An old school ghost hunter through pictures: Harry Price

22nd March 2023. Reading Time: 3 minutes General. 2087 page views. 0 comments.

Harry Price is one of the most well-known paranormal investigators in history.  Long before paranormal reality television shows, Price made a name for himself for his investigations into psychical phenomena and exposing fraudulent psychic mediums. Let's take a look at some of his work through photographs.

Harry Price is one of the most well-known paranormal investigators in history.  Long before paranormal reality television shows, Price made a name for himself for his investigations into psychical phenomena and exposing fraudulent psychic mediums.  Working as a salesman and an interest in archaeology kept Price busy, Price became an amateur conjurer, learning stage magic which he would later find useful as a tool to debunk fake psychic mediums.  In 1920, Price joined the Society for Psychical research.  While he had used his knowledge of sleight of hand to defraud psychic mediums, he also found some he believed to be genuine who he went on to endorse.  His first major reveal was exposing famous spirit photographer William Hope.  

A "Spirit photograph" taken by the Crewe Circle, and the known paranormal hoaxer William Hope. Taken in 1922, this picture depicts paranormal investigator Harry Price and a supposed spirit. It was later shown that Hope had substituted the photographic plates that he was given for ones that had been tampered with to create the illusion of the second figure in this picture.

Price went on to leave the SPR due to disagreements about Price paying psychic mediums to test their abilities.  In 1925 he formed the National Laboratory of Psychical Research.  He was however most famous for his work investigating the infamous Borley Rectory dubbed England's Most Haunted House.  He lived at the property for a year where he documented his experiences and went on to write a book about it.  

Let's take a journey with one of the World's most famous ghost hunters through photographs.

Psychical Research

A photo from 1926 taken by Price offers a glimpse inside the National Laboratory of Psychical Research's Seance Room.  This is a facility that was founded by Price in 1925 in London.  Its aim was to "investigate in a dispassionate manner and by purely scientific means every phase of psychic or alleged psychic phenomena."

Here is a photograph from 1931 of Price testing Pasquale Erto who would later be found to be a fraudulent medium.

Ghost Hunting Kits

First up is a look at Price in his natural habitat, his office!  Taken in 1947 by Noel F. Busch, we see a glimpse of what an old-school ghost-hunting kit would look like!

Here is a close-up of Price's kit with a photograph taken by Price himself.  Harry Price's ghost-hunting kit, which amongst other things contained both reflex & cinematograph cameras, tools for sealing doors & windows, apparatus for secret electrical controls, steel tape, drawing instruments, torch, a bottle of mercury and powdered graphite for developing fingerprints.

The first live stream?

Harry Price carrying out a B.B.C. radio broadcast from a manor house in Meopham, Kent on March 10th, 1936. This was the first time that an investigation into a haunting had been broadcast 'live'.

The Brocken Experiment

In 1932, Harry Price travelled to Germany to partake in a ritualistic experiment with the aim to turn a goat into a real live boy. He wrote about it in his book Confessions of a ghost hunter published in 1936.  You can read more about this in my article The Brocken Experiment

Haunted Objects

Harry Price with C.E.M. Joad in an allegedly haunted bed in a house in Chiswick, London.

The Ghost Club

Harry Price presiding over a dinner at the Ghost Club - November 1st, 1938. Price had revived the organisation earlier the same year and had taken on the role of Chairman.

** All photographs used are public domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/

You can read more about Harry Price and read his books

LLIFS Resource Directory:Revelations of a spirit medium

LLIFS Resource Directory:Fifty Years of Psychical Research: A Critical Survey by Harry Price

Links to Public Domain Books

References

https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/national-laboratory-psychical-researchnlpr

http://www.harrypricewebsite.co.uk/

https://commons.wikimedia.org/

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