The Enfield poltergeist case study

Enfield poltergeist

The Enfield Case

Location: Enfield, Middlesex, England

Date: 1977 - 1978

The Enfield poltergeist case took place in a council house in Enfield which was rented out to Peggy Hodgson who was a single parent with four children - these being; Margaret aged 12, Janet aged 11, Johnny aged 10 and Billy aged 7.

Inexplicable noises initially alerted the family to the fact that something strange was happening, shortly after the noises started, furniture is said to have moved by itself, children's toys were thrown around and were too hot to touch when picked up afterwards. Police officers were eventually called to investigate with one of the officers even signing an affidavit - a sworn statement of fact - when she witnessed a wooden chair moving on its own.

Reports of the Enfield poltergeist attracted many visitors including mediums and members of the press. One photographer even claimed to have been hit on the head by a Lego brick. Eventually the Society for Psychical Research (often shortened to SPR) were called to investigate.

The incidents were investigated by Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair during a 13 month period. They came to the conclusion that the phenomena revolved around the two girls, Janet and to a lesser extent, Margaret.

The two investigators documented many alleged phenomena including the movement of objects of varying sizes, bedclothes moving, pools of water appearing on the floor for no reason, ghostly apparitions, physical assaults, graffiti appearing on walls, malfunction and failure of electrical equipment, spontaneous combustion of objects and levitation's of the girls.

ghostThe most impressive phenomena they witnessed was a gruff male voice coming from both the girls. When possessed by this entity, Janet claimed she was a man called "Bill" who had died in the house of a brain hemorrhage, the "Bill" persona had a nasty temper and often made jokes, even calling Grosse "a fucking old sod". At the time, the BBC made recordings of these events but it was later discovered that metal inside of the cameras had been bent and the recordings erased.

In 1980 on ITV news Janet admitted that they did fake phenomena once or twice, it was only to see if Grosse and Playfair would catch them. Even to this day, on the rare occasion that Janet and Margaret are willing to talk about events that took place more than 30 years ago, they still swear that the manifestations were real.

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