This is a special location we have been looking into this story for a long time and it all happened in our very our Bradley‘s (Haunting Nights Founder) Home Town and we cant wait to take you to Enfield in one way or another we will do our best!!
At around 9:30 p.m. on the night of Wednesday, August the 31st 1977 recently divorced mum Peggy Hodgson heard noises coming from a bedroom at a time when the children should all have been asleep. She went upstairs to tell them to settle down and go to bed.
Peggy had four children thirteen-year-old Margaret, eleven-year-old Janet, seven-year-old Billy and John who was ten-years-old but was only home during school holidays as he was in a special boarding school.
What Peggy found when she entered the children’s bedroom was anything but ordinary.
Her two girls were huddled in the corner with terrified looks on their faces, they said Bill’s bed was wobbling and their chest of drawers was moving, trying to trap them in the room. Before she had time to respond she saw the chest move. She moved it back but it moved again as she tried to move it again. It wouldn’t budge. She then began to hear loud knocking sounds that echoed through the house, terrified, the family ran to the neighbours Vic and Peggy Nottingham for help. Vic came to the home and couldn’t find the cause of the strange noises that seemed to follow him as he looked around the house, they decided to call the police.
The police came to the home at 284 Green Street around 1:00 a.m., the officers witnessed the noises and they checked the walls, the attic and pipes without finding any explanation. Whilst in the living room they witnessed a chair move nearly four feet across the room and saw lights flickering. Although shocked they concluded it wasn’t a police matter and left.
That was the beginning of the terror and haunting the family would experience for the next 18 months.
During that time there were more than over 2,000 separate reports of paranormal activity at the Enfield home with more than 30 witnesses including neighbours, psychic researchers and journalists. Their home became known as the House of Strange Happenings and it’s one of the UK’s most haunted house stories.
On August the 4th Peggy decided to call the Daily Mirror to come and investigate. When the paper learned that the police had witnessed activity they decided to send photographer Graham Morris. Morris came and initially saw nothing but as he was getting ready to leave he was in the kitchen the children entered the room, as young Janet entered objects started flying around the room. Morris was hit in the head by a Lego brick hard enough to leave a lump. He witnessed the children’s marbles flying in the air and reported that when they fell they just dropped without rolling and were hot to the touch. Morris set up a camera in the girls’ bedroom and it was timed to take a photo every 15 seconds, there’s even a stark image of Janet hovering in the middle of the bedroom. However, this has been put into question as it does look as though Janet was caught mid-leap.
The Daily Mirror contacted the Society for Physical Research who put them in contact with investigator Maurice Grosse. Three days after Grosse first visited the home he witnessed a loud unexplained crash and determined that the claims the family had been making to be genuine. He observed the chaos and believed the family were in a crisis, he became somewhat of a fixture in the home for the next 18 months, he was joined in the investigation by poltergeist expert Guy Lyon Playfair. The incidents continued to escalate and strange bangs and knocking sounds persisted. Starting in December of 1977 Janet began experiencing violent trances and claims soon spread that she would levitate and was being used by a poltergeist. Sounds such as whistles and dog barks seem to be coming from her although her mouth remained closed. As time went on these sounds developed into a gruff masculine voice, Grosse determined it was a poltergeist so he tried to develop a connection with it by encouraging it to speak to him. The abuse and often obscene voice supposedly came to be that of Bill Wilkins who had died in the house. Tape recordings were made of the creepy voice describing his death and how he had had a haemorrhage and fell asleep in a chair in the corner of the downstairs room where he had then died. The spirit of Bill would sing nursery rhymes and talk through Janet for hours. At the time he claimed to be living in the house and sleeping in Janet’s bed. Wilkins’ son confirmed that his father had died under the circumstances Janet had described. Janet being used as a conduit for a long-dead man seemed to be taking its toll and Grosse was very concerned about what was happening to her. Janet’s trances became more violent and her mother allegedly once had to intervene when during one disturbing episode Janet wrapped herself in a curtain and the fabric tangled around her throat. Janet said that she had been unaware that she went into trances until she was shown the photographs and tapes. To eliminate the possibility that Janet was faking the voice Grosse taped up Janet’s mouth and another time filled her mouth with water, a microphone was placed behind her and it picked up a sound louder than her normal voice. A speech therapist analyzed the phenomenon but was unable to say where the sound was coming from nor how it was sustained. Early in January 1978, Margaret started to speak in a similar harsh voice but without the same intensity or duration as Janet. While the family was enduring the many strange occurrences with small fires starting and extinguishing themselves without causing damage, strange messages appearing on walls and various apparitions. Janet was given a physical and psychological assessment at London’s Maudsley Institute by Dr Peter Fenwick but no abnormality was discovered. She was hypnotized and nothing unusual was found. The family also pursued various experts to end the torment, medical doctors would prescribe medication to help Janet sleep, mediums, healers and psychics were invited into the home which did actually result in short-term calm for Janet.
In the meantime objects continued to shake, doors would open and close on their own and the iron frame of a built-in fireplace was wrenched from the wall. Sometimes several phenomena happened at once, some were repeated during both day and night. The story attracted considerable press coverage in British newspapers such as the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror and has since been the subject of books, television documentaries and horror films. Janet was bullied at school and nicknamed Ghost Girl and her brother was referred to as the Freak Boy from the Ghost House and people would spit at him in the street. Of course, many cast doubt on the events claiming the children were behind the elaborate hoax and were faking their demonic symptoms. Professional sceptics continued to criticize the Enfield investigation, Grosse and Playfair conceded that Margaret and Janet had sometimes tried to trick them but insistent these occasions were very few. When they did trick them they were quickly caught and admitted what they had done. The emotional atmosphere at the house and in the neighbourhood ranging from hysteria to terror to excitement and tension made recording data sometimes difficult for Grosse and Playfair. While some called it a hoax others considered it to be one of the most witnessed cases of supernatural activity to date.
The ongoing knocking was one of the most chilling aspects of the case, it would run down the wall fading in and out as it apparently played an unnerving game with the family. It later came to light that just before the activity started Janet and her sister used a homemade Ouija board. The poltergeist suddenly quieted in 1978 but did not leave the home, Peggy avoided publicity but never changed her position about what she had experienced. She stayed in the home still feeling the presence until her death from breast cancer in 2003.
After Peggy died not knowing the full history of the house Clare Bennett and her four sons moved into the house, Clare said she felt uncomfortable but didn’t see anything. Her sons started to wake to the sound of voices and when one of her sons saw a man come into his room they moved out the next day. Despite the lack of further activity the Enfield poltergeist still has a very disturbing presence.