The Day Borley Church Gave Up Its Ghost! Some time in the mid-1980’s, a remarkable photograph was taken at random in Borley churchyard (on the north side) by a woman visitor from Leicester. This photo shows the clear figure (but the top half only!) of a man dressed unmistakably in Puritan costume also wearing an unpleasant, glowering expression.

Some years ago a tall figure in Puritan costume had been glimpsed briefly in the main doorway of Borley Church by a lady who was arranging flowers on the altar on a summer’s afternoon. Shortly before the sitting that had been convened by retired priest and well known paranormal researcher Reverend John Dening, medium Reverend Deanna Sparks was standing near the small side door near the altar on the south side of the church. She became aware of a tall figure dressed in black, and wearing a pointed Puritan hat moving down the aisle towards the west end. Could this be the legendary John Deeks?
According to the historical list of Rectors in Borley Church, John Deeks became Rector in 1642, at the start of the Civil War, replacing Robert Warren, who’d been Rector since 1607. He remained in situ for 18 years, but was presumably kicked out in 1660 at the Restoration of the Monarchy, when Robert Warren’s name reappears.
Research carried out some twenty years ago revealed that he was indeed highly unpopular with the people of the parish, being widely regarded as an ‘intruder’ and ‘obnoxious minister’. It is not known how or when he passed over, but, while some would suggest that he may well have met a violent end, it certainly seems likely that his death was sudden and unprepared, and that his state of mind would have made him a prime candidate to become earthbound. This condition precipitated usually by extreme possessiveness of earthly power and position.
Deanna, along with her partner, Reverend Peter Sparks, has undertaken a great deal of rescue work in association with Reverend Dening, both in England and abroad. This particular 20 minute ‘sitting’ – during which all the participants actually stood – was recorded, and here is the fascinating transcript…
Soon after the medium had entered a state of trance, it became clear that the spirit of John Deeks, former Rector of Borley from 1642 to 1660, had assumed control. A very brief contact was made with him on a previous visit, before an unfortunate interruption caused a prompt termination of the sitting and this was now being continued.
John Deeks: “Who are you?” (in an aggressive tone).
Peter: “My name’s Peter.”
J.D. “What are you doing here?
P. “We’ve come to speak to you.”
John Denning (J.C.D.) “We are happy to see you, John.”
J.D. (Aggressively) “It’s my church. It’s mine, you know.”
P. “When was that? It’s a long while ago, wasn’t it?”
J.D. “It’s mine still. It will always be mine.”
J.C.D. “Was this in the time of the Protector, Cromwell?”
P. “It’s going back a bit, isn’t it? We’ve come to see if we can help you, John.”
J.D. (Contemptuously) “I don’t need any help.”
P. “Is it dark where you are? You’ve come to our light, haven’t you?”
J.D. “Why are you here?”
P. “We’ve come to help you towards the light, John.”
J.D. “What light?”
P. “The Christ light.”
J.C.D. “The light of God.”
P. “You are a God fearing man, John. You were the Rector here, weren’t you?”
J.D. “Fearing is the word.”
P. “There is nothing to fear from God.”
J.D. “Oh, but there is.”
J.D. “The wrath of God… (rest of sentence indecipherable).
J.C.D. “God’s love is greater than His wrath, you see, John.”
J.D. “I’ve seen little of his Love.”
P. “You will do, if you look for the light, John.”
J.D. “What light.”
P. “A pin prick of light. Rather like our light but much more pure. Look for it.”
J.D. “I haven’t got time for these things.”
P.”Yes you have, you’ve got all the time in the world. We’ve come specially to help you.”
J.D. “Why should I want this light?”
P. “Because it will move you forward, move you forward into God’s love. Don’t you want to be there?”
J.C.D. “Many hears have passed – we must tell you this – and we speak to you from another time, a later time, you know. You don’t understand this. You are still here because you like to be here; you feel it is your church. It was your church, but 350 years have passed; it is the year 2004.”
P. (Trying to reassure him). “Steady, John.”
J.C.D. “It is very difficult for him.”
J.D. (In very distressed and worried tone). “What is this 2004 that you speak of?”
P. “The new millennium”*
J.D. “Not in my time - never, never.”
P. “You need to move on. Come on, John, do me a favour: look for the light.”
J.D. “You come, here, you try to move me from my church.
P. “No, we’re not trying to move you from your church, we’re trying to move you to the light. You’ll still be able to come back to your church. It will still be here. We’re trying to move you to the light, John. Come on John, just look for it. Can’t you see?”
J.D. (With a sudden change of tone). “It’s a long time since I’ve seen God’s light.”
J.C.D. “There will be real happiness for you, John.”
J.D. (In sad, resigned voice). “Me, I have never known happiness.”
P. “It is time for you to move forward, John.” (Indistinct mumblings from J.D.)
“All those things will be sorted out, when you move to God’s light; all those things will be washed away. It is there for you to find. Can you see it, John?”
J.D. (Abruptly) “No”.
P. “Have a look. Very small but it will grow, once you recognise it and find it. Have a look. Can you see it?” (J.D. now murmuring in agreement).
J.C.D. “Light is good, it is always good.”
J.D. “I am afeared.
P. “Don’t be afeared of it. We wouldn’t come here to make you frightened John. We’ve come to help you. We’ll come with you; we’ll stay with you till you enter the light. You will feel at peace at long last.”

* The word “millennium” would probably be associated in John Deeks’ mind with the end of the world, and/or the Second Coming.



J.D. “They hated me, you know. (In bitter tone). They despised me, each one of them. They only came out of fear.”
P. “It’s all in the past.”
J.D. “I despised them too.”
P. (With emphasis). “You may have done, but that is in the past. It doesn’t matter now; what matters now is that you are progressing John.”
J.D. “(Surprised). “Progression?”
P. “Progression into the light, that light that you can see… draw it closer to yourself…move forward, move forward to be at peace.”
J.D. “It is becoming bigger.”
P. (Coaxing). “Come on, John.”
J.D. “This is the way?”
P. “This is the way for you.”
J.D. “No harm will befall me?”
P. “No harm will befall you. You will not feel harm, you will feel peace and love.”
J.D. (one of two words indistinct). “I will go ahead.”
P. “Are you in the light?”
J.D. (In much calmer tone). “It is warm.”
P. “Can you feel that love beginning to invade you?” (J.D. emits a contented sigh).
P. “Isn’t it wonderful? (J.D. utters an indistinguishable word twice).
P. “Move forward, John, with our love and our blessing.” (Uttering contented sighs, J.D. withdraws from the medium.
Another unknown spirit soon took over control.
Voice: “God bless you, my children. I thank you for coming. Thank you for doing this deed. This one has been awaiting help for many, many years. We have been trying from the spirit side of life to instrument a relief for this poor soul who has been there these many years, and we are grateful to you all for bringing your love and compassion here to help this lost soul.”
P. “We have tried on numerous occasions (to arrange a visit).”
Voice: “We are fully aware of that, my son; and so, as we knew this was the time, we have tried to bring it about for you all to be here. We cannot order people’s lives, you know, but we can try to impress upon them, and this is what we have done. Many, many blessings from all those loved ones in spirit, who have been instrumental in bringing about this change here. We leave our love and blessings with you all.”
P. “Thank you for coming, friend.”
J.C.D.”Can you tell us your name?”
Voice: “My name is not important. I am a servant of Our Lord, and I have been chosen to be a spokesperson.”
This spirit then withdrew from the medium and the sitting terminated.

To many visitors, Borley is famous for being haunted. The old Rectory, known as the most haunted house in England, stood opposite the church on the south side of the road. It was destroyed by fire in 1939.


In remembrance of past worshippers at Borley Church by W.H. Draper.
“These stones that have echoed their praises are holy,
And dear is the ground where their feet have once trod;
Yet here they confessed they were strangers and pilgrims.
And still they were seeking the City of God.”