Now no longer in existence, Borley Rectory was known as the most haunted house in England. It stood on the border between Suffolk and Essex and even now, more than seventy years after it burnt down in a fire in 1939, it is still a subject of heated debate between believers in the paranormal and the sceptics.
Many books have been written about the alleged hauntings, which include a nun, a little old man and a sixteenth century recusant knight. And it was this knight and my interest in him which sparked my passion for gay historical romances and stories.
It was in March 2009 when I last visited Borley and found the inspiration for a story about one of
the alleged ghosts.
I was accompanied by my two nieces, Linda and Heather on this trip and it was a chance
remark by Heather which gave me the title for the story. She had been studying the map for directions and informed her sister and I that, with junctions and turn offs etc, there were Twenty Three Steps to Borley.
And there it was, the title for my story. But it was to be another two years before it made it onto paper, or more accurately, lap top screen.
But what of who, I wondered, was my story going to be about. Oh, the possibilities were endless of course thanks to the village’s past and it’s reputation as a hot spot for ghosts and apparitions. But should I write about the nun, the little old man, (presumably a long dead gardner) the Reverend Bull and his family, who lived there in the nineteenth century. Or perhaps the neurotic Marianne Forster who’s name was scribbled on the wall by an unseen hand. (see illustration below)
In January, 2011 my Muse made an appearance bringing with him (yes, my Muse is a fella) Sir Edward Waldegrave, squire of Borley.
Top, Borley Rectory in the 19th century
Centre, The River Stour nr Borley
Above, The Writing on The Wall
All images by Google Images.
To see more about Borley see here;