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The Haunting of Borley Rectory

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Jennifer Janusiak
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2009, 12:25:59 am »

hearing unaccountable footsteps following him in the lane near the rectory at least fifty times. (1)

In MHH, pp. 56-7, Price describes the experiences of Mr Fred Cartwright, the journeyman carpenter who stated that he saw the phantom nun on four separate occasions in 1927 as he passed the rectory in the early hours of the morning.  Again we have no first-hand account by the percipient.  All we have is 'a most interesting story' (without dates or corroboration) told to Price in 1930 by Mr Cartwright 'over a pint of ale at the "White Horse" [Inn]'.  The only first-hand evidence in Price's account would appear to be the fact that Mr Cartwright drank a pint of ale whilst he told his story.  One is inclined to wonder a little how many such pints Mr Cartwright had consumed on the strength of it between 1929, when the original articles on Borley appeared in the national and local press, and 1930 when Price sought him out in Sudbury.

In MHH, pp. 17-18, Price discusses the mystery of the bricked-up dining-room window at the rectory which, it is suggested, was blocked by the Rev. Henry Bull (and therefore prior to 1892) to prevent the nun peering through the window from the drive.  No testimony is available other than the mute evidence of the window itself, or if it is, none is offered by Price.  The rectory was built rather close to the road and was separated from it by a narrow drive only, and there would probably have been some lack of privacy if this window facing the road had not been bricked up.  The room was adequately lighted by another very large window facing the lawn and had indeed the same amount of natural light from this one window as the drawing-room, which was identically illuminated (see Fig. I).  The other principal rooms on the ground floor, the drawing-room and the library, had complete privacy from passers-by (facing on to the lawn as they did), and the bricking-up of the small dining-room window merely made this room uniform with the other two in this respect.  Indeed, Price admitted in MHH, p. 18, that when pursuing his enquiries in Borley he was told that the window was bricked up 'because people passing along the road could see the Bull family having their meals'; but adds that he does 'not believe that this was the reason at all'.  It is curious that he does not disclose that

1 Miss Ethel Bull indicated in her letter of 25 March 1942 to Mr S. H. Glanville that Price had confused the names of her brothers, having mistakenly substituted Walter Bull (whom presumably Price had not met) for Gerald Bull in MHH.  This would appear to dispose of the footsteps heard by Walter Bull, but is nevertheless puzzling to us for it was with the 'entirely sceptical' Gerald Bull who died in 1940 that Canon Lawton was particularly friendly.  The task of the luckless investigators of a many-years-old mystery is sometimes complex, as may be noted elsewhere in this report!

p.26 

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