A recent TV drama reminded me of one of the paranormal worlds most interesting characters and one which perhaps has rightly earned himself a prominent position in the Paranormal Hall of Fame; none other than Harry Price, who else!
Harry Price Ghost Hunter
Born on the 17th January 1881, Harry Price developed a passion for magic from an early age, something which would later become extremely valuable to him during his work with many Psychic Mediums. Later in life he was a member of the Magic Circle and played particular interest in the workings of many a conjuring trick. These skills helped him to later reveal many psychics as fraudsters, using mind tricks such as cold reading to prey on those that has lost loved ones especially around war time.
However it wasn’t long before Harry Price work in psychical research gained him recognition in England and beyond. He was a charismatic and enigmatic character who was prominent in the world of psychical research for around thirty years. In which time he investigated many various paranormal phenomena, worked wth many psychic mediums, but also exposed many fake spiritualists.
Interestingly though he seemed to stand as a balance between those who didn’t believe in the world of the occult and those spiritualists that the occult dominated their lives. Perhaps almost understanding both points of view and hoping to bring the two together. A position I can fully understand!
Harry Price Ghost Hunting Achievements
Never the less he had an outstanding involvement in the world of the paranormal during his life with many an achievement to write home about. He carried out the longest, most comprehensive and original investigation of a haunted house. He looked into the scientific exploration of supernormal phenomena; such as mediumship, spiritualistic and psychic activity. Harry Price was part of the first live broadcast from a haunted house, something we probably take for granted these days with the likes of Most Haunted and Ghost Hunters performing this annually. Price was the first to start and run a National Laboratory of Psychical Research. He helped to revive the famed Ghost Club and wrote some twenty books on the subject, to name only a few achievements. He could quite easily be considered the Ghost Hunter or Investigator God Father!
The Borley Rectory Case
Of course the most famous case associated with Harry Price as a Ghost Hunter was that of the Borley Rectory case. He first visited the Essex rectory in 1929, and for the rest of his life, on and off, he returned continuing to investigate the location. In fact at the time of his death in 1948, he was putting together the first parts of a third volume of the activity at Borley. However the details of the Borley Rectory case is enough for a post all by itself, so perhaps more on this another time.
The Rosalie Case
Perhaps one of Harry Price’s lesser known cases is actually one of his more remarkable. This is of course the case of alleged materialisation that he witnessed in 1937, which became known as ‘the Rosalie case’. This was described as the materialisation of a naked young girl that died in 1921. Price published his account in his book ‘Fifty Years of Psychical Research : A Critical Survey’. During the actual materialisation, Price held the child and determined she was roughly six years old. He felt her pulse, established there was a heartbeat, saw the form to an extent in limited light and he was allowed to ask only six questions. However he only received an answer for the last question; “Rosalie, do you love your mummy?”. A lisped “Yes” was the response. Following this ‘Rosalie’ dematerialised silently.
Following the seance Harry Price examined the house and found nothing out of place and that all was in agreement with his examination prior to the seance. He’s measures were still in place. He left the house mystified and later published his account ‘with considerable hesitation’. Price saw Mrs K M Goldney MBE, who was a prominent member of the Society for Psychical Research the next day. Goldney reported that Harry Price appeared deeply disturbed, almost distraught and shaken to the core by the seance. Although Price didn’t conclude this as proof of life after death, it certainly must have got him thinking and questioning many things.
Still to this day the term Ghost Hunter seems associated with Harry Price, although in reality he was an investigator, experimenter and researcher like many of us in the paranormal field. I wonder what he would think about how we approach things today, not to mention the numerous gadgets at our disposal?
Still in my opinion this guy deserves a place in the Paranormal Hall of Fame.
Harry Price – 1881 to 1948