Harry Price at Borley


















The Haunting of Borley Rectory - A Critical Survey of the Evidence by Eric J. Dingwall, Kathleen M. Goldney & Trevor H. Hall  (Also known as the 'Borley Report')

(1) A letter from Mrs Smith to Miss Kaye (Price's Secretary) dated 2 July 1929 says they are packing prior to moving to Long Melford but she hopes 'this will not upset the "spook" ' - the inverted commas indicating a none too serious regard for the rectory haunt.  She goes on to describe the rectory as 'creepy' and states that she gets 'ghostly forebodings' and had awakened in the early dawn and fancied something was standing by the dressing table.  She recalls village tales regarding the previous rector, Mr Bull, walking in the passages during the night 'until two or later in the morning' and adds 'so no wonder there are steps here'.  She records that the front door bell 'has taken to quietly ringing now and again', but adds phlegmatically that 'this may be due to small boys or to rats' and advises Miss Kaye, when next she comes down, to spend a night in the attics with a ferret or a dog!  Levity is in evidence once more when she promises refreshments 'for you all (and the ghost) upstairs'.

(2) In a letter from Mr Smith to Price dated 9 July 1929, he reports that they had found that the table 'in the "haunted" room' had been 'hurled' from in front of the fireplace over to the washstand in the corner - the verb chosen indicating a bias towards imagining a violent transition. 'Whatever force catapulted this?', he queries.

(3) A letter from Mr Smith to Price dated 7 August 1929 states 'somehow we don't feel safe without you' and reports that on going over to Borley from Long Melford on the previous Sunday they had discovered one of the windows to be ajar 'as if someone had been peering out', in spite of the fact that Mrs Smith, on the Saturday, had gone round carefully testing that windows and shutters were properly fastened. (1) 'Of course it may be nothing but what do you think?'

(4) In a letter from Mr Smith to Lord Charles Hope dated 7 August 1929 (referring to the same incident) he describes entering the empty rectory and discovering that a lock 'had practically been forced by a superhuman push' and adds, 'It is all very strange.'

(5) In a letter from Mr Smith to Price dated 20 November 1929 he says that he is being inundated with letters from all over America, that one correspondent in Canada had actually lived in Borley 50 years before and had 'experienced a little of the ghostly manifestation' there himself, and he comments: 'Borley is undoubtedly haunted, though we have tried to dispossess ourselves of the idea.'

1 Cf. Mrs Smith's testimony (p. 45) re the possibility of villagers entering the empty rectory.


(6) A letter from Mr Smith to Lord Charles Hope dated 26 November 1929 more particularly suggests to the discerning eye the mixture of emotions, fears, and motives which flowed together in the minds of Mr and Mrs Smith.  'I am sure you will agree', he wrote, 'it was no place for my wife to reside in, seeing that no maid would stay there.' (1)

(7) In a letter dated 22 February 1930, Mr Smith tells Price that half a fireplace had been deposited on the main staircase at the rectory.  They had discovered this, after an absence of more than a month, though every shutter and window was found locked as they had been left. (2)

(8) A letter from Mr Smith dated 18 March 1930 tells Price that on entering the rectory 'about full moon, we heard the most horrible sounds in the house'. (3)

Mr Smith informs Price that 'perplexities' usually occur at full moon and adds that he does not 'allow Mrs Smith to go in there now'.

We must also include here, in chronological order, reference to a couple of letters which were sent to Mr and Mrs Smith some twenty months after they had left Borley.  During 1931, as we shall show in our next chapter, the phenomena at Borley reached their peak during the Foyster incumbency and doubts and accusations as to Mrs Foyster's responsibility for them multiplied.  Sir George and Lady Whitehouse, of Arthur Hall, Sudbury, and their nephew Mr Edwin Whitehouse were frequent visitors at the rectory during the latter half of 1931.  Mr Edwin Whitehouse not only became very friendly with Mrs Foyster but finally became her champion in actively defending her against her accusers.

In December 1931 he wrote to the Smiths, who were then living in Norfolk, introducing himself and stating his intention of visiting them the next day.  He was anxious, he wrote, to gather 'further information which I can use to answer those who very rashly suggest and insinuate that the phenomena are being manufactured by somebody in the house'.  He stated that he himself had witnessed 'manifestations' on several occasions and that his considered conclusion was that these manifestations 'cannot be explained by the human agency theory'.  He added that he was staying at Sandringham with the King's Chaplain and it is possible

1 This is not accurate. Mary Pearson remained there with the Smiths, even going on with them to Norfolk when they left Borley parish in April 1930.

2 Refer again to Mrs Smith's view (p. 45) regarding entry into the locked rectory.

3 Mrs Smith commented to us that they later found this was caused by a bird that had got locked into one of the rooms and it made 'horrible sounds' with its wings flapping.


that this detail took its place in encouraging the Smiths to receive him.

There is nothing in the files to indicate the details of their conversation, but a letter of thanks from Mr Whitehouse dated 22 December 1931 showed that he had been told of the various happenings which made up the story of 'the haunt' during the Smith incumbency.  Perhaps he was not told quite as much as he wanted, for he expressed the wish that he had had more time with his hosts: 'it is difficult to remember everything, and piece it all together, when a conversation is hurried' ; but he 'found out a good deal which I trust will be of benefit both now and in the future'.  The introduction into this letter of an assurance that he would, if he possibly could, 'see the Bishop of Chelmsford, and ... tell him ... that the events at Borley were not exaggerated by you, and that I consider it totally untrue to say that the issue could be described as "raising a mare's nest" ', (1) provides us with another indication of the psychological help Mr Whitehouse may have given the Smiths in inducing them to discuss at least the possibility of a genuine haunt.  Be that as it may, the conversation seems to have made so little impression on Mrs Smith that she told us that she had no recollection of ever meeting Mr Whitehouse at all.

Only very occasional letters passed between Price and the Smiths in the years 1930-7.  We come now to the batch of letters between the Smiths and Mr S. H. Glanville in 1937.  Then, as stated, Mr Glanville visited them in Sevington, Kent, where Mr Smith was now rector, in order to get their first-hand testimony for the very detailed record he was compiling of Borley Rectory and its phenomena.  In the warmth of his very charming personality they regaled him with the tale of the happenings in 1929.  Mr Glanville was himself convinced at that time of the genuineness of the 'haunt', a conviction based on his own experiences there.  He evidently told them of all the developments that were then occurring, for they wrote to him later saying what a pleasure it was to 'welcome you here, and learn all your views and news'.  This first meeting lasted for many hours, Mr Glanville records, and was followed by a series of letters and a joint expedition to the rectory on 12-13 January 1938 to see if the Smiths' presence would induce phenomena and stimulate the 'communications' through planchette which were at that time in evidence.  The letters of this period indicate the persisting dichotomy in the Smiths' mind between belief and doubt. Thus:

(1) In a letter dated 19 November 1937 Mr Smith acknowledges photographs of the rectory sent by Mr Glanville, 'where', he

1 Cf. footnote p. 59.


says, 'we spent, well let us say, some of the darkest hours of our lives,' though this comment might well allude to the trespassing hordes that invaded their home after the newspaper publicity rather than to attentions from less material beings.  He alludes to 'the "ticking" mirror' prominent at the séance on Price's first 1929 visit, and the 'old keys that were thrown about apparently from nowhere' and suggests bringing them once more into the rectory.  'I say, you don't think Borley ghosts travel, do you?', he asks, and records how after Mr Glanville had left them it sounded 'just like somebody trying to get through to us by tappings in this rectory', but adds that 'this rectory is not haunted'.

(2) Mr Glanville asked them about the shutters in the rectory library, and Mrs Smith replied on 23 November 1937 that these very often made sounds and rattled and they regarded it as due merely to the wind blowing them 'until that night when they were pulled together, seemingly by no-one' (cf. pp. 48-9)

(3) The visit to the rectory with Mr Glanville was arranged and Mr Smith wrote to him on 6 January 1938, reporting that Mrs Smith was unwell and might not be able to sit with them in the rectory, but 'she keenly wants to be with us' and 'she doesn't believe in ghosts, and nothing would scare her away'.  He is sorry Mr Price cannot join them - 'will he be glad that he missed the bricks we fully expect at our heads!'

Nothing of interest occurred during this visit to Borley Rectory.  Price records (EBR, p. 226) that 'a "Roman centurion" communicated, said he was in the Tenth Legion, and promised "information".'  The Rev. Harry Bull also 'communicated'.

(4) In a letter from Mr Smith to Mr Glanville dated 14 January 1938 he records an electricity failure on their return to Sevington and wonders whether planchette would have shown that someone was trying to attract their attention in that way.  He also reports having found marks on the back of the mirror they had taken with them to Borley, as well as marks on the board the planchette was placed upon.  He suggests that looked at upside down these marks might be English shorthand and adds: 'You may laugh at all this, but you said little things counted, so I am telling you.'

(5) A letter from Mr Smith to Mr Glanville dated 23 January 1938 says that they had much enjoyed their trip to Borley for it was good to 'get out of the ordinary routine sometimes'; but 'it was a pity the "spooks" did not show up'.  The 'spooks' seemed to have travelled again to Sevington, he says, for there had been more 'tappings', and he finds it strange that the glass had been smashed in their framed picture of the rectory.  'Still we laugh, but puzzle; will it all ever be cleared up, and how?'


Price wrote to Mr Smith in May 1939 asking him to write an account of their experiences at Borley or else to confirm the account they had given to Mr Glanville, so that he could insert it as a chapter in MHH, then being compiled.  But Mr Smith was reluctant.

(6) In his reply of 9 May 1939 he states that it was not so much the 'rumours of apparitions' that had worried them as the bad sanitation, broken pipes, and isolation, and that these were the cause of their leaving the rectory.  But 'it is most interesting to hear what others say about the "hauntings" .... I am always open to conviction.'

Price, nothing daunted, sent him the notes drawn up by Mr Glanville after hearing their testimony.  Mr Smith remained firm.  He pointed out (16 May 1939) that their testimony had been given to Mr Glanville under a seal of secrecy and not for publication.  'Mrs Smith and I would rather be left out of it .... we really did not believe there were any such things as ghosts!'

To this refusal Price replied on 17 May 1939: 'I am afraid it will be impossible not to mention your name at all, as it was through your interest that I entered the case at all.  I must say that you were Rector when I began my investigation, though of course I shall be very careful not to say that you believed in spirits.'

Finally, it is obvious from the correspondence that there is discrepancy in Mrs Smith's statement to us (p. 47) that she had never read MHH but, in disgust at hearing they figured in the book, had thrown the copies sent her by Price on the fire - these having reached her shortly after her husband's death on 3 August 1940 when she was greatly upset.

In a letter to Price dated 26 September 1940, Mrs Smith acknowledges receiving copies of MHH and congratulates him on a wonderful book - 'How you pieced it all together puzzles me.'  A letter from Mrs Smith to Price dated 2 October 1940 states: ' ... I was awfully thrilled over your book & laughed a lot over the witty remarks.'  It would seem unlikely that Mrs Smith did not read it throughout; on the other hand it might well be true that in her overwrought grief at her husband's death - for they were a devoted couple - she did no more, perhaps, than glance at it and destroy the four copies sent her.  There would seem little point in her making this statement to us if it were not so.  What then of her words of appreciation to Price?  Other letters reveal there may have been a strong motive at work to avoid any friction and remain on good terms with him.  Two or three months before her husband's death and whilst he was dangerously ill, Mrs


Smith mentioned in a letter to Price an attempt at a novel she had put together whilst at Borley, 'most lurid - Murder at the Parsonage', and she adds that she is rather tempted to let it see daylight.  Price evidently visualised it as corroborating and amplifying his own forthcoming MHH, for a further letter from Mrs Smith dated 16 May 1940 thanks him for his 'kind suggestion' but admits that she could not vouch for the incidents in her book, as it is 'sheer fiction' though written round Borley.  'Had I really believed in ghosts I could never have remained in that house.'

After her husband's death, Mrs Smith sent Price part of her MS., explaining that though a deeper kind of literature appealed to her and normally she would not have bothered to finish it, its possible publication and sale would help her in the six months before her husband's affairs could be cleared up.  She was unwell - 'not at all myself.'

Mrs Smith, like so many, experienced the long delays, worry, and financial strain attendant upon widowhood whilst awaiting the settlement of her husband's affairs; Price continued his encouragement in the matter; and correspondence on the MS. ensued during September and October 1940 in the same letters dated 26 September and 2 October 1940 (quoted above) as contained her appreciative comments on the copies of MHH sent to her by Price.

What the reader must decide in regard to all these letters is whether the expressions of belief in the haunt were genuine, and if so whether they were unbiassed or the outcome of suggestion and concerted pressures. (1)

The situation had to be clarified.  KMG wrote to Mrs Smith:

Can you tell me, frankly, ... Did you feel as certain at the time that Borley was NOT haunted - that there was nothing but rumour and tales and mystification and exaggerations - as you now do?  Possibly you did not know what to think, with an apparent expert like Mr Price coming down, and unexplained 'phenomena' happening when he DID arrive; and that only gradually you reached your present views? ... I know you will realise HOW careful we have to be when handling a matter like this to get as near the exact truth as we can.  I expect you will need to sit quietly for a bit and think yourself back into the mood of the time, before you answer this question.

1 It should be noted, however, that when annotating those passages in MHH which referred to themselves, Mrs Smith significantly stopped short in her comments on reaching the eight extracts quoted by Price from their letters, although she did annotate the two isolated extracts from her own letters quoted in EBR.


Mrs Smith replied on 1 August 1949 :

Yes! Borley has strange memories, very mixed, and if it were not that I feel something impelling me to try and stop all the dangerous talk and publicity round the place, I do not think I should re-open this closed book of the past in my life, but my beloved husband and Mr Price are constantly influencing my sub-conscious mind and thus resuscitating Borley .... However - if I can help I will, but do you realise that it is looking back for nearly 20 years, so if I cannot be exactly accurate in details, it is not my fault if memory is elusive .... So, Lord Charles seems to think I was upset and 'even apprehensive'!!  I think that anyone would have been, but it does not prove that I considered the place haunted.  My dear, put yourself in my place - our first Living - devoid of household necessities - our wish to do good in the Parish - the difficulties of superstition - everywhere I was greeted by the words 'You are brave - I would not stay there another day', then to have the Patrons confirm the tale; eventually to find uncanny things really happening when Mr Price arrived .... I thought everybody had gone crazy and I did not believe in ghosts, but wondered what we had stumbled into?

As regards what Eric felt I can only tell you this - he always worried over me and hated to think I might get frightened - he also thought something evil was going on I am sure and did not like it ... and he wanted very much to leave Borley because of the awful living conditions.  I candidly do not think Eric ever believed that the place was haunted.

The situation, it seems to us, well illustrates the psychological factors which need to be taken into consideration at all times when recording and judging testimony.  We discuss this matter in the Conclusion (see p. 167).  Here we need only point to the complexity of 'opinions', and to the fact that contradictory beliefs often obtain credence, first one view and then another gaining ascendancy and constituting for the moment the 'opinion' of the person concerned.  As time passes and a particular belief remains dominant, earlier doubts, waverings, and changes of opinion are often forgotten, and the final opinion is offered, with honesty, as if single-mindedness had reigned throughout.

It is well known that unwelcome facts are often forgotten and this may be well exemplified by Mrs Smith's recent assertion that she could not remember Mr S. H. Glanville.  KMG had mentioned his name casually in correspondence, but Mrs Smith replied on 1 August 1949 'I cannot place Mr Glanville - who was he and where from - some paper?'  Since, as recorded above, Mr Glanville had visited them in 1937, since this visit had been followed by the exchange of several letters (including letters to him from Mrs Smith herself), and since, finally, they had accompanied Mr Glanville by car to Borley for a séance and had spent the night


there, it seems improbable that his name and he himself should be completely forgotten by someone who had shown so good a memory for much detail.  To further questioning Mrs Smith replied that she remembered visiting Borley on that occasion with her husband 'and someone else', but still did not appear to recognise the name or remember Mr Glanville.  We would stress, however, that this psychological mechanism of forgetting unwelcome facts is applicable to many, and that, as recorded earlier, we have the greatest respect for Mrs Smith and are under a debt of gratitude to her for the very frank and prolonged help she has given us in our task.

She was insistent that it was her duty to try to put a stop to the continuing publicity given to the Borley 'haunt' and to the nonsense and distortion which thereby accumulated.  Her letter to us of 1 August 1949, quoted above, supplies a picture which adequately explains the half-heartedly acquiescing correspondence between the Smiths and Price of 1929-30: a correspondence tempered with some levity, and with suggestions regarding rats and the tricks of village urchins proffered as an alternative to poltergeists and spirit visitants.  Admittedly all reasons for a partial succumbing to belief or simulated belief would have disappeared by 1937 when Mr Glanville visited them.  By this time Borley was no more than a memory; they had moved to more than one town since, and were then happily settled in the parish of Sevington.  Yet their 1937 correspondence with Mr Glanville shows an almost instantaneous reversion to a lively interest in the haunt, an eager acquiescence in the project of revisiting Borley and taking an active part in a planchette séance there.  The long record made by Mr Glanville of his interview with them shows that he got the impression that they believed the place in some sense haunted and that their own experiences there supported such a belief.

The clue to this situation lies largely, we think, in the personality of Mr Glanville.  He had great charm and impressed all who met him with his quiet belief in the genuineness and paranormality of various happenings at Borley' (1) His gift for lucid exposition, his care, his understatement, must have exercised a compelling influence on the Smiths.  Small wonder that they warmed to the spell of his presence and, under the influence of his beliefs, retold to him with gusto the story he had come for.

But in 1939 when publication of the Borley story was under way and Price asked the Smiths to confirm the record of their own

1 As we mention on p. 169, his opinions were much modified after he became aware of the new facts which came to light during our investigations.


experiences as material for a chapter in MHH, there was, as we have seen, immediate caution and withdrawal.  This was something more serious.  Borley could now no longer be treated merely as affording the springboard for meetings and correspondence with the charming Mr Glanville, a jaunt to the rectory merely as a lively interlude in the quiet life at Sevington.  All they had said in 1929 under the confusing influence of the renowned Harry Price, all they had repeated to Mr Glanville in 1937, all this might now be permanently recorded in evidence against them.  'We really did not believe there were any such things as ghosts,' they wrote Price.  They refused his request and asked that their names should not be used. (1)

Price's reply of 17 May 1939 (see p. 55) would not have led them to anticipate more than a passing reference to themselves and no doubt their fears were allayed.

In 1940 when MHH was published, with their own tale told in full and, as Mrs Smith maintains, embellished and distorted, Mrs Smith was lately bereaved and in no mood to start a fight with Price.  But ever since then the rubbish, ever accumulating, on the theme of 'the most haunted house in England', has brought her, she states, to a position of determination that the matter can no longer be disregarded and that the truth must be told.  It was this determination, she maintains, which prompted her 1945 and 1949 letters to the Press.

Her story, considering the difficulty of recalling past events and the changing moods which accompanied them, seems to us to be as accurate a picture of what occurred as can reasonably be expected.

The Smiths found themselves caught up in the situation we have described and the several inconsistencies are witness to a battle which ensued between the various emotional factors brought into play.  But both in 1938 when Mr Smith tried to withhold from Price his permission for their testimony to be published in MHH, and now, when Mrs Smith grants us her permission to publish her testimony in this report, they seem to show a desire

1 In 1929 Mr Smith repeatedly urged Price to provide them with a promised report on the Borley phenomena.  He wished to have this, from an authoritative source, to show to those who looked askance at what they had heard about the rectory and more particularly to show their Bishop who was, stated Mr Smith, 'getting sulphuriously sarcastic'.  But this was to be a private report for Mr Smith's own use and not for publication.  On the other hand, it must be admitted that Mr Smith wrote to Price in January 1932 asking for a copy of Psychic Research 'containing the account of ourselves at Borley' (i.e. the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, August 1929, xxxiii, pp. 455 ff.) and he subsequently made no protest.  This may, however, have been because at the time he was soliciting Price's help in regard to publicity for a book of stories Mrs Smith had just published, or because the account was not published in Great Britain.


to prevent distortion and remedy untruth.  What other motive can be suggested for Mrs Smith's letters to the Church Times and Daily Mail, so long after the event?


Before proceeding to our final analysis of the Smith incumbency, there are two incidents which deserve individual discussion.  It will have been noticed (p. 46) that according to Mrs Smith's statement a glass of water changed into ink at her dinner table and that Price, who was sitting next to the user of the glass, suggested that it was a 'poltergeist phenomenon'.  Oddly enough, two years later when the Rev. L. A. Foyster was rector of Borley, a glass of wine was transformed into ink, whilst another smelt strongly of eau de cologne, during a brief visit by Price.  There is no record of anything remotely similar having occurred at Borley on any other occasion.

One of us, KMG, accompanied Price on the second occasion (13 October 1931) but he did not see fit to mention to those present that a similar transformation had occurred during a previous visit by him in the Smiths' time - possibly his colleagues' amusement at the apparent trick restrained him.  He himself laughed at it too, KMG records, as an example of childish fraud on Mrs Foyster's part.  When he wrote MHH he described the incident as occurring during the Foyster incumbency (MHH, p. 68) but did not mention any earlier occasion.  In EBR the wine-to-ink episode is omitted altogether.  As will be seen in the section of this report dealing with the Foyster incumbency (p. 93), the Rev. L. A. Foyster wrote an account of the events of the evening of 13 October 1931 but did not mention, possibly because of its suggestive crudity, what Price was to describe privately and rather unkindly at a later date as 'Mrs Foyster's wine trick'.  The curious omission by Price of any mention at any time of the first occasion led us to question Mrs Smith closely as to whether she might have been misled into thinking that the Foyster incident, of which she might have heard, had occurred when Price dined with her.  But she was quite positive on the point, apparently clearly remembering the presence of other guests at her table, and the comments that were made.  However, her uncorroborated recollection must be treated with the reserve appropriate to a twenty-year-old memory.

The conjuring trick of transforming clear water into ink involves the secret introduction of a small pellet into the glass of liquid concerned.  Such pellets can be cheaply and readily obtained at most magical depots.  Price was interested in conjuring all his life and possessed one of the largest libraries on the


subject in the world.  He of all those concerned with the Smith and Foyster tenancies would be most likely to know of the ink trick and, if Mrs Smith's account is accepted, then he of course was the only person present on both of the only occasions when the trick was performed.


The second point concerns the medallions which are alleged to have appeared at Borley in 1929, and which are treated in MHH and especially in EBR as paranormal 'apports', despite Price's remarks on pp. 29 and 201 of his Fifty Years of Psychical Research (London, 1939) where he states that 'Like "spirit" photographs, the evidence for apports is bad' and that 'Very few serious investigators of today accept "apports".' MHH, p. 59, describes the occasion when, says Price, 'the usual Poltergeist manifestations' occurred, including the arrival of a 'shower of several keys ... ; a small gilt medallion, such as are presented to Roman Catholic children on their Confirmation; and another medallion or badge, dated "AN VIII" (i.e., A.D. 1799) issued in Paris after the French Revolution' .... 'I will remark in passing', he adds, 'that many of the phenomena at Borley are connected in some way with Roman Catholicism: the "nun" and monks; the medallions; France; ... and so on' (cf. p. 41). From other papers in our possession the date of this occasion is shown to be 5 July 1929, and he was accompanied by his secretary, Miss Kaye, and by Lord Charles Hope.

In 1937 planchette (automatic) writings were received by the Glanville family purporting to come from a French Roman Catholic nun, giving the name of Mary (or Marie) Lairre, who stated in reply to questions that she came from Havre, was murdered in 1667 whilst she was a novice at the nunnery of Bure (Bures, near Borley), and that she was buried in the rectory grounds (MHH, pp. 160-1).  It has been suggested by believers in the Borley 'phenomena' that since the first mention of a French Roman Catholic nun occurred in the planchette data in 1937, the hypothesis of trickery by Price in 1929 by the introduction of 'apports' to bolster up the supposed historical background of the story is untenable, in that it would imply foreknowledge by him in 1929 of the events of 1937.

This is superficially convincing, but unfortunately the provenance of the medals alleged to have appeared in 1929 becomes exceedingly suspicious when the incident is subjected to critical examination.  There is good evidence to show, in fact, that these medals were never in evidence at Borley at all, and that what 'appeared' on 5 July 1929 was a single brass medal, minted in


Rome circa 1700, bearing on the obverse an effigy of St Ignatius Loyola clad in what might popularly be described as a monk's garb (actually a pilgrim's habit) and holding a book of the rule of the Society of Jesus.  The reverse shows a representation of the Holy Trinity, and at the bottom is the single word 'ROMA' (see Plate II).  Our suggestion is that Price when writing MHH in 1940 described the gilt Roman Catholic confirmation medallion and the French Revolution badge as having appeared at Borley in 1929 when in fact they did not, and suppressed all mention of the St Ignatius medal which did in fact 'appear' at the time, although not we think by supernormal means.  Our reasons for reaching this conclusion are:

(1) The St Ignatius medal was found amongst Price's Borley papers after his death, yet is mentioned nowhere in MHH or EBR.

(2) Conversely, so far as we have been able to discover from a perusal of the whole of Price's Borley files, there is no mention whatsoever of either the Roman Catholic or French medals until they are described in MHH.

(3) Price's secretary in 1929, Miss Lucie Kaye (now Mrs Meeker), was present when the St Ignatius medal 'appeared' on 5 July 1929 and it was in fact given into her keeping for a period.  When questioned about it by Mrs C. C. Baines, a member of the S.P.R., Mrs Meeker replied in her letter dated 24 January 1951: 'It is the only medal or medallion I remember appearing in the early days and quite undoubtedly this is the one that "appeared" on the same night as the keys.'

(4) Lord Charles Hope made contemporary notes of the visit of 5 July 1929 and his description of the incident is as follows:

We ran back and found Mr and Mrs Smith - Mary and the Y[oung] M[an] all coming out of drawing room door ... & on the floor near that door we found 6 or 7 keys (I think) and a medallion with Latin words on it & the head of a monk, all lying about on the bare floor.

There is no mention of any other medallions, and the incidence of a single medallion is confirmed in a letter from Mr Smith to Lord Charles Hope dated 25 July 1929.

(5) Price wrote some notes on Borley for the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research of August 1929.  He described the rectory thus: 'Borley Rectory is a mansion erected in 1865 [sic] on the vaults and cellars of a 13th century monastery.  The ruins of a nunnery are close by.'  He went on to describe the traditional story connected with the alleged monastery and nunnery.  Then he described his visit of 5 July 1929: ' ... on the occasion of my last visit - I was then accompanied by Lord Charles Hope - we received a shower of ten keys which had been


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ContentsNote & Preface  .  Diary of Events  .  I. Introduction  . II. Topography & LegendsIII. The Bull Incumbencies  .  IV. The Smith Incumbency & Harry Price  .  V. The Foyster Incumbency  .  VI. The Price Tenancy  .  VII. Later Borley  .  VII. Conclusions

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