"We're All Mad Here…."
Much has been written about the classic Poltergeist case which began in 1977 and became known as ‘The Enfield Poltergeist’. The incidents were investigated at the house by SPR members Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair over a period of 13 months. Playfair documented the investigation in what has become regarded as the definitive account of the haunting/poltergiest activity; his book This House Is Haunted, first published in 1980.
Thanks to coverage by the Daily Mirror and Grosse and Playfair, the case is world famous. There is much to cover as regards the case but I will concentrate here on one famous aspect – the photographs which were published, purportedly showing Janet Hodgson, around whom the activity seemed to centre, being ‘levitated’ in the air by unknown forces.
Above is the classic picture you will see reproduced in many magazines and websites showing Janet high in the air whilst her frightened siblings look on from the rightmost bed.
Here is another in the same sequence with Janet still suspended in mid-air.
Ignoring the truly horrific aspects of the picture, such as the David Soul poster, many people find this a frightening and very convincing set of evidence to support the paranormal and poltergeist activity in particular. However – if you take the four readily available shots of the time and animate the sequence as I have done below – you see an effect which, if presented on its own would hardly cause an observer to say “My God! Paranormal Activity!!”. What do you think?