The Enfield haunting, one of the most famous and well-documented cases of poltergeist activity in history. The Enfield haunting took place between 1977 and 1979 at 284 Green Street, a council house in Brimsdown, Enfield, London, England. The alleged poltergeist activity centred on two sisters, Janet (11) and Margaret Hodgson (13), who lived with their single mother Peggy and two brothers.
The Hodgsons reported a variety of strange phenomena, such as furniture moving and levitating, objects being thrown across the room, knocking sounds on the walls, disembodied voices, and even the girls being lifted off the ground by an invisible force. More than thirty people, including neighbours, journalists, and paranormal investigators, claimed to have witnessed some of these events.
The Hodgsons also received help from two members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), Guy Lyon Playfair and Maurice Grosse, who spent many months investigating the haunting and wrote a book about it titled This House Is Haunted: The True Story of a Poltergeist (1980).
Grosse and Playfair believed that the Enfield haunting was genuine and that an entity was responsible for the disturbances. They recorded many instances of paranormal activity, such as a gruff voice coming from Janet’s mouth, which claimed to be the spirit of a man named Bill Wilkins who had died in the house. They also captured some remarkable photographs of Janet seemingly flying in mid-air.
Not everyone, however, was convinced by the Enfield haunting. Some skeptics and critics accused the girls of faking or exaggerating some of the incidents for attention or fun. They pointed out that some of the phenomena could be explained by natural causes or trickery, such as ventriloquism, hidden wires, or jumping off the bed. They also noted that most of the activity occurred when the girls were alone or in the dark.
The Enfield haunting remains a controversial and fascinating case that has inspired many books, documentaries, and dramatisations. The most recent one is The Conjuring 2 (2016), a horror film that features American demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who visited the Enfield house in 1978 and were convinced that the events had a supernatural explanation.
Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, there is no doubt that the Enfield haunting is a compelling story that raises many questions about the nature of reality and the power of the human mind.
© Colin Lawson Books