Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Ghost Hunters.

In 1926 the young Sarah Corey's career choice takes an unlikely turn from model to become the assistant to Harry Price Ghost Hunter, author and exposer of spiritualist fraudsters. Price had dedicated his life and fortune to discovering the truth of spiritualism whilst also exposing fraudlent mediums who cruelly  exploit the broken-hearted.hoping for some re-connection to lost loved ones.
Up to a point this has been a relatively straight path of experiences on which his instincts and ghost busting methods have served him well until that path leads to Borley Rectory.
There is a particularly English feel to the haunting of Borley Rectory .It does not have the modern notions of paranormal activity with its demonic edges and targeted evil. More your almost terribly British bell ringing and table rapping approach to terror. a more mannered expression for a haunting. Mind you there is always the confused otherworldly writing which appears on the walls and the spectrsl nun or abbey sister who seems to glide through the grounds of an evening. Frightening trespassers and nosey locals. 
Neil Sprng unfolds his tale through Sarah Coreys eyes and in doing so brings an unsettling degree of suspect narration. I found myself thinking at times that we are seeing and hearing what she wants and needs to see rather than what was actually happening in front of her eyes. It is not deliberate on her part. This is the world Harry Price navigates through and himself at times becomes the most questionable of narrators. Yet the affection and respect this vivacious young woman feels for her new mentor begs for an honorable reward for her faith and trust. This is the world of The Prestige where things are rarely what they appear to be with genius fraudsters plying the sleightest of hands. 
I was saddened to read now that previous residents of the house not only exaggerated aspects of the famous haunting(Harry Price actually wrote two books on the subject. Something of a personal Everest for him and his methodology.)but actually colluded in in fraudulent behavior faking the haunting. A depressing notion for those who believed the rectory to be the source of true paranormal disturbances. The fact is there are people who want to believe in another life beyond this one and who remain optimistic in the face of much cynicism and scorn, easily mocked and targets for those who would exploit their needs.
It all comes so easil to those like me who were raised as Catholics in a war zone.
We see bloody ghosts everywhere.