Ghost hunting with Harry Price …

Historic Collections recently received a visit from Kirsten Zesewitz of Deutschlandfunk (German national radio) to conduct an interview with Professor Owen Davies and Paul Cowdell, of the University of Hertfordshire, for a forthcoming broadcast on British investigations into ghosts and hauntings. During the interview Owen and Paul discussed the activities and legacy of Harry Price and talked about some of the items from his extensive library and archive, notably a file of papers relating to Price’s 1936 BBC broadcast of his investigations into an alleged haunting at Dean Manor in Kent (HPE/1/2). Price’s script for the broadcast details for his listeners the instruments and equipment placed in the Manor house to detect ‘aural, visual, or thermal phenomena’ and the precautions taken to combat ‘trickery, mal-observation, self-deception, or experimental error’. Price and seven colleagues kept vigil in the house for three and a half hours before broadcasting an account of their experiences at 11.45pm. Price concluded enticingly that ‘under rigid control … I have heard and seen strange things which simply could not be accounted for by normal means’. While ‘not necessarily caused by spirits’, Price ventured that the ‘manifestations were perhaps a somewhat distant echo of some tragic and emotional scene …’.

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