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Harry Price

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Harry Price
BornJanuary 17, 1881
DiedMarch 29, 1948 (age 67)

Harry Price (1881 – 1948) was a British psychic researcher and author.


In his autobiography, Search for Truth, Price said the “Great Sequah” in Shrewsbury was "entirely responsible for shaping much of my life’s work", and led to him acquiring the first volume of what would become the Harry Price Library.

Price later became an expert amateur conjurer, joined the Magic Circle in 1922 and maintained a lifelong interest in stage magic and conjuring. His expertise in sleight-of-hand and magic tricks stood him in good stead for what would become his all consuming passion, the investigation of paranormal phenomena.

His first public performance was given on December 2, 1898, at the Amersham Hall, New Cross. At the age of 17, he founded the Carlton Dramatic Society and ran it for several years to the benefit of numerous charities.

Price was Hon. Librarian of the Magicians' Club. He possessed a large collection of magical books and contributed widely to magazines and newspapers[1]

Price's first major success in psychical research came in 1922 when he exposed the 'spirit' photographer William Hope. During the same year, Price traveled to Germany together with Eric Dingwall and investigated Willi Schneider, traveled to Mount Brocken in Germany to conduct a 'black magic' experiment in connection with the centenary of Goethe, involving the transformation of a goat into a young man.

The following year, Price made a formal offer to the University of London to equip and endow a Department of Psychical Research, and to loan the equipment of the National Laboratory and its library. The University of London Board of Studies in Psychology responded positively to this proposal and, in 1934, the University of London Council for Psychical Investigation was formed with Price as Honorary Secretary and Editor. In the meanwhile, in 1927, Price joined the Ghost Club, of which he remained a member until it (temporarily) closed in 1936.

Price's psychical research continued with investigations into Karachi's Indian rope trick and the fire-walking abilities of Kuda Bux in 1935.

In 1936, Price broadcast from a supposedly haunted manor house in Meopham, Kent for the BBC and published The Confessions of a Ghost-Hunter and The Haunting of Cashen's Gap.

In 1937, he conducted further televised experiments into fire-walking with Ahmed Hussain at Carshalton and Alexandra Palace, and also rented Borley Rectory for one year. The following year, Price re-established the Ghost Club, with himself as chairman, modernizing it and changing it from a spiritualist association to a group of more or less open-minded skeptics that gathered to discuss paranormal topics. He was also the first to admit women to the club.

In the same year, Price conducted experiments with Rahman Bey who was 'buried alive' in Carshalton and drafted a Bill for the regulation of psychic practitioners. In 1939, he organized a national telepathic test in the periodical John O'London's Weekly. During the 1940s, Price concentrated on writing and the works The Most Haunted House in England, Poltergeist Over England and The End of Borley Rectory were all published.

Price's archives were deposited with the University of London between 1976 and 1978 by his widow, and include his correspondence, drafts of his publications, papers relating to libel cases, reports on his investigations, press cuttings and photographs.

Published works

  • Revelations of a Spirit Medium, with Eric J. Dingwall, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd, London, hardback, 1922.
  • Cold Light on Spiritualistic "Phenomena" - An Experiment with the Crewe Circle, by Harry Price, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd, 1922.
  • Stella C. An Account of Some Original Experiments in Psychical Research, Hurst & Blackett Ltd., hardback, 1925.
  • Rudi Schneider: A Scientific Examination of his Mediumship, Methuen & Co. Ltd., hardback, 1930.
  • Leaves from a Psychist’s Case Book, by Harry Price, Victor Gollancz Ltd., hardback, 1933.
  • Confessions of a Ghost-Hunter, Putnam & Co. Ltd., London, hardback, 1936.
  • The Haunting of Cashen's Gap: A Modern "Miracle" Investigated - With R.S. Lambert, Methuen & Co. Ltd., hardback, 1936.
  • Fifty Years of Psychical Research: A Critical Survey Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd., hardback, 1939.
  • The Most Haunted House in England: Ten Years' Investigation of Borley Rectory, Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd., hardback, 1940.
  • Search for Truth: My Life for Psychical Research, Collins, London, hardback, 1942.
  • Poltergeist Over England: Three Centuries of Mischievous Ghosts, Country Life Ltd., hardback, 1945.
  • The End of Borley Rectory, Harrap & Co. Ltd., hardback, 1946.
  • Harry Price: The Psychic Detective by Richard Morris, Sutton Publishing hardback, 2006


  • Harry Price, Biography of a Ghost Hunter by Paul Tabori, Athenaem Press, hardback, 1950.
  • Leaves from a Psychist’s Case Book, by Harry Price, Victor Gollancz Ltd., hardback, 1933.
  • Harry Price: The Psychic Detective by Richard Morris, Sutton Publishing hardback, 2006


  1. Tricks That Mystify by Will Goldston (1934)
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