What IS the truth about the Enfield Poltergeist?
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Posted 29 October 2011 - 09:24 AM
Credit: Channel 5
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. 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. 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.
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