Sunday, 29 April 2012

THE STORY OF THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST

The Enfield Poltergeist was a period of poltergeist activity in England between August 1977 and September 1978, with an added outburst in August 1980.

The said activity occurred at Enfield in North London, in a council house on Green Street rented to Peggy Hodgson, a single parent with four children. During this time furniture is said to have moved by itself, knockings on the walls were heard, and children's toys were said to have been thrown around and to have been too hot to touch when picked up. A police officer signed an affidavit to affirm that she saw a chair move. Reports of the activity attracted various visitors including mediums and members of the press. One photographer reported being hit on the forehead with a Lego brick. After visiting the house, George Fallows, a senior reporter for the Daily Mirror, suggested that the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) be called in to investigate.

 The incidents were duly investigated by Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, both members of SPR, who were convinced by the evidence which they encountered during their thirteen month investigation. They reported witnessing various phenomena, including moving furniture, flying marbles, cold breezes, shallow pools of water appearing on the floor, and fires which spontaneously ignited and extinguished themselves.

Hodgson Family

The family in the Enfield case consisted of a mother, two daughters, and two sons; Margaret aged 12, a younger sister Janet aged 11, Johnny aged 10 and Billy aged 7. Billy had a speech impediment. Johnny featured only marginally in the inexplicable events, at least 26 of which the investigators considered could not be accounted for by fraud. These included movement of small and large objects, interference with bedclothes, pools of water on the floor, apparitions, physical assaults, graffiti, equipment malfunction and failure, spontaneous combustion, disappearance and reappearance of objects, and apparent levitations.


Among other alleged phenomena they witnessed was Janet speaking using her false vocal folds for hours on end (which is believed to be medically impossible), while she was apparently possessed by another entity. When speaking with the false cords Janet said she was "Bill" who had died in the house of a brain haemorrhage. The "Bill" persona habitually made jokes and exhibited a very nasty temper, swearing at Maurice, once calling him "A fucking old sod." A man contacted Grosse, claiming to be Bill's son. Recordings were made of these occurrences. After the BBC went to the house the recording crew found the metal inside of the recording machines bent, and recordings erased.

Here is a compilation of an interview with the poltergeist "Bill" through Janet.
Even now after 30 odd years, the voice of Bill from a child is quite compelling..

 Click to listen to the full interview with a poltergeist (Slow) Can take up to 4 minutes

Further investigations by Anita Gregory and John Beloff, also from the SPR, were less positive. They spent a few days with the family and came to the conclusion that the children had faked the poltergeist activity after they found them bending spoons themselves. One of the children (Janet) admitted to Gregory that they had fabricated some of the occurrences. This admission was repeated on the ITV News (12 June 1980) when she stated: "Oh yeah, once or twice [we faked phenomena], just to see if Mr Grosse and Mr Playfair would catch us. And they always did."

After writing a feature on supernatural activity for Loaded magazine, journalist Will Storr included a retrospective investigation of the events and conflicting personalities involved in the Enfield case in his book Will Storr Versus the Supernatural. The book comes to no positive conclusions regarding the truth of the haunting but throws considerable light on the personalities involved, particularly those of Maurice Grosse and Anita Gregory.


A reconstruction of the poltergeist interview

Article originally published in Ghost Tales blog - now transferred.

Thanks For Making This Possible! Kindly Bookmark and Share it.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble Facebook Twitter