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The DeFeo story had one final twist which sets it apart from the other family murders: for the house was sold at the end of 1985 to new owners ... Some twenty-eight days later they fled in terror. The story of constant unexplained noises, foul smells and inexplicable events which culminated in sighting demonic figures became the basis for the film The Amityville Horror. Great Crimes & Trials s3e9: DeFeo & Benson, BBC 1996
You know what it means? It means we’ve got a poltergoost. The Young Ones s2e2: Cash, Neil, BBC 1984
The word poltergeist literally means noisy spirit. Professor Christopher French, Goldsmith College
There are cases recorded from hundreds and hundreds of years ago where this kind of activity was reported. Professor Christopher French
Once you’ve got this mindset that there is a poltergeist in the house anything no matter how mundane is explained in terms of the poltergeist. Christopher French
The Enfield case I think is a good case where lots of people I think would find the evidence quite ambiguous. We can have no doubt at all there is some deliberate hoaxing and trickery in this case. Christopher French
Essentially we are looking at hoaxes and trickery. Christopher French, Goldsmiths College
The Incorporated Society For Psychical Research: The Society was set up in 1882 to investigate those faculties of man, real or supposed, that are not explicable on any generally recognised hypothesis. Well in other words it is to look into weird things. Mary Rose Barrington, Society for Psychical Research
In many cases, though not absolutely always, there is somebody in the house, usually, frequently an adolescent child, who appears to be what one calls the Poltergeist centre. Mary Rose Barrington
In August 1977 strange things began to happen in a quiet North London suburb. These usual and sometimes terrifying happenings were to last many months and were to become known as the Enfield Poltergeist. Among those who witnessed events were BBC journalists and the police. Some of the evidence is controversial. But thirty years on it remains the most documented and puzzling case of its kind. And may be the first time a spirit voice has been captured on tape. Interview With a Poltergeist, Channel 4 2007
On the evening of the 31st August 1977 the Hodgson family of Green Street were preparing for bed. Vic [neighbour] listened to the Hodgsons’ story and went next door to see for himself what was happening: ‘The knocking followed me’. ibid.
The police duly arrived ... ‘It [chair] came off the floor nearly a half inch, and I saw it slide off to the right about three and a half to four feet.’ ibid. WPC Carolyn Heeps
Whatever was happening at Green Street had baffled the police, Peggy Hodgson and her neighbours. The adults went ahead and called the Daily Mirror. When reporters arrived events were to take an even stranger turn. ibid.
When the photographs were developed the next day, they failed to show what [Douglas] Bence and Maurice [Grosse] had reported seeing. ibid.
Other cases of poltergeist involving adolescent girls or young women include the Bell Witch in Tennessee in 1817, the Rosenheim case in Germany, and that of Virginia Campbell in Scotland in the 1960s. ibid.
The family had taken to sleeping in the same room when in late October 1977 activity escalated. ibid.
Two months on from the first incidents, mystifying noises continued to plague the family. The mysterious sounds were captured by TV reporter Stewart Lamont when he visited the house in Green Street. ibid.
Grosse and Playfair were convinced the case was genuine. ibid.
In late November 1977 three months into the case Janet produced a series of highly disturbing drawings. Meanwhile, her behaviour began to give serious cause for concern. ibid.
Janet was captured more than once on film by Graham Morris who set up a camera he could activate remotely when he heard noises upstairs. ibid.
The 14th December was to be highly significant. It was both the date of Janet’s first period, and a day on which two passers-by described seeing events that defy belief. ibid.
Before long the voice started speaking to others and began giving clues as to its identify. ibid.
Maurice Grosse believed one of the voices to be a discarnate spirit named Bill, and asked his son Richard, a solicitor, to interrogate it. ibid.
Some months later Grosse was contacted by Terry Wilkins whose father Bill was buried in a near-by cemetery, and had lived at the house before the Hodgsons moved in. Astonishingly, the voice had described the precise circumstances of Bill Wilkins’ death. ibid.
Peggy Hodgson continued to live in the house in Green Street until her death in 2003. Janet and Margaret have gone on to lead normal lives. In the years since the case ended nobody has changed their account of what happened even when some were offered money by the press to do so. ibid.
There is no question things were flying round the room. Douglas Bence, Daily Mirror journalist
We were waiting to see what happened. And things did ... Wow! Things were just flying round the room. There was just chaos. People screaming. I just put myself in a corner with a wide-angled lens and I just kept taking pictures. I had no idea what was happening. Graham Morris, Daily Mirror photographer
I got hit in the eyebrow, just on the forehead, with like a Lego ... A Lego brick one minute, might be an ashtray, might be a knife and fork. We were going around to put things away in drawers to stop things flying around. Graham Morris
I know what I saw, and this was real. Graham Morris
Why us? Why did it happen to us? Janet Hodgson, daughter
It started in the back bedroom. The chest of drawers – we could hear shuffling, and Mum came up the stairs ... She sees the chest of drawers moving. And when she tried to push it back she couldn’t. She realised then that something wasn’t right. Janet Hodgson, television interview ibid.
The lady officer actually saw the chair move or rise. Janet Hodgson
At one point, because I was hitting the window, I actually thought that I might come through the window. Janet Hodgson
I felt used. Janet Hodgson
All at once the front of the fireplace lighted, and it lifted right over the double bed. Peggy Hodgson, mother
I went up the stairs and there was knocking on the wall. There was knocking in the bedroom. I passed into the next bedroom. This knocking followed me ... It knocked on the ceiling for us. Vic, neighbour
The house of strange happenings: A Family is living in fear of strange goings-one that are driving them from their home. Daily Mirror front-page article
The atmosphere when I got there was completely chaotic. Everybody was in a terrible state. Maurice Grosse, televised interview, Strange But True? s2e7, ITV 1995
I thought, my God, nobody’s thrown that. Because there was nobody in a position to throw it. Now if you drop a marble on the floor it bounces. It used to hit the floor and stop dead. And when you touched them they were hot. Now this is typical of all the psycho-kenetic phenomena concerning small objects that have ever been reported with poltergeist cases that they were hot. ibid.
There are two main theories of poltergeist phenomena: one is that some people have the ability to exteriorise a force which affects their physical surroundings without physical means. And the second theory is interference by outside entities – now we don’t know what these entities are but sometimes they appear to be spirits of dead people. ibid.
As soon as I got in I could see everybody was very disturbed. Maurice Grosse, poltergeist researcher, Interview with a Poltergeist
The mother and the children had not a clue what a poltergeist was. ibid.
It got progressively more and more violent. ibid.