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The Haunting of Borley Rectory

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Author Topic: The Haunting of Borley Rectory  (Read 276 times)
Jennifer Janusiak
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2009, 12:25:33 am »

of the Bull household] provided exactly the right stage for mysteries and hoaxes of every description.

At all events, any comments Mr Jeffery may have made at the time were not sufficiently impressive to be remembered by members of the Bull family, though they remembered his visits to their home.  When KMG and Mr Salter saw Miss Ethel Bull, Miss Milly Bull, and Mr Alfred Bull at their home in Sudbury on 11 August 1950, they were informed by all three that no objective phenomena of any kind had been heard of by them at the rectory during the whole of their lives there, and that the first mention of any alleged poltergeist activity had occurred during the incumbency of the Rev. G. Eric Smith, which began in 1928.  Mr Alfred Bull said that he had slept in the same bedroom that Mr Shaw Jeffrey occupied, but had experienced nothing odd.  This testimony was repeated to EJD and THH on 4 April 1953.

In MHH, pp. 44-5, Price describes the occasion when the four Misses Bull are said to have seen the phantom nun collectively on the rectory lawn on 28 July 1900. (1) It is unfortunate that no contemporary written account of this experience seems to have been made.  Price's record of the Misses Bull's statement to him is unsatisfactory in that we are not told the time the apparition was seen: we are merely informed that it was in the evening and that it was 'sunlight'.  Further information indicating the amount of light is omitted.

Fortunately we have a report prepared by Lord Charles Hope following his own visit to Borley in 1929 and his meeting with the Misses Bull who informed him that it was 'late twilight in the

1 Price says on p. 45 of MHH of the apparition seen by the Misses Bull : 'It is quite certain that this figure, seen first by four persons collectively, and then by two other persons simultaneously, was objective.  It was solid, like a human being; not a subjective image, a phantasm, or figment of the imagination.'

This remark is contradicted, or so it seems to us, by a passage on the next page of the same book: 'When the Misses Bull were young girls, they were leaning over the fence of their garden, looking across the fields.  They were with one of the maids.  They saw some young friends a few yards away, crossing the field in front of them, evidently taking a short cut to Long Melford Station, or going to the river Stour.  Just a little ahead of their friends was a girl or young woman in white whom the sisters failed to recognize as one of the villagers.  The Bull sisters happened to meet their friends in the evening and asked the name of the girl whom they took to the river.  The young people denied that anyone had been with them; nor did they see any stranger present' (MHH, p. 46).

Thus, Price's insistence that collective perception may be regarded as a test of objectivity is followed by an account of an alleged experience of the same persons which, if true, would prove the precise opposite, i.e. that the Misses Bull saw a figure invisible to others.  It is well known that collective hallucinations need not occur to all people present on any occasion.

p.24

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