Author JASON HOLLIS explains why he believes the legendary Enfield Poltergeist is real
I was born and grew up in Enfield, London’s northernmost borough, and have had a fascination for ghosts for as long as I can remember, especially ghosts from my own neighbourhood. My interest became a labour of love when I decided to write a book about Enfield’s ghosts, but whenever I told anyone about the book I would be told about the Enfield Poltergeist, as if I had never heard of the case, and this would be followed by “Of course, it was all a hoax, wasn’t it?”
The Enfield Poltergeist case revolved around a single-parent family and was centred on the eldest daughter, Janet. It was investigated by Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair of the Society for Psychical Research and is the most thoroughly documented case of its kind. I do not believe it was a hoax. Some years ago the grown up children at the centre of the case admitted that they had attempted to fake some of the activity and this seems to form the basis for the argument that the entire case was a hoax. However, as Maurice Grosse stated on many occasions, the children did try to fake some of the activity but their efforts were rather pathetic when compared to some of the real activity that had been observed and recorded, and they were caught out every time.
When the haunting first began in 1977, Mrs Hodgson and her four children fled the house and stayed with a neighbour. The police were called and two officers entered the house to look for the ‘intruder’. They were accompanied by Mrs Hodgson but she remained in the hallway by the front door. While they were there some of the children’s toy building bricks and marbles began to jump up and down, and then began flying towards them. This prompted a race to get out of the house first! As they were the only three people in the house at that time there was no way the children could have faked this phenomenon.
On another occasion the house was showered with stones. This was not a handful of stones thrown from nearby but a shower falling from above. This would be prohibitively taxing for an adult to fake let alone a child.
Sceptics have pointed out that the photographs taken during the case are unconvincing and look staged. I agree. I would not be surprised if they were staged. I have attended enough paranormal investigations to know that the supernatural never occurs when you are looking for it and camera equipment would often fail to work in the Hodgson’s house.
Almost every type of activity that has ever been attributed to poltergeists was witnessed over a 14 month period, and there were over 30 witnesses. Objects of all shapes and sizes were moved or thrown by unseen hands, some appeared to hover or fly slowly through the air. Janet herself was seen to float and was also hauled out of her bed and dragged down the stairs by an invisible force. Apparitions were seen, including a doppelganger of Maurice Grosse seen by a visitor to the house through a downstairs window, while Grosse himself was upstairs.
There were many other incidents that defy a ‘rational’ explanation. The Enfield Poltergeist case has been the hotly debated subject of numerous books, articles and television documentaries, and with a film currently in production, it will continue to divide opinion for some time yet.
Haunted Enfield by Jason Hollis is published by The History Press. Order now!
JASON HOLLIS is a paranormal investigator and researcher with the North London Paranormal Investigations (NLPI) team. He was born in the London Borough of Enfield and lived there for over thirty years before moving to Hertfordshire where he now lives with his wife and children. His lifelong interest in the supernatural led him to research and write about Enfield’s ghosts. Haunted Enfield, his first book, brings together for the first time all of the stories, legends and documented evidence of the supernatural from around the Borough into one volume.
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