Borley Rectory

A

Anonymous

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#1
Hello to all.

I am a message board virgin so treat me gently.

I wondered if I could tap into your collective memories/knowledge: I remember when I was about 9 or 10 (late 70s/early 80s) a documentary on Borley church being shown by the BBC. All I can remember is that it consisted of a BBC team (presenter/cameraman/sound recordist) spending the night in the church. At one point - at about 3 o'clock in the morning - the bolt to the church is heard unlocking along with the sound of footsteps walking from the door to the altar. As if that wasn't bad enough once the footsteps reach the altar and stop, a long mournful sigh is heard echoing throughout church. At this point, on the verge of fainting with fright, I think I must have switched the television off as I do not remember any more.

Does anybody else remember this documentary? And does anybody know if it is available still? I would love to see it again as a friend of mine stated not long ago that he also remembers the show and recalls one of the BBC men running from the church in sheer terror after the 'moan' at the altar.
 

SoundDust

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#2
Its not this is it?

"The Ghost Watchers." 1975. (BBC program that played the church audio tape for the first time. This was the tape on which several sounds were recorded while no one was in the church. In addition to doors being opened or closed, the most remarkable sound is that of a man groaning.)

Underwood, Peter. "The Ghost Hunters." BBC television documentary:December 4, 1975. (Underwood as guest. Promoted in Radio Times. Hugh Burnett, producer. "Is was during filming there that members of the film crew saw the nun walking at dusk along the nun's walk." - John Burrows)
From here
 
A

Anonymous

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#4
Recording at Borley Church

Hi Hopester!

I actually have an audio tape of this programme, which was available commercially some years ago, by the SPR I believe!

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I can let you have a recording on CD if you like, no charge.

I've also got a video recording of the programme somewhere, probably in the depths of the garage, which I can unearth if you're desperate!

Please let me know and I'll get the recording off to you. Please respond to [email protected], not the address shown on this message (it's a work address).

All the best

Derrick
 
A

Anonymous

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#5
I've been looking for this for yonks, finally found it.

And here it is.

The scary bit at the start is Danny Baker, as the clip is a capture from his short-lived chat show in 1993 where I first heard this, and for Halloween he unearthed the original clip.

Sleep well, grown ups.
 
A

Anonymous

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#6
My memory is probably playing tricks but i remember this documentary (probably from a re-run because theres is no way i would have been allowed to watch it originally), I seem to remember they set up cameras in the church and I think they caught some strange lights on film which they attributed to the ghostly nun said to haunt the place.

I live near-ish to Borley and its a curious little church, completely over-whelmed by a massive momument to the once ruling family (the Waldegraves?). The church is supposed to have an over-whelming feeling of menance and dread but i felt nothing.
 

augustverango

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#7
Dark Detective said:
I've been looking for this for yonks, finally found it.

And here it is.

The scary bit at the start is Danny Baker, as the clip is a capture from his short-lived chat show in 1993 where I first heard this, and for Halloween he unearthed the original clip.

Sleep well, grown ups.
Any mega-kind soul feel like transferring this file into an mp3 for me? I hate Realplayer with a passion and refuse to install it ever again!

Also, I seem to remember a program from around the early 1990s where a similar experiment was carried out. It could have possibly been an ITV Strange But True type show, but I'm not sure. Anyway, a group of investigators set up some mics in an old church and recorded overnight. I seem to remember they got some kind of thumping sound and possibly choral singing? Anyone remember this?
 
A

Anonymous

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#8
borley rectory furniture

Not a particularly good story, but something of an interesting history note.

I grew up on my grandparent's farm in Suffolk near the location of the infamous Borley Rectory.

My grandfather told me that when he first arrived in Britain after the war he had purchased several pieces of furniture at an auction in the town of Bures. According to him, the furniture had come from Borley. I am fairly certain that my grandfather, an old European, had no interest in ghost stories and was unaware of the legend of Borley. At the time I just about plotzed at the thought of "haunted furniture". My god, I was sleeping in a room with the stuff!! :shock: :D

Long story short, my grandparents unfortunately passed away in the mid-1990's and my mother inherited the lot, including the infamous "furniture". In turn she gave me a large "tall boy" (armoir) from this collection. Given my childhood interest in ghosts etc. I was tickled by the possibility of owning a piece of ghostly history.

A couple of years ago I emailed the webmaster on the borleyrectory.com site. I believe that he has some family connection to the whole saga. I asked about the furniture- he informed me that he was unaware of any furniture being sold in an auction. However, I believe that such an auction would have been held a decade or two before his birth.

All this to say that now I don't know what to think: Is my armoir from Borley or not? In any event, I have inherited a lovely piece of furniture that always reminds me of my grandparents.
 

rynner2

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#9
This interests me, as, apart from the Fortean aspects, I am familiar with Bures, as a friend of mine lived there. Wonderful rural location. Memories of walking a mile or so to the village pub on summer evenings...

Incidentally, Bures played a part in an international thriller, but I forget now the title or who wrote it!
 

Rrose_Selavy

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#10
When I was very much younger and less skeptical I read some of the accounts of Harrry Price -and the so callled "most haunted house in England" Given the often dramatic mythologising that goes with this sort of stuff surely there's a film or drama to be made based on it -

or perhaps it already has?
 

JamesWhitehead

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#11
I seem to recall that the BBC did a drama based on the Borley haunting during the 1970s. It was very loosely based anyway. As a kid totally absorbed by the Harry Price books, it seemed pretty prosaic.

They conjured up a leisured long-lost world of gentlemanly spook-hunting. Magical at a certain innocent age. :)
 
A

Anonymous

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#13
Sad to report no ghostly incidents.

Like the others, I was just fascinated Borley as a kid. Got the Harry Price book out of the Sudbury library. Then spent many sleepless nights waiting for the Borley nun to pay me a visit! haha! I had read about the levitating brick at the Borley site, and incidents in which the nun had been spotted at other locations.

I don't know why I found the Borley story so captivating- I think what really creeped me out was the often told vignette of the ghostly nun staring through the window into the dining room while the family ate supper. Apparently happened so much that they eventually bricked up the window! For some reason that really terrorized me as a youngster. As an adult I say, "Nice try, but if it happened every bloody night the least you could do is take a picture!".
 

PlagueRider

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#14
As far as I was aware the rectory burnt to the ground, save the skeletal structure, so I doubt any wooden furniture would have survived. If I am, however, wrong, then please someone correct me! ;)
 

Rrose_Selavy

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#15
I think it was the writing that appeared that freaked me out at the time.

strange that the site appears more or less abandoned as well.

http://www.borleyrectory.com/

I can't seem to see anyway to get past the homepage - is it just me?

-
 
A

Anonymous

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#16
plague, you're right about the fire. That is the detail of this whole thing that doesn't sit right. At the same time, I don't know why my grandad would have made the comment about Borley if the furniture wasn't connected in some way. Maybe the furniture belonged to the family and was sold at some point prior to the fire. Probably wishful thinking.
 

whoisquilty

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#17
Well, people DO move out of homes. I thought that one family moved out and another moved in. As the new family was unpacking their books, someone knocked a lamp over onto some books and the place went up very quickly...like, er, a house a-fire I guess one would say.

So, furniture had been moved in and out of the house from the 1860s when it was built until the 1930s when it burnt.

Who knows when the furniture was located there...
 

SniperK2

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#18
I thought when it was built that the Bulls were there, then three other families, and I certainly remember reading that one couple didn't use much of the house, as it was so big, and hard to maintain, I would think that during those years furniture could have been sold, etc.
 

MrRING

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#20
That official site used to work, but considering the homepage's state, I wonder if it's temporarily offline? Maybe somebody died close to the author and the site is down in their honor?

I just checked Archive.Org and got this:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.borleyrectory.com/

Robots.txt Query Exclusion.

We're sorry, access to http://www.borleyrectory.com/ has been blocked by the site owner via robots.txt.
Read more about robots.txt
See the site's robots.txt file.
Try another request or click here to search for all pages on borleyrectory.com/
See the FAQs for more info and help, or contact us.
Anybody speak bot?
 

JamesWhitehead

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#21
Well the picture on the page is of Marianne Foyster, one of the central players in the Borley saga. IIRC she was the mother of the owner of the site. She had some serious mental problems but had been already been dead some time when the site was created. I'm relying on my memory for this.

It's possible that the site owner has himself passed on. It was an interesting site - I hope it is cached somewhere. :(
 

JamesWhitehead

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#23
Thanks rynner - I've just seen that Mr R.I.N.G. had already tried that though.

Also a search for all pages of the site on Google cannot retrieve anything cached either.

Not looking good. :(

A reference on this page, republishing an article from the site:

http://www.harryprice.co.uk/Borley/lights_pt2_01.htm

suggests that borleyrectory.com has been down since at least December 2004.

Meanwhile that harryprice.co.uk site looks well worth exploring further. :)
 
A

Anonymous

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#24
I live about five minutes away from Borley and can say the whole legend is amusing for many reasons but the one that really stands out is this

the nun came from the 12th century

the monk from the 13th century

and the alledged coach they used was from the 16th century

perhaps they had a tardis too

:lol: :lol: :lol:

well it always makes the rectar for Borley and Liston laugh ;)
 
A

Anonymous

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#26
spectred, don't have a clue about the history of the furniture. I hear that living near Borley can be a real pain in the a** with all the gawkers, etc.

I will reiterate my general skepticism concerning the whole Borley legend. For me, "Borley" is more symbolic of wonderful childhood memories of Suffolk, reading ghost stories at the Sudbury library, cream buns at the Tooks bakery across the square from the library, etc.

I get a little misty just thinking about all of it :D
 

PlagueRider

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#27
deke said:
spectred, don't have a clue about the history of the furniture. I hear that living near Borley can be a real pain in the a** with all the gawkers, etc.
I must admit Borley itself is very overrated nowadays. I've been there a few times and it just seems like a haven for tourists desperate to 'catch a spook', when in fact it's just another quiet hamlet in the middle of the countryside. If it didn't have the history that it has then would people really want to flock there? Of course not.
 

MrRING

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#28
Borley Rectory: Questions and Answers

It doesn't look like there is actually a thread named Borley Rectory yet, so I'm making this one to ask questions that I wonder about, as well as issuing a call to perhaps make a Borley Rectory super-thread.

My questions are:

1) Do most folks consider there to have been a real haunting there, or some mix of fakery and shoddy detective work?

2) Do the copies of the wall writings still exist? Is there a full accounting of legible writings and what they seemed to say?

3) Why is the official site seemingly removed from the web(no copies at archive.org either)?

The WIKI page
 

stu neville

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#29
Re: Borley Rectory: Questions and Answers

MrRING said:
It doesn't look like there is actually a thread named Borley Rectory yet, so I'm making this one to ask questions that I wonder about, as well as issuing a call to perhaps make a Borley Rectory super-thread.
I was looking the other day - despite mentions of the case in passing elsewhere, there wasn't a dedicated Borley thread. There is now though :).
1) Do most folks consider there to have been a real haunting there, or some mix of fakery and shoddy detective work?
IMHO, all of the above. From what I can gather (and I've been passively Borley-researching for decades now) there was a genuine haunting, with a range of phenomena (ie sightings, sounds, polt stuff, the writings, etc): however, Harry Price wasn't above.. shall we say.. elaborating, just a bit. Now, I really do believe that Price was, in himself, utterly sincere, and totally believed in all aspects of what he did - however, in the absence of evidence in an anecdotal case, provided he himself was satisfied it was legit, Price would help it along a bit. If you see what I mean.

Subsequent research has had to rely on Price to quite a large extent, and as a result, like a second or third generation photocopy, the edges have become even more blurred. Again, not necessarily outright mendacity on anyone's part, but that's how legends grow.
2) Do the copies of the wall writings still exist? Is there a full accounting of legible writings and what they seemed to say?
There's some stuff here, from the Harry Price website, which has a large amount of material on both Borley and Price himself (however, see my caveat above.)
3) Why is the official site seemingly removed from the web(no copies at archive.org either)?
Not a clue - though the Price site is the nearest thing possible in many ways. There used to be more sites, certainly. maybe, like various crypto and UFO sites, they briefly flare in popularity but then for want of contributions info they sink into oblivion.
 

MrRING

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#30
I've wondered about the famous floating brick photo as well - the question to my mind is, who would be sitting around trying to take a picture of a floating brick? Or was it really lucky happenstance?

I want to say that the claim was that it hung in the air for quite a while... and there is certainly no blur in the photo.

And the website being down - for some reason, I thought it was set up by a relative of the family that was at the heart of the haunting, and it had a fair number of exclusive material.
 
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