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The Haunting of Borley Rectory

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Author Topic: The Haunting of Borley Rectory  (Read 596 times)
Jennifer Janusiak
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2009, 12:26:14 am »

this explanation was made by Mr Walter Bull, who, as a son of Henry Bull, was presumably entitled to speak with some authority.  Price's objections to this natural explanation are not very convincing.  The 'hedge and belt of trees' forming 'an impenetrable screen' opposite the bricked-up window, through which Price endeavoured unsuccessfully to peer, would probably have been but partly grown and not impenetrable at all in Henry Bull's time.  Price's suggestion that the road was unfrequented is equally unconvincing.  It led to the most important building in the district, Borley church with its graveyard, which was immediately opposite the rectory.  It was Canon Lawton who suggested to us with some shrewdness that it would have been more logical to brick up the other window facing the lawn and the 'Nun's Walk' which the ghost was supposed to haunt, if it were necessary seriously to consider the explanation offered by Price.


In this analysis of the Borley 'phenomena' up to 1927, no attempt has been made to deal with every incident assiduously collected by Price.  But an effort has been made critically to examine at least one typical example of each sort.  Thus there is that class of incident for which there is a reasonably obvious and normal explanation, such as Mrs Byford's 'footsteps' and the 'phenomena' exemplified by the probable practical joking of the younger Bulls resulting in the changed position of Mr Jeffrey's boots and the disappearance of his dictionary.  There are the hallucinations due to suggestion typified by the visions of Harry Bull, who saw - as mentioned earlier - the nun, 'Old Amos', a spectral coach with two horses driven by a headless coachman, and possibly a headless man in the garden: altogether too interesting a collection to be capable of any other explanation.  Finally there is, we think, the imaginary or exaggerated incident, motivated perhaps by mild personal advantage in one form or another, exemplified by Fred Cartwright's ghost story.  All these types are repeated many times in the later stages of the Borley story.

The evidence of the Bull period is unimportant, and if nothing more had occurred after the death of Harry Bull in 1927, the outside world would probably never have heard of the alleged haunting of Borley Rectory.  Practically the whole of the testimony is uncorroborated, and much of it was related to Price after very long periods of time.  Much of it, too, was obviously stimulated to a greater or lesser degree by the series of Daily Mirror articles which began on 10 June 1929.  Thus, Mrs Byford's letter was received on 11 June, and the testimony of the Misses Bull was collected in Sudbury by Price on 13 June, after three


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