On June 13, 2016 (UK release) The Conjuring 2 hit cinemas. Based on a ‘true story’, paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren travel to Enfield, a borough in north London, to meet Peggy Hodgson. She and her four children are plagued by an evil in their home that creates noises, moves objects and eventually begins to wreak complete havoc on the house’s inhabitants.
Janet Hodgson, Peggy’s eldest child, recalls the start of the paranormal activity as, “It was a bed shaking, something like that.” As soon as it started, it stopped, only to begin once more the following night. In the middle of the night on August 31, 1977, Peggy Hodgson came upstairs, originally to shout at her children for making noises and mucking around, to notice that the chest of drawers in the room has moved towards the doorway. Dumbfounded she moved the drawers back only to see them move once again. Janet recalls, “There was a funny atmosphere in the house. And then the knocking started.”
Fearing that burglars were in the house Peggy called her neighbors firstly and then the police. Officer WPC Carolyn Heeps recalled seeing a chair move across the room by itself. Knowing that the police couldn’t help, she called the Daily Mirror, resulting in Maurice Grosse visiting the Hodgson’s home. Grosse was a member of the world’s oldest paranormal research organisation, the Society for Psychical Research.
For some time during his visit nothing appeared to happen, it wasn’t until a couple of hours in that he says Lego bricks and marbles started to levitate around the room on their own accord. After dropping to the floor he said the pieces were hot to the touch, “…relevant to poltergeist type activity.” He recalls the knocks in the walls escalating.
Despite the movement of objects, noises in the walls and other more serious ‘poltergiest’ activity, many people who visited the home were less convinced. Many believed, and still believe, that it was a hoax set up by both the mother and the children. Indeed, Janet admitted that they fabricated some of the occurrences.
Most of the activity centred on 11-year-old Janet. She went into violent trances and seemed to be the host for the voice of a man named Bill Wilkins, a foul-mouthed, grumpy old man who had died in the house many years before. His son contacted investigators to confirm the details of his story.
A priest’s visit to Green Street resulted in the incidents ‘quietening down’ in autumn 1978, though noises in the walls and other such small occurrences still continued. The family that moved in after the Hodgson’s moved out soon after due to some paranormal events. The house is currently occupied by a new family but nothing serious has been reported.
Storr, W. (2016). The Conjuring 2: what really happened during the Enfield Haunting?. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2016/06/13/the-conjuring-2-what-really-happened-during-the-enfield-haunting [Accessed 18 Aug. 2016].
theunredacted.com. (2016). The Enfield Poltergeist – A Haunting in Suburbia. [online] Available at: http://theunredacted.com/the-enfield-poltergeist-a-haunting-in-suburbia [Accessed 26 Aug. 2016].