The Enfield Poltergeist, England, the Real Thing—Behind the Scenes, August 1977, w/ Links


In August 1977, a series of disturbances that were soon characterized as a case of poltergeist phenomena, and/or demonic possession, began in he northern London suburb of Enfield. The subject of the 2016 James Wan film The Conjuring 2, the occurrences seemed to be targeted at an eleven-year-old girl, Janet Hodgson, who repeatedly “levitated” above her bed, “held the nation spellbound” for over a year, according to Britain’s Daily Mail: “no explanation other than the paranormal has ever been convincingly put forward” (2011).

The location of the infestation was 284 Green Street, a council house in Brimsdown, Enfield, England, between 1977 and 1979 and involved two of the Hodgson sisters, ages 11 and 13. Some members of London’s Society for Psychical Research, including Maurice Grosse, and writer Guy Lyon Playfair, believed the hauntings to be genuine; while others, such as Anita Gregory and John Beloff (a “state worker” and a reporter) were “unconvinced” claiming to have found evidence the girls had faked incidents for the benefit of reporters”. Members of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, including stage magicians, such as Milbourne Christopher, Joe Nickell, and Bob Couttie, reviewed the case and criticised paranormal investigators for being overly credulous whilst also identifying features of the case as being indicative of a hoax. The story attracted considerable press coverage in British newspapers such as the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, and has been the subject of books, featured in television documentaries, and dramatised in horror films. See video below of adult victim Janet discussing the traumatic event.

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