Harry Price is often referred to as the first or the original ghost hunter. As an amateur conjurer/magician, he was adept at testing and exposing fraudulent psychic mediums. In 1925, he opened the National Laboratory of Psychical Research which he equipped with everything he felt he needed to conduct thorough investigations into paranormal phenomena. On June 11, 1929, Harry Price made his first visit to the reportedly haunted Borley Rectory which marked the start of a 10-year investigation of the property. Borley Rectory was destroyed by fire on February 27, 1939.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. Anyone who is committed to the field of paranormal research should know the history of the field and have some knowledge of the people who came before us. Harry Price is a great example of someone who prided himself on principled investigation techniques in a time when it was easy to fall into simple observational studies. There is a lot of good basic investigation technique in this book and some of his protocols can be useful for investigators today.
Pros: Harry Price is one of the most detailed investigators that I have had the chance to read. I appreciate following his thought process for designing the Borely experiment and his thorough record keeping. There is a full report of observed activity and a timeline of events in the back of the book. This is a very well organized and thought-out book (and experiment).
Cons: Really, the only con for me was that this book was published in 1940 and it took me a minute to adapt to the writing style of the era. Also, there is a second book and I’m kind of upset that I haven’t read it yet because he went on to record the continued activity after the destruction of the building.
Overall thoughts: read this book and learn a bit more about the origins of paranormal research!
You can find your own copy of this book here.