An Account of Certain Psychical Researches Undertaken By This Society at Harrowing Hall
By Dr. James Cowslip, SPR Secretary
In this article, I had hoped to set before my learned colleagues the last part of the Society’s researches into the phenomena that have for centuries been reported at Harrowing Hall (seat of the Glowries, the Earls of Baneshire). It is my painful duty instead to report that much of the data we have gathered thus far, and which I have reported in previous articles, may be irredeemably Tainted. In my opinion, Gentlemen and Learned Ladies, we would be unwise to rely on any of it.
I do not question our methods. I do not question our veracity. Were I to question anything, it would be the wisdom of Lord Baneshire’s decision to allow a house-party to be contemporaneous with our visit. I am not, of course, questioning Lord Baneshire’s wisdom; it merely occurs to me that is a thing I could question, if I felt so inclined.
I have already remarked that the house-party seemed to include some Bright Young Things. They have giggled, flirted, and scoffed their way through our most serious and solemn experiments. Now it is clear that there has been what Inspector Fallon (whose relevance will become clear soon) has called “Goings-On” of a graver character even than this.
You have, presumably, read by now of the two tragic deaths that have occurred at Harrowing Hall since our Society began our experiments there. Indeed, I included the first of these deaths myself, in my second article. Lord Glowry, oldest son of Lord Baneshire and heir to the title, died, apparently naturally, in his sleep; The White Lady was seen to Walk that night at about the time of Lord Glowry’s death, as the legend says she ought to walk, to presage the death of the heir.
All of this seemed in order.
We proceeded with our research. Madame Crepusky, a medium of unparalleled Ability, who has been rigorously Tested by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and declared a “true medium,” did us the honour of aiding us in this great work. On the night of January the 22nd, we gathered in the Library of Harrowing Hall, and attempted to Make Contact with The Beyond. Madame Crepusky had slipped into a Trance State, and was relaying a Message from Lord Glowry (he assured us that he was “very happy”), when someone screamed. I felt the hand I held (for of course we were holding hands; it is, as I need not remind my readers, Standard Practice) in my right hand go limp; we all heard a heavy body fall to the floor. Someone turned the lights on, and we found Sir Samuel Startle, Baronet, stabbed through the heart, lying on the Library floor.
The Chief Constable (Sir Reginald Bluffork, who is a member of our Society and was present at Harrowing Hall for the seance) made the decision to call in Scotland Yard at once, and Inspector Fallon arrived the next day. Within minutes of his arrival, the body of Lord Glowry was exhumed, and it was discovered that he had died of Arsenic Poisoning, probably administered in the glass of whiskey he was accustomed to keep by his bed.
And now, perhaps, you will see why I have Grave Doubts about our observations at Harrowing Hall. Was the figure gliding down the corridor outside of Lord Glowry’s rooms that of The White Lady, or was it the figure of a Murderer, cynically taking advantage of the White Lady legend in order to mask his Wicked Purpose? What other Phenomena described by me in previous issues of this Learned Journal are rightly classed under the category of “Goings On”?
(Continued on Page 27)
Notes: I must borrow the last several issues of this journal from Mother, though I fear that Deceit will be required in order to do so. She won’t let them out of her hands into the hands of an Unbeliever (which she has me firmly classed as; unfair, and untrue, for I am Willing To Be Convinced by Hard Facts, but Mothers will be Mothers). What a Triumph it would be, to solve the case merely by studying these reports!