and asked about the possibility of spending a night on the ‘haunted’ site of the by then vanished Rectory...”
Former site of Borley Rectory, with Borley Church in the background.
“He sent me a charming letter,
and said he had passed on my request.”
Underwood with Reverend Alfred Henning
SATURDAY 17th MAY
“Accompanied by Tom Brown,
I went to Borley for the first time.”
The tiny village of Borley is located in rural Essex.
The steam train service running through Essex.
“We arrived at The Cottage at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.”
The cottage, showing signs of conversion, and part of the Rectory site outlined by a low brick wall, May 1947.
“We visited Borley Church and churchyard…”
“...where we saw the graves of those who lived and died at Borley Rectory and who are alleged to have haunted the Rectory and grounds - and perhaps still do…”
“Inside the church we saw the imposing tomb of the Waldegraves…”
“Seance messages assert that it was a member of this family who murdered 'Marie Lairre', the ghost nun…”
“Others assert that Arabella Waldegrave, the unnamed daughter on the tomb. may have been the ghost nun…”
“Nothing is left of the Rectory above the level of the ground, but the foundations have not been disturbed and it is possible to trace the shape of the old Rectory from the line of these foundations.”
In 1947 the area of the rectory was still visible.
“Some of the Nun's Walk has of necessity been dug up. It was originally bordered by a low hedge on each side and that on the south side is still standing.”
The Nun’s Walk
“Tom Brown and I placed a number of controls in and around the rectory site.”
Tom Brown photgraphed by Underwood at the site of the Rectory, with the cottage behind.
“None of these controls were moved, and our thermometer readings showed no abnormality…”
SUNDAY 18th MAY
“We both thought we heard faint footsteps
from the direction of the Nun’s Walk at both 3.15 a.m., and again at 3.40 a.m.”
“On the second occasion we suddenly flashed a torch,
but the torchlight revealed nothing
and the sounds continued…”
“The area where the sounds
appeared to originate
was plainly visible in the bright moonlight…”
“…nothing was discernible to account for the footsteps…”
Underwood writes up his investigation.
“I sent this report* to Harry Price.”
Harry Price’s ‘Blue Book’: The Alleged Haunting at B----- Rectory - Instructions for Observers (1937), which he originally gave to each of the forty eight investigators during his year long tenancy of Borley Rectory which began on 19th May 1937.