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Famous Haunted Places--The Borley Rectory--CB.

Updated on March 10, 2011
the Borley Rectory
the Borley Rectory | Source

Famous Haunted Places

The Borley Rectory

There have been many famous paranormal investigators, but all of us (ha-ha) have taken notes and inspiration from the most famous and the original—Harry Price. The most renowned place Price investigated was the Borley Rectory in Essex, England. The location was dubbed the most haunted house in England.

According to the history and/or legend of the area a monastery was on the site before the rectory was built. A 13th century monk and a novice were killed while attempting to elope from the monastery. The monk was hanged/burned and the novice was entombed while still alive within the walls of the convent. That seems a severe punishment for being in love. Perhaps this is why the tortured lovers were so angry with the living. (This information was acquired through several séances performed by Price’s investigative team.)

At the bequest of the editor of the Daily Mirror, a local newspaper, Harry Price first visited the Rectory in June of 1929. The unexplained sound of bells were heard soon after he arrived with his secretary. While touring the building a candlestick was flung at the investigator by unseen hands. Price investigated the rectory several more times during the following years and actually decided to lease the building for a year in 1937. At this time Prince advertised for an investigation team to help him with his paranormal research in the building. He chose 40 out of the 200 people who applied, some of whom claimed to have psychic ability. For a year Price and his investigative team performed séances and took copious notes of the paranormal activity at the rectory.

Some of the events that the investigative group recorded were unexplained writings on the walls, mysterious stones being hurled by unseen hands and disembodied voices. The most active room in the house was reportedly the Blue Room, which was the first to burn in 1939 when the home was totally destroyed by fire. The devastating fire was predicted in one of séances that were held at the home. A spirit threatened to burn the house down in February 1938. The house caught on fire in the Blue Room when a stack of books mysteriously knocked over a lamp. Was it an accident or threat becoming fact? No one can be sure.

Price wrote two books on his findings: “The Most Haunted House in England,” published in 1940 and “The End of the Borley Rectory,” Published in 1946. Price was working on a third book about the Rectory, but he died in March of 1948 (a few months before I was born) before the book was completed. Many believed Price made up some of the events that occurred in the house. I guess it’s easier to dismiss the unexplained than to try to explain it. One thing that was discovered after the fire was an ancient scull under the burnt foundation. The find cohobated the fact that there had been a murder on the property.


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    • Christine B. profile image

      Christine B. 6 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      You're welcome, Seeker7--are you on my Paranormal Musings Newsletter Free mailing list? Send me your email address to edparanormal at gmail dot com and I'll add you to the list.... lots of interesting articles on the paranormal every month.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland


      Great Hub. Borely rectory was one of the first ghost accounts I ever read - think I was about 13. It terrified me but intrigued me and I've been interested in the paranormal eversince. It was a shame that this house did burn down, but some investigations carried out years later at the church nearby managed to catch excellent, if creepy EVP's. So perhaps the whole site is very paranormally active. But thanks for bringing back memories of Borley.