In case you somehow missed it, the Enfield Haunting is a notorious supernatural event of which the movie The Conjuring 2 is based. However, depending on your beliefs and views on this subject, you may see this as either the longest and most widely witnessed poltergeist ever or one of the best paranormal hoaxes ever created. Either way, no matter which side of the fence you land on, there is no denying that the details of this case are strange if not downright chilling.
Detailing the lives of a single mother, Peggy Hodgson, and her four kids, over a simply hellish year filled with nightmarish events which occurred in 1977, the story of the Enfield Haunting is one right out of the pages of a horror film. Indeed, for this reason, though it may be hard to believe, many of the scenes in the movie, The Conjuring 2, are said to be artistic recreations of actual events. Furthermore, now that this case has been turned into film, there is even more confusion with regards to the facts and fiction of this case. Without being able to personally confirm the details one way or another (I mean, clearly, I wasn't there), I have done a ton of research and believe I can provide some clarity on which details can be confirmed and which cannot. That said, no matter what you choose to believe, the following is an overview of 15 of the most chilling details of the Enfield Haunting. Warning: Do not read if alone late at night...or if you are a scaredy-cat in general.
15 Skeptics Believe This Story Is A Hoax
If you are truly going to get into the Enfield Haunting specifics, we might as well begin with the fact that many truly do believe these events to be a part of one massive hoax. On the one hand, this is largely due to the fact that many simply choose not to believe in ghosts. Therefore, stories such as these are met with switch skepticism and no real effort to uncover the facts. Moreover, in one recording, when asked about the haunting, one of the main family members affected, Janet, told the reporter the house wasn't haunted at all, to which her sister, Margaret, simply told her to "shut up". Although this doesn't necessarily prove anything, this remains the foundation of many theories asserting this haunting was actually a hoax.
14 It All Started With A Chest
No, this isn't a story about buried treasure. Or at least, I don't believe it to be. Nevertheless, although some of the details of this case have been debated, the start of this nightmare is not a mystery. On that fateful night in 1977, shortly after putting the children to bed, Janet, complained that her and her brother's beds were wobbling. Assuming they were joking, Peggy ignored her concerns and told the kids to go to bed. However, the next night, after putting the kids to bed, she heard a loud crash, and went to the room to investigate. Rather than finding happy kids rough housing, Peggy entered the room to witness a large chest gliding across the room. More disturbing, after pushing it back across the room, it once again began to slide, at least 18 inches, back in the same direction. At this point, their lives changed as they knew them.
13 Toys And Legos Were Hot After Being Thrown By The Ghost
Don't get it twisted, this wasn't some archaic ghost who only focused on boring things such as beds and chests. It seems this ghost was a bit of a child at heart (or just an angry old adult). Either way, what ultimately led to one of Peggy's controversial efforts to seek help, was the use of Lego bricks and marbles by the poltergeist. Of course, nobody knows why or how the spirit chose to use these toys as a means of communicating its message. However, what is clear is that these objects were warm/hot to the touch after being thrown. Whether this was some prank by the ghost or a sign of the fact that its spirit will burn for all eternity remains a mystery…
12 How The Ghost Communicated
Moreover, in addition to the Legos and chest, the poltergeist was actually quite resourceful when finding ways to haunt the family. The ghost did things such as knocking on walls, forcibly removed drawers from units, throwing clothes, attempting to pull the children's clothes off while they were sleeping, creating random puddles in perfect circles around the home, creating small fires that would flare and extinguish, snatching the children's uncle out of the chair and spinning him 180 degrees, all before totally possessing Janet as his sole means of verbal communication with the world. While some were obviously skeptical with regards to how all of these things were happening, the various witnesses who believed the story maintain that each of these events were very real and at least as scary as what appeared in the film.
11 Multiple Eye Witnesses & Photos/Videos Before Photoshop
One of the most shocking details of this case lie, not in the actions taken by the poltergeist, but rather, in how many people seem to have witnessed these antics in action. Specifically, in addition to Peggy and her four children, several police officers, Maurice Gross, a paranormal researcher, neighbors, and many others witnessed many of these events first hand. Given that these events occurred during a time in which Photoshop and extensive video editing were virtually unheard of, the various photos, videos, and audio files taken from this time are seen as legitimate accounts of this horrible event. Either way, given that many of these people are still living, they are still considered to be credible and accurate sources of information with regards to the now notorious, Enfield Haunting.
10 The Poltergeist Wasn't Fond Of Reporters
Peggy decided to contact a news agency to help get her story out in order to find help. Contacting the press, Reporter Douglas Bence and photographer Graham Morris, who worked for the Daily Mirror at the time, showed up to document her tale. Appearing to be a bit of a tall one, after hanging out for hours, the reporters were ready to call it a hoax and head home. However, given his playful sense of humor, it seems the poltergeist just couldn't let it end like that. As they were preparing to exit, Morris got knocked upside the head with one of the infamous hot Legos, leaving a welt. Certainly not the best way to be introduced to a ghostly entity but that'll teach them to doubt the dark side...
9 He May Still Be At It
On the flip side, with the introduction of movies such as The Conjuring 2 into society, this case continues to be analyzed, assessed, and reevaluated on a regular basis. While, on the whole, the average researcher only did enough to verify the stated details, a few others decided to go a bit deeper than the surface. For instance, in the case of a guy named Michael Murphy, while taking to time to sift through every detail he came across with regards to this story, he experienced two computer crashes, lost a total of three pictures, and even lost an entire section of his writings, that had to later be rewritten. Whether this alludes to some sort of internet poltergeist or angry hackers attempting to prevent the truth from coming out, remains to be seen...
8 Electrical Equipment Was Constantly Damaged And Footage Erased
The poltergeist seemed to have an affinity for electrical gadgets. According to Morris Gross, an employee of the Society for Psychical Research, electrical faults were a common occurrence during the days he spent observing the ghost as well as the family. In particular, Morris had three, highly expensive and typically incredibly reliable gadgets become totally drained immediately after they finished charging. In addition, their infrared cameras failed on the regular basis and there was even a BBC reporter whose tapes were damaged with the recording totally wiped. Either this ghost had a vendetta against electronics or they weren't too excited about the story getting out.
7 The Ghost Had A Special Interest In Janet
Furthermore, although the poltergeist continued to terrorize the entire family as well as their guests, he (or they) seemed to take a special interest in Janet. Becoming most well known for the photograph of her being propelled into the air with a terrified look on her face, it seems the ghost had much more to fight for than they originally believed. By essentially possessing Janet, he was able to communicate his gripes firsthand. Although he claimed to be a number of different people, one name, Bill, seemed to be the most prominent. When asked why he was so obsessed with Janet and invading her personal space, he responded that she was the one in his bed.
6 PMS May Have Played A Factor
Those who are deeper into the antics of the otherworldly seem to have a different theory with regards to why he chose Janet. As noted by many experts in the field, poltergeist activity seems to be heightened in the case in which a child is on the cusp of adulthood. In the case of Janet, this whole nightmare began right before she began menstruation. Furthermore, the activity began just a couple months before Janet's cycle began and the activity reached its peak right as it began. Whether this detail is just a coincidence or totally true remains a mystery. Nevertheless, the timing certainly seems suspicious to say the very least. And given that the ghost seemed to continue to target her specifically, this seems like more than a posthumous spat over furniture.
5 The Ghost Of Bill Wilkins
Although the occasionally playful ghost claimed to be a few different people, the name Bill seemed to stick and also made sense. After asserting that Janet was in his bed, the bully of a ghost actually told the story of why he was haunting the family. Just as in the movie, the ghost of Bill asserted that he went spontaneously blind, experienced a brain hemorrhage, and subsequently died in a chair in the downstairs corner of the home. This story was later confirmed by Bill's son, Terry Wilkins. Moreover, on a separate occasion, before he was able to communicate verbally, they used a knocking system in which Bill agreed when asked if he was a boy who once lived in the home. However, most disturbing, during the original recording, Bill stated that he had nothing, in particular, to tell the family and simply enjoyed messing with them. Also, when asked, he refused to leave.
4 The Infamous Floating Photo Is Legit
One of the most notorious elements of this case, the photo in which a terrified Janet is forcibly hovering over her own bed, has actually been proven to be real. Taken by well-known photographer, Graham Morris, these photos have been authenticated time and time again by experts across the globe. Although no one can prove who or what was actually behind these poltergeist-assisted levitations, Janet herself, has said that she remembered what felt like two very cold hands lifting her violently from her bed. While many argue that Morris was somehow "in on it" and that the whole haunting was staged, Morris maintains that these photos are 100% authentic and the type of thing one would have to see in order to fully believe it.
3 Some Of It Was Faked
This is not to say that the entire case is a hoax, however, it appears those who are skeptical of this case are well within their rights. In fact, a well known scholar, Anita Gregory, led many to reject this story. After visiting the home and not even being allowed to witness this so-called possession first-hand, Gregory left under the impression that this was some family's pathetic attempt to gain notoriety. Moreover, on at least a few occasions, Janet was caught laughing, joking, and faking some of the events by reporters who came to document the case. When asked why they went so far as to fake certain things, Janet simply stated that some days things happened and others they did not. As a child, she felt pressured to "give the people what they want", since it was such a hot topic and all. It certainly makes sense, nevertheless...
2 It Was Over As Quickly As It Began
With no other explanation with regards to what was happening, and given that Janet was the main source of the disturbances, they decided that putting Janet in a psych ward for evaluation was the best course of action. However, after being tested thoroughly for months and being deemed totally sane, she was released to go back home. When she returned to the home, the haunting had died down completely. This little detail doesn't sit well with many, least of all, Janet herself as she maintained she still felt a presence, for many years, up until her mother passed away. Either way, there was never any major disturbances after this so, whether it was just a figment of her imagination or ol' Billy just got bored and moved on, remains open to interpretation.
1 The Legend Continues
Despite the confusion, accusations, and variety of sketchy details, nobody involved with this story has changed their story even once. Everyone from their mother, to Janet's siblings, to the neighbors, the police officers, investigators, and even skeptics, still tell their stories pretty much exactly how they did in 1977. While this does not necessarily mean it wasn't a hoax, one would think that a hoax of this magnitude would have long since cracked under such widespread public scrutiny. Indeed, especially given that their mother, Peggy, has since passed away, one would think they would want to try and clear the air at some point, rather than dragging such a tall tale into the great beyond. I suppose, Peggy could come back and speak for herself...but let's hope not.