In 1977, a family who lived in a rented council house in Enfield UK, began a terrifying ordeal when a Poltergeist took over their lives. The family consisted of divorcee Margaret (Peggy) Hodgson and her four children: Margaret aged 12, Janet 11, Johnny 10 and Billy 7.
Pheneomena started when the two girls were in bed and a chest of drawers started shuffling forwards. Their Mother went upstairs to see what the commotion was. The girls were told to get back into bed and stop messing about. With that, the chest of drawers suddenly lurched forwards. The Mother pushed it back in place only for the chest to immediately move forwards again! The family were kept awake all night long with strange noises and knockings. The following morning, exhausted, the family went into the neighbour’s house and described the nights events. Vic Nottingham the neighbour went into the house to see if he could fathom what was going on. He too heard the noises, and says that the knocking followed him from room to room. This was the beginning of a year long period in which during the early stages, the family experienced more knocking on the walls, lego bricks and marbles being thrown around aggressively, and more movement of furniture. It was later to take an even more terrifying turn, when a cast iron fireplace would be torn from the wall, fires would ignite and extinguish themselves spontaneously, and Janet would be thrown out of bed, and made to levitate. One of these incidents were witnessed by two passers by, who stopped in amazement to watch Janet levitating horizontally in her bedroom window, whilst toys were swirling around in the air behind her!
They were frightened out of their wits and the Mother was at such a loss of what to do that she called the police. When they arrived on the scene they witnessed a chair lift up in the air, which as it came to rest shot 4ft forward across the floor! The police even wrote a statement to this effect. The Newspapers were called and a senior reporter for the Daily Mirror went to interview the family. She also witnessed strange events. It was then suggested that paranormal investigators should be brought in. And so began an intensive study that was to last for many months with paranormal researchers, Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair.
Maurice Grosse stated that the terror within the family was completely apparent. Desperate to help them, he would visit the family on an almost daily basis in order to offer support and to investigate the phenomena. During the latter months of this haunting, the phenomena took an unexpected twist when one day the family were in the living room and suddenly a dog started barking … they didn’t have a dog! Maurice decided that if the entity was able to produce a bark, perhaps it could be coaxed into speaking. He began asking questions and to his amazement the entity answered! The voice was strange, deep and guttural, and very much sounded like that of an old man. But the voice came from Janet! Examination showed that to produce such a sound, the voice would have to come from the false vocal cords situated deep in the throat. However, to speak in this way is painful and damaging, and to speak in this way for any length of time is said to be medically impossible. The voice was recorded on many occasions, and the girl who was seemingly possessed was made to take a sip of water and have her mouth taped up. After the voice was heard and recorded, she would be un-taped and would spit out the water. Interestingly, the voice claimed to be that of a man called Bill who said that he was the previous occupier of the house, and stated that he had died of a brain hemorrhage in an armchair in the living room. This was confirmed to be true, and when the tape was played to the man’s son, the son was adamant that the voice was that of his Father.
There was a brief period where the two girls were thought to be hoaxing the phenomena. Indeed they did admit to playing some tricks on Maurice. They state that they used to get fed up with being constantly tested like guinea pigs and wanted to see if he could catch them out, which he did every time! There is an extremely interesting film, titled ‘Interview with a poltergeist’, which reconstructs these events. And many of the witnesses, including Maurice Grosse, the Daily Mirror reporter, the Police, and the two daughters are interviewed. It’s interesting to note the girls accounts from their perspectives as adults. They are clearly still affected by what they went through. Their testaments leave very little doubt that their experiences were genuine.