The truth about ‘the most haunted house in England’

Place and story are little remembered now. The rectory in Essex was severely damaged by fire in 1939. But any old house with an unpleasant atmosphere, especially isolated, damp, dark and unmodernised, was once described as ‘like Borley Rectory’. Judging by this long ‘story of a ghost story’, the place showed its true nature from the beginning. Many of the incumbent rectors, their families, servants and guests heard and felt ghosts, always malevolent. Crockery flew about and hit people; candlesticks tumbled down stairs; there were whisperings, cries, thumps and bumps. The usual. Well, odd things do happen in old houses. I have entered rooms which I was immediately desperate to

We all love a poltergeist story

There are fashions in the paranormal as in everything else. Since the famous Enfield hauntings of the late 1970s, poltergeists seem to have gone quiet, or at least unreported; but before then they were everywhere. In 1938, poltergeists kicked off in Thornton Heath, Surrey, and a Jewish-Hungarian journalist and psychic investigator, Nandor Fodor, was alerted to strange happenings in the home of a 34-year-old housewife there. The list of happenings is familiar in all poltergeist stories. Furniture moves, light fittings shatter, crockery, money, knick knacks, even small pictures are thrown through the air, sometimes seemingly aimed directly at individuals. Alma Fielding and her husband Les were ill at the time