It is not necessary to believe in ghosts to appreciate a good ghost story. We all believe in death. AUDREY NIFFENEGGER In 1928, Eric and Mabel Smith arrived from India to take over the lonely parish of Borley 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 three months, the Smiths had abandoned it and the Rectory became notorious as the 'most haunted house in England’. Some months later, Reverend Lionel Foyster moved into the Rectory to find a further explosion of poltergeist activity with an increasing violence directed at his attractive young wife. Marianne Foyster 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 then investigated by Harry Price, a self-made 'psychic detective’. With the instincts of a journalist rather than a scientist, Borley was the case that would make Price’s name as the most celebrated ghost-hunter of the age. He recorded the evidence of two hundred witnesses to over two thousand supernatural incidents. This surely confirmed that not only did ghosts exist but, finally, here was proof of life after death. With the pace and tension of a thriller and the uncanny chills of a classic English ghost story, Sean O’Connor vividly brings the story of Borley Rectory to 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.