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The Enfield Poltergeist
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 20-12-2011 13:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've mentioned that previously, if anyone was going to be haunted she had the look of someone who would be.


Yes, I think I see what you mean. To see her in later life I think that it's pretty certain she was 'haunted'.
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sherbetbizarreOffline
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PostPosted: 22-12-2011 01:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to the book...

The "second team" from the SPR arrive on 10 December, 1977 - psychologists Dr John Beloff and Anita Gregory turn up the night the male voice starts to emanate from Janet. Unfortunately the voice - plus Janet and Rose being flung from their beds - only occurs when no-one is in the room with them.

This "understandably makes our visitors rather suspicious" admits Playfair.

Beloff & Gregory turn in a report the following day with the opinion the girls are playing tricks.


Grosse's son Richard arrives on the 13th and communicates with the voice, getting the famous "I died from a haemorrahage downstairs" line. However, the voice only comes when he has his back turned from Janet, but is convinced it can read his mind... even when he thinks of turning his head, the voice abruptly stops.


The incident with the lollipop lady is seen by three seperate witnesses - the lollipop lady and her friend see books and a pillow hit the windows, followed by Janet, unnaturally bouncing on her back at quite a height, while remaing flat.

A local tradesman (nameless) sees books and "other articles" hit the window then continue to fly in a circle, while Janet "floats horizontally across the room" as the curtains billow.

According to Janet she then goes "through the wall" into the neighbours bedroom, where moments later a surprised Mrs Nottingham finds one of Janet's books on her floor!

And a large cushion teleports through the closed window, onto the roof.


"Celebrity poltergeist victim" Matthew Manning turns up on 17th December, to tell them they can survive this, and come through it ok... followed by "internationally-known magician" Milbourne Christopher, which prompts this interesting paragraph from Playfair:

Quote:
However, I was sure nothing would happen that night. It was becoming apparent that paranormal events only took place in the presence of people who believed them to be possible. This was not my original idea; it was suggested a century ago by Robert Hare, one of the first qualified researchers in the field, and repeated more recently by the psychologist K.J. Batcheldor, and although I can hardly expect the average sceptic to swallow such a theory, I feel there must be something to it.


...as would happen more recently in Haunted Homes where all activity would cease once Chris French toured the place!

So is a sceptical mind immune from ghosts...

...or immune from allowing themselves to be fooled?
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 23-12-2011 19:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hoo boy, this is great:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/

A Christmas present from Adam Curtis where he charts the reporting of ghosts on British TV news programmes. All the clips are worth watching, though I assume we all know about Ghostwatch, but this proves that the Enfield Poltergeist was no one off, and there were precedents for it.

The centrepiece is the two original news reports about the Enfield Polt: the first seems quite believable, the second with the strange voices looks like a wind-up. But even then there are the knocks to contend with, and they're both oddly creepy in their 1970s way.

If you have the time, there's a half hour programme made by Maurice Grosse in the nineties too, where he goes back and interviews some of the main players (but not Janet). I like the way they still respectfully call him "Mr Grosse".

Give this a look, there's some real archive gems here.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 23-12-2011 19:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair play that was a good read. I only wish I could watch the videos.

Quote:
I like the way they still respectfully call him "Mr Grosse".


That is interesting isn't it.

As regards it not being a stand alone case, we had our own version here which was featured at the time on Arthur C Clarke. Tried looking it up on the internet but but it's just faded away.

Quote:
So is a sceptical mind immune from ghosts...

...or immune from allowing themselves to be fooled?


I'm going to go for the latter, mostly because I think that in a genuine case there's something objective to experience.
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sherbetbizarreOffline
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PostPosted: 24-12-2011 12:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

gncxx wrote:
Hoo boy, this is great:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/


Wow! Many thanks, gncxx!! Very Happy
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 24-12-2011 17:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't mention it!

oldrover wrote:
Fair play that was a good read. I only wish I could watch the videos.


That's a shame, especially for the one filmed about a year before the Enfield report which has a similar council house haunting, but concentrates on the parents. In many ways it's like a dry run for the more famous case.

If you can get iPlayer to work over the next few days, then try looking up the BBC Four programme The A-Z of the Night, which had P for Phantoms (about two thirds in): a clip of another news report about a poltergeist from about 1970 (or so it looked). Two middle-aged ladies acting out and relating their haunting experience, quite amusing.

Quote:
As regards it not being a stand alone case, we had our own version here which was featured at the time on Arthur C Clarke. Tried looking it up on the internet but but it's just faded away.


Arthur's first series is on DVD, but the second one isn't, which is where I suspect that other story was from (saw the first series again a year ago, but don't recall the polts!).
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 24-12-2011 21:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

No sound on the computer, I never realised it was supposed to have sound for years so I never took it back to be fixed.

The poltergeists are on the first series I think, I could never get through the 'World of strange powers' book or series.
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 24-12-2011 22:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldrover wrote:
The poltergeists are on the first series I think, I could never get through the 'World of strange powers' book or series.


I'll have to watch it again!
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HenryFortOffline
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PostPosted: 25-12-2011 02:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

that guy writes amazing blogs
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 27-12-2011 22:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

gncxx wrote:
If you can get iPlayer to work over the next few days, then try looking up the BBC Four programme The A-Z of the Night, which had P for Phantoms (about two thirds in): a clip of another news report about a poltergeist from about 1970 (or so it looked). Two middle-aged ladies acting out and relating their haunting experience, quite amusing.


Bad form to quote yourself, I know, but the BBC Four programme about the night is repeated on that channel in half an hour, 23.05. Should have mentioned this earlier really, but it's worth staying up for the vintage poltergeist ladies.
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Heckler20Offline
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PostPosted: 28-12-2011 09:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

gncxx wrote:
Bad form to quote yourself, I know, but the BBC Four programme about the night is repeated on that channel in half an hour, 23.05. Should have mentioned this earlier really, but it's worth staying up for the vintage poltergeist ladies.


I chuckled in a very smutty way when I watched the Polt clip on the A-Z of the night; two middle aged ladies sharing a bed and being 'touched' in the dark? Wink
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 28-12-2011 11:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did catch that, Frustratingly though I was called away during P for phantom so I missed a bit, but it looked great. Also saw the V for vampire section I must admit I identified with the grave digger.

Quote:
I chuckled in a very smutty way when I watched the Polt clip on the A-Z of the night; two middle aged ladies sharing a bed and being 'touched' in the dark?


No that was fine then, look at Morecombe and Wise.
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Heckler20Offline
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PostPosted: 28-12-2011 12:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldrover wrote:
Also saw the V for vampire section I must admit I identified with the grave digger.


Yes, my other half was unaware of the whole sorry saga that the clip covered and I took great joy in telling the tale. Unfortunately we can't go into any more detail on the subject of that clip on this message board.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 28-12-2011 17:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the original story but I've no idea what went on with it here, just that something did and it shouldn't be mentioned directly.
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sherbetbizarreOffline
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PostPosted: 05-01-2012 01:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldrover wrote:
Bear in mind that a second team was sent by the SPR, who dismissed the case.

Having finished the book - plus re-read the relevant chapters in Will Storr's - it turns out the "second team" were only there for one night. Anita Gregory, however, did return a few times on her own. Storr finds "a series of letters to and from Grosse and Gregory (...) published over several editions of the SPR's quarterly journal" in which "the longer the polite but furious scrap went on, the more sceptical Anita became.". Grosse claims her *notes* went from "not knowing what was going on" to all out fraud by the time of her thesis.

Quote:
Also bear in mind that over the course of the original investigation one of the children, Janet, was treated as an inpatient at the Maudsley psychiatric hospital. In defense of this people say that it was Grosse who arranged this to ensure that angle was covered, but this isn't true there's no way a leading psychiatric hospital is going to admit based on a referral from an SPR investigator. It would have needed to have been deemed necessary by another doctor

Playfair is one who wants this done, and indeed Dr Peter Fenwick needs a "letter from her general practitioner referring her...". Her local GP refuses to co-operate, but later she is referred by Dr Sacks, an Enfield psychiatrist.
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