The following is a reading list of books and journals which contain information either about Harry Price himself, his cases or psychical research and ghost-hunting in general. The books are listed under topic headings in chronological order with an image of the cover if available and notes on the Price-related aspects of each volume are included where possible. More titles will be added in due course. If visitors to the website have information on relevant literature which they feel should be included in this section, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with details & a scan of the cover if possible.
A short pamphlet written by the Rev. Alfred Clifford Henning who was Rector following Lionel Foyster who left Borley in 1935, after which time the parishes of Borley and Liston were combined and the Rev. Henning resided at Liston Rectory. Henning describes his appointment as curate at Borley as well as providing a brief history of the village itself & the Waldegrave family as well as an historical & architectural appraisal of Borley Church. He includes details of aspects of the haunting of both the former Rectory & incidents in the churchyard and the church itself and also includes some notes taken from his correspondence with the Rev. E.A. Merryweather of Langenhoe about his experiences of the haunting there.
A rip roaring novel of ghosts and high spirits set in 'The Most Haunted House in England' by James Turner who lived in the Rectory Cottage during the late 1940s.
In 1965 the Research Advisory Committee of the Society for Psychical Research authorized a re-examination of the Borley Rectory case and made a grant in aid of expenses. The man who took up the challenge of defending Harry Price was S.P.R. member Robert J. Hastings who had voiced his disagreement with the findings of the 'Borley Report' within twelve months of The Haunting of Borley Rectory being published but at that time was unable to gain access to the research materials held by the authors in order to justify his criticisms. Hastings stated in his Introduction that he considered the 'Borley Report' to be 'entirely a prosecutor's case' and that 'no systematic attempt seems to have been made to find arguments in Price's defence'. He challenges Dingwall, Goldney & Hall in several areas of the Borley case including the allegations of newspaper reporter Charles Sutton, Mabel Smith's testimony, the Borley medals, the excavated bone fragments and the 'flying brick' episode. The 'Hastings Report' as this essay has become known as also includes the memorandum of an interview with Charles Sutton carried out in 1966 by Dr Alan Gauld as well as a statement on the case by Dom. Richard Whitehouse presented by Peter Underwood. Click here for the complete report online.
The joint authors of The Haunting of Borley Rectory lost no time in responding to Robert Hastings' Examination of the 'Borley Report' and published a reply in the September issue of the Journal of the S.P.R. Amongst their responses they cite a lecture given by Mrs Anita Gregory at the Eleventh Annual Congress of the Parapsychological Association in Freiburg the previous year in which she states her belief that the photograph taken by Harry Price in 1932 of Rudi Schneider apparently breaking control was faked by Price and as such no report issued by him can be trusted as portraying the truth. Other aspects of Hastings' essay are rebuked and the authors try to draw a line under the whole Borley affair with the final comment 'we do not propose to continue the controversy any further'.
The redoubtable Mr Hastings returned in print to fight the case for Harry Price soon after the publication of the 'Borley Report' authors response to his earlier criticisms. Hastings charges the joint writers with continuing to hold several of their allegations against Price without providing any justification for doing so and criticises the comments made against himself and the Rudi Schneider allegations that were made in Dingwall, Goldney & Hall's reply. He finishes his article with the statement that his objections to the findings of the 'Borley Report' were made as early as 1956 and that he submitted a paper voicing his criticisms to the editor of the S.P.R. Journal within twelve months of the publication of The Haunting of Borley Rectory but this went unpublished.
Twenty-five years after Harry Price's death, Peter Underwood and Price's original biographer Dr. Paul Tabori joined forces to produce their record of the Borley story. The Ghosts of Borley is generally supportive of Price, to whom the book is dedicated as 'the man who put Borley on the map'. The authors cover the historical events at the Rectory - the Bulls, Smiths, Foysters, Price tenancy, Gregson & the fire - and also bring the story up to date with writer & poet James Turner's ownership of the Rectory Cottage during the late 1940s, the excavations carried out in the remains of the cellars in the 1950s as well as chronicling the various reports of phenomena experienced in Borley Church. They also include a section on the various people who lived in the Rectory over the years as well as publishing for the first time photographs of several key people in the story including the Coopers, Frank Pearless and the Smiths.
This paper is a version of the events at Borley as obtained from Marianne Foyster through contemporary interviews given by her to the authors who were able to contact her through information supplied by Trevor Hall. Marianne was in her late 70s when she spoke to Iris Owen & Paulene Mitchell whose paper gives details of her background and then proceeds to detail what they describe as 'The Borley Haunt' during the period that the Foysters were living at the Rectory. They conclude that as well as fraudulently produced phenomena being carried out by members of the Foyster household, a real full blown poltergeist outbreak was taking place when Harry Price visited Borley in October 1931 and that the presence of Edwin Whitehouse at the Rectory was a major cause of the disturbances which they say ceased completely when he left the village to become a Benedictine monk.
Following his collaboration on the 'Borley Report', Trevor Hall continued to work on the case, specifically in connection with the life of Marianne Foyster - Hall wrote the chapter concerning the Foyster incumbency which appears in The Haunting of Borley Rectory. He produced a work entitled Marianne Foyster of Borley Rectory but this was never published, due primarily to the fact that the subject of his work was still alive. Hall died in 1991 and his piece was eventually published as The Widow of Borley by Robert Wood. In The Last Case of Sherlock Holmes, Hall combines his interest in the great fictional detective - on whom he wrote a series of literary essays - with the Borley case, producing a short piece of some 31 pages in which he combines fact with fantasy by having himself meet the illegitimate son of Conan Doyle's detective at Cambridge in order to establish the facts concerning the wife of Borley cleric Harry Bull.
Biography of Marianne Foyster in connection with the events at Borley Rectory during the time that she was resident there between 1930-35. The author Robert Wood was brought up in Acton in Suffolk, a village close to Borley and he uses material researched by Trevor Hall for his book which is highly critical of the whole idea of the Rectory ever being haunted. He ridicules Harry Price's involvement in the case, branding him a liar and a fraud and concentrates on Marianne's life before, during and after her stay at Borley, charting the many places she lived at as well as her marriages and the various relationships she had with other men, which also (so Wood claims) involved her husband the Rev. Lionel Foyster in some cases as a voyeur. The strongest of Wood's allegations are that Marianne killed the bed-ridden curate in order to conveniently escape Britain as a G.I. Bride at the end of the Second World War.
A comprehensive survey of the Borley Rectory saga which took the author, the late Ivan Banks, ten years to research using the original materials from Harry Price's Borley dossier held at the University of London Library. Well illustrated and containing architectural drawings of the Rectory building produced by Banks himself, the book covers the various incumbencies of Borley Rectory, the historical aspects of the case in connection with the Waldegrave family and an analysis of the séance data produced at the table-tipping sessions held during the Price tenancy of 1937-38. In a similar vein to Peter Underwood & Paul Tabori's Ghosts of Borley, Ivan Banks comes down on the side of Harry Price in connection with the later allegations of the 'Borley Report' and strongly supports the findings of Robert Hastings in his paper published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research in 1969.
We Faked the Ghosts of Borley Rectory by Louis Mayerling (Pen Press Publishers, London, 2000)
Probably the most bizarre and enigmatic book in the entire Borley canon, purporting to be the autobiography of a man who lived at the Rectory and 'personally experienced' practically the entire catalogue of Borley happenings and events. However the author (who was apparently born in Vienna in 1913 and brought Lawrence of Arabia of all people to attend séances at Borley Rectory) is unknown and does not feature at all in any of the other entries for literature associated with the Borley case, either on this page or anywhere else which leads to the conclusion that the entire book is one big literary joke. A clue could be in the fact that Mayerling is the title of a ballet written in 1978 about the suicide of Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress and there are numerous ballet references throughout the book which does not focus on Borley for much of the time. Sadly this book was cited by the author of a website campaigning for a posthumous pardon for the Scottish medium Helen Duncan for her notorious WWII witchcraft trial as evidence of the unreliability of the evidence of Harry Price supposedly given at her trial, the web author proclaiming Price as 'Dirty Harry' Price, the man who framed Helen Duncan!. (Grateful thanks go to Norman Darwen for supplying the image & information about this book for the site.)
Borley Postscript by Peter Underwood (White House Publications, 2001) Nearly twenty years after his collaboration with Paul Tabori on The Ghosts of Borley, Peter Underwood returned to the Borley story in this book which presents a collection of experiences connected with the Rectory hauntings that date from after the fire of February 1939 to the present time which had not previously been made public.
Borley Rectory – The Final Analysis by Edward Babbs & Claudine Mathias (Six Martlets Publishing, 2003) The latest (to date) examination of the Borley story covering the usual ground. The authors were able to correspond with Vincent O'Neil, Marianne Foyster's adopted son, concerning his mother's time at the Rectory through the Borley Rectory.com website which Mr O'Neil had established in the mid 1990s as an internet resource on the Rectory saga.
The Alleged Haunting of B--------- House by A. Goodrich-Freer & John, Marquess of Bute (C. Arthur Pearson Ltd, London, 1900) Controversial Scottish case known as 'The Most Haunted House in Scotland' with several similarities to the Borley haunting including the apparition of a ghostly nun. The building was also rented for a period by investigators from the Society for Psychical research in a similar way that Harry Price became the tenant of Borley Rectory in 1937-38. The integrity of the Ballechin case has been challenged since this book was published as the identities of the scene of the alleged haunting and that of the main people involved in the case were subsequently made public.
The Story of The Poltergeist Down The Centuries by Hereward Carrington & Nandor Fodor (Rider & Co., London 1953, 211 pp) This is an enlarged and revised edition of the ‘bulletin’ entitled Historic Poltergeists which was published in 1935. Harry Price is mentioned numerous times in Carrington’s listing of poltergeist cases (Price’s Poltergeist Over England is described as “a fairly complete [bibliography]”), which makes up the first half of the book, but the main interest probably lies in the 36 pages on the ‘talking mongoose’ case’; a two page introduction by Carrington is followed by Nandor Fodor’s account drawn from his further research into the case which was originally published in serial form in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in February, March and July that year and it is completed by a four page epilogue written for this book. The results are as curious as The Haunting of Cashen’s Gap; Fodor, a Hungarian who was originally inspired to take up psychic research by Carrington, incurred the wrath of spiritualists with his emphasis on psychoanalytical explanation for at least some cases, but although he here seems to be putting forward such an explanation, he certainly hedges his bets. Review by Norman Darwen.
Strange Things - The Enquiry by the Society for Psychical Research into Second Sight in the Scottish Highlands, the story of Ada Goodrich Freer, the Ballechin House ghost hunt, and the stories and folklore collected by Fr. Allan McDonald of Eriskay by John L. Campbell and Trevor H. Hall (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1968) Study of investigations into the paranormal carried out in Scotland in the closing years of the nineteenth century under the direction of members of the Society for Psychical Research. As collaborator, Trevor Hall contributed an in depth investigation of the background of prominent S.P.R. member Ada Goodrich Freer (six years prior to his similar treatment of Harry Price) and an examination of the 1897 Ballechin House investigation. Harry Price is only mentioned fleetingly by Hall in a footnote in which he states his view that Price used the S.P.R. tenancy of Ballechin House as a model for his own investigations of Borley Rectory in 1937.
Very useful guidebook to the haunted places of the British Isles in the vein which covers the country county by county and is well illustrated with colour and black and white photographs together with historical line drawings and paintings. Also included are pages of maps which locate each entry in the book and a bibliography. Included is the obligatory entry on Borley and the case is also mentioned briefly in the Preface.
Useful compendium of Scottish haunted places by Peter Underwood which covers the major sites such as Glamis Castle as well as many obscure and unusual cases including two vehicle-associated phantoms, the spectral car seen tearing along the roads on the Isle of Skye and a ghostly furniture van trundling along the A75 between Dumfries and Annan.
Gazetteer of London's haunted places including The Tower of London, The British Museum, The Grenadier Public House, Broadcasting House in Langham Place as well as several haunted theatres & churchyards. Underwood refers to Harry Price in two entries, the first concerns a séance that Price attended in a dressing room at the Adelphi Theatre in the Strand that was reported to be haunted by the ghost of the actor-manager of the theatre William Terriss, while the second concerns another theatre, the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, when Harry Price joined a party of psychic researchers that included James Wentworth Day, Jasper Maskelyne & Macqueen Pope in an investigation of the famous 'Man in Grey' phantom.
Ghosts - The Illustrated History by Peter Haining (Book Club Associates, 1974) Collection of photographs, prints, illustrations, woodcuts and drawings of ghosts and haunted houses. Haining's book covers all the classic cases of haunting such as The Tedworth Drummer,Cock Lane, Hinton Ampner and Raynham Hall, as well as the heyday of spiritualism and spirit photography. Cases involving Harry Price which are included in the book are Borley Rectory, Helen Duncan, the haunted bed at Chiswick and William Hope.
Poltergeist! - A Study in Destructive Haunting by Colin Wilson (New English Library, 1981 & Caxton Editions, 2000) Detailed study of the poltergeist phenomenon which covers many famous cases, both contemporary & historical, by the philosopher Colin Wilson who includes a concise biography of Harry Price & his most important cases in his section on Ghost Hunters & Ghost Seers. Reference is made to Trevor Hall's uncovering of Price's true birthplace & family background in his Search for Harry Price, but unlike Hall, whose attitude was that if Price lied about his upbringing then he lied about everything else, Wilson considers that Price's 'romancing' as he calls it about his personal life does not prove that he was not an enthusiastic investigator of psychic phenomena.
An excellent study of several famous cases of haunting including Beavor Lodge, the 'Morton' ghost at Cheltenham, the Willington Mill House and the Versailles visions, published on behalf of the Society for Psychical Research in its centenary year. Mackenzie mentions Harry Price briefly in reference to a curious Swedish case in which a person claimed to have had repeated visits from an apparition who claimed to be Price himself recently deceased. There is also another fleeting reference where Price is referred to as 'Henry' Price.
An A-Z compendium of the haunted historic sites, buildings and stately homes of Britain, well illustrated with black & white photographs. Underwood has visited many of the places entered in his book.
Nights in Haunted Houses by Peter Underwood (Headline Book Publishing, London, 1994; 402 pp, illus., appendix, bibliography, index)
This book consists of an introduction and 28 short chapters, each detailing investigative visits made by the author and others under the auspices of The Ghost Club. Arranged in alphabetical order, the opening eleven chapter deals fortuitously with Borley Cottage, containing a brief history of the Rectory, cottage and church which mentions Harry Price as “a popular ghost hunter of the time”, and detailing Mr. Underwood’s visits which date back to the James Turner era. One particularly pleasing aspect of this book is the complete lack of sensationalism. The subjects of other chapters range from Chingle Hall and Glamis Castle to the “Nottingham Council House” and for many there is little to report from the Ghost Club’s nocturnal vigils – a fact that Peter is not afraid to mention. However, the book is written in such an accessible and readable style that this makes little difference to the reader’s enjoyment! Review by Norman Darwen.
Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (Arthurs Press Ltd, London, 1933) Comprehensive resource book on all aspects of psychical research, mediumship & the paranormal. The entry on Harry Price describes him as a 'keen and courageous investigator, whose contribution to the modern evidence of genuine psychical phenomena is significant'.
Often described as a classic of theoretical psychical research, Tyrrell's treatise on the apparitions was first delivered as the seventh Myers Memorial Lecture before the Society for Psychical Research in the Society's sixtieth anniversary year on October 31st 1942. The lecture was first published as a pamphlet shortly afterwards and then in book form intended for a wider public. Tyrrell uses The Census of Hallucinations, the first major important work to be undertaken by the S.P.R. after its inception in1882, as the main research material for his work, which considers apparitions as themes or motifs transmitted from one person to another which are then developed by psychological constituents of the percipient's personality.
Four Modern Ghosts by Eric J. Dingwall & Trevor H. Hall (Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., 1958) A further collaboration by two of the authors of the 1956 'Borley Report' which looks in detail at four cases of alleged haunting and psychic phenomena in which the authors stress a non-supernatural cause in each instance. The cases are the Yorkshire Museum Ghost, the Runcorn Poltergeist, the Ousedale Haunt and the 'Rosalie' case of Harry Price. Not surprisingly Dingwall and Hall come down hard on Harry Price, their solution to the famous 'Rosalie' séance is that Price lied about the whole affair and based his account on a sitting which he attended at a much earlier time in Brockley, South London where he used to live.
A series of essays on several well known cases of haunting & mediumship by one of the co-authors of The Haunting of Borley Rectory report. In all cases Hall suggests a non-paranormal cause. The cases examined are the supposed deaths at Borley Rectory, information of which was obtained from séance data at the time of the Price tenancy of the building, the Wesley Poltergeist, the Bealings Bells, the Leeds Library Ghost, the Cock Lane Ghost, the relationship between the medium Florence Cook and William Crookes and the levitation of medium D.D. Home at Ashley House in London. Hall also adds a chapter on Marianne Foyster which uses material from his own researches into her life as well as his standard padding on his contribution to the de-bunking of the Rectory hauntings which he recycles in later commentaries on the case.
Ashby's book is primarily an annotated bibliography of books and texts on psychical subjects but there are also sections covering the procedures for sitting with a medium, relevant societies and their journals, a general essay on the nature of psychical research and a useful gazetteer of important figures in psychical research, which includes an entry for Harry Price that apart from generalities concentrates, in the available space, on the Borley controversy. Ashby mentions Price's love of the limelight but also points out his work in exposing fraudulent mediums and raising public awareness of psychical research through his work and his writings. "One's assessment of Price remains a matter of personal predilection" the author concludes.
Comprehensive resource book on occult subjects with each entry including a select bibliography of titles for further reading or study. After a concise review of Harry Price's activities, Underwood finishes his entry with a very fair comment on the man himself when he says, "An informed but impartial estimate of the character of Harry Price suggests that he was neither a totally dedicated, saintly, much-wronged scientific researcher, nor an out-and-out fraud on whose views or whose word no reasonable person could ever rely. He was a mixture of the two, and he possessed a genuine and very knowledgeable enthusiasm for all facts of psychic research, mysteries and the unknown, and devoted much of his time, energy, money, gifts and ingenuity to these interests. On the other hand, there is evidence that, where his personal self-esteem was involved, he was capable of the most extraordinary double-dealing, spite and intrigue."
A collection of thirty essays in the field of paranormal investigation, the authors of which are predominantly dismissive of psychical claims. The twenty-nine contributors include James Randi, Trevor H. Hall, John Beloff & Eric. J. Dingwall. The Price-related element in this book comes from Trevor Hall's contribution A Note on Borley Rectory which recycles his standard clichés on the Borley case that can be found verbatim in several of his other books including Search for Harry Price, as well as material about Marianne Foyster taken from his researches into her life & background (Hall refers to 'my forthcoming book, Marianne Foyster of Borley Rectory') which could not be published in full due to the fact that she was still alive at the time. Hall uses his essay to continue his crusade in print against Harry Price, referring to Lionel Foyster's Fifteen Months in a Haunted House which he states was included in Price's library by fraud & false pretence & was ultimately returned to Marianne Foyster after he (Hall) had personally written to the Goldsmiths' Librarian at the University of London.
Practical handbook to ghost-hunting by Peter Underwood which gives advice and information on how to approach the subject including chapters on different types of ghosts, ghost-hunting equipment and photography and the procedures for investigating a haunting. Also included is a calendar of cyclical apparitions, a list of relevant psychical research societies and associations and an extensive bibliography. As part of his chapter on useful questionnaires and instruction leaflets for ghost-hunters, Underwood reproduces the texts from Price's "Haunted House" Declaration Form and the Blue Book of Instructions, both from the Borley Rectory case.
General survey of supernatural subjects including exorcism, witchcraft, vampirism and ghosts & poltergeists; the book includes photographic reconstructions and realisations of occult ceremonies and cases of haunting, such as the Versailles vision. Harry Price is mentioned briefly, the main commentary being on Borley Rectory and the criticism of the case and Price's role in it by the S.P.R. in 1956.
Beyond Belief - Marvels of Mysteries of the Universe (Orbis Publishing, 1996) Recycling by Orbis of their part-work The Unexplained which was published in weekly installments during the late 1970s and early 1980s, which includes articles on such things as Atlantis, extra-terrestrials, the Loch Ness Monster and the medium D.D. Home. Harry Price is featured in two entries (the authorship of which is not stated) - a short biography entitled In Search of Harry Price which sums up the major cases and events in Price's life, together with an essay on the Talking Mongoose case. Both articles are well illustrated with historic photographs.
Companion to the Folklore, Myths & Customs of Britain by Marc
Clairvoyance and Materialisation by Gustave Geley (T. Fisher Unwin Ltd., London, 1927 in an English translation by Stanley de Brath) Important work by Dr Geley who was the Director of the Institut Métapsychique International in Paris which includes comprehensive reports of his experimental sittings with three notorious materialising mediums - Eva C, Franek Kluski & Jean Guzik. Harry Price applied for sittings with both Polish mediums during his visits to Warsaw. With Kluski he was unsuccessful but at a sitting with Guzik, Price soon realised that the strange animal which had apparently materialised in the séance room was in fact the medium's hand inside a ladies stocking and Guzik was exposed in a newspaper the following day.
The Mediumship of Jack Webber by Harry Edwards (The Healer Publishing Co., Ltd, 1962, Originally published 1940) Monograph on the séance room phenomena of the Welsh physical medium Jack Webber. The book is a presentation of a series of photographs of Webber taken during sittings held in a period of fourteen months from November 1938 to December 1939 together with commentaries on the circumstances of the séances and the phenomena illustrated. The closure of the University of London Council for Psychical Investigation's offices in October 1939 and Price's involvement with the Borley Rectory case, combined with Webber's premature death, aged thirty-three in March 1940, meant that Harry Price had no opportunity to investigate the Welshman's mediumship. It is interesting to speculate on what Price would have made of the remarkable phenomena which is the subject of Edwards' book.
Comprehensive biography of the mediumship of the Austrian Rudi Schneider which covers his entire career as one of the most famous physical mediums of all time. Anita Gregory's book, exhaustively researched throughout from original materials & sources, looks at all the aspects of Schneider's career in the séance room, from his humble beginnings at the table tipping sessions in his family home in Braunau-am-Inn, the development of his mediumship with the German psychical researcher Baron von Schrenck-Notzing, his sessions at the Institut Métapsychique International in Paris with Dr Eugéne Osty and his series of sittings in England with Harry Price at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research and the séances he also gave to Lord Charles Hope and Lord Rayleigh. Gregory concludes at the end of her monumental study that Rudi's phenomena was genuine but that Harry Price faked the incriminating photograph which showed Rudi with an arm free from control during his third series of sittings at the National Laboratory in order to rubbish the findings of the Hope-Rayleigh experiments in revenge for their carrying out an independent enquiry into Rudi's mediumship.
Sometimes Into England – A Second Book of Autobiography by James Turner (Cassell, London, 1970) Autobiography by James Turner in which he describes the period that he lived at Borley, although here he expresses the feeling that the stories of the Rectory hauntings were nothing more than local tales and superstition.
Very readable account by Peter Underwood of his life and times which covers all the major investigations and haunted places that he has been associated with. There are several references to Harry Price including Underwood's introduction to the Ghost Club by the great man himself, the help and advice on several investigations which Price gave him and of course, Borley Rectory.
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