Those of us interested in matters arcane and occult will be familiar with the name of Doctor Jacob Tordoff. When we meet he can usually be relied upon to relate some story of strange and ghostly happenings. How many are strictly true I couldn’t say, but there are times when his eyes betray the wild and haunted look of a man who has looked deep into places more rational souls would avoid or deny.

On his last visit he sat in his familar place on the battered chaise longue (formerly the seat of certain others of his ilk now passed to the great beyond; but that’s another story). As I reverently unscrewed the cap of his personal bottle of 18-year-old Triple Cask Macallan, he pulled from his shabby overcoat a small wooden box, tightly bound with string.

He placed the box before him on the table then paused to watch as I poured three fingers of the fragrant amber liquid into his crystal Lalique nosing and tasting glass. Did I perceive a slight tremor in his hand as he picked up the glass and took a deep, appreciative sniff? Was there a story which troubled him that he needed to tell?

He took a small sip, replaced the glass on the table and picked up the curious box, turning it in his hands for what seemed like several minutes before he apparently made a decision. With shaking fingers he undid the knot in the string and unwound it from the box.

“You’ll have heard stories of the hauntings at Borley Rectory?” he remarked.

“Of course,” I replied, relaxing. I’m afraid I’m something of a sceptic when it comes to Borley Rectory stories. Borley Rectory was a Victorian house that became known (or infamous) as ‘the most haunted house in England’ after being described as such by ‘psychic researcher’ Harry Price. Fascinating as the imaginative, or credulous, Mr Price’s stories are, they are now rejected by serious researchers into such matters.

Borley3

Paranormal image taken at Borley Rectory

 

“Ah, but this has nothing to do with illicit monastic relationships and bricked-up nuns,” continued Doctor Tordoff, staring down at the box gripped in his calloused hands. His thumbs pressed down on the box lid as if he were afraid that the contents would somehow burst forth from its confines….

What did the box contain? What was Doctor Tordoff’s story? And why was this seasoned dabbler into arcane thaumaturgy so disturbed by such a seemingly innocuous object? For the answer to this and many other questions, come and see us at Blackpool.