do it up again behind him. 

Therefore, since we traced the supposed burglar to the attic, it is not a burglar that is making that noise.  And as long as it is not a burglar that is responsible, I don’t care a brass farthing who or what it is.  So I am going back to bed.”

I got back to our bedroom, reported my discoveries to my wife, and was soon off to sleep again.  But not so [Marianne].  She listened to the noises, - and there were others besides the typewriter, - there were steps.  Yes there were steps and they were approaching.  Nearer and nearer they came; now they were on the bathroom passage; now they were on the landing outside our room.  At any moment she might see a bull’s eye lantern flashing round the open door and on to her face.  When……suddenly the noises increased wonderfully and unexpectedly.  There was no doubt about it all; no burglar with a shred of self-respect would ever make a row like that.  It was not a burglar then after all.

A huge weight of apprehension and fear was at once lifted from her mind. “So,” murmured [Marianne] to herself, “it is only Joe Miles at the end of it.”  And with a sigh of relief almost before the thought was through her brain,

she was off… asleep.


No, it was not a burglar; [Marianne]’s sixth sense had failed her for once. 

Nothing had been taken; nothing was found next morning to have been unusually disturbed; the wire still remained on the attic door, and there was no sound of a prisoner inside clamouring for liberty.

But what about the expert typist? We had never heard this particular noise before, but we heard it again later and were able to find a perfectly natural explanation of it.  On the floor of a screened off portion of the hall some walnuts had been laid to dry.  Mice discovered their whereabouts and wanted to get through the shells; and so--what more to narrate?

We try to rid the house of unwelcome visitors

It may be wondered perhaps why, under the circumstances, we had not tried to rid the house of its unwelcome visitors by more definitely spiritual means, especially when the message came, “Light, Mass, Prayers,” so I must not omit to record another effort we made. 

My cousin, Arthur Brown, who came over with Mr. Goodwin in March on the occasion that the house was censed, offered to come again to help us in any way we wished. 

Finally it was decided that he should come on the Feast of the Guardian Angels in October and say Mass.  So he duly arrived in the early morning and celebrated in our little chapel, - his wife, [Marianne], the children and myself forming the congregation.  I will not say that this service was not a help towards ultimately ridding us of the ghosts, but it certainly did not have that immediate effect. 

Other efforts had to follow.


And these other efforts were effective. 

Yes; the house really was settled at last.  Many months of endurance and many months of annoyance. Yet they were worth it in the end, for after all we managed to last out.  But as far as the settlement itself was concerned it was due to no merit or action of our own; it came simply as the good gift of GOD and by the help of our friends; and friends in need are friends indeed.  How it came I will proceed to narrate presently.  First of all there are some incidents in the story of the haunting that I do not wish to omit.

The Black Eyes

I have already referred to the shadow form that [Marianne] encountered outside the kitchen door one morning in March.  She saw it once or twice again.  But she was not the only one who had this experience. 

First there was Mr. [D'Arles].  He would often run down from London and spend the night with us.  Sometimes on these occasions he slept in the room over the kitchen.  I was told by someone else who had slept in this particular room in times past of a form that appeared in the middle of the night; but [D'Arles] knew nothing of this lady’s experience when he narrated the story that I am now telling.

The lady in question did, what probably I should have done under the circumstances; she put her head under the clothes and kept it there.  But Ralph’s father was made of sterner stuff. 

Opening his eyes one night, he discovered that he was not alone for he suddenly saw this same shadowy form.  he room was dark but still it was visible.  At once it moved and finally disappeared through a second door over which a curtain was hung, but without disturbing the curtain.

He determined if he had another chance, to make fuller investigation of this mysterious phenomenon.  The chance came.  Once more on another night, opening his eyes he saw this strange unearthly visitor.  Quickly he jumped out of bed and made for it - his hands in front of his face in the attitude of a boxer.  But he was not quick enough; it was away before he could get there and was soon through the curtain. 

But on still another night a third chance presented itself.  This time, it seems, he was out of bed quicker than before.  Good; he had got it.  But - what a surprise.  His hands went right through the apparition and he encountered nothing except the wall.  Yet this was not all; he touched nothing it is true, but something touched him.  A terrific smack in the face was what he got for his pains.

 A loud cry rang through the silent house and disturbed the quiet of the night.  Next morning Mr. [D'Arles] appeared at the breakfast table with a black eye.

One day a few weeks after this I was out of the house before breakfast and when I returned I found quite a commotion going as caused by the same apparition.  Mr. L. had once more been our guest for the night.

“What has happened?” I asked. 

“Tell him,” said [Marianne]. 

“I was on the landing just outside the chapel door, when I saw the ‘shadow’ again; [D'Arles] replied.  “It came along the bathroom passage, turned to the right at the corner and then proceeded down the landing until it came opposite your bedroom door where it turned in.  The door was partly open.”

“And what happened then?” I asked.

“I was asleep,” put in my wife, “and so saw nothing.  All I know is that I was woken up by a great commotion put up by Mr. [D'Arles] outside on the landing.”

“Well,” the latter apologised, “I am sorry; but I didn’t know what the thing was going to do and thought it was best to acquaint you with the fact that it was there.”

“And where is it now?” I enquired, thinking it was best to be aware as far as possible of our present relations with it. 

“No one knows; not seen since.  Disappeared; gone into thin air.”

This was not very satisfactory.

“As long as it doesn’t jump out and give me a black eye to-night,--!”

“Oh it won’t if you leave it alone,” [D'Arles] answered confidently.

“Trust me; I’ll leave it alone all right.  But you can’t tell.  Since it seems to specialize in black eyes, probably it was the cause of my wife’s last February.  And she did nothing to it.”

After all [D'Arles]’s black eye was the only one we had had an instance of up to that time that we could definitely trace to this entity, but another was soon to follow that was the best evidence of all for it’s existence.

It was the custom for the children to go upstairs after lunch for a rest and - hypothetically - a sleep.  Little [Adelaide] all the same was quite averse to the latter part of this program.  She had cultivated a very bad habit of quietly getting out of bed when no one was looking and running round.

One day she went up as usual for her siesta, and on this particular afternoon was lying down in the ‘shadow’s’ special room.  Later on, when she was called downstairs, she appeared with a black mark under her eye.

“[Adelaide],” said her mother, “how did you get that bruise?”

She looked down rather shamefacedly for a moment; then she replied.”A nasty thing gave it to me Mummie, by the curtain in my room.”

Evidently [Adelaide] had seen it and ran up for a closer inspection; - for curiosity was a ruling factor in her little make-up.  She had run up, received a smack and taken it as the punishment due for what she knew to be breaking rules.

I am quite aware that there are people who will at once remark, “How absurd and impossible.” I can only repeat that I am but recording events as they happened without considering what they may seem like to other people.  Also that [Adelaide] is a child quite unaware of what fear means, - else after the sundry punishments received for this very offence of running round, she would not have been so fond of indulging in it.  As for superstitious fears, - for example fears of darkness, goblins etc. how could she entertain any, since we had taken especial care that such ideas should never be presented to her small mind?  She certainly did not know what the ‘thing’ was, but at the age of 31/2 there are so many new and inexplicable things in the world, and why fear them if never taught to?

Edwin witnesses 'demonstrations'.

Quite a separate incident now.

“Hallo, [Edwin].”

“Hallo, Mr. [Foyster].  I suppose you are surprised to find me here so late in the evening. We have been having ‘demonstrations’ and I didn’t’ like to leave your wife alone.  I think, thought, they seem to be pretty well over by now.”

I had been away from home for a few days and had just arrived back.  It was November and my ‘bus had been delayed by fog, so I was later than I expected to be. 

“[Marianne] is upstairs,” he continued; she has not been feeling very well, but I think she will come down now.  We have had quite an exciting time; things flying about, bells ringing and so on.  The little servant girl took it splendidly, I am glad to say; not a bit scared.  She’s a brick.  Now that you are back I think I had better be going.  No, please don’t bother to see me home.  I have my car here and shall be quite all right.  It would be a shame to take you out again.  Besides [Marianne] should not be left alone.”

“I am all right I tell you [Edwin],” came an indignant response from the last-named now coming down the staircase.  ”I was not nearly as scared as you.  How are you John, dear?”

“I was not talking about that anyway, I was afraid you might have another bad turn.  Well Goodnight.”

“What has happened?” I asked after she had gone.

“Oh nothing really out of the way.  Just Joe Miles on the spree.  Not as bad as we have had it, but the worst [Edwin] has seen.  She was quite impressed.  And indignant, - talk about being indignant -”

“Who with? Joe Miles?”

“No; with the people who have said that I have been doing it.  I don’t know what she wouldn’t like to say to them or to do to them, if she had the chance.

Well of course when stones and other things came from an altogether different direction from that in which I was at the moment - when I was in this room and they were rolling outside; - anyone could see that it was not I who was doing it.”

“Certainly; but we have known that long ago.” “Yes, but she has not had such evidence before.”

“Well dear, I am so glad to be back.  And I am not surprised that there was a demonstration.  She’s psychic and you’re psychic, and the two together without my steadying influence gave the goblins such a chance.”

“Yes, she says she feels quite exhausted after it; - as if something had been taken from her.”

“And they are taking from you, too.  Well anyhow it has all quieted down now, for the night I hope.  And I hear that Maggie behaved splendidly.”

“I think she was too much amused at [Edwin] to be soared.  She was a bit startled at first, but I laughed and so she laughed.”

“Now I am quite tired and desperately hungry.  Let me eat and get to bed.”

“Certainly dear; it has been ready ages.  I thought you must have missed the ‘bus and weren’t coming.”

So I sat down and ate, and the storm being over we retired and had a peaceful night.

The Locked Door

Some weeks had passed since the events last related.  We had had ‘demonstrations’, but nothing very different to others that have been recorded and nothing very novel. 

It was a Saturday evening, between 10:30 and 11 p.m. and I was just coming out of the library preparatory to going upstairs to bed, when [Marianne] met me with a comforting piece of news.

“I am afraid we have got to camp out to-night.”  Both doors of our bedroom locked.  I am sorry but I do not feel like getting out sheets and airing them and making up the spare room beds at this time of night.  So I am just trying to think up the easiest thing to be done,” added my poor wife rather disconsolately, “and the one that will cause me the least labour.”

“Well first of all,” I said as we went upstairs, “let’s try and see if we can’t get a door open.”

“Yes, but you must remember that one of the relics is away….”

“Curious,” I remarked, “I have never known one to stay away for so long a time before.  And the other?”

“The other is locked up here,” and [Marianne] indicated the bedroom door.

“All the same you remember the night Mr. [Price] and his friends were here and how the door opened then?  Well let’s try the same way again,” I said advancing to investigate.

Yes, both doors were certainly locked and the one that opened on to the landing had the key in on the inside.

“The Lord’s Prayer..?”

“Yes, that is what we said that night.” We knelt and said it.

Then I eagerly tried the door again.  But it still remained obdurate.  [Marianne] rose from her knees and went into the chapel, and I drifted in after her.

 We had only been in a few moments when a terrific racket suddenly started up in the hall.  “Bang, bang, bang,” it went, and “Bang, bang, bang,” again; across the hall and down the kitchen passage.

“Good gracious,” said [Marianne], “and what is happening now.  Have the fiends of hell been let loose, or what?”

“Well it sounds to me,” I replied, “as if something had got caught in that rat trap we set.  Let’s go and see.”

And so it was; but not a rat.  The poor cat had been too inquisitive and had been caught by a toe.  The trap was loose and with the idea of shaking it off she was rushing wildly round, the trap banging along after her.

“Oh it’s Romp,” said [Marianne], “Here Romp, Romp, poor Romp.  Here puss, puss, puss.  I’ve got her.”

The well-known soothing voice of my wife had its effect, and the animal lost some of her terror.

“She’s free. Now that’s all right.  But don’t get into it again Romp.  Joe Miles is bad enough without you making noises too.”

So we went upstairs once more, and once more drifted into the chapel. 

Directly I entered - lo and behold!  I could see a key lying on the corner of the altar.

“Look,” I said; “here’s an answer to our prayer.”

“Does it open the door?”

“I am trying.”

First the door leading on to the landing I tried, but with no success.  How could it unlock with the key there inside?

Then I went into the little dressing room and tried the door in between that and the bedroom.  I put the key into the lock and joy, it turned. 

We had not been using that door for some time, and there was a chest of drawers drawn close up to it on the inside.  It did not take long though to push the door up against it so as to move it back and to makes sufficient room to squeeze through; and then the other door was unlocked by the key inside.

“And I suppose,” remarked [Marianne], “that they would say that I had locked the room up and then squeezed through the key hole.”

“Or,” I added, “that you came out through the other door, pulling up that heavy chest of drawers close to it after you.  Which would be about equally impossible to do - even in a trance.”

“Anyhow, thank GOD we have our room and our bed.”


The next night the other relic returned.  It was found lying on my pillow.

Contacted by the Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle

“Someone else wanting to try their hand at driving out the ghost.”  I was standing with a letter in my hand as [Marianne] came into the library.

“Well do you know on the whole” she replied, “I think I would rather he stayed away.”

“That’s just what I feel.  Still it is quite a nice letter.   I’ll read it.-”

“Dear Sir.

I was in Norton the other day, and quite by accident heard that your house….had a disturbance, or what is commonly called a haunting.  I have been a member of the Psychic Research Society for many years, and would gladly help you if you would care for me to do so.  I have had several cases to investigate and have generally been successful in stopping the disturbances.  Only just recently I with some friends were successful in stopping the disturbance in old Millhouse in this district which had been badly haunted for many years.  I hope you will forgive me for writing to you, but I feel that the whole trouble could be removed.

Yours faithfully, C. [Warren].”  

“A very nice letter dear,” responded my wife, but without enthusiasm.  “All the same I feel I cannot stand much more of these people coming down and declaring that I am doing it.  It is bad enough to have to put up with it at all, without being accused of doing it oneself.”

“Yes I know,” I answered sympathetically, “and after all things are getting quieter by degrees.  Or anyhow we are learning how to quiet them.  The relics are a great help.”

“Of course dear, do as you like.  Have him down if you want to.”

No; I did not want to have her upset or annoyed any more than was necessary..So I wrote to Mr. [Warren]; thanked him for his very kind offer, but, for the reason I have just give, declined his aid.

To this I received an answer after a few days.  It was to the effect that his only desire was to help us, and might he at least come over and have a talk with us about the matter. 

I felt I could hardly in courtesy refuse this request, made as it was in such a kindly way.  There was no doubt at all we needed help, needed it in the worst way.  So I wrote again and said we should be pleased to have a talk; but, whatever he might think, would he please not say that these things were happening through the agency of my wife.  If he really did believe that she was responsible for them, would he pass it off by saying that he did not think it was a case in which there was anything he could do. 

He replied once more and finally a day was fixed and he arrived. 

He was accompanied by a friend and co-worker in spirit matters, [Captain Deane], who brought him over in his car.  We had a long talk about the whole thing. 

‘Of course, they said, ‘it was a genuine haunting, why should it not be? Case like this were comparatively common - far commoner than most people supposed.  They did not agree with those who put it off as human agency, when that had practically been proved to be impossible.  They had no doubt but that they could be a real help, and probably the whole thing could be stopped.

Eventually we put the matter entirely into their hands.


We were told afterwards that the decision reached that day caused quite a flutter in the dove-cotes.  Where? Why not very far away, in fact right in [Borley Rectory] itself.  But you will say that you did not know that anyone was living there except my wife, the children, the little maid and myself? 

Well, there was no one visible to the mortal eye, but you must not forget the invisible residents - or those who at least made that a sort of centre of their activities.

 The account we got was this.  A meeting was held to consider what should be done; how the menace afforded by the contemplated activities of Mr. [Warren] and his circle were to be counteracted. 

There were two parties at this convention, with diametrically opposite opinions.  One party said:- Be as awful as you can; raise Cain in every conceivable way; show all the violence possible, make all the noise possible, be as terrific and frightful as possible, so that you may drive them out and make them desist from their interference by sheer panic. 

But the other party argued thus:-  Be as mile as possible, in fact do nothing and let them thing that the whole thing is merely the product of a neurotic couple’s imagination. 

Which party won the day we were not told, but from subsequent events we imagine it was the former of the two.  They were however frustrated in their frightfulness by helpers on the other side, who were working for good.  (By the ‘other side’ I mean those who have passed over into the spiritual world).

The Visit of the 'Circle'

A ring at the front door and voices in the hall:  I was writing in the library and it was just after 12:30 p.m.  What I wondered could be bringing people to the house at such an unlikely time?  But I was not long left to wonder. 

In another minute the door opened and in walked Messrs. [Warren] and [Frost].

“You must excuse our rushing over like this,” said the latter, as he made his way to the library, “and especially at this time of the day.  The reason for it is that we have just had a very urgent message; a message from no less a person than W. T. Stead; - he is the leader of our band of helpers on the other side you know. 

The message is to the effect that the spirits are protecting you both, and especially Mrs. [Foyster], who has a large body guard, and that they cannot go on doing it indefinitely.  They are anxious that we should get the matter cleared up as soon as possible.  So we should like to know whether we might come over the day after to-morrow?”

“Certainly,” I said, turning to [Marianne], “it will be all right, won’t it dear?”

[Marianne] assented.  “I shall only be too glad” she added, “when it is all settled.”

“But what do you propose to do?”

“Well the circle will come over in the afternoon and bring a medium.  We have already invited him; his name is [L'Estrange] and he is coming quite a distance.  But he is a thoroughly reliable man and understanding this sort of thing.  Then our plan is that we shall have a sitting; the medium will go into a trance; the entities will materialize in the medium’s ectoplasm and be dealt with individually. 

“By the way,” he added, “I told my spirit friends on the other side that I was disappointed that nothing happened the first time we came over.  I had hoped that we should have some sample of what your ghosts could do. 

They replied that we should be thankful we had not, since it would have been something far beyond a joke.”

“While we are here,” put in Mr. [Warren], “we should like to choose the room in which we are to sit.”  This was done presently, and the one was chosen in which the ‘shadow’ or the ‘horror’ especially appeared.

“Do you want us out of the house,” I asked, “or what are we to do?”

“We think perhaps Mrs. [Foyster], being very psychic, had better be, “said [Frost] looking at Mr. [Warren] for confirmation, but it is up to you to do whatever you like.  We should prefer to have you with us.  But I warn you that the language of some of the entities may be something terrific.  The only lady we shall have will be Mrs. [Warren], and she, fortunately for this occasion, is very deaf.”

I was immensely pleased at this decision.

“I would like very much to be there; it will be intensely interesting,” I remarked.

And so we got everything settled.  [Marianne] had an invitation from Lady [Whitehouse], who heard about what was transpiring, to bring the children to lunch and to stay for the afternoon.  Our maid was to be sent home.

However a disappointment was in store.  On the morning of the day on which the sitting was to take place, a telegram arrived.  “Circle postponed,” it ran, “coming to talk matters over later.”

“This is too bad,” I remarked, “ I wonder what has happened.”

“Anyhow it was very inconvenient for me to have to go out this afternoon,” returned [Marianne]; “so many things I wanted to do.”

But there were interesting things ahead yet.  About 5 p.m. [Warren] and [Frost] arrived bringing [L'Estrange] with them.  They joined us for afternoon tea which we were having in the library. 

“We are sorry for the alteration of plans,” said [Captain Deane] after we had shaken hands and been introduced to Mr. [L'Estrange], but in a case like this we always have to accede to the wishes of the medium.  And the medium did not approve.”

“No,” said Mr. [L'Estrange], “it was too great a risk.”

“What was?” I asked.

Mr. [L'Estrange] stirred his cup of tea thoughtfully.

“Having such characters as there seem to be haunting this house, materialising in one’s ectoplasm” he replied.  “And besides a sitting like that should be at night; it is much better.”

“And so we propose,” continued [Frost], “to come over to-morrow evening, if that suits you all right, and have an all-night sitting.”

“I don’t wonder at your objecting to the risk,” I sympathized, “although I do not pretend to know anything about the subject.  But it certainly sounds sort of risky.”

“Crash,” from the direction of the kitchen passage.

“Hallo, they are starting,” remarked [Marianne], jumping up.  “I wonder what it was; it sounded like a glass.”


“And they are ringing.”

An idea suddenly came to me.

“As they appear to be on the war path to-day, how would you like to have your sitting to-night instead of to-morrow?”

“That rests entirely on the medium.”

“I think that perhaps on the whole it would be a good thing,” said that gentleman, “that is if it is possible.  How about the other members of the circle?” He added turning to [Captain Deane].

“We will go and fetch them now, if they can come, it won’t take very long.  Will you come with me Mr. [Warren]?”

So the two of them started off on a 46 mile return journey that January night, leaving Mr. [L'Estrange] with us till they returned.

In the meantime the ‘entities’ were very much alive and were having a great time  ‘Ting-a-ling’ went a bell; ‘bang, crash’, another bottle.  It was chiefly old wine bottles that they were throwing, but there were one or two of our things mixed with them, and it was down the back stairs that most of them seemed to come.

  The kitchen passage was in a terrible mess.  [Marianne] attempted to sweep it up once or twice, but it was no use.  As fast as one lot was swept up another would arrive.

I had to go on an errand to a neighbouring house for a few minutes, and while I was out, I was told, it was even worse.  The two left behind had on one occasion to shout to each other to make themselves heard.

“Shall I go round with the relic?” [Marianne] suggested.

“Don’t try and stop it just yet, please,” was the medium’s reply, “I would like it to go on for a little longer, if you don’t mind it too much.”

For one thing he wanted to try and get into communication with the spirits by means of the bell ringing.  This was attempted and for a time we were getting answers; then they suddenly refused to reply any more.

Presently he and [Marianne] went round and applied the relic; the throwing was already beginning to abate somewhat, but after this it stopped completely for the time being.

At about 10 p.m. Messrs. [Frost] and [Warren] returned, bringing with them Mrs. [Warren] and another member of the circle, Mr. Footman, to make up the number required.

“We found Mrs. [Warren] in the middle of giving the children their baths; but all the same she got ready and came.”

“Now would you like a fire up in the room you’re to sit in?”

“By no means; it must be perfectly dark.”

“All right then, we’ll make up a good fire here in the library, as a place of refuge when you are too cold, and we will have some refreshment ready for you.  And then I think I’ll retire.  I am sorry I cannot be up with you  I should like to be very much, but I have quite a busy day in front of me to-morrow and must get a good rest.  But perhaps you would not want me anyhow.”

A distant bang was heard.

“There, they are starting up throwing again you see.”

So [Marianne] and I went off to bed and left the circle in possession of the house.  I soon went to sleep and did not hear very much of them during the night.  My wife however did. She said they were going round the house, singing hymns, saying prayers and talking in different rooms.

Soon after 4 a.m. we both heard them go into the library.  It seemed as if it was all over.

 [Marianne] slipped out of bed, put on a few clothes and went down stairs.  She came back presently with good news  They were of the opinion that things had been settled, and that the house was going to be normal again; but they would write.  They were now going home. 

We both sincerely hoped from the bottom of our hearts that their opinion was correct.

A Cleansed House

When we awoke the next morning, it was evident that something had happened; for we awoke to a renewed house, a changed house, a cleansed house. 

It was no use denying it, there really was a change.  Even Maggie remarked that a certain room felt warmer than it did.  And not only was the house changed; - [Adelaide] was changed.

 We had thought more than once that the spirits had an influence on her, - an influence naturally not for good.  Now we felt more sure.  And Maggie seemed changed too.  Perhaps as far as that goes we all were; it may be if we could have seen inside the children’s minds, there was a dull perception that Daddy and Mummie were not quite like they used to be. 

Of course the first question anyone will ask is, - “What did they do?  How did they accomplish this wonderful change in so short a time?”

I have already given an account of what was done as far as we saw it; and writing from my own experience and that of my wife I cannot tell much more than I have.  There is however what the members of the circle told themselves.

It seems that they got in touch with some of the entities.  There was one particularly bad one, who if I understood aright) had the rather uncommon faculty of being able to materialize sufficiently to move material objects.  In this life she was a nun and it was said she had been put to death in a very cruel way. 

Popular legends in connection with the ghosts of the house tell of a nun that had run away with a coachman.  Presumably this was the same one.  She had been walled up, it was claimed, but an opening must have been left through which her torture was prolonged.  For, it was stated, when in an agony of thirst she cried out for drink, empty bottles were brought to here.  Whereupon she dashed them down against the side of her cell and thereby acquired the habit of throwing bottles. 

She did not even realize the fact that she was dead: she now either thought she was still in her cell, or was trying to revenge the cruelties inflicted upon her.

This story is so closely associated with the haunting of the house that I cannot well omit a reference to it.  But I should like to dissociate myself with belief in it.  In the first place it does not fall in with the fact that during the early part of our experiences flints and all sorts of other objects were thrown.  In the second what reliable authority is there for the stories of walled up nuns? I have seen it stated that this form of punishment was invented by Sir Walter Scott, and that, like the utterly impossible tales of long underground passages extending for miles, is sheer fiction

Personally I should much prefer to believe it is so. However there is good evidence that a lady wearing nun-like garments has been seen by various witnesses, and the circle claimed that they had successfully got into touch with her.  They subsequently educated her, teaching her the true state of things.  Finally she rose from this sphere and was no longer earthbound.

 A member of the Circle whom I enquired about after the date of the sitting, hoping to get a fuller statement, replied:- “Mr. [L'Estrange] locked himself up against evil influences; then he saw the Nun and prayed for her to leave the house.”

Approaching Mr. [L'Estrange] himself, he very politely, but at the same time very firmly, refused to tell anything.  In the first place, his methods, though simple, would be difficult to explain in a letter.  In the second place he considered it too private an affair to reveal to the world in general.  He asked me not to press the question any further.  And I, owing him the deepest debt of gratitude for what he had done for us, certainly would not dream of doing such a thing.  So there the matter stands.

I am however adding as an appendix to this chapter the Circle’s official account of what took place.

Copy of account made by the Circle of their visit on Jan. 23rd 1932; names only being altered.

“Visit of Investigation and Treatment, at [Borley Rectory], Saturday the 23rd January 1932.  5 p.m. with the medium Gerald [L'Estrange].  Members of party: - Mr. and Mrs. [Warren], Mr. Footman and H.H. [Frost].


Party arrived at Hall to consult with Mr. [Foyster] re: phenomena of the haunting.  At conference in library general interrogation took place and the medium sensed presences.  During conversation a crash was heard in the passage opposite library door, leading to the kitchen.  This was soon followed by another crash.  A bell started to ring.  House was fitted with wire bells but all wires were cut with the exception of three, back door front door and another room. 

The master of the house remarked that that was the usual method for commencing phenomena for the night, and further added - “I think we are going to have a bad night.”  Upon the third crash the medium went with party to investigate. 

All members of the household were in known localities of the house.

Upon investigation the party found at the foot of the back staircase a quantity of broken glass and bottles.  While there bells were rung and more bottles thrown.

Two appeared to materialize in mid-air and crash to the floor.  They came one or two at a time as the glass was swept away but on leaving the pieces there no more appeared at that period.

The whole house was carefully examined by party with medium especially the bell wires.  There was considerable confusion at one period when a number of bells were being rung at the same time.  Upon the walls were found messages written in pencil and in one case evidence of the pencil being pulled away before completion of the message.  They requested in each case - Light, Mass, Prayer and Incense. 

The Medium decided to stay the night and [Captain Deane] returned with Mr. [Warren] to fetch remainder of party, returning at 10 p.m.  During this period the phenomena was intensified to the extent that Mr. [Foyster] decided to have prayer in his chapel with a relic of the Cure D’Ars.  The medium attended this with Mrs. [Foyster]. 

They then proceeded from room to room, making the sign of the Cross with the relic.  Phenomena then practically stopped.

Medium then placed his party in the most haunted room for the night but left himself as a free-lance.  Party of five sat with Mrs. [Warren] in corner of the room with their backs to the wall.  This position was kept for several hours the only light permitted was the moonlight coming through the window. 

The atmosphere of the house was heavy and supernormally cold.  This cold was especially noticeable in the Blue Room.  During the sitting general conversation ensued and the medium addressed the disturbing entities asking them to desist in troubling the inhabitants who they were really slowly killing with anxiety

At About 3 a.m. a black shadow appeared to develop against the wall and the medium went across the room to get into closer contact with the entity.  A conversation ensued and the form slowly dissolved.  It was felt by the medium to be intensely evil.  This was confirmed by Mr. [Warren]. 

At one period a determined attempt was made by the entity on Mr. [Warren] who protected himself with light but experienced intense fear and horror for a short time. 

At a previous period the medium got into touch with a band of entities via one of the bells which actually answered his questions before the party who held torches focused on the bell.  The wire of this bell had been cut. 

The communication was interrupted by Mr. [Foyster] when his father’s name came through.  This was unfort­unate as it broke the protective band and further comm.uni­cations became impossible. 

Later a porridge bowl was thrown at Mr. [Foyster]’s head passing through his hair and breaking on the floor.  The pieces were collected and shown to the party. 

After a short period of quiet a few more bottles were thrown about and a cup and saucer of the occupant’s best tea service was broken. One bottle was thrown up the staircase.

 The medium was never alone but always accompanied by Mr. Footman.  The occupants of the house showed signs of nervous tension throughout the night, especially the lady, who went down stairs about three a.m. and closed doors etc. 

Several bolts and locks were heard to be operated during her visit below.  The medium was at a vantage point where he could see and hear a great deal while we were sitting in the most haunted room. 

About 4 a.m. the party descended to the library where refreshments were partaken before the fire which was kept alight all night.  A private conference was held to examine all possible avenues of thought which might explain the phenomena by other means than occult.  During this discussion the lady descended into the library when the conversations changed to other points re: haunting of the house in the past.  It was noticed that her manner during the night was strange and at one period she appeared to be under an influence.

She showed distinct signs of loss of power with general fatigue due to tension.

“Before the party left the house, prayer was offered in three rooms, and the atmosphere was noticeable quieter and warmer

“Party left at 5 a.m.”


“And what about afterwards?”

This is the question I can imagine any reader who had persevered so far in my narrative enquiring.  “What about the weeks and the months and the years that followed?  Did the house remain settled, or did the trouble presently start up again?”

So I went to make it quite clear that I have two different phenomena to relate.  First the disturbance witnessed by several distinct sets of disinterested people, and secondly their practical complete settlement, witnessed by ourselves and - by anyone else who wishes to come and see, a settlement affected by those who treated them - not as due to human agency, but as the work of spirits. 

As I write it is exactly twenty-eight months to the day, since that January evening when he bottles were thrown round, and the bells pealed and the Circle stayed the greater part of the night coping with the problem. 

It is considerably over two years since the welcome change was noticed the next morning, and I can only say this:-  “The house is absolutely different.”

When we look back at the old times, it seems like a dream; we can hardly believe ourselves that these things really happened.  But material evidence to the fact that they did actually happen remains.

Still there is a piece broken off the plaster here, and writings on the walls there.  Still one can see the ends of bell wire hanging down, where my predecessor cut them, and I yet have in my cupboards relics of things that were thrown, while upstairs one can view the charred skirting board where the mysterious fire broke out they May evening more than three years ago.

 And sometimes as I walk about the house I think of the smash in the eye my wife received at this spot,  of the spanner that went through my hair at that spot, of the lamp chimney shattered by an iron heater at a third place or of the stone that hit me on the shoulder at a fourth. 

I think of them, but with hardly any more apprehension that such things should happen again then than the tourist visiting the scene of the line of trenches on the old battle fields might fear the sudden bursting of a shell over his head. 

Will they ever start up again in the future?

For the present at all events they are over and gone.

All the same there are some few things I wish to relate before I close my account.

The Mastoid and the Relic

The Circle’s reports continued to be good; all was going on well.  The Nun, as I have already said was being educated.  She had left Borley.

Presently we heard she had progressed; gone up to a higher sphere.  We should certainly never be troubled by her any more.  And it was not much too soon. 

Only the next month my wife had a very serious illness.  A warmer room than our bedroom was imperative.  She had to go down to her little sitting room and have a bed put up for here there.  Now how could we have left a seriously ill person in that room all night by herself, if the trouble had been still going on?  And who could we have got to come in and sit up with her?

One day while she was in bed a slight mystery arose.  Maggie had taken the children out to a party and I was alone with [Marianne].

I went out for a few minutes into the garden, and returned just as evening was drawing in.  When I went to her room I found the lamp lit.

“Did you light it?” I asked in some surprise, not thinking she was well enough to do so.

“No,” she replied, “someone lit it.  I don’t know who it was.   I woke up just in time to hear the retreating footsteps.”

I was much mystified.

“I wonder who it could have been,” I said, “there is no one else in the house, and it is not customary for strangers to go into other people’s houses, light a lamp and then depart without a word.  Perhaps the Nun, - trying to make up for some of the bad turns she did us.”

However the mystery was never cleared.

And then I must mention the relic.  I suppose this anecdote is really out of place, since it has nothing to do with the haunting of the house.  But hen the relic had, and that is my excuse for recounting it.

My wife’s trouble was a mastoid.  Now anyone who has ever been inflicted with one of these knows the desperate pain they cause.  Sleeplessness follows as a natural course.

“What sort of a night have you had, dear?” was my morning question.

“Oh rotten.  I could hardly sleep for the pain,” was the usual answer.

One morning the doctor looked very grave.

“I will give her one more day,” he said to me after he had left the sick room, “and then if she is no better I think she will really have to go to a Nursing home for a more definite treatment.”  (In other words an operation).  “Of course she may be better to-morrow,” he added by way of cheering me up, “I truly hope she will.  But we must consider the possibility.”

That evening [Marianne] was once more dreading the coming sleepless night with the terrible pain. But an idea struck her.

“John,” she said, “please bring me the relic.  I believe it will help me.  I wonder I have not thought of it before.  I will apply it to my ear.”

The relic was brought and applied.  I said Goodnight and went upstairs.  From that moment the change came. “A wonderful night,” was next morning’s report.  “Do you know I just went off into a lovely sleep.  I don’t think I even heard you going upstairs.  Oh I am feeling so much better.” 

“A great improvement,” said the doctor when he came.  “I think she is going to be all right.  Yesterday, I was really very anxious.  It seemed an operation would probably be the only thing.  But you needn’t worry now.”

Two years passed and it was little [Adelaide]’ turn.  Just the same trouble - a mastoid.  She was in a London hospital; she had had two operations and there seemed small hope of her recovery.

[Marianne] was staying up in Town not very far away.  They sent for her one day and told her we must prepare for the worst.  I had been up a day or two before and knew how serious her case was.  One Sunday I was expecting a message any time to say that she had gone, and told Ralph that he must not be surprised if he never saw his little playfellow again. 

Then on Monday morning something - or perhaps I should say Someone - told me, “[Adelaide] is going to be all right; you need not worry any more about her.”

The same day [Marianne] had a message too.  Hers was - “Take the relic and go to the hospital with it.”

She took it and asked the nurse if it might be slipped inside the bandages. 

The nurse complied.  A change was soon apparent; the high evening temperature that was worrying the doctors so much began to subside.  Not very many days afterwards my wife wrote, - [Adelaide] is doing so well as to astonish the doctors. her ear has healed miraculously.  The house surgeon ‘can’t make it out.’

I give credit to God through the humble instrument of the relic. There are some no doubt who will at once cry, “Pure superstition.”  I would like to ask them, is it any more superstition than the story recorded in the 19th chapter of the book of the Acts of the Apostles, verses 11 and 18, where we read, - “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul; so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.”

Others will ask with more reason, “Why did not you apply the relic earlier considering the wonderful effect it had when applied before?”

I can only say, that in the first place it is not a panacea; it has been applied at other times and had no effect, (although these are not the only cases within our experience that it has been efficacious).  And in the second place I thought of it before but was unable to find it; and then - well then for some reason or other it went right out of my head.

But thank God it did its work in His good time.  Simply a case of faith healing, no doubt; but the faith of one on behalf of another.

The Cleansing of Marianne

Months had passed since my wife’s illness and summer was coming on again. 

[Marianne] had one of her very bad headaches; she could hardly hold her head up.

 On these occasion one just wants peace and quiet.

“I think I’ll sit out in the garden and see if the fresh air will do me any good,” she said.  But it was not to be. 

A ring at the bell; Messrs. [Frost] and [Warren] were at the door.  The latter’s wife had also come.

“I am sorry we have arrived so unexpectedly and without any notice,” apologised [Captain Deane], “but a message came from the other side for us to go over at once, so we had no time to tell you.”

“Come in,” I said, “you are always welcome here.”

“We have had very exact instructions,” he explained after they were all seated, “we are to be in the library with you and Mrs. [Foyster], and play certain gramophone records.  I have brought my gramophone with me.”

“I’ll tell Mrs. [Foyster]; but she is not very well to-day.” 

“Who is it?” asked [Marianne], looking up wearily.

“The Circle; and they want you and me to sit in the library with them while they play gramophone records.”

“I just simply can’t John dear.  The gramophone above all things with a head like this.  Please tell them that I am very sorry but I have a very bad headache, and I am afraid they must excuse me to-day.”

I conveyed the message; but the answer simply was, - “Tell her to come all the same; it will do her good.”

[Marianne] did not share this latter opinion at all.

“Oh I suppose I must,” she said complainingly, “if they insist; but it is a great nuisance.”

However she came; we seated ourselves in a circle with the blind drawn down and the gramophone was started.

We had not been there very long when [Marianne] began to blink. “Oh I am feeling so sleepy,” she apologised, “do you know I am afraid you will really have to excuse me.  I can hardly keep my eyes open,” she added half rising.

“That’s all right, sit down and let yourself go; it’ll do you a lot of good.”

“Well if you really will not think-me-very-rude,” she answered sleepily. And in another minute she was off.

“Splendid, splendid,” ejaculated [Captain Deane].  “Now they are giving her a good cleansing.”

“Who are?” I asked, quite mystified.

“The spirits.  She’ll be just ever so much better afterwards.  We were told to do this.”

[Marianne] remained in a sleep for some time now, or was it in a trance?  Anyhow, the fact, on account of which I tell this episode, is that when she came round she was a different person.  The headache was gone, or was in the process of going, and subsequently she felt better then she had done for weeks.

Now we understood the insistence that, bad as she was feeling, she must join the circle in the library.

“I wish you could cure my rheumatism as easily,” I remarked with a smile.  “but at all events you must stay and have some tea.”

[Marianne] was still a little dazed, so I went out to see about it.  Just as it was ready, [D'Arles], who at that time was renting the cottage, came into the kitchen.

I explained what I was doing.

“I would much like to meet those people,” he answered.

“Well come and meet them now.”

He carried the tray while I went on ahead and opened doors.  We had barely passed the back stairs when ‘bang’ , a flint flew down them and fell just behind [D'Arles].  I was certainly surprised.

“Hallo,” I exclaimed as I arrived in the library, “do you know what has just happened?  A stone thrown down the back stairs as we passed.  It looked almost as if it was aimed at the tea tray.  But…what does it mean?”

“Nothing to worry about at all.   Just a little spare power floating about as the result of our meeting here this afternoon and they have managed to use it.  Is not that so, Mr. [Warren]?”

“Yes, I should say so.”

“But it nearly hit me,” put in Mr. [D'Arles], “it grazed my heel.”

“That’s nothing,” I retorted, “I’ve had them through my hair.”

This caused a general laugh, as I do not happen at the present time to be blessed with an over supply of that commodity. 

However nothing else happened.  Our visitors had their tea and departed unmolested.

And [Marianne] was temporarily reinvigorated.

A Slight Reoccurrence of the Phenomena

Time passed and we were in June once more.  The long light evenings; the short nights; the brilliant days; the garden full of roses; these one would think were the very antithesis of ghosts.  Yet, whatever the reason may be, June is the ghostly month for [Borley Rectory].  Everything had been quiet since January, with the exception of the flint that grazed Mr. [D'Arles]’ heel.

 The recollection of the ‘Goblins’ and their doings were beginning to pass out of our minds, when suddenly like a bolt from the blue one evening something was thrown.

“[Marianne],” I exclaimed, “did you see that?”  We both happened to be in the kitchen or thereabouts at the time.

“I did, What was it? Was the startled reply.

“Only Joe Miles again,” I moaned.

My wife echoed the moan.

“I was afraid so, but we could hardly credit it.”

“Why there’s another.”

“Surely it is not all going to start up afresh?” she said with very evident distress in her voice.

The trouble was short that evening; - not more than tow or three missiles at the most.  But the point that worried us was this; it was starting once more. 

I wrote accordingly post haste to the Marks Tey Spiritualist Circle, and very soon received a reply.

 They had been warned, they said, that some trouble might be expected in June, but after that month nothing much more need be feared.  In consequence they had been intending to come over every week during June, but had been prevented so far by [Captain Deane]’s car being temporarily out of commission.  However they hoped to come soon. 

They arrived one evening and asked if they might sit in the library; gramophone records were played.  I have not a very clear remembrance of this and the subsequent meetings; - they came over three or four times altogether.  But I remember that on one of them Warren saw the ghost of a man who was a well known psychic investigator in this life; on another they had a great deal of trouble with [Marianne].  

Psychic matters generally affected her strangely.  This particular evening she was very refractory; she had a huge and overwhelming desire to go into a trance, and having gone into one, she did not want to come out of it again.

First of all she “broke the circle.”  It may be that they looked a little bit sideways at her for doing this, but at the time they said nothing.  Then she began to get sleepy, and our visitors started to get alarmed.

“We were particularly warned from the other side,” explained [Captain Deane], “against anyone leaving the circle; but we thought it only applied to ourselves.  It would seem thought that this warning was intended to include you as well.  If we had known that we would not have let Mrs. [Foyster] go and sit by herself.”

“But one time you were over here, you wanted her to sleep,” I said.

“Ah, circumstances were different that day; we were told to let her and she was in the circle.  To-night we have been warned.  There must be bad spirits round and she might be controlled by one of them.  That is very dangerous.”

But [Marianne]’s desire for sleep was so tremendous that no warnings or remonstrance had any effect.

“Please leave me along and let me sleep,” she pleaded.

“No, you must not,” was the emphatic reply.

“I don’t care.  I want to sleep,” she urged.

“Take her out into the garden,” someone suggested.

But that did not seem to do much good.  Event here she had an insane desire to lie down on the grass or anywhere if only she might be allowed to indulge this unconquerable appetite for losing consciousness, that had suddenly come upon her.

The Circle were very unhappy about it.  They walked her about and tried to get the drowsiness out of her.  Presently they did succeed in doing this to a certain extent.  None the less they thought it was not wise for her to be left in the house that night and tried to persuade her to go home with Mrs. [Warren]. 

Finally they put a ring of protection round her and shut out the danger. 

They were still not entirely satisfied but no harm, that we were aware of, ensued.

In Conclusion

Now I have to finish my tale.  It only remains for me first to record our gratitude to all who helped us or endeavoured to help us in any way at all. 

Everyone almost mentioned in the narrative came to the house with that intent.  I trust that I have written nothing that will hurt anyone’s feelings, and that if I have, they will overlook it. 

Our special thanks are due to those who had the courage of their convictions; declared that it was a spiritual matter that could only be cured by spiritual methods and finally went ahead and proved that they were right. 

This is a point I particularly wish to stress.  Those who said “human agency” did nothing to relieve us: it was those who said “it is the work of spirit”s: that did everything.

And if they are right, then the story of [Borley Rectory] proclaims in the loudest tones the tragic mistake materialists are making when they deny the existence of an unseen world, since they are neglecting the most important part of our human nature. 

“For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”


“What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose” - the eternal part - “his soul.”

Summary of events

October 16. 1930

My wife (referred to as M.P.), little girl aged 2 yrs, 7 months (referred to as A.), and myself come into residence.

First experiences of anything out of the ordinary. 

  • A voice calling M.F.’s name:
  • footsteps heard by self, M.F. and A. and man working in house. 
  • Harry Bull seen at different times by M.F. between study and bedroom above.
  • Jugs and other utensils disappearing and coming back.  Peculiar smells - especially one most nearly resembling lavender - noticeable particularly in our bedroom. 
  • Bells rung;
  • a bracelet is detached from wrist-watch while M.F. is in room only a few feet away and no one else besides A., who was in her room, is in house. Bracelet was taken and has never been seen since. 
  • Lavender bag, which no one has seen before, discovered on M.F.’s sewing room mantelpiece.  Disappears and appears again in my pocket: discovered when putting on coat one morning.

February 1931

Books found on windowsill of w.c.  As soon as one is taken away, replaced by another.  (These books had been left by the Bulls and were stowed away on shelf in house-maid’s pantry.)  Last of these - torn cover thrown on the floor.

25th February 1931

A big return of crockery, M.F. asks for a teapot; this also returned.  At my suggestions asks for return of bracelet, but in very uncomplimentary language.

26th February 1931

Books found under our bed in the morning.  A consignment of hymn books, unknown of before, discovered on the rack over the kitchen range in the afternoon. 

In the evening M.F. is given a terrific blow in the eye -  a cut under it, black eye next day - by an invisible assailant on the landing just outside bedroom; she is carrying a candle.

27th February 1931

Shortly after we have retired and light is extinguished first, a cotton reel, and then a hammer-head with broken handle attached is thrown across our bed. 

Lamp lit and throwing discontinued.

28th February 1931

I write a letter on the subject.  Directly afterwards (the room has been empty a few minutes in between) two pins discovered with their points sticking upwards, one on seat of armchair, other on chair I had been sitting on.

 About an hour or so later an erection composed of an old lamp and saucepan (neither of them seen before) found outside my door. 

Later a floor-polisher handle is put across the passage I traversed on my way to supper, and latter again a tin of bath salts placed just inside bathroom door trips up M.F

March 5th 1931

Two articles thrown after lights were out in our bedroom; then after an interval, I was aroused by a hairbrush on my head.

March 6th. 1931

The knob off a door thrown with some force from just behind her at M.F. as she comes along bathroom passage


March 7th  1931

M.F. thrown at in the afternoon.  In the evening I attempt to exorcise spirits; stone hits me on shoulder. 

Books thrown out of shelves in M.F.’s sewing room. 

Pictures in hall and on staircase taken down and laid on ground. 

Things thrown in bedroom.  (This night window was closed.)

March 8th

At night, after carefully looking under bed, both doors in bedroom locked, more throwing.  (First window open few inches at bottom, then at top.  Veranda outside would make throwing in very difficult.)

March 9th.



Although plumber’s men in the house thawing out pipes, stones roll down back stairs and odd things found in kitchen passage.

 A visitor in the afternoon inspects attics and is satisfied no one could be hiding there, hears a bell ring, and sees a big stone almost as it came to rest which we had heard descending back stairs. 

M.F. enters house just afterwards.  Evidence it was not she. 

Many incidents that afternoon and evening, amongst them M.F. hearing noise outside sewing room door (shut) at about three yards distance from it, a stone from behind touches her hair.  Later coming again from kitchen sees piece of iron coming after her (but not the being carrying it); it is thrown in behind her just inside sewing-room door as she hastily dashes in and pulls door to.  In kitchen as M.F. is making up fire, a stone flies out and hits further door as I go behind it.  Two duplex lamps in room at time.

March 10th 1931

A little pile of five stones found behind M.F.’s pillow when she woke in the morning.  More objects carried into the house. 

A stone through a pane in staircase window from inside while M.P. , A. and myself  are standing by hall stove. 

I think this night small tin travelling trunk (not seen before) suddenly noticed in kitchen while we are sitting at supper there.  This stayed in the house for some time, but eventually disappeared. 

China powder box and wedding ring discovered in bath room:  later disappeared during the following morning. 

M.F. stumbles over block placed outside bathroom door.  Next morning two stones found behind my pillow.

March 11th 1931

Two Anglican priests go thoroughly over the house with H.F. and self using incense, holy water and prayers. 

Presence of sort felt, but no active demonstration.  Later, a stone thrown at boy from cottage. 

I was out most of the remaining part of the day.  After my return, stone thrown at me; then as we three are standing round hall stove, another stone fell only a few inches from my head.

March 12th

Clean linen taken out of the kitchen cupboard and trailed over the floor.

March 13th

M.F. hit on the head and hurt by a piece of metal thrown down back stairs.

 A piece of brick dropped on supper table close by my plate, but without breaking or touching any crockery.

March 15th

As I am typing out a diary of events in the house, first my collar, which I had taken off for comfort, is thrown at me, then a stick and a piece of coke thrown across the room.

March 16th 1931

M.F. in early morning finds kitchen table upside down and contents of store cupboard partly inside and partly scattered broadcast. 

In the evening, bedroom window which had been left open, discovered closed the wrong way round.

March 23rd

M.F. carrying a tray in one hand and a lamp in the other up the front stairs, has the inside of an iron thrown at her from a few feet ahead.  It breaks the lamp chimney.

March 24th

Small articles thrown at M.F. sweeping, etc, outside bedroom.  Harry Bull seen again by M.F. about this time and (probably) by cottage tenant through stair window at night.

March 28th

M.F. sees a monstrosity (seen by her and others on other occasions) near kitchen door.  It touches her shoulder with iron-like touch.

March 29th

Palm Sunday.  Still.

April 11th

Saturday in Easter week, when there was a small demonstration.  Absolute quiet, with this one exception, during Holy Week and Easter Week.

April 1931

Milk jug is mysteriously found empty.  I request a clean one and make a rude remark about drinking after the ghosts. 

While we are sitting at tea in broad daylight with doors and windows closed, missiles are thrown at me. 

At night I count up 12 or 13 times I was thrown at between approximately 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. in different parts of the house.

May 1931

A bad half-hour in the kitchen one evening ended by my going upstairs to get creosote with which we fumigate the house.  On my way up a lump of dried mortar hits me in the neck.  On the way down a metal spanner goes through my hair. 

After fumigation the trouble stops at once; pepper, however, dropped on us in bed - some has previously been thrown into M.F.’s face in kitchen. 

Next evening M.F. does some fumigating but is rather lenient with creosote.  Bells ring, stone thrown at her and jam jar crashes against kitchen door as she is returning. 

I go round with creosote and trouble ceases.

Next day (Monday) I collect six articles thrown in late afternoon and evening to show Sir George and Lady Whitehouse who arrived about 9 p.m. to see if anything was doing.  While they are here, skirting board of unused bedroom (not entered by anyone that day as far as we knew) discovered to be on fire.  Some throwing after it had been put out. 

We accept invitation and stay a few days with Whitehouse.  One evening when up at Borley M.F. sees paper in air; it at once falls to ground: discovered to have some hardly decipherable writing on it.  Next day when we come up, it has disappeared.  Other pieces of paper with “Marianne” (M.F.’s name) in childish hand were found from time to time about the house.

June 6th

Worst outburst begins with a stone being thrown

June 7th

Stones thrown in the evening.  A chair in spare room, where M.F. was in bed very unwell, twice thrown over. 

Strange noises heard on landing during the night: bangs: taps on door, etc.

June 8th 1931


Soon after 10 a.m. proceedings start.  These include a variety of things; books, stones, clothes, suit case, a clothes basket full of soiled linen (twice) thrown over balustrade from landing to stairs and hall.   

M.F.  hears turmoil going on in what was usually our bedroom; gets up from sick bed to see; noise at once stops, but room found to be in confusion; bed moved, furniture overturned;

Doctor calls and witnesses some throwing;

Edwin Whitehouse visits house and also witnesses some.  M.F. turned out of bed three times during the day, but each time when alone in the room.  Lady Whitehouse coming up in the evening hears more throwing.  Matters are so bad that she and Sir George insist on us going down to their house for a time.

During the rest of the month, house empty at night except a few nights that I could get someone else to sleep in the house as well.  On one of these, when F. de Arles was there, hearing a noise just before retiring I went to his room to see if it came from there: found him asleep and an empty paint pot, which he said he knew nothing about, placed close up against the door inside.

August. 1931

A medium and an investigator come down and hold a séance.  Different spirits are tackled, amongst them Joe Miles who, it was declared, was responsible for the disturbances.  However, it appeared subsequently that this was a mistake.

Aug or Sept 1931

Study attacked.  Writing desk thrown on its face; chairs overturned; books pushed out of the shelves; room in confusion.

September 1931

We are locked out of our room one night.  A. locked into hers.  (Doors unlocked with help of Cure d’ Ars).

Sept. 26th 1931

On the kitchen being left empty for a few minutes, a saucepan full of potatoes left on the stove found to have been emptied.  Witnessed to by M.F. and a maid.  (nb   We had no resident maid in the house from the time we arrived till Sept., 1931.)

About this time different things were moved about in the house (or disappeared altogether) to a greater extent.  Amongst them a big pile of typewritten sheets; a small portable typewriter.  Money, though moved, we cannot be certain was ever taken.

October 1931

Visit of Mr. Harry Price and three members of his council.  On the first evening bell rang; bottle crashed on front stairs and other things were thrown. 

M.F., who not being well had gong to bed, had first one and then the other door of her room locked.  One came unlocked in answer to prayer.  Council next day declared their opinion that M.F. was responsible for phenomena.  She was put under surveillance, but bell from bedroom range while she was being surveyed.

I am awakened one morning by hearing a bedroom water jug dropped on my hand.  I left it on the floor and a little time afterwards it is dropped on M.F.’s head.

Oct.-Novem 1931.


The report that a shadowy form said by visitor to the house and by former occupants to be seen in room over kitchen, This has confirmation from A. being sent to lie down in that room one afternoon, she came downstairs with a bruise under her eye.  On being asked how she got it, she answered: “A nasty thing by curtain in my room gave it me”.

This apparition said to be seen also early one morning entering our bedroom. 

I was up and M.F. still asleep, so neither of us saw it.

13th. Novem. 1931

A rather serious demonstration this evening, witnessed by Edwin Whitehouse and our maid.

(I ceased keeping an exact diary of events in June.  There were therefore various phenomena in the way of throwing, doors being locked, etc. during these last months that are unrecorded but nothing very different to what we had experienced that I can think of - except one evening just after I came in a pot of, apparently, freshly made tea that no one owned to having made, was placed in the dining room for me.  However I could not be quite sure about the history of this.)



One night both doors of our room found locked - one from inside; the other communicating with dressing room, had a chest of drawers pulled right up against it inside, showing the impossibility therefore, of the locking having been done by a human agent.  Door still found locked. 

We go into the chapel and while there a terrific noise starts up in the hall, which we find is due to cat with claw caught in rat trap.  When we return a key is found lying on the corner of the altar, which turns out to be that of door between bedroom and dressing room.


Offer to come and help us get rid of ghosts from Mr. Warren of the Marks Tey spiritualist circle.  He and H. H Frost come over and talk to us.

Jan. 23-24. 1932

Finally they come with a medium on Jan. 25 suggesting spending the next nigh in the house.  Directly they come, throwing begins, so I suggest their spending that night instead.  Warren and Frost go over to get other members of the circle, leaving medium with us.  Great demonstrations - bottles dashing down back stairs; kitchen passage strewn with broken glass, etc.; bells ringing;

quieted down for a time, but starts up somewhat when the rest of the circle return.

 Party stay till 5 a.m. and then leave with the belief that trouble has been arrested.  Next morning the house entirely different; demonstrations definitely stop (with two exceptions noted below) till 1935.

(I have a copy of the circle’s own report of the proceedings.  If you would like to have one, the secretary is: H.H. Frost, the Mill House, Layer-de-In-Haye, Colchester, who I think would probably be pleased to furnish any information.)

May 1932




Some members of the Marks Tey circle come over one afternoon.  According to what they say were orders “from the other side”, we sit in the study with room darkened and gramophone playing. 

M.F. who was not at all well that day, goes off into deep sleep from which she awakens very much better.  Just after this a stone thrown down back stairs, while F. de Arles and self are passing along kitchen passage.  Attributed to “a little spare power floating round unused.”

June 1933

One evening two objects are thrown.  On writing to inform circle, they reply that they were told there might be some trouble in June, but things would be quiet afterwards. 

They come over on three or four evenings during the month.  On one of these while we are sitting in the study, spirit of late well-known psychic researcher is seen by Mr. Warren, but by no one else.

June 1933


One evening I hear strange noises in the house I cannot account for, but nothing further follows.


Some indications of a little trouble starting up again.  A few things disappear in unaccountable ways.

August 1935

Bank holiday.  H.P., A. and self and friend having tea on study verandah: noises, much like a picture falling heard in drawing room: investigation however, reveals nothing out of place.  These continue at intervals, some upstairs. 

About 13 or 14 bangs heard altogether.

October 1935

We move out of the house