Borley Rectory

Borley Rectory was once known as the most haunted house in England, after a book written by Paranormal researcher Harry Price about a year he spent living there. The rectory was constructed in 1863 on the site of an old monastery. Right from the time it was built there have been reports of strange happenings. Perhaps the earliest is of unexplained footsteps in the house being heard by numerous people. A phantom coach driven by a pair of headless horsemen was also witnessed some years after this.

It was not until 1900 that the ghost most famously associated with Borley rectory was first reported. On 28th July 1900, the four daughters of the rector, Henry Dawson Ellis Bull, saw the ghost of a nun at twilight, outside the house, the apparition vanished as they approached to talk with it.

In October 1929 the Reverend Guy Eric Smith and his wife moved into the rectory. Not long after they moved in Mrs Smith discovered the skull of a young woman in one of the cupboards, and this appears to have been the start of a series of unexplained incidents occurring in the house. Bells ringing when they were disconnected, unexplained footsteps, lights in unoccupied rooms. Eventually these experiences led to the involvement of Paranormal researcher Harry Price, who would go on to write extensively on his investigations there.

He spoke of objects being thrown across rooms, and Spirit messages being tapped out on a mirror frame.

In 1930 Lionel Foyster and his family became the next occupants of the rectory, and they stayed for 5 years. The strange occurrences showed no sign of stopping during their time, indeed there were new types of phenomena reported at this time. This includes wall writing, doors being locked without keys, and one member of the household being thrown from their bed.

In 1939 Borley rectory was destroyed in a fire, and the ruins were demolished in 1944. That has not stopped the paranormal activity associated with this site.

The phantom nun is still seen wandering in the former rectory grounds, apparently looking for a monk she with whom she planned to elope. Local folklore suggests that the ill-fated lovers were discovered before they could put their plan into action. The monk was executed in the monastery, and the nun imprisoned alive behind a wall in her nunnery.

More recent reports have expanded the scope of ghostly activity beyond the rectory grounds to the nearby parish church.