Bealings Bells was the name given to an unexplained ringing of house bells at the home of Major Edward Moor, Bealings House in the village of Great Bealing, Suffolk. An early example of what would today be called a poltergeist incident, it came to public attention through a letter written by the major to the Ipswich Journal, published on 1 March 1834:
A circumstance of an unaccountable nature has recently occurred in my house … On 2nd inst. returning from the afternoon service I was told the dining room bell had been rung three times, at intervals, between two and five o’clock. At this, the servants left in the house, a man and a woman, were surprised; no personal cause being perceptible, though sought. — Major Edward Moor
The ringing continued for fifty-four days, but on 27 March it ceased as suddenly as it had begun. Despite his investigative efforts the major could not explain the phenomenon, stating that “I am thoroughly convinced that the ringing is by no human agency”. Such was the public interest in the case that Major Moor published a book on his own experience and that of others in Bealings Bells: An account of the mysterious ringing of bells, at Great Bealings, Suffolk, in 1834; and in other parts of England: with relations of farther … unaccountable occurrences, in various places, published in 1841.
The author and paranormal sceptic Trevor Henry Hall concluded that Major Moor was the butt of a practical joke by one of his servants, and that he could not be considered a reliable witness. The author Daniel Cohen wrote that there was “more than a suspicion” that Moor had played a joke on everyone, and his book “may have been conceived as a gentle satire on investigations of other odd phenomena.”
Ronald Pearsall, a social historian and member of the Society for Psychical ResearchRegistered charity founded in 1882 to conduct scientific investigations into psychic and paranormal phenomena., has described the case of Bealings Bells as “a classic example of pure poltergeist”, which he explains as meaning that “there were unexplained noises, that they were recorded enthusiastically and unobjectively, [and] that observation was slack, amateurish and arbitrary”.
Alexander, Marc. A Companion to the Folklore, Myths & Customs of Britain. Sutton Publishing, 2002.
Cohen, Daniel. In Search of Ghosts. Dodd Mead, 1972.
Hall, Trevor Henry. New Light on Old Ghosts. Gerald Duckworth & Co., 1965.
Pearsall, Ronald. Table-Rappers: The Victorians and the Occult. The History Press, 2004.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.