Quite possibly, one of the most fascinating paranormal cases I've run across is that of the Enfield case in North London. It revolved around a family of five. Peggy Harper, a divorced mother, and her four children. They lived in a three bedroom house in Enfield. The events began in August of 1977, when two of the children Janet and Pete complained that their beds were moving. When their mother went to investigate, however, the beds were still, leading Peggy to believe that the children were making the story up.
The next night, however, Peggy was once again called by the children to investigate a shuffling noise they heard in their room. When the sound was described as sounding like a chair was moving across the floor, Peggy removed the chair to stop the complaints. However, when she turned off the light to leave, she also heard the sound. It stopped when she turned the light on, but when the room was dark again, she heard it again. Things rapidly escalated from there, with Peggy there to witness it for herself. There were four loud knocks on the wall, and a chest of drawers moved by itself. Moving the chest back against the wall proved fruitless, as it moved away again on it's own when Peggy turned away. A second attempt to move it proved impossible, and Peggy finally lost her composure. Terrified, she ordered her children out of bed, and they ran to a neighbors' home for help.
The neighbors investigated, hearing the knocks for themselves. A search of the house and garden brought up nothing, and when the police arrived, they also witnessed the knocking on the walls. In a signed statement made by one officer, a chair moved across the floor of its' own accord.
The events continued and escalated. There were numerous witnesses to the phenomena of objects flying through the air, knockings on the walls, etc. A local vicar, the police, a local medium, reporters from the Daily Mirror numbered among the witnesses. Finally, the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) contacted Maurice Grosse, one of their members, to look into the case. He stayed at the Harper home for several days before experiencing any activity, which began with a chair in one of the children's' bedrooms being thrown across the room. One of the children were asleep in the room at the time. The chair was returned to where it belonged, and when it happened again an hour later, a photographer who was also staying in the house, captured it on film.
The case made the front page of the Daily Mirror, and was picked up by a London based radio station which resulted in a two and a half hour NIGHT LINE program. Peggy, Grosse, and a neighbor participated in the show, where they talked about the case. The Harper family was becoming famous, and the Enfield case was attracting more and more attention. Writer Guy Lyon joined Grosse in his investigations of the strange occurrences, which continued for two years before it finally ended.
It must have been a long two years. Knockings on walls and floors happened on an almost daily basis, furniture moved of it's own accord across the floor, and threw itself down the stairs; objects would fly across rooms and bedsheets and blankets would get pulled off the beds; there were unexplained puddles of water appearing on the floor, and the children made claims that they were being pulled out of bed, thrown across the room, and more. The children's mother, Peggy witnessed many of these events, and backed up her children's' claims.
Most of the activity seemed to center around one child in particular. 11 year old Janet. She would be seen being thrown about the room, the curtains would try to wrap themselves around her neck, threatening to strangle her. Janet also began speaking in a very rough male voice, claiming to be, among others, someone named Bill who had died in the house. This was verified later that it had indeed, happened, but at time time Janet was manifesting this, no one in the family was aware that this had actually happened.
Doctors and psychiatrists were brought in to examine the family, particularly Janet. While the gravelly voice was determined to indeed be coming from Janets' throat, no explanation could be given as to how her normal speaking voice was not damaged by using the rougher voice for hours on end. Janet was examined for mental problems, etc., going to Maudsley Hospital in South London for six weeks for observation and tests to check for any physical or mental abnormalities. None were found. However, during Janets' absence, the activity in the house stopped.
Suspicion centered on Janet. Hidden cameras were set up, which recorded her bending spoons with her hands and trying to bend an iron bar. Other researchers from the SPR came to investigate, but when they came into Janet's room to observe, they were made to stand facing away from the children, only to be hit with objects while the children giggled. The investigators felt that the children were producing the 'voices' themselves, and trying to hide it by burying their faces in sheets, etc, to disguise what they were doing. One researcher, Anita Gregory claimed that the children's uncle had told her he believed Janet had taught herself to talk in a deep voice, and that she had always been very athletic and mischievous, delighting in tricking strangers. He apparently believed that Janet was the cause of the phenomena.
In any event, the phenomena stopped, finally, after two long years. But the questions remain. Was it an actual paranormal case, or was it a hoax, perpetuated by the children? Or, could it have been a combination of both? I tend to believe that perhaps it may have started with some unexplained occurrences, and that the children then perpetuated a hoax for the attention it brought them. After all, they were photographed, people came to investigate, they received media attention...it must have been very tempting, indeed, to continue, if that is in fact the case. It seems unlikely to me that Peggy Harper, the mother, was a part of it, however. Another fact that seems to bear out it being a possible hoax was the sudden cessation of activity after two years, allowing the family to return to a normal life.
Hoax or not, the Enfield Case continues to be one of the most fascinating and intriguing paranormal events, worthy of further study. To read more details about this case, and to see photos, visit the link below:
Source: The Enfield Case by John Zaffis