The Most Haunted House in England
The peaceful village of Borley is not the sort of place you would normally think of as being associated with ghosts, yet it was the site of Borley Rectory, the most haunted house in England. The rectory was built in 1863 on the site of an ancient monastery and stories of the ghost of a crying nun were already well known to the villagers at that time. The stories told that she had fallen in love with a monk from the monastery. The two had tried to run away together but had been quickly caught. The monk was executed and the nun bricked up in the cellars of the monastery.
The first resident of Borley Rectory was Henry Bull. He loved to watch the ghost as she walked across the garden. However, the mysterious lady soon became a problem. She often frightened guests by looking at them through the windows. Once Henry’s four daughters even saw the lady walking across the lawn in broad daylight. More ghosts were seen during the time Henry’s son, Harry, owned the rectory. A ghostly coach and horses were often seen racing past the rectory.
In 1927 Eric Smith and his wife began living at the rectory. They had been told of the building’s reputation and so invited the well-known ghost hunter, Harry Price, to visit. When Mr. Price arrived there was an immediate increase in the ghostly activities. Objects were smashed and stones were thrown at him. It was all too much for the Smiths so they left the house.
The next family, who lived in the house, also left quickly after several frightening events. For a time nobody wanted to live in the house and so it was empty until 1937 when Harry Price returned to investigate the ghostly happenings further. With a team of forty-eight observers he noted an amazing number of psychic phenomena. The strangest happened on 27th March 1938 when a ghostly voice warned members of the team that the rectory would catch fire that night and burn down. However, it didn’t happen
and Harry Price left soon after. The building was then rented to a man called Captain Gregson. He too experienced mysterious happenings, including the disappearance of his two hunting dogs. Then, exactly eleven months after the ghost’s warning, an oil lamp fell over in the hall and the rectory burnt to the ground. People who helped to put out the fire said they had seen ghosts walking through the burning building.
Harry Price returned to the site again in 1943. Digging in the cellars, he discovered the bones of a young woman. Believing that they were those of the dead nun, he tried to end the hauntings by giving them a Christian burial. It didn’t work. Supernatural happenings are still reported from the site of the former rectory today.
The Most Haunted House in England – Questions
Choose the best option to complete the sentences:
1. Borley Rectory was built…
a) near an ancient monastery.
b) next to an ancient monastery.
c) in an old monastery.
d) where an old monastery had been.
2. The monk in the stories was executed because…
a) he didn’t love the nun.
b) the nun loved him.
c) he left the monastery with the nun.
d) he put the nun in the cellars.
3. Henry Bull…
a) was in love with the ghostly lady.
b) liked the ghost to frighten his guests.
c) often watched the ghost.
d) often walked in the garden with the ghost.
4. The ghost was…
a) only seen at night.
b) usually seen in the daytime.
c) usually seen at night.
d) never seen in the daytime.
5. Harry Bull…
a) owned a coach and horses.