The Borley Legend: 1930-1935
Lionel Foyster wrote three separate accounts of life at Borley. To this day, no one can state positively when each was written or where.
Diary of Occurrences
Foyster's Diary of Occurrences (DO) was probably written between March and July of 1931. It states those were the dates he composed it on his own cover sheet, and the manuscript describes dates during that time period. Trevor Hall believed Foyster sent the 31 typewritten pages to Harry Price October 3 of that year. A letter with the manuscript said the Diary was written "chiefly to send round to members of my family." In The Haunting of Borley Rectory, Hall said, "It is manifestly not a diary. . . It is clearly the first account of the alleged haunting written by Mr. Foyster, and much of the preliminary section is evidently written from unaided memory."
From the way Foyster wrote in vague terms about dates, and the order in which he remembered things as happening, Hall concluded, "It seems clear that no written record of some of these events was made until some time after their occurrence." Hall pointed out "No part of it is quoted in either of the Borley books [by Harry Price]."
Fifteen Months in a Haunted House
Hall figured Fifteen Months in a Haunted House (FM) was probably completed by Foyster after May of 1934. Since it was a much longer version of the events at Borley, and since it contained pseudonyms for the people involved, Hall concluded this was the version Foyster was trying to get published. Hall believed Price did not acquire a copy of this manuscript until after The End of Borley Rectory was published in 1946. Price, therefore, could not have used it while writing his books, according to Hall. The text confirms the May, 1934 date in the last chapter.
Summary of Experiences
Hall then calculated that the Summary of Experiences at Borley Rectory (SE) was written by Foyster between January 24 and February 11, 1938. "This brief account [seven pages] was written by Mr. Foyster for inclusion in MHH at Price's request." (HBR, p. 84). Hall pointed out that "Price reproduced the Summary of Experiences with some variations [in MHH], and called it 'The Rev. L.A. Foyster's Diary,' which of course it was not."
Hall figured by the dates each manuscript was written, Foyster did not keep "a diary of the strange events that occurred [at Borley Rectory]. . . from the very first day [he] entered upon his duties," as Price said in MHH (p. 74). Hall pointed out this "would appear to be deliberately misleading."
Lionel began Fifteen Months with the observation, "it is a record of facts and therefore is true." In the middle of his Diary of Occurrences, he states, "I could declare, if it was necessary, on oath, that the foregoing is to the best of my knowledge an absolutely true statement of the facts as to what has taken place in this house since we came in."
The following chronology relies on a condensation of all three manuscripts. Style and spellings are consistent with the originals as much as possible, but some minor editing has been done to make the events flow easier. A few inconsistencies will be noted between the various accounts, but for the sake of clarity, notations are minimal. Remarkably, these inconsistencies are rare. Additional chronological information from other sources is presented in italics.
Borley Rectory 1930-1935
by Lionel Algernon Foyster
October 16. My wife (referred to as M.F.), little girl aged 2 yrs, 7 months (referred to as A.), and myself come into residence. [SE]
[Days later] One evening. . .Marianne. . . was sitting in a room downstairs, came running out to ask if anything was the matter, as she had distinctly heard me call, "Marianne dear," more than once. I had not called at all. [DO]
A few days after this. . . while I was upstairs heard someone, whom of course I took for Marianne, walking about the hall. When I came down, I found she had not left the room she was sitting in. . . These steps were subsequently heard several times by different people, including the baby, who more than once when I was out said, "There's daddy," and went to look for me to find no one there. [DO]
[A visitor] in the house helping to unpack [asked Marianne], "Do you know where [Lionel] is? I heard him coming downstairs just now, but I can't find him anywhere."
"I think he has gone out," [Marianne] replied - but she did not add that I had been out for an hour or so. [FM]
We had not been in the house very long before Marianne began seeing Harry Bull. . . Twice she was with me when she saw him, but I saw nothing. . . Twice she was with baby, who once remarked, "Oh, look," but what this had reference to is not known. The last time she saw him was some time before Christmas. [DO]
"He has appeared quite a few times lately - during the last few weeks," [Marianne said], and do you know, he always wears a peculiar (plum) coloured dressing gown.
"I saw him once in his life time, though he doesn't look quite the same as he did then. And I have seen his photograph, but he does not look quite the same as he does in that either.
"[I saw him] always between the library and our bedroom - either in the hall or on the stairs, or on the landing at the head of the stairs."[FM]
A wonderfully delicate perfume [Mrs. Bigg called it lavender] would come into the house and especially into our bedroom and on the bed. [DO]
An odd smell of cooking would often come through our bedroom window between 11 and 12 p.m. Also, some of our crockery would disappear out of the kitchen in a wonderful way and presently appear again. [DO]
The bracelet [from Marianne's watch] had been detached from the watch, had disappeared, and has never been seen again. [DO]
It happened in the bathroom and in broad daylight. [FM]
[A misplaced handbag appeared.] "Most thoughtful," [Marianne said]. "If it was a ghost, and they always treat us like that, it is a gain rather that anything else for two such untidy people as you and I to live in a haunted house." [FM]
One evening we had been sitting in Marianne's room for some time when we discovered a bag of lavender on the mantlepiece. . . A few days afterwards I found it in my coat pocket. [DO]
It was past midnight, and we were both of us preparing for bed when. . .the house resounded with the ringing of a bell.
It was the first time we had been out of bed so late. . .but [that] night we were late, and someone or something did not seem to approve of such goings-on. [FM]
[Around Christmas] it was quieter even than it had been. [FM].
February Books found on windowsill of w.c. As soon as one is taken away, replaced by another. (These books had been left by the Bulls and were stowed away on shelf in house-maid's pantry.)
Last of these - torn cover thrown on the floor. [SE]
They were very old - over 100 years - and they were theological. [FM]
25th A big return of crockery. M.F. asks for a teapot; this also returned. At my suggestion asks for return of bracelet, but in very uncomplimentary language. [SE]
"I think it was very nasty of you taking my bracelet in the way you did. No lady would have done such a thing. Be good enough to bring it back at once, please." [FM]
26th Books found under our bed in the morning. A consignment of hymn books, unknown of before, discovered on the rack over the kitchen range in the afternoon. In the evening M.F. is given a terrific blow in the eye - a cut under it, black eye next day - by an invisible assailant on the landing just outside bedroom; she is carrying a candle. [SE]
"But where were you when you were hit in the eye?" I persisted.
"Just outside our room. I was carrying this candle; I saw no one and nothing; I was right out on the landing near nothing, when it came like a bolt from the blue. Something hard. It nearly stunned me for the moment, and I shall have a black eye tomorrow."
There was no doubt about it. There was a great cut under her left eye, and it was bleeding. [FM]
Thursday 26th started with our finding two books had been placed under our bed during the night. Then bells started ringing. Our predecessors, the Smiths, had been so bothered with this that they had had them all disconnected except the door bells and one bedroom. We had not been bothered hitherto, except on only one occasion as far as I remember, when a single bell had rung at midnight one night that we were late going to bed. . . But on this day, first the front door bell rang with no one there, and then two or three other bells. [DO]
Later in the day I found a torn cover of a book with a page or two adhering, thrown on the floor in the room where they had before been so carefully put on the window sill. It looked like sort of a challenge - a throwing down the glove - a defiance. [FM]
The tea pot has gone again. [FM]
27th Shortly after we have retired and light is extinguished, first, a cotton reel, and then a hammer-head with broken handle attached is thrown across our bed. Lamp lit and throwing discontinued. [SE]
28th I write a letter [to Hilda] on the subject. Directly afterwards (the room had been empty a few minutes in between) two pins discovered with their points sticking upwards, one on seat of armchair, other on chair I had been sitting on. About an hour or so later an erection composed of an old lamp and saucepan (neither of them seen before) found outside my door. Later a floor-polisher handle is put across the passage I traversed on my way to supper, and later again a tin of bath salts placed just inside bathroom door trips up M.F. [SE]
[Adelaide] fell over. . .the old lamp and an equally old saucepan. "I suppose they were placed there with the idea of tripping me up," [said Marianne.] [FM]
The attack quieted down for a few days and then started up once more. Sunday was - as a rule - a comparatively quiet day. [FM]
March 5th Two articles thrown after lights were out in our bedroom; then after an interval, I was aroused by a hairbrush on my head. [SE]
March 6th The knob off a door thrown with some force from just behind her at M.F. as she comes along bathroom passage. [SE]
It began to appear that [bedtime] was the favourite hour for attacks. [FM]
March 7th M.F. thrown at in the afternoon. In the evening I attempt to exorcize spirits; stone hits me on shoulder. Books thrown out of shelves in M.F.'s sewing room. Pictures in hall and on staircase taken down and laid on ground. Things thrown in bedroom. (This night window was closed.) [SE]
[Having the door knob thrown at her] seemed to upset her a great deal and I came to the conclusion I simply must do something. So I went to about the only man quite near at hand who I thought might be sympathetic and might be able to help me; this was the Rev. A.H. Sellwood, Rector of Great Cornard, in whose parish we were staying when we first arrived from Canada. He. . . gave me some holy water. . .and a form of service to use. . . When I returned home, I found that Marianne had been thrown at again and hurt in the neck during my absence. She was feeling absolutely rotten, but she somehow managed to come with me round the house and held the light while I said the prayers and sprinkled the water. This proceeding evidently enraged the powers of evil immensely. [DO]
The response was an opposite one to what we had anticipated. While standing near the top of the back stairs, a stone almost the size of my fist whizzed by my wife and struck me on the shoulder. I was not hurt. . .
We somehow struggled along and finished our programme as we had planned it, then [Marianne] had some what of a collapse. [I went to the Payne's for some Brandy.] "Dou you know," [Marianne said] "there were some strange noises while you were out. They seemed to come from my sewing room."
A lot of the books had been thrown out of the shelves on to the floor. [FM]
All the pictures in the hall and half way up the staircase [were] taken down and laid on the floor, except that very big one which [was] pulled over on one side, as if it was too heavy for them to lift off. [FM]
Strange steps were heard round the house. [FM]
A hard frost had just set in and in consequence we had - what was quite rare - our bedroom windows closed. All the same, things were thrown about the room after the light was put out. They did not come from the outside.[FM]
March 8th At night, after carefully looking under bed, both doors in bedroom locked, more throwing. (First window open few inches at bottom, then at top. Verandah outside would make throwing in very difficult.) [SE]
9th (Monday) Although plumber's men in the house thawing out pipes, stones roll down back stairs and odd things found in kitchen passage. A visitor in the afternoon [Rev. Sellwood] inspects attics and is satisfied no one could be hiding there, hears a bell ring, and sees a big stone almost as it came to rest which we had heard descending back stairs. M.F. enters house just afterwards. Evidence it was not she. Many incidents that afternoon and evening, amongst them M.F. hearing noise outside sewing room door (shut) at about three yards distant from it, a stone from behind touches her hair. Later coming again from kitchen sees piece of iron coming after her (but not the being carrying it); it is thrown in behind her just inside sewing-room door as she hastily dashes in and pulls door to. In kitchen as M.F. is making up fire, a stone flies out and hits further door as I go behind it. Two duplex lamps in room at time. [SE]
"Do you know I saw that thing being carried after me. I could not see the entity that was carrying it, but I could see it coming along and I tried to get in and shut the door before it could get in too." [FM]
The plumber's men came to thaw [the pipes] and pack them with straw, and [they] were in the house most of the morning. I, too, was moving about a good deal. But this did not appear in any way to curtail the activities of the "Fijis." [Marianne] opening the kitchen door would find a mysterious article placed on the floor of the passage just outside.
"Look. . ." she would say, "at the latest. Where on earth did it come from? Have you ever seen it before?"
"The latest" was a great heavy piece of iron, in shape something like a prehistoric spear head. [FM]
[Marianne was] sitting in her sewing room [and] heard something bowling along the passage outside. Going to see what it could be, she discovered a nice [log for the fire] - very useful on a cold night. She promptly collared it, put it on the fire, and called out, "Send me some more." [FM]
I do not think I have ever found it quite so hard to go to bed in all my life as I did that night. . . [Marianne felt if she once gave way and ran, she would never be able to face the house again; so after a moment's hesitation she said that she could stand it if I could, so we decided to see it out. [DO]
If I was writing fiction, then I should most certainly attempt to make an account of our journey up to bed that night sound rather more creepy and interesting by inserting some incident on the way. . . As it was this particular evening, which seemed to give so much promise of a thrilling story, ended rather tamely. . . [FM]
March 10th A little pile of five stones found behind M.F.'s pillow when she woke in the morning. More objects carried into the house. A stone through a pane in staircase window thrown from inside while M.F., A. and myself are standing by hall stove. I think this night small tin traveling trunk (not seen before) suddenly noticed in kitchen while we are sitting at supper there. This stayed in the house for some time, but eventually disappeared. China powder box and wedding ring discovered in bath room: later discovered during following morning. M.F. stumbles over brick placed outside bathroom door. Next morning two stones found behind my pillow. [SE]
I think they just put [the four or five stones behind her pillow] as much as to say, "See what we could do if we wanted to." [FM]
As we went to bed, a brick was placed outside the bathroom door while we were in there, over which Marianne tripped when she came out; she fell but did not hurt herself. [DO]
March 11th Two Anglican priests go thoroughly over the house with M.F. and self using incense, holy water and prayers. Presence of sort felt, but no active demonstration. Later a stone thrown at boy [Jack Mitchell] from cottage. I was out most of the remaining part of the day. After my return, stone thrown at me; then as we three are standing round hall stove, another stone fell only a few inches from my head. [SE]
I especially mention the fact that on this occasion [Marianne] was by my side and that the stone came from above, since my wife more than once has been accused of staging the whole thing. Now, as I have previoulsy stated, I have a great opinion of my wife's powers, but I do not think even she is clever enough to have pulled through a huge hoax of this kind. [FM]
In the morning a couple of stones were lying beside my pillow. [DO]
Punctually at 10:30, Sellwood appeared and brought Bernard Smith and his wife with him. . .The house was incensed and sprinkled from top to bottom, attic to cellar, and every room however small was done. [DO]
[There was] a regular peal of bells. . . The Rev. R. Flynn who was preaching for me heard the bells. [DO]
March 12th Clean linen taken out of the kitchen cupboard and trailed over the floor. [SE]
The night after Sellwood and Bernard Smith were here, when we went to bed we found it perfumed, and knew then there would be no further disturbances that night. [DO]
March 13th M.F. hit on the head and hurt by a piece of metal thrown down back stairs. A piece of brick dropped on supper table close by my plate, but without breaking or touching any crockery. [SE]
Ally Bull [and Rev. Sellwood] came. . . Ally was very keen to see a demonstration. . . They were just going. . . when we heard Marianne give a cry. We all three rushed in, and found that she had been badly hit by a piece of metal thrown down the back stairs. [DO]
There is a limit placed on the harm that spirits in these cases are able to do. . . . I was never really hurt. . . In the case of my wife, she was hit and was hurt far more seriously than I was, but never when she was wearing Scapula. [FM]
On another night while we were having our evening meal. . .a piece of broken pottery, which must have been thrown from just beside where I was standing, hit M. on the side of the head and made it bleed. [DO]
March 15th As I am typing out a diary of events in this house, first my collar, which I had taken off for comfort, is thrown at me, then a [large walking] stick and a piece of coke thrown across the room. [SE]
March 16th M.F. in early morning finds kitchen table upside down and contents of store cupboard partly inside and partly scattered broadcast. In the evening, bedroom window which had been left open, discovered closed the wrong way round. [SE]
We are getting used to [a little throwing and bell ringing now and then], and do not mind it much. When they start, I tell them aloud in the Name of Christ to go out of the house and not to come back. This appears to have an effect on them. A new thing they have started though, is to produce horrible odours, particularly, I think almost exclusively, in my study. Marianne has been hurt quite badly four times, but never when wearing her Scapula. [DO] [One of which is in the possession of the author.]
Marianne's name was at one time continually being written on little odd pieces of paper in a rather shaky, childish hand (Adelaide, needless to say, cannot write yet.) That has stopped now as far as I know. Quite loud footsteps are still heard round the house. [DO]
March 23rd M.F. carrying a tray in one hand and a lamp in the other up the front stairs, has the inside of an iron thrown at her from a few feet ahead. It breaks the lamp chimney. [SE]
Next day, I looked in the hall below to see what it was, and found the inside piece of an iron - the piece that is put into the fire to heat. . . If it had hit her on the head it would, if going with any force, pretty well have killed her. [DO]
March 24th Small articles thrown at M.F. sweeping, etc. outside bedroom. Harry Bull seen again by M.F. about this time and (probably) by cottage tenant [Mrs. Mitchell] through stair window at night. [SE]
March 28th M.F. sees a monstrosity (seen by her and others on other occasions) near kitchen door. It touches her shoulder with iron-like touch. [SE]
On Saturday morning. . . I heard Marianne give a very loud cry somewhere down in the back regions. I was in bed and jumped out and ran on to the landing and called out to know what had happened. She told me afterwards it was something the goblins had done, but absolutely refused to tell me what it was. [DO]
This apparition was seen by others in the house both before and after this occasion, and by [Marianne] again. . . I never saw it myself. It is generally referred to as "The Horror." It has also been called "The Shadow," and seems to have been one of the principle haunting entities, but must be distinguished from the "Nun."
As for the Nun, she was seen long before our time. . . she was an entity that the other spirits used for the purpose of tormenting us because she what I believe is the very rare power of being able to move material objects. [FM]
[Marianne] encountered [Harry] twice. [FM]
March 29th Palm Sunday. Still. [SE]
The entities appeared to be having a rest and collecting power. This power I have been told they draw from living people in their vicinity and the more psychic a person is the easier they find it is to draw it. Probably it is only from thoroughly psychic subjects that they can draw it at all. In this case my wife would be the chief one in our family to suffer. This theory in our experiences accorded pretty nearly with the facts. Certain it was that [Marianne] was not at all well during this period [of quiet]. [FM]
[Francois Jr.] came to share our home for a time. [FM]
April 11 Saturday in Easter week, when there was a small demonstration. Absolute quiet, with this one exception, during Holy Week and Easter Week. [SE]
April  Milk jug is mysteriously found empty. I request a clean one and make a rude remark about drinking after the ghosts. While we are sitting at tea in broad daylight with doors and windows closed, missiles are thrown at me. At night I count up 12 or 13 times I was thrown at between approximately 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. in different parts of the house. [SE]
This was not the first time that a milk jug has mysteriously been emptied. . . Soon afterward we sat down to tea and things began to fly. . .Once I just moved my head in time to avoid being hit by a stone; another time a fairly sharp flint actually went through my hair.
Amongst the things that were thrown were some very curious little delft things painted different colours and adorned with rabbits and chickens. They are about the size of a bantam's egg with the top cut off, and about the weight of a gold ball, and so very nice things to throw, but what they are, or where they came from, I have no idea. . . I have now ten of these in my cupboard. I was writing the C[irculating] L[etter] and describing these a day or two afterwards, when more were thrown at me. [DO] [Delft is tin-glazed Dutch earthenware or ceramics.]
I collected [the objects] up till I had no fewer than ten stored away in the library upboard. Then this person would ask for one, and that person for another, til my stock was reduced to two and I had resolutely to refuse to give any more away if I wanted to have any left as mementos. [FM] [These are not at the Harry Price Library and must be presumed to be lost.]
May  A bad half-hour in the kitchen one evening ended by my going upstairs to get creosote with which we fumigate the house. On my way up a lump of dried mortar hits me in the neck. On the way down a metal spanner goes through my hair. After fumigation the trouble stops at once: pepper, however, dropped on us in bed - some had previously been thrown into M.F.'s face in kitchen. [SE]
A table knife hit me in the hand. [DO][FM]
[May 3] Next evening M.F. does some fumigating but is rather lenient with creosote. Bells ring, stone thrown at her and jam jar crashes against kitchen door as she is returning. I go round with creosote and trouble ceases. [SE]
I wrote to Hilda and gave her an account of what had happened the previous day. Marianne saw the letter just before she went to evensong, but when I came back it had absolutely disappeared and I have see no sign of it since.
This reminds me of another event that took place during our quiet weeks. I was correcting [the] first account I wrote, which was normally kept inside a Bible. I left this in a room by itself just for a minute and when I came back five out of the nine pages had vanished, one was lying on the floor; the other three were where I had left them. [DO]
[Monday, May 4] Next day, I collect six articles thrown in the late afternoon and evening to show Sir George and Lady Whitehouse who arrived about 9 p.m. to see if anything was doing. While they are here, skirting board of unused bedroom (not entered by anyone that day as far as we knew) discovered to be on fire. Some throwing after it had been put out. We accept invitation and stay a few days with Whitehouse. One evening when up at Borley M.F. sees paper in air; it at once falls to the ground; discovered to have some hardly decipherable writing on it. Next day when we come up, it has disappeared. Other pieces of paper with "Marianne" (M.F.'s name) in childish hand were found from time to time about the house. [SE]
Lady W. suggested that we should write "What do you want?" underneath [Marianne's name], which I did. The next day there appeared what I read as "Rest," but which Marianne declares is "Pest," . . . On another paper appeared "Marianne help me." I wrote "How?" underneath that, but no answer has as yet been given [May 7th]. [DO]
"Marianne" appeared one day on the wall of the passage leading down to the bathroom. . . I wrote underneath it, "What can we do?" but no notice was taken of it. Later a little further along the passage was written "Marianne please help get," and then a dash as if someone had been pulled away. Later still further along the passage was written "Marianne get help (something undecipherable) bother me." Marianne wrote underneath, "I cannot understand, tell me more. Marianne." Something was then written underneath but subsequently written over. Some time later, was written one day while we were in the house, "Get light mass and prayers here." [DO]
[Adelaide], being only just over three, could not write yet. [FM]
June 6 Worst outburst begins with a stone being thrown. [SE]
Lady Whitehouse brought a nephew of hers who was very much interested in Poltergesitism, also her son, to see what was to be seen, and naturally there was a lot of talk in the house on the subject. Soon after they had gone a stone or something was thrown.
Ivy Bull had been asked to tea that day. . . so again we were talking about it for quite a time. . . Later on in the evening, trouble started. There was some throwing, and twice when Marianne was asleep or just going off to sleep. . . a chair was thrown over in her room. [DO]
June 7 Stones thrown in the evening. A chair in spare room, where M.F. was in bed very unwell, twice thrown over. Strange noises heard on landing during the night: bangs: taps on door, etc. [SE]
A door of the wardrobe suddenly burst open, and I think a stone or something was thrown towards the bed. Throwing in the house was witnessed by Mr. Pearless [d'Arles].
It sounded as if someone was walking about on the landing and once there were knocks on the door. [DO]
It was his first contact with the Fijis. [Francois Sr.] Even if he did not believe, it was something that he took it calmly. [FM]
June 8 (Monday) Soon after 10 a.m. proceedings start. These include a variety of things: books, stones, clothes, suit case, a clothes basket full of soiled linen (twice) thrown over balustrade from landing to stairs and hall. M.F. hears turmoil going on in what was usually our bedroom; gets up from sick bed to see; noise at once stops, but room found to be in confusion; bed moved, furniture overturned; doctor calls and witnesses some throwing; Edwin Whitehouse visits house and also witnesses some. M.F. turned out of bed three times during the day, but each time when alone in the room. Lady Whitehouse coming up in the evening hears some throwing. Matters are so bad that she and Sir George insist on us going down to their house for a time. [SE]
We burnt incense on Sunday and Monday. . . but it did not seem to have very much effect. [DO]
During the rest of the month, house empty at night except a few nights that I could get someone else to sleep in the house as well. On one of these, when F. de Arles was there, hearing a noise just before retiring I went to his room to see if it came from there: found him asleep and an empty paint pot, which he said he knew nothing about, placed close up against the door inside. [SE]
It certainly was not [Marianne] that time. [FM] [She was at Whitehouse home.]
Lady Whitehouse's parasol "moved" across the room. [MHH]
June 8-16 Mrs. Foyster and Dom Whitehouse made a Novena near Chapel for guidance. They become aware of a "presence" and a message "appeared" on the wall. [MHH]
June 12 A bed found overturned in the Rectory, though the Foysters were staying with Lady Whitehouse, and the house was locked. [MHH]
July 6th Diary of Occurrences finished.
August A medium and an investigator come down and hold a seance. Different spirits are tackled, amongst them Joe Miles who, it was declared, was responsible for the disturbances. However, it appeared subsequently that this was a mistake. [SE]
[Marianne], being very psychic, went into a trance herself. The whole proceedings seemed to upset her very much. . .
We had a very nice letter afterwards from Mr. Thompson. He urged [Marianne], since she had these wonderful psychic gifts, to use them. But [Marianne] has other gifts besides psychic, and a duty to her husband and her child and her own health, and therefore decided not to do so. [FM]
August or Sept. Study attacked. Writing desk thrown on its face; chairs overturned; books pushed out of the shelves; room in confusion. [SE]
Mr. and Mrs. X [neighbors] came. They saw and - inwardly I have not much doubt - they sniffed. [FM] [Possibly Sir John and Lady Braithwaite. He expresses view Marianne is "psychic and hysterical." Foyster argues against the view it is all hysteria, pointing to cases of stone-throwing for which Marianne could not have been responsible. Examination of the Borley Report, Hastings. EXBR]
September We are locked out of our room one night. A. locked into hers. (Doors unlocked with help of relic of Cure' d'Ars). [SE]
Locking doors was a comparatively new annoyance then; but it was one which was very common during the latter part of our "fifteen months."
This relic had been given a short time before to [Marianne]. It was a relic of . . .a saintly French priest, who is reported to have had a great deal of trouble in his life from Poltergeist. Later, another relic was donated, so during the last part of the time we had two. . .[FM]
Twice [our scapula] were removed - on one occasion from [Marianne] and on another from myself. Removed mysteriously, and while we slept as I can remember. But after a short time they came back just as mysteriously; found pinned on clothes we were not wearing at the time. [FM]
Sept. 26th On the kitchen being left empty for a few minutes, a saucepan full of potatoes left on the stove found to have been emptied. Witnessed to by M.F. and a maid. (N.B. We had no resident maid in the house from the time we arrived till Sept., 1931.) [SE] [The maid was "Katie."]
About this time different things were moved about in the house (or disappeared altogether) to a great extent. Amongst them a big pile of typewritten sheets; a small portable typewriter. Money, though moved, we cannot be certain was ever taken. [SE]
One morning I found the contents of my pocket book thrown about the bathroom and much of my small change under the bath. When I reckoned up, there seemed to be a pound that I could not account for. . .
[Another time there] was persistently 8d. too much. [FM]
[Sept. 29] Bull sisters visit Price in London and ask him to return to Borley.
October 1 Price accepts invitation from Foyster.
October 9 W.H. Salter advises against having Price. If visit is to occur, urges signed statement against publicity. Pledges support of Society for Psychical Research.
Oct. 13 - 14 Harry Price visits with his secretary, Miss Lucy Kaye, XXXXX and Mrs. Goldney.
They see "wine turned into ink" which Price thinks is a trick and tells Foyster so. They part on bad terms. [EXBR]
We thought this would be only sort of a preliminary visit, so [Marianne], who was very tired and wanted to go to bed early, went round with the relic for the sake of a quiet night. But there we were wrong. . .[FM]
Visit of Mr. Harry Price and three members of his council. On the first evening bell rang; bottle crashed on front stairs and other things thrown. M.F., who not being well had gone to bed, had first one and then the other door of her room locked. One came unlocked in answer to prayer. Council next day declared their opinion that M.F. was responsible for phenomena. She was put under surveillance, but bell from bedroom rang while she was being surveyed. [SE]
October I am awakened one morning by having a bathroom water jug dropped on my head. I left it on the floor and a little time afterwards it is dropped on M.F.'s head. [SE]
Oct. - Novem. The report that a shadowy form said by visitor to the house and by former occupants to be seen in room over kitchen, is true, has confirmation from A. Being sent to lie down in that room one afternoon, she came downstairs with a bruise under her eye. On being asked how she got it, she answered: "A nasty thing by curtain in my room gave it to me."
This apparition said to be seen also early one morning entering our bedroom. I was up and M.F. still asleep, so neither of us saw it. [SE]
Opening his eyes one night [d'Arles] discovered that he was not alone, for he suddenly saw [a] shadowy form. . .
Once more on another night, opening his eyes he saw this strange unearthly visitor. Quickly he jumped out of bed and made for it - his hands in front of his face in the attitude of a boxer. But he was not quick enough; it was away before he could get there and was soon through the curtain. . .
But on still another night, a third chance presented itself. This time, it seems, he was out of bed quicker than before. Good; he had got it. But - what a surprise - his hands went right through the apparition and he encountered nothing except the wall. Yet this is not all; he touched nothing it is true, but something touched him. A terrific smack in the face was what he got for his pains. A loud cry rang through the silent house and disturbed the quiet of the night. Next morning, [d'Arles] appeared at the breakfast table with a black eye.
One day a few weeks after this [d'Arles said], "I was on the landing just outside the chapel door when I saw the 'shadow' again." [FM]
Novem. 13 A rather serious demonstration this evening, witnessed also by Edwin Whitehouse and our maid [Katie]. [SE]
Bottle after bottle "materialized" and crashed to floor. Bells rang of their own volition. [MHH]
(I ceased keeping an exact diary of events in June. There were therefore various phenomena in the way of throwing, doors being locked, etc. during these last months that are unrecorded but nothing very different to what we had experienced that I can think of - except one evening just after I came in a pot of, apparently, freshly made tea that no one owned to having made, was placed in the dining room for me. However, I could not be quite sure about the history of this.) [SE]
January One night both doors of our room found locked - one from inside; the other communicating with dressing room, had a chest of drawers pulled right up against it inside, showing the impossibility, therefore, of the locking having been done by a human agent. Once more we seek admission by means of prayer. Door still found locked. We go into the chapel and while there a terrific noise starts up in the hall, which we find is sue to cat with claw caught in rat trap. When we return a key is found lying on the corner of the altar, which turns out to be that of the door between bedroom and dressing room. [SE]
One of the relics is away [missing], the other is locked [in our room]. . . The next night, the relic returned. It was found lying on my pillow.[FM]
January Offer to come and help us get rid of ghosts from Mr. Warren of the Marks Tey spiritualist circle. He and H.H. Frost come over and talk to us. [SE]
January 8 In a letter to Mr. Smith, Price says that he would like to go to Borley again but that the Foysters will not permit it. [EXBR]
Jan. 23-24 Finally they come with a medium on Jan. 23 suggesting spending the next night in the house. Directly they come, throwing begins, so I suggest their spending that night instead. Warren and Frost go over and get other members of the circle, leaving medium with us. Great demonstrations - bottles dashing down back stairs; kitchen passage strewn with broken glass, etc.; bells ringing; quieted down for a time, but starts up somewhat when the rest of the circle return. Party stay until 5 a.m. and then leave with the belief that trouble has been arrested. Next morning the house entirely different; demonstrations definitely stop (with two exceptions noted below) till 1935.
(I have a copy of the circle's own report of the proceedings. If you would like to have one, the secretary is: H.H. Frost, the Mill House, Layer-de-la-Haye, Colchester, who I think would probably be pleased to furnish any information.) [SE]
Guy L'Strange accompanies spiritualists. Price reported that up to this date at least 2,000 alleged paranormal phenomena occurred during the Foyster incumbency. (HBR)
????? One day while [Marianne] was [sick] in bed, a slight mystery arose. [Katie] had taken the children out to a party and I was alone wiht [Marianne]. I went out for a few minutes into the garden, and returned just as evening was drawing in. When I went to her room, I found the lamp lit.
"Did you light it?" I asked in some surprise, not thinking she was well enough to do it.
"No," she replied. "Someone lit it. I don't know who it was. I woke up just in time to hear the retreating footsteps."
"Perhaps it was the Nun, trying to make up for some of the bad turns she did us. . ."
[The Nun] left [Borley]. Presently we heard [from the spiritualists] she had progressed - gone up to a higher sphere. [FM]
April-Nov. Price believed to have visited, reason unknown. [EXBR]
May Some members of the Marks Tey circle come over one afternoon. According to what they say were orders "from the other side," we sit in the study with room darkened and gramophone playing. M.F. who was not at all well that day, goes off into deep sleep from which she awakens very much better. Just after this a stone thrown down back stairs, while F. de Arles and self are passing along kitchen passage. Attributed to "a little spare power floating round unused." [SE]
The relic was brought and applied [to Marianne who was ill with a mastoid - ear infection]. "A wonderful night," was next morning's report. "Do you know I just went off into a lovely sleep." [FM]
June One evening two objects are thrown. On writing to inform circle, they reply that they were told there might be some trouble in June, but things would be quiet afterwards. They come over on three or four evenings during the month. On one of these while we are siting in the study, spirit of late well-known psychic researcher is seen by Mr. Warren, but by no one else. [SE]
[Marianne] had a huge and overwhelming desire to go into a trance, and having gone into one, she did not want to come out of it again. . . . Finally they put a ring of protection around her and shut out the danger. [FM]
[1932 - "There is not the slightest shadow of doubt but that in full lamp-light showers of bottles and stones fell amongst batches of from three to five participants, who saw the phenomena with their eyes, heard them with their ears, and handled the apported objects with their hands." Captain V.M. Deane, Psychic Science, 1941.]
June One evening I hear strange noises in the house I cannot account for, but nothing further follows. [SE]
1933-34 Mrs. Foyster opens flower shop. [EXBR]
1934? [Adelaide] was in a London hospital; she had had two operations [for a mastoid] and there seemed small hope of her recovery. . .
[The relic was] slipped inside the bandages. . .
Not very many days afterwards, my wife wrote, "[Adelaide] is doing so well as to astonish the doctors. Her ear has healed miraculously." [FM]
1935 Some indications a little trouble starting up again. A few things disappear in unaccountable ways. [SE]
Foysters heard many "bangs" in the Rectory. [MHH]
August Bank holiday. M.F., A. and self and friend having tea on study verandah: noises, much like a picture falling heard in drawing room: investigation however, reveals nothing out of place. These continue at intervals, some upstairs. About 13 or 14 bangs heard altogether. [SE]
August 19 In a letter to Everard Fielding, Price repeats his view that on the last occasion he visited. . . the Rector's wife was "just fooling us," but adds, "I certainly want to go down again and am waiting for Mr. Foyster to move out of the place. Five years ago the place was literally alive with - something. It drove [Mrs. Smith] out of the place." [EXBR]
October We move out of the house. [SE]