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  • Council Séance Over Haunted House June 24, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback

    Beach has only once been to Bedfordshire, a tiny English county near London. He got stuck in its chief town, Luton, took a room in a sordid pub (the bookshelf had a rack full of well-thumbed pornographic magazines – if only Tripadvisor had been around…) and missed his bus.* In any case, enough of Luton. We head to Aspley Guise, once on the western Marches of Bedfordshire and a weird haunting that gets confused with local politics. This report comes from that rather thick file of haunted houses that are difficult to rent. These include tenants who complained about ghosts to their landlords; landlords who took non-rent paying haunted tenants to court; etc etc. Here, though, we have an owner asking for a reduction in tax payable to the council because his house was said to be haunted. The reason for this was that the house would be worth less, therefore, the ‘rates’ should have been, in the view of the owner, lower. So far, frankly so normal. Lots of such stories. What is unusual is the reaction of the local housing committee. Typically they ignored the request or investigated the request then ignored it. Here the Assessments Committee has a séance! The date was fall 1947.

    No skeleton lovers or phantom horsemen showed themselves to a party of ghost hunters who sat in seance at Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire, last night and in the early hours of to-day. The ‘ghost hunt’ was the idea of Councillor W. H. Richards, a member of Luton Assessments Committee, after a house-owner had applied for a reduction in his assessment on account of stories that the house was haunted. Councillor Richards said today that he felt the seance had showed ‘some influence’ was present, but he was not completely satisfied. He hoped to hold another seance before reporting to the Assessment Committee on October 16.

    Mother of God! Can anyone compete with this? drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com

    The seance took place in late September 1947. A second seance, reported 11 Oct, revealed a frightening face and a legend about Dick Turpin. 17 Oct the housing committee met and rejected the claims. Councillor W. H. Richards proposed a third seance… He sounds like a local eccentric.

    *It would take a Kafka-Eliot-Lovecraft hybrid to do full justice to the horror of Luton bus station. There are mass graves in Bosnia, dentist waiting rooms in Paris, rubbish heaps in Ontario that have chilled this blogger’s heart: but nothing quite comes close to the steel girders of that dreadful place.