An Addition to the Ghost Hunter Hall of Fame

Yesterday, I inducted Ada Goodrich-Freer into the Ghost Hunter Hall of Fame. She was kind of overdue, seeing as her investigations include important haunted sites such as Hampton Court Palace, Clandon Park, and Ballechin House. Goodrich-Freer is often considered something of a fraud, though, and indeed she always seems to have encountered something ghostly on her investigations, even if it wasn’t the target ghost. At Hampton Court Palace, for instance, she met a spirit who wasn’t among the more famous ghosts there.

Ada Goodrich Freer
Ada Goodrich-Freer (1857-1930) a.k.a. Miss X or simply X

She’s probably best remembered for her involvement in the investigation of Ballechin House, which spanned about three months with various interested ghost hunters coming and going. Goodrich-Freer remained there to serve as coordinator. Things turned sour when one of the visiting investigators wrote a London Times article about how the investigation was all much ado about water pipes. What was meant to be a discreet operation became very, very public, and Goodrich-Freer was made to look rather foolish. Her membership with the Society of Psychical Research was revoked, and her ghost-hunting career seems to have come to an end.

You can read all the details — and find links to online scans of relevant Victorian publications — on this page. Wander down the Ghost Hunter Hall of Fame here, and read about the soon-to-be-released book that got me thinking about Goodrich-Freer here.

— Tim

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