A Modern Day Poltergeist
Approximate Reading Time Seven Minutes
The Enfield Poltergeist Still a Mystery
The strange case of the Enfield Poltergeists baffles experts who investigate. This highly publicized event has perplexed paranormal researchers for decades. Two world-famous investigators, Ed and Lorrain Warren, visited Enfield to offer their assistance. After investigating, the Warren’s were convinced the phenomena was real, and later, Ed even wrote a book on the events that took place. Others are not so sure.
What Is a Poltergeist?
So, what is a poltergeist spirit anyway? It’s believed by the paranormal community, that a poltergeist is merely a manifestation of an invisible spirit agent which moves objects, creates chaos, or even causes events of levitation.
Interestingly a poltergeist spirit is believed to be created by a young person who is angry, repressed, or emotionally charged. This individual is not usually aware of being the cause of the phenomena. Poltergeist activity usually stems from an adolescent’s unconscious mind; however, recorded similar events have shown no younger person present.
The Enfield Poltergeist was a period of apparent poltergeist activity in England between August 1977 and September 1978, with another paranormal event in August of 1980. The paranormal activity occurred at Enfield, North London, a council house rented to Peggy Hodgson. Peggy was a newly single parent with four children.
The Enfield Poltergeist Demonstrated Strange Phenomena
During this time furniture moved by itself, loud knocking was heard, and children’s toys were said to have been thrown around and to have been too hot to the touch when picked up. A police officer signed an affidavit to affirm that she saw a chair moving. Reports of the activity attracted curious visitors as well as mediums and members of the press.
The Society for Psychical Research Gets Involved
After visiting the house George Fallows, a senior reporter for the Daily Mirror suggested that the Society for Psychical Research in Britain (SPR) be called in to investigate.
As it turned out, Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, both members of SPR, were dispatched to investigate the strange activity. After five months of serious investigation, both became convinced the phenomenon was real. They reported witnessing moving furniture, the children levitating, flying marbles, cold breezes, shallow pools of water appearing on the floor, and fires that spontaneously ignited and then extinguished themselves.
The Family of the Enfield Poltergeist
The family in the Enfield Case centered around a mother, two daughters, and two sons; Margaret, aged 12, a younger sister Janet 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 levitation.
The bulk of the activity seemed to be centered around pre-teen Janet. Initially, Janet’s mother believed that Janet was acting out emotionally and playing pranks. However, things began to worsen, and it soon became evident that none of the children could be responsible for the even stranger events that were starting to unfold.
Among other alleged phenomena they witnessed, was Janet speaking using her false vocal cords for hours on end (which is thought to be medically impossible), while she was supposedly possessed by another entity. When speaking with the false cords she said that she was “Bill” who had died in the house. Importantly, recordings were made of this astounding event.
The BBC Investigates
After the BBC went to the house, the recording crew found that metal components inside the recording machines were impossibly bent and recordings erased. However, further investigations by Anita Gregory and John Beloff were not convinced the activity was genuine.
The pair spent a few days with the family and concluded that the children had faked the poltergeist activity after they found them bending spoons. One of the children (Janet) later admitted to Gregory that they had indeed 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.”
Journalist, Will Storr
After writing a feature story for Loaded Magazine on supernatural activity, journalist Will Storr included a retrospective investigation of Enfield’s events and the many investigators involved in his book, Will Storr Versus the Supernatural. Storr has no real conclusions regarding the truth of the haunting, but throws considerable light on the many investigators involved, particularly Maurice Grosse and Anita Gregory.
Margaret has publicly stated that although they did fake a few paranormal events to “catch the investigators out,“ they were not responsible for all the phenomena that occurred. She’s also emphatically publicly stated that “It is ridiculous to suggest that either my sister or I could have been responsible for all the strange activity that went on in our house.” However, despite this declaration, there remain differences of interpretation regarding whether the girls faked all the paranormal events or not.
Another resource: Wikipedia Enfield Poltergeist