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Enfield Poltergeist to haunt hollywood
25-10-2011, 08:49 PM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2011 10:08 PM by dormammu.)
Post: #1
Enfield Poltergeist to haunt hollywood

Enfield poltergeist to haunt Hollywood
Michael Howie
25 Oct 2011

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It is a mystery that has long caused debate among paranormal experts and unease among residents of a London council house.

Now the story of the Enfield Poltergeist is to be made into a film and its producer hopes it will be a Hollywood hit.

The Hodgson family were frightened out of their wits by the incidents that began in 1977 with a series of ghostly bumps in the night but appeared to develop into furniture, toys and crockery being flung around.

One photograph taken at the time appears to catch 11-year-old Janet Hodgson suspended in mid-air after flying out of bed. She also began to speak in an elderly man's rasping voice.

Paranormal investigators claimed she had been possessed by a spirit belonging to Bill Wilkins, who had lived in the house some years before the Hodgsons but died of a brain haemorrhage.

It lasted just over a year, stopping in September 1978 with a small recurrence reported again in August 1980.

Shooting on events inside the house in Green Street will begin in the new year. Deadhouse Productions has already trademarked the name The Enfield Poltergeist, created a trailer and is in talks with distributors including Lionsgate films, which was behind the Saw horror franchise.

Today one of the film's producers told of his excitement at revealing "the untold story." John Kyriacou added: "I used to go to the same school as the family so it's a story that I've grown up with. It's the most documented evidence of poltergeist activity in the world. Opinions remain divided. There are a lot of sceptics out there and this will be the perfect film for them."

One family who is not sceptical is the Bennetts. Clare Bennett was not aware of the house's haunted past when she moved into the property in 2004 but only stayed there for two months. The mother of four said: "I didn't see anything as such but I just felt uncomfortable. I wasn't settled there. I'd unpacked all our stuff but it still didn't feel right. There was definitely some kind of presence in the house, I always felt like someone was looking at me."

"I couldn't explain what it was because we had no idea the house was haunted so I asked my sister to look into it and suddenly it all made sense."

Her son Shaka, now 15, was most disturbed by the house. He said: "I'd wake up at 3am every morning and I'd feel scared because I'd hear people talking downstairs.

"The night before we moved out, I woke up at the usual time and I saw a man into the room. I ran into my mum's room and said, 'we've got to move,' and we did the next day.

Janet Hodgson broke her silence for a TV documentary four years ago in which she said: "I felt used by a force that nobody understands. I really don't like to think about it too much."

Hazel Short, 65, a former lollipop lady who worked outside the house, said she remembered seeing Janet hovering horizontally by a window. "I will never forget what I saw and felt in that house," she said.

Today, a woman who now lives in the house said: "Do not mention what happened in this house. I've got young children inside, they don't know about it and I don't want to
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29-10-2011, 10:15 AM
Post: #2
RE: Enfield Poltergeist to haunt hollywood
article about it in todays daily mail

What IS the truth about the Enfield Poltergeist? Amazing story of 11-year-old London girl who 'levitated' above her bed

The rasping male voice sent a chill through the room. Hauntingly, it delivered a message from beyond the grave, describing in graphic detail the moment of death.

‘Just before I died, I went blind, and then I had an ’aemorrhage and I fell asleep and I died in the chair in the corner downstairs.’

The eerie voice — which can still be heard on audio tapes today — is purportedly that of Bill Wilkins. The recording was made in Enfield, North London, in the Seventies, several years after his death.

Janet Hodgson, aged 11 at the time, appeared to be possessed. It could have been a scene from the film The Exorcist - but it was real

Most horrifying of all, however, was that the voice was coming from the body of an 11-year-old girl, Janet Hodgson. She appeared to be possessed. It could have been a scene from the film The Exorcist — but it was real.

What was going on? This was the case of the Enfield Poltergeist, which held the nation spellbound 30 years ago, puzzling policemen, psychics, experts in the occult and hardened reporters alike.

It involved levitation, furniture being moved through the air, and flying objects swirling towards witnesses. There were cold breezes, physical assaults, graffiti, water appearing on the floor, and even claims of matches spontaneously bursting into flame.

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A policewoman even signed an affidavit that she had seen a chair move. There were more than 30 witnesses to the strange incidents.

Most inexplicably, the young girl at the centre of the events seemingly acted as the mouthpiece for 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.

The events unfolded for more than a year behind the door of an ordinary-looking semi-detached council house, on a suburban street filled with similar houses, and left those they touched permanently scarred.

Naturally, many questioned whether it was all a hoax — but no explanation other than the paranormal has ever been convincingly put forward.

The events unfolded for more than a year behind the door of an ordinary-looking semi-detached council house

Now, the episode is to be revisited in a film, planned for release at Halloween next year.

Just what happened in Enfield, then, all those years ago? Where are the Hodgsons now, and have they escaped their ghosts? Could they have made the whole episode up? And who lives at 284 Green Street now?

The story, as the Hodgson family told it, begins in 1977. Peggy Hodgson was unusual, at the time, in that she was a single mother to four children — Margaret, 12, Janet, 11, Johnny, ten, and Billy, seven — having split from their father.

It was the evening of August 30, 1977, and Mrs Hodgson was keen to get her children into bed. She heard Janet complaining from upstairs that her and her brothers’ beds were wobbling.

Mrs Hodgson told her daughter to stop mucking around. The following evening, however, there was an altogether more bizarre disturbance.
Mrs Hodgson heard a crash from upstairs. Cross, she went to tell her children to settle down.

Entering their bedroom, with Janet’s Starsky & Hutch posters on the wall, Mrs Hodgson saw the chest of drawers move. She pushed it back, but found that it was being propelled towards the door by an invisible force.
It seemed as if some supernatural presence was trying to trap the family in the room with the heavy oak chest.

Many years later, Janet would tell a Channel 4 documentary: ‘It started in a back bedroom, the chest of drawers moved, and you could hear shuffling. Mum said: “I want you to pack it in.”

‘We told her what was going on, and she came to see it for herself. She saw the chest of drawers moving. When she tried to push it back, she couldn’t.’

Janet’s sister Margaret explained how the activity increased.

‘There were strange little noises in the house, you couldn’t make out what was going on. None of us got slept.

‘We put on our dressing gowns and slippers and went next door.’

The family appealed for help from their neighbours, Vic and Peggy Nottingham. Vic, a burly builder, went to investigate.

He says: ‘I went in there and I couldn’t make out these noises — there was a knocking on the wall, in the bedroom, on the ceiling. I was beginning to get a bit frightened.’

Most of the activity centred on 11-year-old Janet. She went into violent trances, which were awful to behold

Margaret adds: ‘He said: “I don’t know what to do.” I’d never seen a big man like that looking scared.’

The Hodgsons called the police, who proved to be similarly mystified. WPC  Carolyn Heeps saw a chair move.

She said at the time: ‘A large armchair moved, unassisted, 4 ft across the floor.’

She inspected the chair for hidden wires, but could find no explanation for what she had seen.

Eventually, the officers left, telling the family that the incidents were not a police matter, as they couldn’t find anyone breaking the law.

Next, the Hodgsons contacted the Press. Daily Mirror photographer Graham Morris, who visited the house, says: ‘It was chaos, things started flying around, people were screaming.’

Some of the events were captured on camera, and the images are disturbing. One shows Janet’s elfin form apparently being thrown across the room.

In others, her face is distorted in pain.

The BBC went to the house, but the crew found the metal components in their tape equipment had been twisted, and recordings erased.

Next, the family sought help from the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). It sent investigators Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, a poltergeist expert who subsequently wrote a book, This House Is Haunted, about the affair.

The author Will Storr spoke to Grosse, who has since died, when researching his own book Will Storr vs The Supernatural, which also features the case. Grosse told him: ‘As soon as I got there, I realised that the case was real because the family was in a bad state. Everybody was in chaos.

‘When I first got there, nothing happened for a while. Then I experienced Lego pieces flying across the room, and marbles, and the extraordinary thing was, when you picked them up they were hot.

‘I was standing in the kitchen and a T-shirt leapt off the table and flew into the other side of the room while I was standing by it.’

The investigators found themselves caught in a maelstrom of apparently psychic activity, with every poltergeist trick thrown at them. Sofas levitated, furniture spun round and was flung across the room, and the family would be hurled out of their beds at night.

The investigators found themselves caught in a maelstrom of apparently psychic activity, with every poltergeist trick thrown at them

One day, Maurice and a visiting neighbour found one of the children shouting: ‘I can’t move! It’s holding my leg!’ They had to wrestle the child from what all involved insisted was the grip of invisible hands.

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 — who became so scared that they slept in the same room, with the light on.

Most of the activity centred on 11-year-old Janet. She went into violent trances, which were awful to behold. On one occasion, the iron fireplace in her bedroom was wrenched from the wall by unseen forces.

Family members also claim to have seen her levitating — floating clean across the room.

She told Channel 4: ‘I felt used by a force that nobody understands. I really don’t like to think about it too much. I’m not sure the poltergeist was truly “evil”. It was almost as if it wanted to be part of our family.

'It didn’t want to hurt us. It had died there and wanted to be at rest. The only way it could communicate was through me and my sister.’

Some cast doubt on the events, however. Two SPR experts caught the children bending spoons themselves, and questioned why no one was allowed in the same room as Janet when she was using her gruff voice, apparently that of Bill Wilkins.

Indeed, Janet admitted that they fabricated some of the occurrences.

She told ITV News in 1980: ‘Oh yeah, once or twice (we faked phenomena), just to see if Mr Grosse and Mr Playfair would catch us. They always did.’

Now aged 45, Janet lives in Essex with her husband, a retired milkman.

She told me: ‘I wasn’t very happy to hear about the film, I didn’t know anything about it. My dad has just died, and it really upset me to think of all this being raked over again.’

She describes the poltergeist activity as traumatic.

‘It was an extraordinary case. It’s one of the most recognised cases of paranormal activity in the world. But, for me, it was quite daunting. I think it really left its mark, the activities, the newspaper attention, the different people in and out of the house. It wasn’t a normal childhood.’

Asked how much of the phenomena at Green Street was faked, she says: ‘I’d say 2 per cent.’

She also admitted playing with an Ouija board with her sister, just before the activity flared up at the house.

She says she was unaware that she went into trances, until she was shown pictures.

‘I recall being very distressed by the photos when I was a child, I was very upset.

‘I knew when the voices were happening, of course, it felt like something was behind me all of the time. They did all sorts of tests, filling my mouth with water and so on, but the voices still came out.’

'I was bullied at school. They called me Ghost Girl and put crane flies down my back,' said Janet (pictured above: A scene from the 1973 horror The Exorcist)

She says: ‘It was hard, I had a short spell in the Maudsley Psychiatric Hospital in London, where they stuck electrodes on my head, but the tests proved normal.

‘The levitation was scary, because you didn’t know where you were going to land. I remember a curtain being wound around my neck, I was screaming, I thought I was going to die.

'My mum had to use all her strength to rip it away. The man who spoke through me, Bill, seemed angry, because we were in his house.’

The situation had a huge effect on the family.

Janet says: ‘I was bullied at school. They called me Ghost Girl and put crane flies down my back.

‘I’d dread going home. The front door would be open, there’d be people in and out, you didn’t know what to expect and I used to worry a lot about Mum. She had a nervous breakdown, in the end.

‘I’m not one for living in the past. I want to move on. But it does come to me now and again. I dream about it, and then it affects me. I think why did it happen to us?’

Her brother was called ‘freak boy from the Ghost House’ and people would spit at him in the street.

Janet herself was on the front page of the Daily Star with a headline: ‘Possessed by the Devil.’

She left home at 16, and married young.

‘I lost touch with everything, all the coverage of the case in paranormal books. My mum felt people walked over her at that time. She felt exploited.’

Shortly after the Press attention drifted away, Janet’s younger brother Johnny died of cancer, aged just 14. Janet’s mother then developed breast cancer, dying in 2003, and Janet suffered the loss of her own son, in his sleep, when he was 18.

She rejects any suggestion that the whole story was faked in pursuit of fame or money.

‘I didn’t want to bring it up again while my mum was alive, but now I want to tell my story. I don’t care whether people believe me or not, I went through this, and it was true.’

Asked whether she believes the house is still haunted, she says: ‘Years later, when Mum was alive, there was always a presence there — something watching over you.

'As long as people don’t meddle the way we did with Ouija boards, it is quite settled. It is a lot calmer than when I was a child. It is at rest, but will always be there.’

Janet reports that it was a priest’s visit to Green Street that resulted in the incidents ‘quietening down’ in autumn 1978, although the occurrences did not stop entirely, she says, with her mother continuing to hear noises in the house.

Janet says: ‘Even my brother, until the day he left that place after Mum died, would say: “There’s still something there.” You’d feel like you were being watched.’

Janet said she continues to believe in the poltergeist, saying: ‘It lived off me, off my energy. Call me mad if you like. Those events did happen. The poltergeist was with me and I feel that in a sense he always will be.’
Who lives at 284 Green Street now?

After Peggy Hodgson died, Clare Bennett and her four sons moved into the house.

Last week, she said: ‘I didn’t see anything, but I felt uncomfortable. There was definitely some kind of presence in the house, I always felt like someone was looking at me.’

Her sons would wake in the night, hearing people talking downstairs. Clare then found out about the house’s history. ‘Suddenly, it all made sense,’ she says. They moved out after just two months.

One of her sons, Shaka, 15, says: ‘The night before we moved out, I woke up and saw a man come into the room. I ran into Mum’s room and said: “We’ve got to move,” and we did the next day.’

The house is currently occupied by another family, who do not wish to be identified. The mother says simply: ‘I’ve got children, they don’t know about it. I don’t want to scare them.’

Though cynics may scoff, the story of the Enfield Poltergeist has clearly lost none of its frightening power.

The comments below have not been moderated.

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"If she's levitating why is her hair flying up, as it does when you jump up into the air? - Laura, doesn't matter, 29/10/2011 2:23" > I'm not saying they are or not jumping in the picture, but the so-called spirit had also thrown the girl and lifted her from her bed.
- mysslo, London, UK, 29/10/2011 09:52
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What a load of old baloney! Why waste your time covering such nonsense. Who believes that 'Mrs so and so down the street can read your future in your tea leaves' kind of stuff these days? Simple, the kind of people who would still burn witches! It's the 21st century DM! Real news please.
- R Knotts, Girona, 29/10/2011 09:49
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The present occupant does not want her children to know about the history of the house - how nice of the Mail to publish the address.
- TonyG, Cheshire UK, 29/10/2011 09:49
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I know someone who believes in good and bad spirits and so forth..........and obviously "sees" and "hears" them. However someone slept there (4 nights) and heard strange noises, indeed the activity was human like. What was it?? What else but mice! Fact! Fact! Fact!
- Sabina Newson, England, 29/10/2011 09:48
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I have to say that I was wondering when someone would come along and misquote Shakespeare in support of their superstitious beliefs - and Jane in Northampton gets the prize.
- DM, West Sussex, 29/10/2011 09:46
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This could very well be hoax but it doesn't remove from the fact that their is another presence in this world, choose not believe it, choose to believe it - its there. I agree, playing games like the ougie board is asking for trouble. I'm more likely to lean towards the events happenging. I once new a girl who played with a ougie board, she was 15 at the time and we were in a dorm, she had to be held down by 6 fully grown men... she certainly didn't put that on for money - and i very much doubt this family did either. Don't be naive, its ok to accept that there are evil things out there, just avoid them - you always have a gut instick.
- Farah White, United Kingdom, 29/10/2011 09:45
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