*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

A Norfolk poltergeist

by
06 September 2019

September 5th, 1919

STRANGE but not unprecedented things have been happening at Swanton Novers Rectory in Norfolk, where a vigorous and resourceful poltergeist seems to be in possession, having put the rector and his family first to great inconvenience and then to flight. The ingenious but obviously inadequate theories of the surveyor, the educational expert, the mineralogist and the journalist have been daily presented to a wondering public. Stranger still than the occurrences is the fact that up to the time when we write it seems to have escaped the attention of all concerned that the Society for Psychical Research has provided a very complete, though sadly prosaic, explanation of many cases of the kind, and that the aid of their skilled investigators might be invited. At present it seems to be slowly dawning upon a few minds that sandalwood oil, petroleum sufficiently refined to be used in a lamp, petrol and methylated spirits are not natural products of the soil, and that if they were it would not be their habit to find their way to the surface of a ceiling without human assistance. The manifestations are said to accompany a servant girl of fifteen from room to room; we note that the records of the S.P.R. provide several parallel cases. They are sometimes preceded by a hissing sound — such, in fact, as is made by a garden syringe. We fear that the solution of the problem will be far less thrilling than its statement has been.

The Church Times digital archive is available free to subscribers

Forthcoming Events

30 January 2021
How to Rage
An online day conference reflecting on theology, activism and the church.

1 February 2021
Lent Books: Discussion and Readings
Mark Oakley takes a look at this year’s selection of Lent books.

9 February 2021
Festival of Preaching: Preaching in Lent, Holy Week and Easter
A one-day, online festival with worship, lectures and reflection.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)