On June 10th, New Line Cinema is releasing The Conjuring 2, a film which focuses on the Enfield Poltergeist case. While it is claimed that the story is pulled straight from the files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, there are those that say the famous duo had little to nothing to do with the case. Whether or not actual activity occurred in the home is also up for speculation as some fully believe that there was an entity present while others feel that it was the trickery of some adolescent girls.
The events happened in a rented house in the North London suburb of Enfield. In 1977, Peggy Hodgeson moved into the home with her four children, Margaret 13, Janet 11, Johnny 10, and Billy 7. Shortly after moving into the home, the children played with an Ouija board, which they later felt was a catalyst to the events that would soon follow. On August 30, 1977, occurrences began happening in the Hodgeson home that would soon be forever known as the Enfield Poltergeist.
On this evening, Peggy instructed her children to go to bed. Upon hearing a ruckus well after the time the children should be settled, she ventured upstairs to see what was happening. She was told by the children told her that their beds were wobbling and that the noise was not coming from them. Peggy dismissed the event as childish mischief until the following evening, when, after the children were tucked away for the night, loud noises where heard coming from the upstairs bedroom. This time when she made her way into the bedroom, she discovered a chest of drawers moving. Peggy contacted her neighbors for assistance as well as the local police department. Both the neighbors and a police officer state that they saw strange occurrences within the home, with the police officer signing an affidavit that she had personally seen a chair move all on its own. But neither of these was able to provide her with any real assistance.
After the incidents started, it seemed that they progressed rapidly. Soon noises were heard coming from the walls, objects were being thrown around the home, water appeared on the floor out of nothing, strange voices were being heard, and more furniture was moving to name a few of the events that was happening. The activity was also beginning to center around Janet. Since it seemed that help could not be found within their community, the Hodgesons decided that their next step was to contact the press.
First, the Daily Mirror, a popular UK paper was contacted with the BBC soon following. With the press came the notary the family believed they needed to assist them with their issue. The alleged activity caught the attention of paranormal investigators who began to parade through the Hodgeson home. The most important of these would be Maurice Grosse and Gary Lyon Playfair from the Society for Psychical Research.
Grosse and Playfair spent a great amount of time with the family especially with Janet. They captured her levitating off of her bed as well as demonic sounding voices coming from her. The gruff voice told them that it belonged to a man by the name of Bill Wilkins who passed in the home some time before the Hodgesons arrival. The amount of activity continued to increase forcing the family to all sleep in the same room at night so that they could feel the safety of having the others near.
The activity continued at this heightened level until a priest visited the home in the autumn of 1978. While this calmed things down to where the family could once again function in their home, it never fully stopped. Peggy remained in the home until she passed in 2003. When settling her estate, the Hodgesons could still feel the presence inside the home.
According to Grosse and Playfair, the Warrens did not have anything to do with the investigation of the case. Ed Warren claimed that he saw Janet levitate and that she was clearly possessed by an inhuman entity, but the SPR investigators only remember him being there one day. They did not remember Lorraine being there at all. The incident is slightly mentioned in the book The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald A. Brittle, but outside of this, there is little proof that the Warrens assisted on the case.
And, as to the claim that the whole thing was faked by either Janet or the entire family is open for debate. Janet as well as Margaret was caught bending spoons to be used later as evidence of the spirits power. The voice only came from Janet and was attributed by many as her performing ventriloquism. Grosse and Playfair also caught Janet hiding their equipment that was to magically appear at a later time. Janet was allegedly a fairly good gymnast, and it was suggested that her levitation could have easily been her jumping from her bed, as the photographic evidence shows. All this added to the fact that the family contacted the press could lead one to believe that they were in this for the fame. Janet admitted later that at least two percent of the activity was faked, but this admission only hurts her creditability.
While it may never be known if the Enfield Poltergeist was a true or faked event, it makes an interesting story. Does the claims of creditable eye witnesses such as the police officer out weight the doubt created by Janet’s admission; that is up for you to decide for yourself.
Let Ghost Hunters Fans know what you think. Leave your comments below…
BethAnn Williams, Paranormal Journalist, is thrilled to be the newest staff member of Ghost Hunters Fans and looks forward to keeping you posted in the happening of the paranormal world.
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