Mr. G.W. Lambert, C.B., President of the Society for Psychical Research, in his Note, (HBR, p. v), acknowledges the value of Harry Price’s original files on Borley Rectory, made available to the authors, presumably through the office of the S.P.R., thusly: “The reader will appreciate the important part which these files played in this appraisal of Mr. Price’s investigation.”

            Whether it would be more correct to say the “important part which these files did not play” or “—should have played,” the reader, I trust, having followed herein the dissection of charges, will be fully prepared to understand the primary importance not only of these files but of all the unpublished sources of reference to which the authors have appealed, i.e., private papers, notes, accounts, letters, conversations, etc. To be sure, the reader has been told confidently that “nothing relevant” was omitted—but it is no longer doubtful that the authors are not able to recognize what is relevant for the defence, unless their omissions are taken as evidence of recognition.

            All too often, however, conclusive statements are made without reference of any kind. For example, speaking of Mrs. S.H. Glanville, one of Harry Price’s best witnesses, we are told, “His opinions were much modified after he became acquainted with the new facts which have been set out in the preceding pages.” (HBR, p. 169) Had we been told “—with some of the new facts” or, that Mr. Glanville had read “the new facts which have been set out in the preceding pages,” this claim would have been at least comprehensible. As it appears, without documentation on the authority of the authors whose evident/intention it is to destroy Price and all his works and evidence—documentary and testimonial—for Borley Rectory, and attributed to a gentleman now as silent as Price himself, deceased, (HBR, p. viii), the presentation is altogether inexcusable.

            In addition to such alleged sources, (—(a) unpublished references cited; (b) sources not given—), other claims and charges equally portentuous rest upon scraps of sentences, restricted extracts, phrases torn from their context, taken from (c), published works, and (d), alleged recollections (by note or otherwise) of conversations and oral accounts of persons sometimes named and sometimes unnamed.

            As an example of the last class, there was “a local farm worker” who told Dr. Dingwall “that when lights were seen at the rectory these were not due to ‘them ghosts’ but to reflections from other sources—among them being the lights of Sudbury,” a statement which, now that the rectory has disappeared, cannot be verified.” (HBR, p. 139.) Which, of course, probably suits the critics’ purpose well enough anyway; but what the reader would like to know is whether the “local farm worker” had himself been any where near Borley before the rectory disappeared—something also which possibly “cannot be verified.”

            It is abundantly demonstrated—indisputably so—that far from honoring the pledge to provide the reader with the evidence and to do their “best to omit nothing relevant,” the authors have violated every criterion of honest criticism and cited facts only so far as they could be presented, or twisted to serve the particular thesis to which the reporters subscribe. Every source from Harry Price’s own writings to the common geography book has been so pitilessly mutilated and distorted, so “ruthlessly edited as to be meaningless”—to adopt their own phraseology of what they once charged to their victim.

            When we see a hoax of this sort—whether originating innocent delusion or deliberate deceit, is of no moment—masquerading as an “S.P.R. enquiry,” falsely pretending to pass “the documents and the motives of all the persons involved under the most exacting scrutiny,”—as “the intriguing blurb printed on the wrapper puts it—self-exposed by comparison with its available, cited, published sources, how much more may we justly suppose it to be liable in the case of unavailable, unpublished sources with the authors had good reason to believe their prospective readers would never see.

            Leaving entirely aside the question as to documents, unpublished and uncited, which the authors may have prudently thought best to not mention at all[1], a partial list of some of these latter references—though by no means all of the most important of those referred to—in The Haunting of Borley Rectory follows:

1.                  “Account of his own residence at Borley,” given by Canon H. Lawton, (p. ix.)

2.                  Report of Mr. Herbert E. Pratt, “who undertook an immense amount of patient research into certain aspects of the Foyster case,” (p. ix.)

3.                  Lord Charles Hope, and

4.                  Major the Hon. Henry Douglas-Home, —“some of their original notes and observations.” (p. ix)

5.                  Reports of Mr. Mark Kerr-Pearse, 26 June 1937 and 25 July 1937 (pp. 4, 157)

6.                  Mr. M. Knox to Harry Price, letter, 19 February 1938. (p. 4)

7.                  Notes of interview with Canon Lawton. (p. 7)

8.                  Mr. S.H. Glanville’s Locked Book, “complete record of the rectory and its phenomena.” (p. 11)

9.                  H. Price to Captain W.H. Gregson, letter of 15 November 1938 (p. 13)

10.              Notes of conversation with Miss. Ethel Bull, by E.J. Dingwall and Trevor H. Hall, 4 April 1953 (pp. 18, 21.)[2]

11.              Miss. Ethel Bull to T.H. Hall, letter of 2 April 1953 (p. 19)

12.              Notes of W.H. Salter and K.M. Goldney on conversation with Miss. Ethel Bull, 11 August 1950, (pp. 19, 21, 24.)

13.              Original notes by Harry Price on first visit to Borley Rectory, June 1929. (p. 20)

14.              Original Notes by Harry Price’s Secretary, same occasion. (p. 20)

15.              Notes by E.J. Dingwall and T.H. Hall on interview with Mary Pearson (nee Tatum), 21 August 1952 (p. 20)

16.              Harry Price to E.H. Dingwall, letter of Oct. 17, 1946 (and related correspondence.) (pp. 20, 77.)

17.              The Rev. L.A. Foyster to S.H. Glanville, letter of 2 September 1937. (p. 22)

18.              (Letter) Shaw Jeffrey to E.J. Dingwall, 1950 (p. 23)

19.              Notes by W.H. Salter and K.M. Goldney on conversation with Miss. Milly Bull and Mr. Alfred Bull, 11 August 1950 (p. 24)

20.              Notes by E.J. Dingwall and T.H. Hall, 4 April 1953, on testimony of Mr. Alfred Bull. (p. 24)

21.              Report by Lord Charles Hope on Testimony of the Misses Bull, (p. 24.)

22.              Accounts by Canon Lawton on conversations with the Misses Bull, and Mr. Gerald Bull, (p. 25.)

23.              Miss. E. Bull to S.H. Glanville, 25 March 1942, (p. 26.)

24.              Notes of testimony by Misses Bull, 13 June 1929, (p. 27.)

25.              K.M. Goldney notes on interview with Harry Price’s secretary. (p. 32.)

26.              Signed testimony of Price’s secretary, (p. 32.)

27.              “Contemporary hand-written notes,” by Lord Charles Hope, on visits to Borley Rectory, 5 July 1929 and 29 July 1929, (pp. 32, ff.)

28.              “Additional information,” (undated,) by Lord Charles Hope (pp. 32-3.)

29.              Notes by Lord Charles Hope and K.M. Goldney on Sutton testimony of January, 1949, (p. 33.)

30.              Signed testimony by Mr. Sutton, (p. 33.)

31.              Lord Charles Hope to Price, 1 April 1932, (p. 33.)

32.              Letter to Major the Hon. Douglas-Home, c. 1943, 1949, 1953, (p. 33.)

33.              Signed statement of accusation by same party, (p. 33.)

34.              Letter of Hon. Secretary, S.P.R., to Mrs. G.E. Smith, 1949, (p. 43.)

35.              Reply to same, (p. 43.)

36.              K.M. Goldney notes of first visit to Mrs. Smith, (p. 44.)

37.              Account prepared by K.M. Goldney of “all” Mrs. Smith related, (p. 44.)

38.              Letter of K.M. Goldney to Mrs. Smith, July (?), 1943, (p. 44.)

39.              Reply to same; and further mutual and related correspondence, (pp. 44, 47.)

40.              Notes of W.H. Salter, K.M. Goldney, and E.J. Dingwall, on second visit to Mrs. Smith, August 1952, (p. 44.)

41.              Mrs. Smith’s Version, Her Signed Statement, 1949, complete, (p. 44, ff.)

42.              “Additional comments” by Mrs. Smith, (p. 47.)

43.              K.M. Goldney to W.H. Salter, 11 July 1949, (p. 47.)

44.              Mrs. Smith’s annotations to MHH, (p. 47.)

45.              Mrs. Smith’s annotations to EBR, (p. 47.)

46.              Letters from the Rev. and Mrs. Smith to Harry Price, 1929-30, and later, including 9 July 1929, 7 August 1929, 20 November 1929, 22 February 1930, 18 March 1930, 9 May 1939, (p. 5, ff.)

47.              Letters from the Smiths to Lord Charles Hope, including 7 August 1929, 26 November 1929, (pp. 50-51.)

48.              Notes of Lord Charles Hope on meetings with the Smiths, (p. 50.)

49.              Smith-Glanville correspondence, 1937-38, including, 19 November 1937, 23 November 1937, 6 January 1938, 14 January 1938, 23 January 1938, (pp. 50, 53-5.)

50.              Mrs. Smith to Miss Kaye, 2 July 1929, (p. 51.)

51.              E, Whitehouse to Smiths, December 1931, (pp. 52-3.)

52.              Letters of Price to Smiths, 1930-37, and May 1939, (pp. 53, 55.)

53.              S.H. Glanville’s records on first meeting with Smith’s, (p. 53.)

54.              Letters of Mrs. Smith to Harry Price, including, 26 September 1940, 2 October 1940, 16 May 1940, (p. 56.)

55.              Price’s replies to same, (p. 56.)

56.              K.M. Goldney to Mrs. Smith, (p. 56.)

57.              Reply by Mrs. Smith, 1 August 1949, p. 57, (especially that unpublished, deleted section immediately following the statement, “my beloved husband and Mr. Price are constantly influencing my subconscious mind and thus resuscitating Borley...”)

58.              K.M. Goldney’s Notes on visit to Borley Rectory, 13 October 1931, (p. 60.)

59.              “Other papers,” (p. 61.)

60.              Letters of Mrs. Meeker, 24 January 1951, (p. 62.)

61.              S.H. Glanville to Harry Price, 3 November 1938, (p. 63.)

62.              Report by C. Gordon Glover, 26 February 1938, (p. 67.)

63.              Report by Dr. P.E. Ryberg, R.M. Christie, and L.G. Cooper, 8 December 1937, (p. 67.)

64.              Report of Mr. Glanville and Mr. H.G. Harrison, 15 August 1937, (p. 67.)

65.              “Several other similar reports,” (p. 67.)

66.              Report by J. Burden and T. Stainton, 15 December 1937, (p. 68.)

67.              J. Burdon’s report, December, 1937, (p. 69.)

68.              J.M. Bailey and C.V. Wintour report, July 1937, (p. 69.)

69.              Mr. H.E. Pratt, “account,” (p. .69.)

70.              Mrs. Smith’s statement, November, 1952, (p. 70.)

71.              Major the Hon. Douglas-Home to Lord Charles Hope, August 1949, (pp. 71, 132.)

72.              Col. Westland, report, 11 July 1937, (p. 71.)

73.              Report of M. Savage, 19 March 1938, (p. 127.)

74.              Report of Dr. J.R.A. Davies, (p. 123.)

75.              Notes of the “Battersea Poltergeist Case,”

76.              Harry Price to C. Gordon Glover, 28 February 1938, (p. 74.)

77.              The “original notes taken down by his secretary on the occasion of Price’s first visit to the Smiths on 12 June 1929, and there we read: ‘Smiths’ took the rectory living in September 1928, finding the place in terribly bad repair. There are rats in the house, and toads, frogs, newts, etc. in the cellars. They themselves refuse to believe in ghosts and know nothing about them.’” (p. 74.)

                  (This may be contrasted with Price’s statement, given by the authors, HBR, page 66, as an extract from MHH, p. 62., that “as for rats or mice, during my investigation of the Rectory, on no occasion have I seen or heard the slightest indication of these rodents.”

                  But it is not at all certain that this is a contradiction, in fact the authors do not state it to be one.

1.      It is noted that the confession of “rats in the house” is part of an extract, the context of which is omitted by the authors.

2.      It is stated by them to be, (a) “original notes,” (b) “taken down by his secretary,” (c) on the occasion of Price’s first visit to the Smiths on 12 June 1929.” But none of these things are at all apparent from the extract given, in which no date or other identification appears.

3.      It is not clear from the text whether this is a notation of Price’s own observations, or the summary of information he had somehow gained, or an actual resume of testimony given by the Smiths themselves.

4.      That it is stated the Rev. Smith and his wife “refuse to believe in ghosts” does not exclude the possibility that these pious folk who “believed in Higher Protection.” (HBR, p. 47), did not believe in “Lower Powers” that were still not properly “ghosts.” And that they presumably knew nothing about “ghosts” would not exclude certain presumptions on their part pertaining to Biblical “spirits.”

5.      “There are rats in the house” might be taken as a categorical statement that the writer or author of the phrase personally knew rats were in the house. But the similarly unqualified statement that the Smiths “refuse to believe in ghosts and know nothing about them” may likewise be taken to mean that the writer or author knew the assertion for a fact. Nevertheless, it is obvious that no one but the Smiths themselves could properly make such a declaration as the latter. So also, might only they have properly made the former. That is to say, as the one statement likewise appears without proper attribution, so may we reasonably assume the other appears. In any case, as both stand, they do indeed appear to be raw material, indeterminate notes, immediately incapable of any definite interpretation.

6.      But so far has faith in the authors allegiance to responsibility faded that to my mind there is even a greater question whether the rats-in-the-house extract should even be taken as it stands. Supposing it to have possibly been a résumé of information the Smiths had volunteered, a phrase “There were rats in the house,” that is, when the “Smiths took the rectory living in September 1928 etc.,” would be more grammatically correct. And it is a fact that the close resemblance between “are” and “were”—especially when transcribed in hasty notes or copies—is, in some scripts, notorious.

                  It is a commentary on the authors’ demand upon the reader’s faith that they failed to (a) say whether or not this notation was made by typewriter; (b) and did not provide a certified facsimile, such as by photostatic reproduction, or a document they valued so significant as to reserve for the final denouement in their chapter, “The Smith Incumbency and Harry Price.”

                  “In law, evidence is divided into various classes according to its supposed value. Thus what is termed ‘best evidence’ is that provided by a witness in the box giving his own observations. In the case of documentary evidence it is, of course, the document itself.” (Italics mine.) (HBR, p. 172.)

                  But then, perhaps, a photostat would have told too much.)

78.              Harry Price to Dr. D.F Fraser-Harris, 15 October 1931, (p. 76.)

79.              Harry Price to the Hob. Everard Feilding, 19 August 1935, (p. 76.)

80.              Harry Price to C. Gordon Glover, 28 February and 11 March 1938, (p. 76.)

81.              The Rev. Foyster to Harry Price, including letters of 3 October 1931, 7 January and 16 January 1938, (p. 82, Et. Al.)

82.              Haunting of Borley Rectory, Diary of Occurrences, by the Rev. L.A. Foyster, (p. 82, ff.)

83.              Fifteen Months in a Haunted House, by the Rev. L.A. Foyster, (p. 83, ff.)

84.              Summary of Experiences at Borely Rectory, by the Rev. L.A. Foyster, (p. 83, ff.)

85.              Foyster to Glanville, 2 Septermber 1937, (p. 89.)

86.              Notes of “visit” and testimony obtained at “Mrs. Foyster’s birthplace,” (p. 89.)

87.              Reports or notes of information received from, or about Mrs. Foyster’s circumstances at, Dairy Cottages, Rendlesham, Suffolk, (p. 88.)

88.              Statement of Mr. Arbon, 4 November 1937, (p. 90.)

89.              Letter of Miss. E.R. Gordon to authors, 26 July 1954, (p. 90.)

90.              S.H. Glanville to Foysters, 8 October 1937, (p. 91.)

91.              Price-Whitehouse correspondence, (p. 99.)

92.              Original report of Edwin Whitehouse, (p. 100.)

93.              Notes of K.M. Goldney conversation with E. Whitehouse, October, 1931, (p. 103.)

94.              Notes by Dingwall, Goldney, Hall of interview with Lady Whitehouse, 3 November 1951 (p. 104, ff.)

95.              Account by G.P. J. L’Estrange, sent to Price. 11 November 1944, (p. 106.)

96.              Letter by Mr. L’Estrange, to Price, 6 December 1944, (p. 106.)

97.              Documented observation of Mr. S.H. Glanville re: circumstances, vide, footnote (2), p. 106.

98.              “Testimony of Mrs. Edith May Wildgoose, S.R.N., (nee Dytor), nurse-companion to Mrs. Foyster, (p. 110)

99.              “Analysis of wall-writings,” by L.T. Ackermann, (p. 112.)

100.          Miss. Mary Braithwaite, J.P., to W.H. Salter, letter of 15 August 1931, (p. 114.)

101.          Reply to same, with related correspondence.

102.          Sir John Braithwaite’s report of 13 August 1931, and a letter of 17 August 1931, (p. 114.)

103.          Foyster to Smith, 4 December 1931, (p. 117.)

104.          “Other information in our possession”—by which “it appears that her [Mrs. Foyster’s] approach to the problems which beset her may have been unusual judged by normal standars,” (p. 119.)

      Surely, —no more than in the case of Harry Price himself—the authors should not allow “personal considerations” to obstruct their scientific reporting, or must we wait for word of the lady’s deceased also? As with the case of Mr. Edwin Whitehouse, (p. 103), might not “a sympathetic but necessarily critical examination” be made? Perhaps Dr. Dingwall could write a entertaining diagnosis. That is, supposing this “other information” could withstand the scrutiny. Until then, of course, the poor reader must wander tantalized and perplexed in “the fog of mystery and confusion.”

105.          Report of C.S. Taylor, regarding 8 January 1938, (p. 124.)

106.          Letter of E. Howe, 14 June 1952, (p. 127.)

107.          S.H. Glanville to the authors, 13 June 1952, (p. 131.)

108.          The “original Glanville report,” (to Harry Price,) (p. 130-1.)

109.          Notes of interview with S.H. Glanville, (p. 135-6.)

110.          The Henning lecture, 23 July 1952, (notes, or transcript), (p. 136.)

111.          The Rev. A.C. Henning to Price, November 1937, 2 January 1945, (p. 139, et. al.)

112.          Statement of Captain Gregson, (p. 141.)

113.          Letter of S.L. Croft, 27 April 1947, to Harry Price, (p. 145.)

114.          Letter of A.G. Smith, regarding June 1947, to Harry Price, (p. 145.)

115.          W.F.W. Southwood to Harry Price, 16 November 1946, (p. 145.)

116.          Captain W.H. Gregson’s B.B.C. interview, script, 15 April 1939, (p. 146.)

117.          Captain Gregson to Harry Price, 11 April 1939, 23 January 1940, (p. 146.)

118.          Account of Miss Rosemary M. Williams, (p. 147.)

119.          Notes (by K.M. Goldney and E.J. Dingwall) of interview with R.F. Aickman, 14 January 1953, (p. 150.)

120.          S.H. Glanville on “only two” wells, (p. 154.)

121.          Mr. Ackermann to S.P.R., 8 June 1949, (p. 162.)

122.          K.M. Goldney notes of Mrs. Thompson’s testimony, 17 October 1950, (p. 163.)

123.          Account, signed by Mrs. Thompson, (p. 163.)

124.          Mrs. Thompson to D.J. West, (letter,) (p. 164.)

125.          Notes of “first meeting” with Mrs. Thompson, (p. 164.)



[1] How many of “the more than twenty thousand letters” Price had filed related to Borley Rectory, and so provided a vast fund for the authors to snip and pick here and there what caught their fancy, we do not know. (Vide. Biography, Tabori, p. vii)

[2] It must not be taken that all the “notes” of conversation and interviews cited do actually exist. It is merely assumed that the interviewers being “Psychical Researchers of standing” would have known enough about the business to prepare such notes. (It would be desirable that such interviews... [text missing]