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The Haunting of Borley Rectory

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Author Topic: The Haunting of Borley Rectory  (Read 282 times)
Jennifer Janusiak
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2009, 12:25:47 am »

summer, about 9 p.m.' (of course before the advent of Summer Time).  The statement made to KMG and Mr Salter in 1950 confirms this precisely.  On 28 July 1900 the sun set at 7.53 p.m.

We have every reason to think that the Misses Bull were sincere in believing that they saw someone or something moving on the path under the trees as they looked across the lawn in the twilight over fifty years ago.  But so were Mr V. C. Wall (Daily Mirror reporter) and his photographer on the evening of 10 June 1929 when they 'had a terrible shock' and 'distinctly saw a white figure flitting about in the gloom', but later discovered that the 'apparition' was the Smiths' maid - as Mr Wall stated in that part of his report in the Daily Mirror of 11 June 1929 which Price omitted in MHH, p. 4, despite the clear implication that the whole of Mr Wall's original article (minus the heading) is printed verbatim. The article is headed 'Midnight Apparition that Proved to be a Maid'.

A consistent feature of the early Borley 'apparitions' is the fact that almost without exception they were seen out of doors, where the possibility of the misinterpretation of natural objects seen in poor light is much greater than inside a room.  In his original notes made at Borley in 1929, for example, Price commented that the Rev. G. Eric Smith had seen what looked like a spectre of a white-clad monk in the rectory garden, afterwards discovering that it was the smoke from a bonfire!  This event is not included in either of the Borley books.

There is some evidence to show that possibly Price himself may have been misled over the story of the apparition of the nun.  Canon Lawton knew the Misses Bull very well indeed and Miss Ethel Bull is godmother to one of his children.  He tells us that while he gained the impression that the Misses Bull were mildly proud of the tradition of the family ghost and publicly told the tale of the phantasm in the garden with understandable gusto, they never spoke to him privately of the matter with any degree of seriousness.  Canon Lawton was especially friendly with Mr Gerald Bull, a brother of the Misses Bull, who lived at the rectory with his sisters until 1920.  He told Canon Lawton that he had never seen anything of an abnormal nature during all his years at Borley, that he was entirely sceptical, and held the view that the nun was a product of feminine imagination.  Another brother, Mr Walter Bull, whom the Rev. L. A. Foyster somewhat ruefully describes as entirely unbelieving on pp. 63-4 of his manuscript Fifteen Months in a Haunted House, is quoted by Mr Foyster as saying that nothing abnormal ever happened in the rectory when the Bulls lived there, though Price quotes him (MHH, p. 51) as

p.25

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