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What Size Rug Do I Need?
Choosing a rug for your home conjures up many decorating questions. You want to be sure it fits your motif and covers the floors adequately. A lot of the options are subjective and based on your preferences. Consider these decorating tips to help determine the size of rug you need.
Expose the Flooring
Expose the flooring underneath, especially if it’s a high-quality specialty flooring like a designer tile, trendy bamboo or hardwood floor. You want to show off the floor as much as the rug. How much you expose depends on the purpose. Create a conversation area with a rug that frames a sofa and chair area with plenty of foot space. Dining room or kitchen tables need 24-36 inches beyond the table and chairs to ensure the chairs don’t wobble when they’re pushed back. By allowing some of the floor to be visible, the rug serves as a complement in the room’s layout.
Measure the space you need to cover. Unless you want to pay for custom rugs, find a rug in a standard size that comes closest to those measurements. Standard rug sizes of 9X12, 8X10 and 6X9 will provide you lots of choices in patterns, textures and colors. Big rooms need big rugs. Small spaces need small rugs.
What about small and narrow spaces? Sometimes there isn’t enough room to allow floor space to be exposed or for the rug to extend beyond furniture. In this case, find the closest size that fits your area and look for a flat-weave design. This allows the furniture to rest securely on the rug. If you get a thick shag or a plush rug, chairs or tables could wobble. Without extra space to set them outside of the rug, you’ll want to make sure the furniture is stable.
Big spaces require big rugs that typically cost more than smaller rugs. Consider using long and narrow rug runners in your bedrooms. This gives you comfort when you step out of bed and all the decorative benefits of a rug without the expense of large area rug. No one sees under the bed, so if the rug doesn’t reach underneath, it doesn’t hurt the room aesthetically.
Regardless of the size of rug you choose for the rooms in your home, think about putting a smaller rug pad underneath. These are inexpensive and keep the rugs from slipping. This is key for rugs covering slick areas like tile, wood and vinyl flooring. It’s also a safety factor in high traffic areas like foyers, hallways and family rooms. You can buy rolls of runners and cut it to fit the rug leaving about an inch clearance so it isn’t visible.
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What Is The Metaverse, And Should We Be Afraid Of It?
“Reality is a thing of the past” is a bit of a daunting statement, isn’t it? It drums up fears of a world dominated by rogue A.I. and conjures images of human beings plugged into machines. And it ought to since that phrase is the tagline for The Matrix (1999) . The Wachowskis meditated on a myriad of complex ideas in their seminal sci-fi film, chiefly “what is the Matrix?” and “will humanity develop a dangerous relationship with technology and artificial worlds?”
A little over two decades later, we find ourselves asking a similar question; “what is the Metaverse?” Unfortunately, there are no simple answers when it comes to this virtual world produced by Facebook — apologies, “Meta Platforms”. Some bill it as the “next step” in social media and online interactions. Others view it as yet another way for Big Tech companies to siphon our personal information. Then, there’s the camp that views it as something straight out of a dystopian sci-fi book. “What is the Metaverse, and should we be afraid of it?” you might now be asking. Well, let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Seriously, What Is the Metaverse?
Put simply, a “metaverse” is a 3D virtual world where multiple users can seamlessly interact with one another via the internet. Author Neal Stephenson first coined the term in “Snow Crash” , a 1992 sci-fi novel that condemns the prospect of massive corporations holding too much influence over society. Stephenson uses the word metaverse to describe an invasive, addictive, predatory online platform — one that promotes corporate interests over the health and well-being of its users.
In his Connect 2021 conference , Mark Zuckerberg described his Metaverse as “an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it.” Zuckerberg showcased some of the tech’s numerous features — working, shopping, and hanging out online — while also promising to introduce augmented reality (AR) experiences soon. It’s clear that Zuckerberg and co. are going all-in with their Metaverse; Facebook Horizon launched in 2019 as a persistent online game and Facebook, Inc. officially rebranded itself as Meta Platforms in 2021.
But here’s the thing: a true metaverse isn’t a concept that one company can own. Such a lofty product would need to be “open-source”, meaning that anyone and everyone would have access to its original source code. Facebook/Meta Platforms would need to be completely transparent with their source code and allow users to make modifications of their own accord. Somehow, that seems extremely unlikely.
March of the Megacorporations
“Megacorporation” is another term to keep in mind. First coined by economist Alfred S. Eichner in his book The Megacorp and Oligopoly (1976) and later by sci-fi novelist William Gibson of Neuromancer (1984) fame, megacorps are defined by both authors as massive companies with extremely ubiquitous wealth and influence. Big Tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook/Meta Platforms fit that description, with each generating well over $50 billion in revenue each year .
Many Big Tech companies also regularly clash with U.S. Congress over everything from labor laws to privacy disputes. Facebook has participated in numerous high-profile duels with the United States government; Congress has called Zuckerberg to court in April 2018, October 2020, and March 2021 regarding his handling of users’ data.
That last issue is of particular import regarding the Metaverse, as there’s genuine concern that the platform will allow corporations to spy on their users on a much more intimate level. In October 2021, whistleblower Frances Haugen released a troubling testimony regarding Facebook’s practices, which coincided with the October 4 WhatsApp outage .
It’s tempting to live by the adage “what happens online stays online”, but we’ve seen plenty of evidence to the contrary in recent years. Surveys conducted by the Cyberbullying Research Center indicate that online harassment can prompt victims to experience everything from acute depression to suicidal ideation. Sexual harassment is an issue in virtual worlds that is much harder to combat than in person. A woman was purportedly “groped” in Facebook’s own Horizon Worlds in December 2021 — a microcosm of the harassment that many people face in multiplayer video games.
Zuckerberg said that data will be integral to building and maintaining the Metaverse, but Facebook is still regularly condemned for selling user data to various third parties. The site also continually faces widespread backlash for permitting targeted ads that prey on children, promote hate speech, and spread misinformation. Moreover, there’s compelling evidence that links Facebook’s irresponsible business practices to the January 6 insurrection .
Last year, militias in Ethiopia used Facebook to buy and sell weapons as well as coordinate attacks. Military officials in Myanmar and anti-Islamic militias in India used Facebook for similar purposes as well. Facebook knew about these activities but did next to nothing to prevent them.
Then, there’s the biological element. Using any electronic device for too many hours on end can be harmful to your physical and mental health. The same goes for VR headsets; long periods of exposure will damage your retinas and trigger motion sickness in susceptible parties. Individuals who are living with addictions may also buckle under the weight of the Metaverse as we’ve seen with people who are addicted to gambling .
Could We Live In a Virtual World… And Should We?
Partway through The Matrix , Neo learns that he’s lived within a simulated reality for his entire life, and that “the desert of the real” is all that’s left of civilization as we know it. Could something like that happen to us; could our entire way of life shift into a digital world as the physical world crumbles around us? Not likely. According to Dr. Mayank Mehta of UCLA , our minds will always differentiate between virtual and real experiences. Our brains form “cognitive maps” when we interact with the world around us that rely on sight, yes, but also smell, touch, and even taste. Dr. Mehta’s study suggests that our mind functions differently in VR environments than in real ones.
There’s also the question of Facebook’s damaged reputation with both users and lawmakers. Let’s say Zuckerberg gets the Metaverse up and running, then delivers on every promise he’s made. You could plug into the Metaverse and attempt to live through your virtual avatars full time… but should you? Should you give Facebook even more leverage over your privacy and information than it already has? Moreover, should you let that same company access your biometric data , like your face, your eyes, and your brain?
Technology can be incredibly beneficial to us as a species, or unfathomably harmful. Which outcome we experience largely depends on how responsible or irresponsible we are. If we balance our excursions into virtual reality with healthy amounts of social connection, exercise, and community development in the real world, a concept like a Metaverse could be neat. After spending two-plus years indoors , isolated, and forced to deviate from our natural ways of life, it should be evident that virtual, altered, and augmented realities are no substitutes for genuine human connection.
Dystopian sci-fi stories like The Matrix, Neuromancer, and Snow Crash aren’t representations of what our future will be, but what it could be if we fail to make the proper choices when they’re needed most. You know what the Metaverse is now, you know its potential positive and negative effects, and you’ve always known yourself and your values. To quote the closing lines from the first Matrix film, “where you go from here is a choice I leave to you.”
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The Enfield Poltergeist: Inside the Real Story that Inspired 'The Conjuring 2'
While some called it a hoax, others considered it to be one of the most witnessed cases of supernatural activity
It was once known as the “house of strange happenings” and now, it’s coming to the big screen.
The Conjuring 2 focuses on one of the most famous supernatural cases in history – The Enfield Poltergeist. The story, of a young girl thought to be possessed by a demon inside her London home, mystified a nation.
The case involved strange voices, levitation, flying objects, furniture being moved through the air, cold breezes and more – and while some called it a hoax, others considered it to be one of the most witnessed cases of supernatural activity to date.
So what really happened during the case of the Enfield Poltergeist? Here’s an inside look at the real-story inspiring The Conjuring 2 .
It all started in a quaint little home in Enfield, London, in 1977 when Peggy Hodgson, a single mother of four children, heard loud noises coming from her daughter’s bedroom. When she went to tell her daughter’s Margaret, 12 and Janet, 11, to settle down and go to sleep, instead of rough-housing, she found them huddled in the corner with terrified expressions on their faces.
“We [told our mom] the chest of drawers was moving toward the bedroom door,” Janet recalled while speaking on iTV in 2012. “She said ‘Oh don’t be silly.'”
But Peggy then witnessed the drawers moving herself, in the direction of the door by a seemingly invisible force, almost as if some supernatural presence was trying to trap the girls in the room. And when she went to try and push back against the dresser, it wouldn’t budge.
Terrified, the Hodgson family ran across the street to ask for help from the neighbors, Vic and Peggy Nottingham. When Vic went into the house to investigate, he too said he heard strange noises coming from around the home. The Hodgsons called the police, and even though one officer claimed to have seen a chair move clear across the room, they deduced that it was not a police matter.
According to the family, that was just the beginning of what would become their nearly 18-month haunting.
“We didn’t understand what was happening,” Margaret told PEOPLE at The Conjuring 2 premiere in Los Angeles. “We went through periods where we just couldn’t believe what happened really. It’s frightening. We didn’t like to be on your own in the house or anything.”
When the strange incidents continued, Peggy decided to call a popular U.K. publication, the Daily Mirror , to come and investigate the supposed supernatural occurrences. But when the reporter arrived, the house sat silent for hours. It wasn’t until the reporter was about to leave that something happened.
“The photographer came back and a Lego brick hit him above the eye. He still had the mark a few days later. And then Maurice Grosse came in on the case,” Janet said, according to the Daily Mail .
The Daily Mirror called the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), who sent Grosse to investigate the case. During his stay at the house, Grosse has said he witnessed more than 2,000 different incidents of supernatural activity.
“Furniture turning over, cups filled with water, fires igniting, voices, levitation,” Janet recalled of the time while speaking to iTV. “The most frightening [encounter] was when a curtain wrapped itself around my neck next to my bed.”
It was during his time in the house that the supposed poltergeist started speaking through Janet.
The young girl would often go into a trance-like state where she would speak in deep, scratchy voice, claiming to be the ghost of a man named Bill Wilkens, who had died in the house years before. (It was later proven that a man by that name was once a resident of the home and did in fact die of a hemorrhage while sitting in the living room.) The ghost would reportedly “talk” through Janet for hours at a time.
Throughout the 18-month period, a number of additional paranormal researchers visited the house – including famed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Though the film takes liberties with time and the extent to which the Warren’s were involved with the case, they publicly stated that they were convinced that the supernatural were responsible for the strange happenings inside the house.
“Those who deal with the supernatural day in and day out know the phenomena are there – there’s no doubt about it,” Ed said, according to Fangoria .
Of course many cast their doubts on the events, claiming the children were behind the elaborate hoax and were faking their demonic symptoms. Two SPR experts adamantly questioned Janet’s gruff voice and later caught the children bending spoons themselves.
In fact, Janet admitted that she and her siblings fabricated a few events. “Oh yeah, once or twice [we faked it] just to see if Mr. Grosse and Mr. Playfair would catch us. They always did,” she said, according to the DM .
Later she said about “two percent” of the events in the house were faked.
Nearly 40 years later, Janet and Margaret say that while they’ve managed to move on from the traumatic time in their life, the haunting “stays with you.”
“It stays with you. Every step of the way,” Margaret told PEOPLE. “It’s just like a death really, it gets a little bit easier as time goes on. But the fear and the memories of it and what happened never leaves you.”
Starring Madison Wolfe as Janet and Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as the Warren’s, The Conjuring 2 is now in theaters.
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The True Story of The Enfield Haunting
The Enfield poltergeist – the name given to the story of the paranormal phenomena that occurred at an average council house in Enfield, North London, is one of Britain’s most beloved and well-known ghost stories. It’s also been the centre of a major Hollywood feature film, The Conjuring 2, as well as The Enfield Haunting series, on SKY TV – both with star-studded casts.
The story of the Enfield poltergeist house has divided many, with some respected members of paranormal societies believing the account of the Hodgson family to be entirely accurate. However, many skeptics think that many elements of the story earmark it as being a hoax.
Although we may never exactly know what happened, the poltergeist in Enfield is still the most fascinating ghost story in modern British history.
The Origins of the Enfield Poltergeist
The Enfield poltergeist story began in 1977 and centred on the Hodgson family, mainly on the youngest daughter, Janet. Mother Peggy, daughters Margaret, 13 and Janet, 11 and sons Johnny, 10, and Billy, 7, lived in an average semi-detached council house in Enfield.
We usually hear tales of ghostly encounters in grander settings: hotels, castles and ancient buildings, so the haunted house in Enfield resonated with families across Britain because it was real; it was close to home, it felt like it could happen to us.
The first event in the haunting is disputed, but it’s thought to be either the beds moving around Janet and Margaret’s room or the chest of drawers moving forwards and then moving backwards.
In both cases, Peggy told the children to stop messing around and didn’t believe that anything was happening until she moved the chest of drawers back into place, only to see it move once again.
With that, she became frightened and ran to the neighbour’s house: the neighbours then accompanied them back to the house, only to hear other unexplained noises, such as knocks and banging noises from various places in the house, with no particular source.
The police were called, and they too heard the noises but could not trace their source.
The Enfield Hauntings: Captured on Film
Once the police were called, many more events began to occur: items were regularly thrown around, Janet, the youngest daughter, spoke in strange voices and snarls, and she was thrown around her bedroom.
One image shows her midair in a seemingly impossible leap. Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair, two of the investigators in the Society for Physical Research case, maintain that they believe the haunting was genuine and caught many of the now-infamous images on film.
Much of the equipment used in their investigation was often found to be malfunctioning upon entering the Hodgson household, despite working perfectly well beforehand. However, Janet was found to have hidden a tape recorder and was video-taped bending spoons on another occasion.
They believe that much of the activity surrounding the Enfield ghost was genuine. However, they suspect that some of the occurrences were exaggerated by Janet for increased attention by reporters. For example, Playfair said that Bill, one of the voices Janet became most well-known for, had some similar vocal tics and habits to Janet, such as changing the topic of conversation often.
Whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean that Bill wasn’t “real”, it does raise questions: why would Bill speak in such a similar manner to Janet?
The Truth About Janet
Although there are many theories about the truth of the Enfield haunting house, there are many who believe the Enfield poltergeist is a hoax and nothing more than a figment of a creative yet troubled young girl.
Most investigators believe that the story begins and ends with Janet. The newspapers wrote about the Enfield ghost and the Enfield poltergeist; many also wrote scathing stories about Janet: Janet, the young girl at the very heart of the story.
Whether or not she was lying about some or all of the activity, we’ll never know, but there is little doubt in most people’s minds that at least some of the phenomena – at least in the beginning – was real.
Perhaps Janet started to appreciate the increased attention that she, a middle child in a working-class family, was finally starting to get, for maybe the very first time. So she began to exaggerate some of the activities around her to gain more notoriety, exposure and attention.
Or, perhaps Janet’s story echoes other poltergeist stories: typically, poltergeist encounters occur around young women before entering puberty.
Janet was at precisely the right age for such an encounter, and for all we know, some of her behaviours, such as bending spoons and hiding a tape-recorder, may have been encouraged by the said poltergeist.
The Warrens at Enfield
The Warrens were well-known paranormal investigators in the 1960s and 1970s. They may well be better-known today following the blockbuster films based on their story: The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 (Enfield Poltergeist Film) and Annabelle films.
The Conjuring 2 true story differs from the film quite a bit. The Conjuring 2 showed the Warrens as being incredibly involved in the case of the Enfield poltergeist house, but this may be more than a little bit misleading.
Guy Playfair, one of the investigators on the case, said that the Warrens turned up to the Enfield house uninvited and stayed for just one day.
Ed Warren also reportedly told Playfair that a lot of money could be made from the case, which could indicate why the Warrens themselves turned up to do their own investigation.
What About Bill?
Perhaps the most interesting part of the whole case centres on Bill, the voice that Janet was heard to use and speak with on many occasions, in a stern, low tone.
Some research suggests that the idea of using a different voice or several different voices might have been “planted” in Janet’s head by Grosse.
Janet told reporters that Grosse had told her that the voices were needed to talk, and immediately following, the voices came.
Something unexplained about Bill, however, is how Janet could have known that Bill died of a haemorrhaged in the armchair in the living room of the house, which was later confirmed by his son – that a man named Bill had died in the house, of a haemorrhage, sitting in his chair in the living room.
The Bill story gives the Enfield Poltergeist case that feeling; that tips skeptics over from not being sure into being believers.
So What Happened?
After a year and a half of activity, the phenomena at the Enfield house abruptly came to an end. No one knew why, but these sorts of hauntings are common with poltergeists: they stop, they start, and the family gets back to normal.
During that year and a half, many phenomena occurred: furniture moving, electrical equipment malfunctioning, Janet spoke in different voices and snarls, knocks and banging sounds could be heard from around the house – and from what we can tell, the family could not find a source for any of these activities, at least in the beginning.
Whether or not the Hodgson family was telling the whole truth remains to be seen, but we still can’t come up with a reasonable explanation for the Bill story. Can you?
You’ve read up on the Conjuring 2 film, you see our article on the Conjuring True Story here.
Related pages: Top 5 Most Haunted Places in London | The Most Haunted Hotels in London | London’s Most Haunted Pubs
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New series reveals real-life story behind the conjuring 2: watch the enfield poltergeist trailer.
Apple TV+ unveils the trailer for their upcoming docuseries The Enfield Poltergeist, which explores the real-life haunting from The Conjuring 2.
- The Enfield Poltergeist is a docuseries that delves into the true story behind The Conjuring 2, featuring real-life recordings and recreations.
- The series uses audio from Maurice Grosse's investigation, such as a demonic voice saying, "I came to torment you."
- Premiering on October 27, the docuseries provides a glimpse into the haunted events that occurred in a council house in Enfield, London in 1977.
The trailer for The Enfield Poltergeist showcases a docuseries exploring the true story behind The Conjuring 2 . The 2016 horror sequel was the third movie in the Conjuring Universe, a franchise loosely based on the case files of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. In addition to introducing the demon Valak, who would go on to star in the Nun subfranchise, and exploring the story behind The Amityville Horror , The Conjuring 2 followed Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) as they traveled to Enfield, London to investigate a family being haunted in a council house in 1977.
Apple TV+ has now unveiled the official trailer for their four-part docuseries The Enfield Poltergeist , which premieres on October 27. Check it out below:
The series, which explores the Conjuring 2 true story , uses real-life recordings from Maurice Grosse's investigation into the incident and recreates what the events may have looked like in a set modeled after the original house. Grosse (who was played by Simon McBurney in the movie) captured some eerie audio, including a demonic voice saying, " I came to torment you ."
The True Story Of The Enfield Poltergeist Is Very Different From The Conjuring 2
As is true of many Hollywood retellings of real-life stories, the events of the Enfield haunting played out very differently from what was actually seen onscreen. The original case began when single mother of four Peggy Hodgson called the police to report furniture moving on its own and knocking in the walls. Over the course of year and a half, a variety of paranormal investigators, journalists, and acquaintances would report multiple incidents of objects moving on their own and Peggy's daughters levitating.
Related: Is The Conjuring 2 Enfield Poltergeist Based On A Real Person?
Over the years, the Enfield Poltergeist case has been picked over by many skeptics. Evidence against the haunting includes images that supposedly show one of the girls bouncing on her bed to achieve the effect of levitation, though some investigators believed that while the girls faked some incidents, others were more genuine. There is also the matter that the real-life Ed and Lorraine Warren have been decried as scam artists by many skeptics. In fact, they were never directly involved in the case of The Enfield Poltergeist .
While The Conjuring 2 cast does include the other real-life figures with more direct involvement, it presents the Warrens at the center of the investigation, showing them heroically defeating the demon causing the haunting. However, they were only ever present in Enfield for a brief time (some even claim the uninvited couple were never allowed inside the home) and in real life, the alleged haunting ended on its own without outside intervention. Presumably, The Enfield Poltergeist will explore more of the real incidents involved in the case, though it may never be known if they were hoaxes or not.
Source: Apple TV+
The Conjuring 2’s Enfield Case: A True Story That Still Haunts Us Today
The 1977 poltergeist case that commanded the attention of British tabloids is the subject of The Conjuring 2's investigation. But what's the true story behind the Enfield poltergeist and Janet Hodgson?
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Lorraine Warren has seen true evil at the start of The Conjuring 2 and wants to call it quits — at least for a while — but when the Hodgson family finds itself under siege by a terrible haunting, the paranormal investigators have no choice but to help. Set in the late ’70s in the London Borough of Enfield, The Conjuring 2 ticks off many of the same boxes as the original: haunted house, demonic possession, and a relentless pace full of jump scares that doesn’t let up until the Warrens are back in their spooky museum, locking away their latest ghostly trinket just before the credits roll.
And like the first movie, which is based on the real-life investigations of demonologist Ed Warren and the clairvoyant Lorraine , The Conjuring 2 is heavily inspired by a true story, one that captured the attention of British tabloids — and even the BBC — just as Jay Anson’s The Amityville Horror was hitting bookshelves. The film nods to Amityville, the Warrens’ most famous case, in its opening scene, and later ties it to Enfield through the recurring “Nun” demon Valak .
But there was no demon in the real Enfield case but a poltergeist, a malicious spirit that haunts people through physical disturbances such as shuffling things around a room, levitating its victims, or banging on doors at night. And in the film, the Warrens, who tag along with British paranormal investigators Maurice Grosse and Anita Gregory, do suspect a troublesome spirit before the third act reveal that there’s actually something demonic behind the creepy ghost of Bill Wilkins.
The real-life Hodgson family began experiencing poltergeist activity in their Enfield home in 1977. At first, Peggy, a single mother of four, didn’t believe her daughters Janet, 11, and Margaret, 12, when they told her the chest of drawers in their bedroom was moving on its own. But when the chest slammed against the door, locking Peggy out of the girls’ room and forcing her to run to her neighbors for help, she was convinced.
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Peggy called the police, and like in the movie, a constable reported that “a large armchair moved, unassisted, 4 ft across the floor,” according to the Daily Mail . The police officers’ quick exit from the house is played for laughs in the film, but a terrified Peggy Hodgson probably wasn’t laughing at all.
The disturbances only got worse from there. The Hodgsons reportedly suffered all manner of strange happenings in the house for the next 18 months, including furniture being overturned, toys being thrown, banging noises, writing appearing on the walls, and even levitating children. In 2012, Janet told iTV ( via People ) that cups would inexplicably fill with water, things would randomly burst into flame, and that disembodied voices would speak to them, too.
According to Janet, “The most frightening [encounter] was when a curtain wrapped itself around my neck next to my bed.”
Peggy eventually turned to the press for help, reaching out to the Daily Mirror. The tabloid sent a photographer, Graham Morris, to the house to capture the hauntings, and that’s when all hell broke loose. The Enfield case might be one of the best documented paranormal cases in history, thanks to Morris’ disturbing pictures of his visit to the Hodgson house.
Among these images is a photo of Janet being tossed across her bedroom by the poltergeist while her sister Margaret watches in horror. As you might suspect if you’ve watched The Conjuring 2 , it’s very possible that the picture is staged, Janet leaping off her bed and onto the floor, but we can only go by Morris’ account here, and he seemed convinced.
“It was chaos, things started flying around, people were screaming,” Morris said of his visit, according to the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mirror and the Hodgsons next called the paranormal investigators of the Society of Psychical Research, including Maurice Grosse and Anita Gregory, along with Guy Lyon Playfair, who isn’t depicted in the movie.
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“When I first got there, nothing happened for a while. Then I experienced Lego pieces flying across the room, and marbles, and the extraordinary thing was, when you picked them up they were hot,” Grosse told writer Will Storr about the first days of his investigation (via the Daily Mail). “I was standing in the kitchen and a T-shirt leapt off the table and flew into the other side of the room while I was standing by it.”
Then the poltergeist decided to speak.
As in the movie, the ghost of Bill Wilkins reached out to the investigators through Janet, a raspy voice emanating from the little girl while her “lips hardly seemed to be moving.” The spirit told Grosse and Playfair that it had died of a hemorrhage in the living room. Investigators later confirmed with Wilkins’ son that a man by that name had indeed died in the house many years before, according to Daily Mail.
In the video below, you can hear Wilkins’ supposed voice for yourself:
There were skeptics from the start, of course, and the debate around the Enfield case continues today. Even Playfair observed in his case notes that Wilkins generally “refused to speak unless the girls were alone in the room with the door closed” and that the Hodgson children were “motivated to add to the activity with some tricks of their own.” Playfair wrote that when Janet knew cameras were on, nothing seemed to happen. But Grosse and Playfair were believers.
Anita Gregory concluded that the case was overrated, and many skeptics accused the Hodgson family of making up the haunting for fame or financial gain. At different points, the investigators caught the girls bending spoons themselves and banging on ceilings with broom handles. Like in the movie, catching the girls in the act seemed to be enough for Gregory and others to close the case.
In 1980, Janet admitted to iTV (via Daily Mail): “Oh yeah, once or twice [we faked phenomena], just to see if Mr. Grosse and Mr. Playfair would catch us. They always did.” Just ahead of the movie’s release, Janet told Daily Mail that only “two percent” of the occurrences were faked.
But what about the other 98 percent? Many other investigators outside of the SPR visited the Hodgson house in those 18 months, including the Warrens. While Ed and Lorraine didn’t have to save the kids from any demonic nuns in real life, whatever they did see while at the house seemed to convince them that supernatural forces were indeed at work.
“Those who deal with the supernatural day in and day out know the phenomena are there – there’s no doubt about it,” Ed said of the Hodgson case, according to People.
Meanwhile, a magician named Milbourne Christopher dropped by to check things out, and said the activity was the work of “a little girl who wanted to cause trouble and who was very, very clever.” Ray Alan, a ventriloquist, said Janet was playing tricks with Bill’s voice because she enjoyed the attention.
By 1979, the tabloids had moved on from the Hodgsons, while the experts couldn’t agree on a logical explanation. Despite the movie’s happy ending, the real-life case was never truly closed. Janet told Daily Mail in 2015 that things began to “quiet down” in the fall of 1978 when a priest visited the house. But the next family that moved in reported strange incidents too, including hearing voices downstairs and encountering a man walking into rooms. They only lived in the house for two months, according to Daily Mail.
Years later, Janet called the events she lived through in that house traumatic, revealing she had a “short spell” at a psychiatric hospital and that she was bullied at school, where her classmates called her “Ghost Girl.” She told Daily Mail that her mother also had a nervous breakdown. It’s not surprising, then, that Janet “wasn’t very happy to hear about the film” being made about the Enfield case, as it dug up old memories she’d hoped to leave behind when she moved out of the house at age 16.
But The Conjuring 2 wasn’t the first to dramatize the events of the Enfield case. The BBC’s controversial 1992 mockumentary Ghostwatch took a rather different approach. Disguised as a special live investigation of a haunted house on Halloween night, the 90-minute program was hosted by real-life broadcaster Michael Parkinson and featured several other TV presenters to lend it an air of credibility. The mockumentary even had a call-in number viewers could dial into to share their own ghost stories.
While the reporters are highly skeptical of the hauntings at first, strange things begin to happen that become more difficult to explain as the film progresses, and Ghostwatch crescendos when the reporters and their paranormal expert realize they’ve fallen prey to a very real poltergeist. The terrifying final scene of the film proved so controversial that the BBC received thousands of complaints after the airing as well as calls from frightened viewers who thought the program was real. The BBC never aired Ghostwatch again, although you can now find it on the Internet Archive . Today, the film is considered a cult classic among horror enthusiasts.
But in the end, The Conjuring 2 and Ghostwatch are just two more chapters in a story that continues to fascinate believers and skeptics alike more than 40 years later. And despite the many attempts to investigate the case or dramatize it, no one but the Hodgsons will ever know what truly happened inside that house in Enfield.
John Saavedra | @johnsjr9
John Saavedra is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Den of Geek. He lives in New York City with his two cats.
Enfield Poltergeist Recording
Jimmy fallon’s ‘that’s my jam’ renewed for season 3 at nbc, ‘the enfield poltergeist’: apple to air docuseries about haunting that inspired ‘the conjuring 2’.
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Apple TV + has conjured up The Enfield Poltergeist , a four-part documentary that revisits the supposedly real-life haunting of a family in ’70s London.
The doc relies on more than 250 hours of audio archive to help recreate the infamous events in Enfield that went on to inspire The Conjuring 2 . It will drop Oct. 27 – just in time for your Halloween party.
There are also appearances by those originally involved in the incident involving sisters Janet and Margaret Hodgson.
The Enfield Poltergeist i s produced for Apple TV+ by MetFilm and Concordia Studios, the producers of Apple’s STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie , this year’s most Emmy-nominated documentary. The series is directed by Jerry Rothwell. Executive producers are Al Morrow, BAFTA winner Stewart le Maréchal, Oscar Award-winning Davis Guggenheim, Jonathan Silberberg and Nicole Stott.
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