The Enfield poltergeist case is one of those that even long-time researchers of the paranormal occasionally find too disturbing to study with the lights turned out. In the end what started as a simple case of a small home in Enfield, North London became so much more. And as the stories of this small haunted home spread, soon it seems the poltergeist itself started appearing in other locations, as if given power by the investigation that followed it. And yet some elements of the story also suffer their share of criticism. In the end, it’s a terrifying – if not controversial- account.
When the Society for Psychical Research was first called in to investigate the incident, it was thanks to a call from then Daily Mirror reporter George Fallows. Fallows had been called regarding a small house in Enfield, North London where strange phenomena had started manifesting – as if spontaneously. Skepticism was at this stage in the investigation high. It was only after months and then years of following up on the investigation that the claims by the family began to gain in credibility and more witnesses in the area started reporting seeing and hearing strange things.
To look at the small house in North London on Green Street is to look at a slice of British history. In its own way it looks like any other house on the street, but it contains a long history involving a strange glimpse into the world of the paranormal and one of the most incredible cases of unexplained activity to date. At the time in the summer of 1987 the Hodgson family including Peggy, her son, and her two daughters. They were living normal lives, but the normal soon turned to something quite different as they started noticing strange things in the house. The occurrences started simply at first with objects moving across tables. Soon marbles and small toys were flying through the rooms and striking people, and mysterious apparitions made their presence known constantly. Physical apparitions were spotted, heavy furniture would be dragged across the floor, and the daughter Janet would soon begin speaking as a conduit for what she called “Bill” a paranormal entity that would jeer at investigators.
Investigations were constantly held back by unknown forces. Whether they were the work of the family being studied or another force following them around is still widely debated. The investigation would episodically continue under the guidance of Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfairfor for over a year. During this time both became convinced that something unusual was going on. Photographs of what appear to be levitations by the girls were taken by remote camera along with eyewitness testimony from people in the family, neighbors, and strangers in the area that seemed to indicate something unusual had started occurring in the house.
Later Margaret would come forward stating that she had contributed to some of the events recorded by faking them, but additionally claimed that these were only a small fraction of the events reported. Some researchers have even concluded that by faking these events, Margaret could have been practicing a form of “sympathetic manifestation” and acted as a window for this force or being to make it into the real world, closing the gap between the real world and the world of the supernatural.