The Enfield Poltergeist

In 1977, a house in the north London suburb of Enfield was the scene of violent disturbances of apparently paranormal origin. The occurrences were similar to those reported in other cases of the ‘poltergeist’ type: knockings and other noises with no apparent cause; doors opening and closing by themselves; furniture overturned; small objects hurled across rooms; picture frames ripped from walls; small fires that started and went out by themselves, and suchlike. The events continued for just over a year and in many cases were witnessed by neighbours, investigators, technicians, press reporters and broadcasters, police officers and others.

In its later stages the case was notable for the emergence of abusive and often obscene speech from the mouth of a twelve-year old girl. Tape recordings were made of the voice, which was gruff and masculine, apparently that of an old man.

Maurice Grosse, a successful inventor, initiated an investigation soon after the start of the events on behalf of the Society for Psychical Research. Grosse was soon joined by author and paranormal investigator Guy Lyon Playfair, whose 1980 book This House is Haunted: An Investigation of the Enfield Poltergeist is the main source of information about the events. Detailed and broadly accurate reports published over a period of time by the Daily Mirror led to widespread attention by other newspapers, radio and television.

The Family

The house is 284 Green Street, a three-bedroom council-owned semi-detached house dating from the 1920s. At this time it was occupied by a family consisting of 47-year-old divorcee Peggy Hodgson and her four children, Margaret (13), Janet (12), John (11) and Billy (7). (All except Janet are referred to in This House is Haunted by pseudonyms, respectively Peggy Harper, Rose, Pete and Jimmy.)

Peggy Hodgson was considered by those who knew her to be a pleasant and conscientious person, overcoming financial insecurity to do her best for her children. Margaret was serious and reserved, Janet lively and extravert. John was only at home during the school holidays and some weekends since he boarded at a special school. Billy suffered from a severe speech defect but in other respects was a typical little boy.

Mrs Hodgson’s brother John Burcombe, a hospital worker, lived nearby at 272 Green Street with his wife Sylvia and two children Paul and Denise. The two families appeared to be close, and John was supportive towards the Hodgsons.

The Hodgsons’ next door (282) neighbours were builder Vic Nottingham, his wife Peggy and their twenty-year-old son Gary. Relations between the families were seen to be friendly and supportive. 

The First Incidents

On 31 August 1977 at around 9.30pm, the children Janet and John heard shuffling in their bedroom. Their mother entered the room and all three heard knocking sounds. A chest-of-drawers moved eighteen inches across the room without any apparent physical contact. They immediately went to fetch help from the Nottinghams next door.

Vic and Gary Nottingham entered and heard further knocks. Vic later stated that he could find no source for the knocks, which seemed to follow him round the house. At this point Peggy Nottingham called the police.

WPC Heeps and PC Hyams arrived at around 1am. Heeps witnessed a chair move three to four feet across the living room floor without any physical contact.1 There were further knockings.

Over the next few days marbles and toy (Lego) building blocks appeared to fly around the house of their own volition, witnessed by members of the family and the Nottinghams. There followed visits by council officials, clergymen and others, but none of these deterred the phenomena, which continued unabated.  

On 4 September, Mrs Nottingham phoned the Daily Mirror in the hope it would put her in touch with someone who could help. Reporter Douglas Bence and photographer Graham Morris visited the house. Both men witnessed flying objects and the latter was hit on the forehead by a piece of Lego travelling at speed (he said the bruise was still visible some days later). On 7 September, senior reporter George Fallows and photographer David Thorpe visited the house.

Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair

In early September, the Daily Mirror’s Fallows contacted the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) and spoke to the secretary Eleanor O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe got in touch with Maurice Grosse, who had recently joined the organization and declared his willingness to act as an investigator, if any interesting cases should arise.

Grosse was a successful inventor, responsible among many innovations for the rotating advertising billboard.  His interest in paranormal phenomena had been awakened by a series of meaningful coincidences that followed the death of his daughter Janet in August 1976, of head injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident.

Grosse visited the house on 5 September. He advised Mrs Hodgson to remain calm, and recommended she take notes of any incidents. On 8 September, Grosse and three Daily Mirror reporters witnessed ‘a loud crash’.2 Convinced that Hodgson’s claims were genuine, Grosse how decided to take on the case. During subsequent visits he and others observed:

  • marbles that flew through the air and landed on the floor without rolling
  • doors and drawers that opened of their own accord
  • door chimes that swung
  • objects (teaspoon, cardboard box, fish tank lid) that jumped

The movements were witnessed by Grosse, the Hodgsons, Peggy Nottingham’s father and four reporters and photographers from the Daily Mirror. At this relatively early stage, as many as ten people not related to the family had witnessed the phenomena at first hand.

Author and investigator Guy Playfair responded to an appeal to the SPR for assistance by Grosse and arrived on 12 September, along with Rosalind Morris from BBC Radio 4, The World this Weekend. He and Grosse worked together for more than a year, making a total of 180 visits and 25 all-night vigils at the house.


The incidents at Enfield are among the most closely recorded in any ‘poltergeist’-type case. Grosse, Playfair, Mrs Hodgson and other witnesses kept records, of varying levels of detail. Tape recordings, mainly by Playfair and Grosse eventually totalled over 180 hours.

An incomplete list is as follows:3

  • marbles and pieces of Lego seen travelling through the air at great speed, seemingly emanating from walls or windows
  • a teapot shook vigorously on a cabinet in the absence of any external vibration
  • metal spoons bent and the lid of a metal teapot was deformed
  • the shade of a bedside lamp tilted and then straightened
  • a toilet door opened and closed when nobody was nearby
  • cardboard boxes and cushions were thrown by an unknown force
  • a slipper was thrown across a room by an unknown source
  • a framed certificate was pulled off the wall (Grosse alone in the room)
  • a bedroom carpet was pulled up at the edge to form an identical shape each time, an effect which Grosse was unable to replicate
  • a settee was levitated and overturned in front of several witnesses
  • eleven-year-old Janet was levitated and deposited in different places at different times
  • kitchen unit doors slid open of their own accord
  • tubular door chimes swung from side to side many times
  • footsteps were heard when nobody else was present
  • twelve-year-old Margaret was held fast by an unknown force
  • knocks, bangs and crashes heard, not caused by plumbing, vibration or other external sources
  • coins disappeared from one room and reappeared in another
  • small fires started and extinguished themselves without causing damage
  • water appeared in circumstances not understood
  • normally reliable electrical equipment (tape recorders, cameras etc.) failed to work
  • apparitions were seen (partial and total)
  • the iron frame of a built-in fireplace was wrenched from the wall
  • excrement appeared in inappropriate places
  • written messages
  • the abusive remarks and swearwords in a gruff masculine voice apparently produced by Janet (and sometimes Margaret)

Some effects occurred simultaneously. Many were repeated at different times and places both day and night. Some were seen by members of the public who in many cases had no interaction with the Hodgson family. They included John Rainbow, a local tradesman, Richard Grosse, a solicitor, and Hazel Short, a road-crossing council employee (‘lollipop lady’).

Short told Playfair that she had been walking towards Number 284 to pick up her lollipop sign, which she normally concealed under the hedge at the front of the house.

I was standing there looking at the house, when all of a sudden a couple of books came flying across and hit the window. It was so sudden. I heard the noise because it was so quiet, there was no traffic, and it made me jump…

Then after a little while, I saw Janet. I don’t know if there’s a bed underneath that window, but she was going up and down bodily as though someone was just tossing her up and down bodily, in a horizontal position, like as if someone had got hold of her legs and back and was throwing her up and down.

I definitely saw her come up about window height, but I thought if she was bouncing, she’d bounce from her feet, she wouldn’t be able to get enough power to bounce off her back, to come up that high. My friend could see her as well, we both could see her.4

WPC Caroline Heeps testified to the investigators as follows:

On Thursday 1st September 1977 at approximately 1am, I was on duty in my capacity as a policewoman, when I received a radio message to 284, Wood [sic] St, Enfield. I went to this address where I found a number of people standing in the living room. I was told by the occupier of this house that strange things had been happening during the last few nights and that they believed that the house was haunted. Myself and another PC entered the living room of the house and the occupier switched off the lights. Almost immediately I heard the sound of knocking on the wall that backs onto the next door neighbour's house. There were four distinct taps on the wall and then silence. About two minutes later I heard more tapping, but this time it was coming from a different wall, again it was a distinctive peal of four taps. The PC and the neighbours checked the walls, attic and pipes, but could find nothing to explain the knockings.

The PC and the neighbours all went into the kitchen to check the refrigerator pipes, etc., leaving the family and myself in the living room. The lights in the living room were switched off again and within a few minutes the eldest son pointed to a chair which was standing next to the sofa. I looked at the chair and noticed that it was wobbling slightly from side to side, I then saw the chair slide across the floor towards the kitchen wall. It moved approximately 3-4 feet and then came to rest.

At no time did it appear to leave the floor. I checked the chair but could find nothing to explain how it had moved. The lights were switched back on. Nothing else happened that night although we have later reports of disturbances at this address.5

George Fallows, a The Daily Mirror reporter, gave this account of events that he witnessed.

Because of the emotional atmosphere at the house and in the neighbourhood, ranging from hysteria through terror to excitement and tension, it has been difficult to record satisfactory data. Nevertheless, I am satisfied the overall impression of our investigation is reasonably accurate. To the best of our ability, we have eliminated the possibility of TOTAL trickery, although we have been able to simulate most of the phenomena. In my opinion this faking could only be done by an expert.6

The Voice

In December 1977, three months after the start of the disturbances, an anomalous voice began to emanate from Janet. It started as a series of whistles and dog-like barks, and developed into a human voice, that of an elderly male, harsh and guttural, and quite unlike Janet’s.7 The voice identified itself as ‘Joe Wilkins’ (pseudonym ‘Watson’ in This House is Haunted) and claimed that he had lived in the house (the previous occupant was in fact a Mr Wilkins who had died in the house, a fact seemingly unknown to Janet). It habitually swore, and claimed to be still living and to sleep in Janet’s bed.8

Interrogated by Richard Grosse (Maurice Grosse’s son, a solicitor) the voice gave further details: 'I went blind, and I had a haemorrhage, and I fell asleep and I died on a chair in the corner downstairs.'9

To eliminate the possibility that Janet was herself faking the voice, Grosse taped up Janet’s mouth. The voice continued to be heard, somewhat subdued, as was the case on future occasions when Janet’s mouth was also filled with water. Early in January 1978, Margaret started to speak in a similar harsh voice, but without the same intensity or duration as Janet’s.


Many hours of recordings of the voice were made, the deatils of which are related in Melvyn Willin's The Enfield Poltergeist Tapes (2019). A contact microphone placed on the back of Janet’s head picked up what appeared to be a different and louder sound than her normal voice. A speech therapist approached by the investigators was unable to say where the sound was coming from or how it was being sustained; it had had some resemblance to a ‘false vocal chord tone’.10

John Hasted, a physicist at London’s Birbeck College, carried out an experiment together with Adrian Fourcin, a phonetics expert at University College, London. Tests with a laryngograph indicated an effect known as plica ventricularis, where muscle tension in the throat can produce sounds independent of the vocal chords. However, there are known side-effects in this condition, around six weeks of hoarseness and a sore throat, neither of which were exhibited by Janet.

Ray Alan, a ventriloquist, felt that the voice was being produced via the diaphragm, but this was disputed by Grosse and Playfair. Grosse was so convinced of the paranormal origin of the effect that he offered £500 (later £1000) to a nominated charity if any child could replicate the voice under the terms he specified.11 Nobody took up his offer. He was further encouraged in his conviction that the voice had an unknown source when reading of similar historical cases from people suffering possession, for example:12

At the moment when the countenance alters, a more or less changed voice issues from the mouth of the person in the fit … The top register of the voice is displaced, the feminine voice is transformed into a bass one.13

There have been more recent reports of a similar phenomenon. In 2012, Professor Richard E Gallagher (New York Medical College) reported the case of a woman referred to as ‘Julia’, who sometimes spontaneously entered a trance state and uttered obscenities in voices completely different from her own.14 In 2014, police in Indiana in the US investigated a case where the children of Latoya Ammons displayed what she took to be signs of demonic possession, such as speaking in unnaturally deep voices.15 

Methods of Investigation

A variety of other methods of investigation were undertaken by a number of people between August 1977 and October 1978.

In May 1978, the SPR set up a committee to examine the investigation by Grosse and Playfair, consisting of Mary Rose Barrington, Hugh Pincott, Peter Hallson and John Stiles. They carefully interviewed many of the witnesses considered much of the testimony to be clear and convincing. They also sought expertise from Charles Moses of the Southern California Society for Psychical Research, an experienced investigator. The committee concluded that there was good evidence for paranormal phenomena described by credible informants, though judgement was reserved on incidents that could not have been clearly observed, or where witnesses were found to be not entirely convincing.16 They were wary of attributing a paranormal origin to Janet’s ‘other’ voice. Barrington felt ‘personally satisfied’ that paranormal events took place at Enfield, and considered the tearing away of the fireplace ‘an item of poltergeistery of the first order’.17

Physicist John Hasted found that Janet’s body increased in weight when she was strapped to a ‘Blundell’ couch devised to measure such anomalies. He reported ‘two sudden five-second weight-increase signals of about one kg and a minute gradual weight increase which eventually returns to normal’ – an anomaly he was unable to explain.18 He was further intrigued by a light bulb that exploded in an unusual way, finding that one of the glass supports on which the filament was mounted had snapped,19 an event he considered very rare.

Physicist David Robertson carried out experiments at Enfield. He attempted to video Janet secretly, but found it impossible to conceal the equipment from her.  He reported a levitation of Janet; the ‘teleportation’ of a large cushion to the house roof; the overturning of a side board; his head being struck by a flying plate; his hair pulled when he slept on the floor of the front room.20

A local psychiatrist examined the girls and maintained that if they were left alone then the disturbances would stop. This did not happen, however.

Janet was given a detailed physical and psychological assessment at London’s Maudsley Institute of Neuropsychiatry by Dr Peter Fenwick. No abnormality was discovered, such as damage to the brain or evidence of epilepsy.21

Hypnosis similarly failed to uncover any evidence of psychological frailty. Playfair undertook some research that found similarities with some manifestations of Tourette’s Syndrome, including explosive utterances, barking and swearing. When medical doctors were called out they usually prescribed calming drugs to help Janet sleep.

National press reporters, photographers and television crews used different approaches to try to uncover the reason for the phenomena. Some introduced professional magicians to try to discover fraudulent activity. Others brought spirit mediums to make contact with the haunting entity.


Two Brazilian mediums, Luiz Gasparetto and Elsie Dubugras, apparently had some beneficial effect on Janet’s behaviour. A somewhat theatrical performance by another medium, Gerry Sherrick, also resulted in relative calm for a short while.

Matthew Manning, a healer and psychic, visited the Hodgsons wishing to share knowledge of such events from his own experiences which he believed originated from an individual’s own energy.22 Manning said he had experienced headaches of a similar nature to Peggy Hodgson’s at times when phenomena was about to take place.

Dono Gmelig-Meyling, a Dutch healer and clairvoyant, visited in October 1978, finding connections between the incidents and the death of Grosse’s daughter.

Controversy and Scepticism

Grosse and Playfair conceded that Margaret and Janet had sometimes tried to trick them, but insisted these occasions were very few, that they were quickly discovered, and that the girls had then admitted their deceit. Indeed, they held that it would have not been normal if the children had not tried to copy what they were seeing happen all around them. Janet later admitted that they cheated ‘about two percent of the time’.23

The family and direct neighbours believed the phenomena to be real. Those who knew Peggy Hodgson had no doubts about her personal integrity. However, some potentially credible witnesses disputed the veracity of the phenomena – often after just a few visits and in some cases without having visited at all.

Media coverage was typically trivial and sensationalist, with headlines such as ‘Terror for family in spook riddle’,24 ‘Ghost hunters clash over mystery of spook or spoof kids’,25 and ‘Phantom Fred is a force to fear’26 (accompanied by a ghostly image of Playfair).

This House is Haunted was published in 1980. It was reviewed sceptically by Anita Gregory, a SPR member and investigator who had visited Enfield with John Beloff in December 1977.27 The pair argued that the girls enjoyed play-acting; Gregory alleged that John Burcombe told her that Janet taught herself the trick of talking in a deep voice and that she enjoyed keeping strangers hopping about’.28

Gregory also stated that Peggy Nottingham had told her that what was going on now was ‘pure nonsense’, and ‘it was kept going by the investigators’.29 After rejoinders from Grosse,30 Gregory repeated her suspicion regarding the paranormality of the girls’ voices and her belief that Playfair’s book was far too sketchy, unsystematic, imprecise, ambiguous and confusing to be seen as a contribution to research.31

Melvyn Harris, an author of debunking books, analyzed the photographs in This House is Haunted, concluding they showed the girls indulging in ‘spirited high-jinks’ and forcefully denying that they could be held to represent paranormal events.32 In reply, Playfair defended the photographs as follows:

On the curtain-twisting sequence, [Harris] suggests that the curtain ‘has simply been hit by the bedclothes and knocked off the window-ledge’. He does not explain how the curtain then moves into the room, as it can plainly be seen to do in the first picture, instead of towards the window, as one might expect. Nor does he explain how it moves to the right, the opposite direction to that of the bedclothes, and then twists into a tight spiral. In the pillow sequence, he does not explain how the top pillow doubles up in mid-air and changes direction, which it clearly does. Had both pillows been thrown (with one hand) by Rose, they would presumably have followed the same trajectory and landed together, which they do not. Such movements, he says, “easily correspond with those to be found in commonplace, everyday events”. Not in the world I live in.’

In a later response to Gregory, Grosse defended himself against her criticisms and pointed out that she had conceded the case included some good evidence and testimony, being answered in turn by Gregory with more criticisms, including a complaint about the lack of evidential video footage.33

Grosse and Playfair published further reflections some years later.34 Here they drew attention to the large number of written and spoken testimonies from witnesses. They described in detail the constant and anomalous problems that they and professionals had experienced with sound and video recording equipment when trying to capture evidence. They bewailed the lack of balance shown in some sections of the media, denouncing the ‘… many inaccuracies, distortions, half truths and blatant lies about the Enfield case that have found their way over the years into print or radio and TV programmes’.35 Some journalists, they revealed, had tried unsuccessfully to bribe a next door neighbour, Mrs Nottingham, with £1000 if she would state that the events were all ‘a pack of lies’ (she and her family subsequently made signed statements repudiating allegations of faking).36

Professional sceptics continue to criticize the Enfield investigation.37 

In 2012, Janet appeared on the television programme This Morning with Playfair and Deborah Hyde, editor of The Skeptic magazine. Criticism by Hyde of views put forward by Mary Rose Barrington led to correspondence by both parties in a later edition of the magazine.38 Barrister and SPR Council member Alan Murdie returned to the topic in a later magazine article, arguing that Hyde had wasted an opportunity to ask detailed questions, preferring instead to speak in generalizations.39

Towards the end of his life, Grosse was much occupied with defending his investigation of the Enfield events, writing articles for wide range of publications and speaking at conferences.40 In 1995, he took part in an edition of the popular ITV television programme Strange but True with presenter Michael Aspel. Two years later, having been attacked by the psychologist Nicholas Humphries in Channel 4’s Is There Anybody There?, he appeared in its Right to Reply programme to give his version of events.

A dispute arose over the 1992 BBC drama Ghostwatch, which was modelled on some aspects of the Enfield case; Playfair received a  settlement out of court. In 1998, Grosse took court action against the comedian David Baddiel for giving his name to a character in his novel Time for Bed, a psychic investigator who runs away with a married woman. Baddiel paid out of court; the winnings went to charity.

Grosse appeared in a French documentary The Strange Odyssey (1995). He was interviewed by a Japanese film company in 1996, at which time Terry Wilkins, son of the former occupant of the Enfield house and putative entity ‘Bill Wilkins’, confirmed that his father had died in the house many years earlier in the circumstances that Janet’s ‘voice’ had described.41 Grosse died in 2006.

Playfair remained an active researcher, author and SPR Council member, almost until his death in 2018. He vigorously defended the legitimacy of the investigation and the claims of paranormality. In 2007, he took The Times to task for making unfounded comments about the case.42 Playfair  also pointed to support from the academic community for his comparisons of features of the case with Tourette’s Syndrome.43

Later Developments

Peggy Hodgson died in 2003 (her older son John died in 1981 aged 14).  Janet left home at 16, married young, and suffered the loss of her son when he was aged 18. Maurice Grosse died in 2006 and Guy Playfair in 2018.

Peggy Hodgson avoided publicity after the disturbances subsided in 1978, but never changed her position about the anomalous nature of what she had experienced. Billy, a young child at the time, remained largely indifferent to the events. Both Janet and Margaret have made brief appearances on television documentaries, insisting on the genuineness of the phenomena.44

Asked in a 2011 newspaper article whether she believed the house was still haunted, Janet said: ‘Years later, when Mum was alive, there was always a presence there — something watching over you.’

Janet, who at this time was aged 45, mentioned having been bullied at school as a result of the incidents, being nicknamed ‘Ghost Girl’. She also mentioned having played with a Ouija board before the trouble flared up. She said she had been unaware that she went into trances until shown the photographs.45

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. 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.

After Peggy Hodgson died the house was briefly occupied by mother of four Clare Bennett, who stated: ‘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. Bennett then found out about the house’s history. ‘Suddenly, it all made sense,’ she said. The family moved out after just two months.46

Film and Television Dramas

Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist was based on ‘a documented haunting in England’ (presumably Enfield) according to the film’s scriptwriter Dan Aykroyd.47 

A three-part dramatization of the events was broadcast in May 2015 by Sky Living under the title The Enfield Haunting, featuring Timothy Spall as Maurice Grosse and Matthew Macfadyen as Guy Playfair.  Playfair was consulted by the programme makers, but commented later that the result bore little relation to the actual events, with almost none of the phenomena shown having anything to do with the real ones.48  The programme contained notable inaccuracies, such as the use of  CCTV – not available at the time – and omitted key features such as Janet’s alleged levitation.

Melvyn Willin


Barrington, M.R., Pincott, H., Hallson, P., & Stiles, J. (1978). Report of the Enfield Committee. Society for Psychical Research archives. 

Brennan, Z. (2011). What is the truth about the Enfield Poltergeist? Daily Mail, 28 October. [Web page]

Fodor, N. (1958). On the Trail of the Poltergeist. New York: Citadel.

Gauld, A. & Cornell, A.D. (1979). Poltergeists. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Gregory, A. (1980).  Review of G.L. Playfair This House is Haunted, an investigation of the Enfield poltergeist. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 50, 538-41.  

Gregory, A. (1981). Correspondence. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 51, 115-16.

Grosse, M. (1979). Correspondence. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 50, 1979, 258.

Grosse, M. (1981). Correspondence. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 51, 34-35.

Grosse, M. (1983). Correspondence. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 52, 92-95.

Harris, M. (1980). Correspondence. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 50, 552-54.

Hasted, J., Robertson, D., & Spinelli, E. (1982). Recording of Sudden Paranormal Changes of Body Weight. Research in Parapsychology, Jubilee Centenary Issue, 1995. Scarecrow Press.

Howie, M. (2011). Evening Standard 25 October.

Knight, D. (1977). Poltergeists. London: Dent.

Kwiatskowsky, M. (2014). The exorcisms of Latoya AmmonsIndianapolis Star, 25 January. [Web page]

Matthews, R. (2009). Poltergeists and Other Hauntings. London: Arcturus.

Murdie, A. (2012). Fortean Times, 288.

Nickell, J. (2012). Enfield Poltergeist. Investigative Files. Skeptical Inquirer 36/4, July/August.

Oesterreich, T.K. (1966). Possession – Demoniacal and Other. New Hyde Park: University Books.

Playfair, G.L. (1980/2007). This House is Haunted. Stroud: Sutton Publishing.

Playfair, G.L., & Grosse, M. (1989). Enfield Revisited: The evaporation of positive evidence. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 55, 208-19.  

Playfair, G.L. (2015). The Enfield Saga: From This House is Haunted (1980) to The Enfield Haunting (2015). Paranormal Review 75, Summer, 26-27.

Price, H. (1993). Poltergeist. London: Bracken. 

Society for Psychical Research (1978). Report of the Enfield Poltergeist Investigation Committee. SPR archive. Cambridge University Library.

Thurston, H. (1953). Ghosts and Poltergeists. London: Burns Oates.

Westenfeld, A. (2020). Dr. Richard Gallagher, Demonic Possession Expert, Isn’t Trying to Convince You. Esquire, October 2.

Willin, M.J. (2019). The Enfield Poltergeist Tapes. Guildford: White Crow Books.


  • 1. SPR archives Cambridge University Library (CUL).
  • 2. Playfair (2007), 24.
  • 3. Some of these items can be found in the SPR archives.
  • 4. Playfair (2007), 153.
  • 5. Reproduced in The Report of the Enfield Poltergeist Committee (SPR archives).
  • 6. Reproduced in The Report of the Enfield Poltergeist Committee (SPR archives).
  • 7. Playfair (2007), 128 passim.
  • 8. Playfair (2007), 140.
  • 9. Playfair (2007), 145.
  • 10. Playfair (2007), 200-1.
  • 11. Grosse (1979), 258.
  • 12. Oesterreich (1966).
  • 13. Playfair (2007), 132.
  • 14. Westenfeld (2020).
  • 15. Kwiatskowsky (2014).
  • 16. Barrington et al. (1978).
  • 17. Barrington et al. (1978).
  • 18. Hasted et al. (1982).
  • 19. Playfair (2007), 249.
  • 20. Private correspondence with the author, (July 2014).
  • 21. Playfair (2007), 272.
  • 22. Playfair (2007), 162.
  • 23. Brennan (2011).
  • 24. Daily Mirror, 10 September (1977).
  • 25. News of the World, 2 April (1978).
  • 26. Evening News, 11 June (1980).
  • 27. Gregory (1980), 538-41.
  • 28. Gregory (1980), 541.
  • 29. Gregory (1980), 541.
  • 30. Grosse (1981), 34-35.
  • 31. Gregory (1981), 115-16.
  • 32. Harris (1980), 552-54.
  • 33. Grosse (1983), 92-95.
  • 34. Grosse and Playfair (1989), 201-19.
  • 35. Playfair (2007), 301.
  • 36. cited in Playfair (2007).
  • 37. Nickell (2012).
  • 38. The Skeptic, Summer (2012), 31.
  • 39. Murdie (2012).
  • 40. SPR archives.
  • 41. SPR audio-visual archives.
  • 42. Playfair (2007), 300.
  • 43. Cited in Playfair (2007), 299.
  • 44. For instance, ITV This Morning, 23 February (2012); Maurice Grosse Video Diaries (1996); The Enfield Poltergeist: Jane Goldman Investigates. Enfield Poltergeist Nationwide Special. (originally shown 23 November (1977). Interview with a Poltergeist, 28 August (2008).
  • 45. Brennan (2011).
  • 46. Howie (2011).
  • 47. Playfair (2007), 302.
  • 48. Playfair (2015), 27.