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Unveiling the Enfield Poltergeist: The Eerie Haunting that Captivated the World

Back in 1977 the Hodgson family, consisting of Peggy Hodgson and her two boys and two girls, moved into a council house in Enfield, north London. It didn't take long for them to encounter a series of inexplicable phenomena that would leave them forever changed. Although there is some doubt as to the exact date of the hauntings, Peggy Hodgson firmly believes that it all began on August 30, 1977. On that fateful night, Janet and Margaret, Peggy's daughters, rushed into her room, their voices trembling with fear, as they recounted witnessing their brothers' beds moving of their own accord.

Margaret Hodgson was 13 at that time, and Janet Hodgson was aged 10. They complained beyond just the bed and furniture moving as they also reported hearing banging emanating from the walls of their bedrooms.

The following evening, Peggy herself experienced a chilling encounter. From the upper floor of the house, she heard a cacophony of loud noises originating from a large oak chest. To her astonishment, the chest appeared to be moving autonomously, defying any rational explanation. When Peggy attempted to halt its progress towards the door, she found herself powerless against its supernatural force—an ominous indication that they were in the grip of something beyond their comprehension.

As time passed, the unexplainable occurrences multiplied, mostly affecting the children. Margaret and Janet, in particular, seemed to attract the attention of the malevolent entity that now haunted their home. Interestingly, just before the paranormal occurrences started, the sisters had played with an Ouija board, an act that Janet would later admit to. Little did they know, their innocent attempt to summon a spirit had inadvertently beckoned a response from a dark entity.

Yet, this was far from a mere figment of childhood imagination. Adult witnesses, including a policewoman who documented her experience, bore testament to the chilling paranormal activities they observed within the house.

The policewoman saw a chair levitate nearly an inch from the floor and float towards a corner, moving some 4ft in total. However, despite being a credible eye-witness account the police chose not to intervene and assist the Hodgsons.

It quickly became clear that the Enfield house was indeed haunted by a poltergeist. The paranormal occurrences started increasing day by day. Knocking sounds ran up and down the walls and ceilings of the house’s rooms.

The knocking sounds would typically fade in and out, sounding like someone knocking from the other side of the walls as they moved up and down, seemingly through the walls and floors. This quickly frightened the family to such an extent that they chose to sleep together in one room.

Peggy Hodgson went to seek help from her neighbors, the Nottingham family. The Nottinghams also confirmed that they could hear the knocking noise from the walls and the ceiling, which was enough to frighten then also. Some of the knocking sounds were even recorded on tape.

Word got out about the strange events, and the house was visited by magicians, police officers, psychics, paranormal researchers, and journalists who were trying to make sense of the happenings. Among other things this ensured there were many witnesses to the paranormal activity at the house.

But worst of all was when the ghost started targeting the children themselves. Janet Hodgson was several times picked up by the ghost, levitating in the air. This was even captured in photos by a Daily Mirror journalist named Graham Morris. The photos are somewhat open to interpretation, and skeptics could argue that they only show Janet jumping from the bed. However witnesses at the time say that they had seen Janet levitating in the air on multiple occasions.

The first paranormal investigators of the Enfield case were Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, sent by the Society for Psychical Research. The pair confirmed that the house was indeed haunted, and that they had personally seen toys and furniture in the house moving on their own.

After Maurice Grosse even witnessed the possessions of Janet by the ghost, famous US paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren also stepped in to investigate the case, spending a day in the house and providing the central narrative for The Conjuring 2. While their involvement was not as extensive as portrayed in the movie, the Warrens also confirmed that the Enfield house had an extreme level of paranormal, inhuman activity.

A crucial piece of evidence supporting claims of the haunting is a tape recording of Janet speaking in a gruff, male voice. The voice does not sound like anything a young girl could imitate. In the tape recording, Janet is heard recounting the circumstances of an old man’s death, reportedly named Bill Wilkins. In Bill’s voice, Janet revealed details of his death that she could not have

known, adding to the credibility of the experience.

She said that he became blind moments from his death, suffering from a brain hemorrhage. Bill indeed had fallen asleep and died in a chair, placed in one corner of a room in the same house the Hodgsons were living in.

These and other details of Bill Wilkins were presented to his son. He was able to confirm that the words spoken through Janet were right in almost every detail.

The paranormal activity at the house continued for some time. According to Janet Hodgson, it was only after a priest was finally brought in to bless the house that the poltergeist became dormant.

Eventually, the activity subsided, but the family always continued to hear noises in the house from time to time. The family would even say that they felt like someone was watching them silently, although there were no further physical manifestations. Janet often said that the poltergeist had never harmed the family and that she thought it just wanted to feel acknowledged. However, partially from the media attention that the investigation got, many felt that most of the occurrences were hoaxed by the sisters. Janet later admitted that they faked a small number of events in the house, which she said was to test the investigators. However, she was adamant that the vast majority of occurrences, including all those experienced by the family, were supernatural in origin. An admission of fakery will always lead to questions about all the events in the house. Whether true in entirety or to some extent, the Enfield haunting certainly proves the presence of paranormal entities remains a source of fascination for the general public.

The initial investigators of the Enfield case, Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, dispatched by the Society for Psychical Research, validated the haunting, personally witnessing toys and furniture moving without any apparent human intervention. Following their extensive involvement, renowned US paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren also joined the investigation, spending a day at the house and providing a central narrative for The Conjuring 2. While the Warrens' role may have been somewhat exaggerated in the film, they too confirmed the presence of extreme and inhuman paranormal activity within the Enfield house.


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