Bishop Manchester, what are you thoughts on the famous Enfield Poltergeist case, only a few miles and a few years after the initial Highgate haunting? — Steve F.
The Enfield Poltergeist was active at 284 Green Street in Enfield, North London. The property was a council house rented to Peggy Hodgson, a single parent with four children: Margaret aged twelve, a younger sister Janet aged eleven, Johnny aged ten and Billy aged seven. Billy had a speech impediment. Johnny featured only marginally in the inexplicable events, at least twenty-six of which the investigators felt could not be accounted for by fraud. These included moving furniture, flying marbles, interference with bedclothes, cold breezes, pools of water on the floor, apparitions, physical assaults, graffiti, equipment malfunction and failure, disappearance and reappearance of objects, apparent levitations, and fires which spontaneously ignited and extinguished themselves.
The inexplicable occurrences took place between August 1977 and September 1978, with an additional outburst in August 1980. Furniture is claimed to have moved by itself, knockings on the walls were heard, and children's toys were allegedly seen to have been thrown around and to have been too hot to touch when picked up. A police officer signed an affidavit to affirm that she saw a chair move. Reports of the activity attracted various visitors including mediums and members of the press. One photographer reported being hit on the forehead with a Lego brick. Among other alleged phenomena they witnessed was one of the children, Janet, speaking using her false vocal folds for hours on end while she was apparently possessed by another entity. Speaking in this way is believed to be medically impossible. When speaking with the false cords Janet said she was "Bill" who had died in the house of a brain haemorrhage. The "Bill" persona habitually made jokes and exhibited a very nasty temper, using profanity etc. Peggy Hodgson remained in the house until her death in 2003. Though some of the phenomena was faked to catch the investigators in action, much of the activity appears not to have been manipulated and might possibly have a demonic origin.
Though not too far from the supernatural activity witnessed by many in the Highgate area up until the early 1970s, the Enfield Poltergeist was not related as far as I can discern to the contagion active at Highgate Cemetery.
What are my thoughts? I did not investigate the strange goings-on at Enfield and was not called upon to exorcise the house in Green Street, which, if I had, would have necessitated some investigating on my part. Despite the admissions of peripheral faking by Margaret (who also stated that "It is ridiculous to suggest that either my sister or I could have been responsible for the strange activity that went on in our house"), I am more inclined to believe something supernatural did occur than not. I retain an open mind. I have seen and experienced far stranger things than went on at Enfield in the late 1970s..