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The Enfield Poltergeist (Original TX on BBC R4 on 26/12/1978)

For over a year, a series of seemingly inexplicable events took place at 284 Green Street in En-field. The family who lived there believed they were being haunted by a poltergeist.

In a restored archive documentary, originally broadcast on Radio 4 in 1978, Rosalind Morris tells the story of a series of seemingly inexplicable events which took place at 284 Green Street in En-field, North London. The family who lived there believed they were being haunted by a poltergeist.

On the evening of 31st August 1977, mother-of-four Peggy Hodgson witnessed a chest of drawers moving by itself in her children’s bedroom. This was the first in a series of inexplicable events which would last for 18 months. These included objects flying around the room, incessant knocking, levitation, and a gravelly voice which seemed to emanate from the youngest daughter, Janet Hodgson.

In total, over 30 eyewitnesses reported seeing strange activity at the house, making it Britain’s best-documented paranormal case.

BBC reporter Rosalind Morris was one of the first to report on the case and revisited the family on numerous occasions to make this 1978 documentary. She conducted extensive interviews with those at the heart of the case, including the Hodgson family, their neighbours, and paranormal investigators Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair. She also captured rare recordings of the unusual knocking sounds and the gruff voice coming from Janet.

Presenter: Rosalind Morris
Producer: Sally Thompson

Peggy Hodgson, who lived in the house
Vic Nottingham, her next-door neighbour
Peggy Nottingham, his wife
Graham Morris, a photographer with the ‘Daily Mirror’
Maurice Grosse, an investigator with the Society for Psychical Research
Guy Lyon Playfair, another investigator
Janet Hodgson, Peggy’s youngest daughter
Margaret Hodgson, Peggy’s other daughter
Ron Denny, a sound engineer
John Burcombe, Peggy Hodgson’s brother
Professor John Hasted, Birkbeck College
Hazel Short, a lollipop lady
John Rainbow, a local bakers’ roundsman
David Robinson, an undergraduate who studied the activity
Professor Hans Bender, a leading authority on the subject of poltergeists

This restored programme is a Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:


39 minutes