Guest writer RICK HALE looks for a new angle to explain the notorious Enfield Poltergeist case
A few years ago, when I was the co-host of Paranormal Underground Radio, I had the great pleasure to interview one of the greatest parapsychologists, Guy Lyon Playfair.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve respected The Society For Psychical Research and admired the work of Mr. Playfair.
An author of several books concerning psychic phenomena, Playfair was the investigator of some of the most important poltergeist cases, including the infamous Enfield poltergeist.
For those who might not be familiar, in 1977 in the North London neighbourhood of Enfield, a single mother and her 4 children endured the terrifying violence of a poltergeist for several months. It is a classic case that is considered by many, including myself, on how we view the poltergeist, it’s activity and it’s cause. And it’s the cause that got me thinking, perhaps we need to rethink this famous case.
For centuries up to that point, the poltergeist was regarded as either a demonic entity or a vengeful spirit. However, with the advent of organized psychical research it is now believed that a poltergeist may be Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis, RSPK. Basically, RSPK is a psychic temper tantrum projected outwards from a focus (person) causing chaos in the physical environment. As far as parapsychologists were concerned, gone were the days of superstition concerning the poltergeist.
It is commonly believed that RSPK is caused by a young person, usually a girl, experiencing the trials and tribulations of puberty. And the Enfield case had just that. Janet, one of the daughters, appeared to be the unwitting focus of the poltergeist. Although, I wasn’t there at the time, I was three, I do have a theory of who the real focus may have been.
As I mentioned, RSPK is widely believed to be caused by a young person. However, there are a couple cases that come to mind where the focus was anything but a child. The poltergeist focus were very much adults.
The first case came out of Rosenheim, Germany in 1967. A 19 year old woman was hired as an office clerk in a local law office, and almost immediately strange activity began. Lights flickered, clocks and office furniture moved. And strangely enough a time and date service was called several hundred times in a day. When the case was investigated by Dr Hans Bender, he determined this 19 year old woman was the RSPK focus. When she quit, the activity ceased.
In the same year, in Miami, Florida William Roll investigated a poltergeist breaking souvenirs in a warehouse. It was determined a 23 year old Cuban worker was the focus. And like the Rosenheim case, when he left, the activity abruptly ceased.
In these two famous cases the suspected RSPK agents were anything but pubescent girls. Both people allegedly hated their jobs and their less then thrilling existences, which caused the psychic unrest. This brings us back to the Enfield case. If the daughter wasn’t the cause, then who?
Let’s consider the lesser known facts of the mother, Peggy Hodgeson. A couple years prior, Peggy found herself divorced, penniless and the sole provider of four children. Two girls, a son with a speech problem and another son who had severe behavioural problems. If anyone in this famous case had the required stress for an RSPK outburst, it was the mom. Peggy may have been the unwitting focus and not Janet , who has been suspected for 40 years.
Theorising that mom was the RSPK focus is just speculation on a supernatural who done it. And it could have been the daughter. And lastly maybe the whole unpleasant episode was faked as some believe. I suppose we may never really know.
RICK HALE is a a native Chicago, Illinois, USA, who has been interested in anomalous phenomena since an early age. Rick is the author of The Geeks Guide To The Strange And Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghosts and Demons. Rick, has been published in Paranormal Underground Magazine, The Supernatural Magazine, and Haunted Times. Rick can be seen in Ghost Tapes 2 and several episodes of Ghost Tapes: The Series.
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