The Enfield Poltergeist Day 4 of our Ghost Stories, today we look at the famous yet controversial case of “The Enfield poltergeist” The Enfield poltergeist was a claim of supernatural activity at 284 Green Street, a council house in Brimsdale Enfield, London, England, between 1977 and 1979 involving two sisters, aged 11 and 13. In August 1977 single parent Peggy Hodgson called police to her rented home in Enfield claiming she had witnessed furniture moving and that two of her four children said that knocking sounds were heard on walls. The children included Margaret, age 13, and Janet, 11. A police officer said that she saw a chair “wobble and slide” but “could not determine the cause of the movement”. Later claims included disembodied voices, loud noises, thrown toys, overturned chairs, and children levitating. Over a period of 18 months, more than 30 people, including neighbours, psychic researchers and journalists, said they variously saw heavy furniture moving of its own accord, objects being thrown across a room and the daughters seeming to levitate several feet off the ground. Many also heard and recorded knocking noises and a gruff voice. https://youtu.be/U805DUGLIvc
It’s a haunting story (no pun intended) IF true. To understand this story we have to look at the claims made by the family before we can dissect any evidence!
In 1977 when Peggy Hodgson, a single mother of four children, heard loud noises coming from her daughter’s bedroom. When she went to tell her daughter’s Margaret, 12 and Janet, 11, to settle down and go to sleep, instead of rough-housing, she found them huddled in the corner with terrified expressions on their faces. “We [told our mom] the chest of drawers was moving toward the bedroom door” claimed Janet. But Peggy then witnessed the drawers moving herself, in the direction of the door by a seemingly invisible force, almost as if some supernatural presence was trying to trap the girls in the room. And when she went to try and push back against the dresser, it wouldn’t budge. Terrified, the Hodgson family ran across the street to ask for help from the neighbors, Vic and Peggy Nottingham. When Vic went into the house to investigate, he too said he heard strange noises coming from around the home. The Hodgsons called the police, and even though one officer claimed to have seen a chair move clear across the room, they deduced that it was not a police matter. According to the family, that was just the beginning of what would become their nearly 18-month haunting. When the strange incidents continued, Peggy decided to call a popular U.K. publication, the Daily Mirror, to come and investigate the supposed supernatural occurrences. But when the reporter arrived, the house sat silent for hours. It wasn’t until the reporter was about to leave that something happened. The Daily Mirror called the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), who sent Grosse to investigate the case. During his stay at the house, Grosse has said he witnessed more than 2,000 different incidents of supernatural activity. It was during his time in the house that the supposed poltergeist started speaking through Janet. The young girl would often go into a trance-like state where she would speak in deep, scratchy voice, claiming to be the ghost of a man named Bill Wilkens, who had died in the house years before. (It was later proven that a man by that name was once a resident of the home and did in fact die of a hemorrhage while sitting in the living room.) The ghost would reportedly “talk” through Janet for hours at a time. https://youtu.be/azzDY15ck80 Throughout the 18-month period, a number of additional paranormal researchers visited the house – including famed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, they publicly stated that they were convinced that the supernatural were responsible for the strange happenings inside the house. “Those who deal with the supernatural day in and day out know the phenomena are there – there’s no doubt about it,” Ed claimed.
Well like I said, if these claims are true this sounds like busiest poltergeist I’ve ever heard of, if Grosse claimed to have seen over 2000 pieces of paranormal active it’s hard to believe none of those moments were captured! Sceptics have the right to be asking for proof especially after, Janet admitted that she and her siblings fabricated a few events. “Oh yeah, once or twice (we faked it) just to see if Mr. Grosse would catch us. Later she said about “two percent” of the events in the house were faked. Yet again we are faced with another famous case with little evidence and with the admission of some activity faked by the family it’s hard to give a conclusive opinion.
Nearly 40 years later, Janet and Margaret say that while they’ve managed to move on from the traumatic time in their life, the haunting “stays with you.” “It stays with you. Every step of the way,” claimed Margaret. “It’s just like a death really, it gets a little bit easier as time goes on. But the fear and the memories of it and what happened never leaves you.”
FACTS/STATEMENTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
The mother On the night of 31 August 1977, Peggy Hodgson entered her children’s bedroom to find the dressing table moving across the room. In a recorded interview, she recalls what happened: “I just couldn’t believe it – in fact I pushed it back twice, and a third time I couldn’t move it.” The uncanny event was accompanied by repeated knocking noises, so Hodgson sent for her neighbour. The neighbour Vic Nottingham was no better placed to explain what he witnessed: “I heard the knocking as I walked in the front door… I went all over the house, just couldn’t make out what it was so in the end I thought… there’s only one thing, I’ll call the police.”
The police constable WPC Carolyn Heeps was first on the scene and described seeing a chair sliding across the room: “It came off the floor, maybe a half inch I should say, and I saw it slide off to the right about three-and-a-half to four feet before it came to rest.” With the police at a loss for what to do, the Daily Mirror was called.
The press photographer Photo-journalist Graham Morris, then of the Daily Mirror, recalls what happened when a call came through to the newspaper, and he was dispatched to the Hodgsons’ house on an assignment that he now describes as “life-changing”. It was clear that the uncanny happenings were occurring when the children were there. Morris stood in the gloom in the kitchen and one by one they brought the children in, asleep in adults’ arms: “The last one to come in was Janet. Suddenly things just took off, and just started flying around the room… I got hit by a Lego brick over my right eye.” He is convinced that the objects weren’t being thrown. He moved to the corner to have a clear view of every person there: “None of them were doing anything.” Graham also describes a sequence of photos that he took at the time of Janet “levitating” – although he wasn’t actually present in the room with the camera. In the photo Janet looks to have “come up from a prone position, flying across the room, and she’s in mid-air.” The psychic researcher Maurice Grosse, from the Society for Psychical Research, was the examiner leading the investigation. in an interview at the time, he explained what met his eyes: “I have actually seen, myself, marbles being thrown about. I have seen the door moving without any help. I have also experienced the reduction of temperature.” In early November, 1977, Grosse confronted the presence in the living room: “As I asked the question, ‘Are you having a game with me?’ it threw the cardboard box and the pillow right in my face.” The “ghost” A gruff, manly voice began to be heard when the children were present in the room, appearing to emanate from behind Janet Hodgson, who said it felt like the voice was coming from the back of her neck. The voice identified itself as a former resident of the house – Bill Wilkins – who had died at the age of 72. He was cross-examined by Richard Grosse, and asked if he remembered how he died. He replied, “I had a haemorrhage, and I fell asleep, and I died in a chair, in the corner downstairs.” The voice also announced: “I’m invisible… because I’m a G.H.O.S.T.” The story – of dying in a corner seat in the living room – was later corroborated by Mr Wilkins’s son Terry. The daughters Janet and Margaret Hodgson, the two daughters at the centre of the case, were recently interviewed about their experiences all those years ago. Margaret recounts that “we was all in a terrible state, very scared and tired of it, and it got worse as the time went on.” Janet sums it up by saying, “I was used and abused – there was levitation, there was the voices and then there was… the curtain that wrapped itself around my neck, which was quite life-threatening for me, and it brought it home to me – that this could kill you.”
Was it really a poltergeist? Was this a true phenomenon of the paranormal? Or could the activity be blamed on human mischief-making? There were many bystanders who thought the family invented it all, using basic conjuring tricks, in order to get a new and better council house. But although Mrs Hodgson was a single mother with four children, Roz Morris disputes this possible motivation: “She had a good house, as far as she was concerned, and in fact she stayed in it – that’s where she died in 2003.” The journalist admits that at the beginning she herself was extremely sceptical and looking out for any ways in which “trickery” could be involved, but she found Mrs Hodgson to be sincere and undoubtedly “very frightened”. Richard Crosse rules out a financial motive: “They never made any money out of it.” Graham Morris backs this up, maintaining that “cheque book journalism” simply didn’t exist in those days. Richard Crosse rejects claims that Janet Hodgson had Tourette’s Syndrome: “This voice, once it started to go… would talk incessantly for two, three hours.” And his father Maurice said the same of ventriloquism: “To keep up this particular type of voice for any length of time without any damage to the vocal chords is absolutely impossible.” Janet, the victim of the “haunting”, takes a robust view of the sceptics: “I don’t care what they think, I know what happened and I know it was real.” Whatever the explanation, the story that inspired a number of documentaries and films looks set to remain a fascination for many years to come.
This is one of the hardest cases to give my Opinion on, as much as believe poltergeist activity can occur, the amount of claims seem very fabricated especially after the media was called. If claims are true this is one of the most prolific hauntings on record! And the family since that now live there claim The house WAS haunted and paranormal activity did occurred when they first moved in, but that his in fact stopped since and no activity occurs to this day. What happened to the Enfield Poltergeist still remains unclear. In 1979 journalists stopped reporting on the case. However, at some point since then it seems Janet was no longer possessed, Whether the ghost existed or may still be trapped inside the property remains unknown.
AFTER DARK PARANORMAL UK