Poltergeist: (Germanic) meaning, noisy ghost ; Pol-ter'-geist.
The term relates to a specific type of haunting which involves the movement of objects; objects appearing and disappearing, strange noises and general chaos. It usual involves a child around the age of puberty but more often than not, nothing is actually seen on these occasions but the phenomena is very distressing for the people concerned. This type of phenomena has been reported from ancient times and still occurs today.
Enfield, North London (1977-1980)
The Enfield Poltergeist. This was a period of supposed poltergeist activity between August 1977 and September 1978, with an additional outburst in August 1980. The activity occurred at 284 Green Street, Enfield, North London in a rented council house.
Peter, Janet and Margaret Hodgson
Peggy Hodgson, a divorced single parent and her four children lived in the three bedroom home in North London. In late August of 1977, her daughter Janet (11 years old) and son Pete (10 years old) reported beds shaking, unexplained furniture movements and loud raps on the wall. At first skeptical, Margaret witnessed a heavy dresser move about eighteen inches across the floor by itself. After moving it back, the dresser returned to the previous position and defied attempts to be moved again.
Neighbors became aware of the situation when the Hodgson family, dressed in their nightclothes, came next door for help. The police were called and carefully searched the Hodgson home inside and out. During the search, one police officer heard a strange knocking sound and saw a chair move by itself, and later offered a signed statement verifying the incidents. Local clergy and mediums were brought in, but had no success in ending the odd happenings.
Seeking further help, the Hodgson family contacted the Daily Mirror newspaper. After hours in the home with nothing to show for their efforts, a reporter and photographer decided to leave. As they neared their vehicle, toy Lego bricks started moving around. Peggy called them back. Once back in the house, reporter Douglas Bence and photographer Graham Morris both witnessed the phenomenon. Morris was hit in the face by one of the toys while taking a photo. The picture later showed nothing but a hole where the flying toy brick should have been.
After a reporter from the Daily Mail also investigated and covered the story, he suggested that the family contact the Society for Psychical Research. Maurice Grosse was asked by the SPR to investigate. Grosse arrived at the Hodgson home on September 5, 1977, one week after the strange events began. Things were quiet for a few days until September 8, 1977. Both Grosse and reporters from the Daily Mirror newspaper who happened to be in the home covering the story saw a chair thrown on its side, toys flying across the room and doors opening and closing by themselves. Electrical disturbances came and went. Special equipment set up for monitoring and recording the strange happenings malfunctioned. Tapes used by the news media to document the events were damaged or even erased. Metal parts inside some recording equipment were found to be inexplicably bent.
Despite supernatural attempts to foil the documentation of the strange Hodgson house happenings, photos of the children being levitated off of their beds and objects moving by themselves were able to be taken. Add to this statements from impartial witnesses and the eventual manifestation of an entity, and you have strong evidence for a paranormal explanation.
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