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Marianne Foyster, Harry Price and the most haunted house in England - the perfect read for Halloween.

‘Borley Rectory is perhaps the definition of an old haunt, still exerting an extraordinary grip on the popular imagination… Balanced, surprising and strangely moving’ Mark Gatiss

In 1928, Eric and Mabel Smith took over a lonely parish on the northern border of Essex. When they moved into Borley Rectory, Mrs Smith made a gruesome discovery in a cupboard: a human skull. Soon the house was electric with ghosts. Within the year, the Smiths had abandoned it and the Rectory became notorious as the ‘most haunted house in England’.

When Reverend Lionel Foyster moved in he experienced a further explosion of poltergeist activity with an increasing violence directed at his attractive young wife. Marianne was a passionate and sensuous woman isolated in a village haunted by ancient superstition and deep-rooted prejudice. She would be accused not only of faking the ghosts but of adultery, bigamy – and even murder.

The haunting, sensationally reported in the tabloid press, gripped the nation. It was investigated by Harry Price, a self-made ‘psychic detective’. This was the case that would make Price’s name as the most celebrated ghost-hunter of the age. He recorded the evidence of 200 witnesses to over 2,000 supernatural incidents. This surely confirmed that not only did ghosts exist but, finally, here was proof of life after death.

With the tension of a thriller and the uncanny chills of a classic English ghost story, Sean O’Connor brings the story of Borley Rectory to vivid life as an allegory for an age fraught with anxiety, haunted by the shadow of the Great War and terrified of the apocalypse to come.

About The Author

SEAN O'CONNOR is a writer, director and producer working in theatre, radio, television and film. He has worked as showrunner on several
major TV series including EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Footballers’ Wives and Minder. He produced Terence Davies’ film version of Terence Rattigan’s
The Deep Blue Sea, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. He was also editor of The Archers for BBC Radio 4. For the theatre he adapted Boileau and Narcejac’s Vertigo and Winston Graham’s Marnie. His adaptation from Shakespeare, Juliet and Her Romeo, marked the re-opening of Bristol Old Vic, directed by Tom Morris, and was published by Oberon. Handsome Brute, a study of the 1940s murderer Neville Heath, and The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury were both published by Simon & Schuster. The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 2020.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (October 12, 2023)
  • Length: 496 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471194795

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