Join me on a trip back in time and discover the shocking history of Borley Rectory widely given the name of ‘The Most Haunted House in England’. Within this performance we will unearth all of the gory details of the ancient Nun that still purports to haunt the area to this day, the appearance of the ghostly horse and carriage seen to thunder past the old location of the rectory. We will conduct a seance to see if we can contact the spirit of Harry Price the (in)famous ghost hunter extraordinaire and those of the past occupants who were mercilessly haunted by spectres of times past! Can we get the ghosts of Borley to recreate their spiritual behaviours? Will the famous Nun of Borley make her appearance? Come and find out during my next adventure!
Want to know more about this extraordinary location, and one that I have visited on many an occasion? Please read below:-
Borley Rectory was a Victorian house that gained fame as “the most haunted house in England” after being described as such by Harry Price. Built in 1862 to house the rector of the parish of Borley and his family, it was badly damaged by fire in 1939 and demolished in 1944.
The large Gothic-style rectory in the village of Borley had been alleged to be haunted ever since it was built. These reports multiplied suddenly in 1929, after the UK daily newspaper the Daily Mirror published an account of a visit by paranormal researcher Harry Price, who wrote two books supporting claims of paranormal activity.
The first paranormal events reportedly occurred in about 1863, since a few locals later remembered having heard unexplained footsteps within the house at about that time. On 28 July 1900, four daughters of the rector, Henry Dawson Ellis Bull, saw what they thought was the ghost of a nun at twilight, about 40 yards (37 m) from the house; they tried to talk to it, but it disappeared as they got closer. The local organist, Ernest Ambrose later said that the family at the rectory were “very convinced that they had seen an apparition on several occasions”. Various people claimed to have witnessed a variety of puzzling incidents, such as a phantom coach driven by two headless horsemen, during the next four decades. Bull died in 1892 and his son, the Reverend Henry (“Harry”) Foyster Bull, took over the living.
On 9 June 1928, Harry Bull died and the rectory again became vacant. In the following year, on 2 October, the Reverend Guy Eric Smith and his wife moved into the house. Soon after moving in, Smith’s wife, while cleaning out a cupboard, came across a brown paper package containing the skull of a young woman. Shortly after, the family reported a variety of incidents including the sounds of servant bells ringing despite their being disconnected, lights appearing in windows and unexplained footsteps. In addition, Smith’s wife believed she saw a horse-drawn carriage at night. The Smiths contacted the Daily Mirror asking to be put in touch with the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). On 10 June 1929 the newspaper sent a reporter, who promptly wrote the first in a series of articles detailing the mysteries of Borley. The paper also arranged for Harry Price, a paranormal researcher, to make his first visit to the house. He arrived on 12 June and immediately phenomena of a new kind appeared, such as the throwing of stones, a vase and other objects. “Spirit messages” were tapped out from the frame of a mirror. As soon as Price left, these ceased. Smith’s wife later maintained that she already suspected Price, an expert conjurer, of falsifying the phenomena.
The Smiths left Borley on 14 July 1929 and the parish had some difficulty in finding a replacement. The following year the Reverend Lionel Algernon Foyster (1878–1945), a first cousin of the Bulls, and his wife Marianne (née Marianne Emily Rebecca Shaw) (1899–1992) moved into the rectory with their adopted daughter Adelaide, on 16 October 1930. Lionel Foyster wrote an account of various strange incidents that occurred between the time the Foysters moved in and October 1935, which was sent to Harry Price. These included bell-ringing, windows shattering, throwing of stones and bottles, wall-writing and the locking of their daughter in a room with no key. Marianne Foyster reported to her husband a whole range of poltergeist phenomena that included her being thrown from her bed. On one occasion, Adelaide was attacked by “something horrible”. Foyster tried twice to conduct an exorcism, but his efforts were fruitless; in the middle of the first exorcism, he was struck in the shoulder by a fist-size stone.
Borley Rectory – After the fire Harry Price – Ghost-hunter extraordinaire