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The Ghost Hunters
on 29 October 2013
This novel merges fact and fiction in an absorbing and evocative ghost story. Harry Price (1881-1948) was a real psychic researcher; a sceptic renowned for exposing fake spiritualists and best known for his investigation into Borley Rectory, called `the most haunted house in England." In this book, an academic is given a manuscript by Miss Sarah Grey, which tells the story of Price's investigation into Borley Rectory. Miss Grey was a young woman whose father had died in the first world war and who lived with her mother. Like many of her generation, her mother looked for answers in spiritualism, which flourished after the war, capitalising on grief. Sarah and her mother attend a meeting with Mr Price, after which she is fascinated by both him and his work. Before long, she has become his assistant and her life is changed forever.
This story takes place over some years, following Price's work looking at mediums and at the unfolding story of Borley Rectory and the visits made there by him and Sarah Grey, as well as journalist Vernon Wall and the changing inhabitants of the Rectory. Those of you who enjoy horror books may find this a little tame - but it is perfectly pitched for those who enjoy a more old fashioned ghost story. The characters are sympathetic, the events at the Rectory both creepy and sensational and neither those in the book, nor the readers, are sure what to believe. My main complaint with most ghost stories are the endings, which are often either tame or unbelievable, but the author manages to finish the book well and bring about a sense of completion. Overall, I found this very impressive - it would make a wonderful book for a reading group too, which much to discuss and is a perfect Halloween treat.