Interest in the infamous "Enfield Poltergeist" case abounds, as audiences prepare for the Friday release of "The Conjuring 2" — a supernatural thriller that is based on a British family's real-life claims in the late 1970s that they were terrorized by a malevolent spirit.
But just how verifiable is the story behind the Hollywood flick? As TheBlaze has reported, there's been a fair bit if debate over the veracity of the Hodgsons' claims, but British journalist Michael Hellicar told The Church Boys this week about his terrifying experience investigating happenings in the Hodgson family home during the late 1970s — one that he said was filled with events that were beyond explanation.
[sharequote align="center"]"There could have been no trickery." [/sharequote]
It was in 1977 that Hellicar — then a chief reporter for the Daily Mirror — was sent to the Hodgson home to verify some of the strange happenings that another reporter and photographer from the paper purportedly observed.
"I was the paper’s chief writer at the time, so I was sent along really to verify everything that they reported back just to see if there was any way that they were being fooled," recalled Hellicar, who is now a reporter with the Daily Mail.
Listen to him describe the terrifying experience below:
After arriving unannounced and heading into the kitchen, the reporter claims that a series of strange events unfolded.
"I went into the kitchen … and then a Lego block … just lifted itself out of the box and hurled itself across the room at me," Hellicar said. "There could have been no trickery."
Minutes later, he said that a large cabinet was lifted off of the wall and crashed to the ground, noting that no one else was with him in the room at the time. That initial experience left Hellicar incredibly uncomfortable, as he was worried that any evil entity in the home would possibly attach itself to him and then subsequently terrorize his own young family.
[sharequote align="center"]"A Lego block … just lifted itself out of the box and hurled itself across the room at me."[/sharequote]
But rather than shy away from investigating the home, Hellicar said that he went back some 30 or 40 times in the following days and weeks, experiencing bizarre happenings during his visits to the home.
"I saw all sorts of different phenomena there," Hellicar said. "You’d be sitting there and suddenly there would be the most icy draft come past you as if someone had opened the freezer door."
Other times, the reporter said that he would be sitting in a chair and would look down only to find a strange and inexplicable puddle of water at his feet. And that's not all.
[sharequote align="center"]"There would be the most icy draft come past you as if someone had opened the freezer door."[/sharequote]
"There would be bad smells and then sometimes … you might see just a movement, something that would be almost imperceptible, but you’d been aware that there had been something there," Hellicar continued.
Watch the trailer for "The Conjuring 2" below:
Peggy Hodgson, who was a single mother of four children, would reportedly continuously make the beds only to discover the "imprint of a body" on the sheets as though someone had been lying in the beds. Then, there was the strange voice that he said would overtake the children.
"The children would actually be speaking to you and [the voice] would be coming out – they would not be aware of what they were saying," he said. "It was all too deep, too slurred and too consistent for the kids to make it up."
One of the creepier purported happenings unfolded one night when 11-year-old Janet, one of Peggy's daughters, suddenly began speaking in a strange voice that was unlike the uniform tone that came out of the other children. Typically, tape recorders didn't operate properly inside the home, according to Hellicar, but this time one of the recorders worked well enough to capture what she said.
[sharequote align="center"]"It was all too deep, too slurred and too consistent for the kids to make it up."[/sharequote]
"Suddenly, she started speaking in this strange voice," he said. "She suddenly said, 'My name is Bill. Just before I died I went blind, then I had a hemorrhage and died in the chair in the corner.'"
The rambling message meant little at the time, according to Hellicar. But later,when it was played on a radio program, a listener called in to say that he recognized the voice coming out of Janet; he said that it was his father who had died in the manner described years earlier inside of a chair in that same home — a claim that the reporter said corroboratory evidence later supported.
Be sure to also listen to "The Conjuring 2" screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes explain real-life details behind the film below at the 23:00-mark:
Hellicar said that his interviews with others, including police officers who had investigated the family's claims, corroborated the notion that something strange was happening inside of the family home.
One of the elements of the case that Hellicar found compelling was the fact that the Hodgsons were living in a home owned by the local government. It wasn't uncommon at the time for individuals to make up stories about ghostly hauntings in an effort to be rehoused in a better building or location. But the Hodgsons never sought such a chance and, in fact, wanted to stay in the house even in the midst of chaos.
[sharequote align="center"]"There were too many things that happened in empty rooms with nobody there."[/sharequote]
The spiritual activity reportedly continued for around 18 months and then settled down after two psychic mediums tried to make contact with the purported spirit; after that, the family's life returned to normal, the reporter said.
In the end, Hellicar is convinced that what he experienced and observed in the home is unexplainable in rational terms, concluding, "There were too many things that happened in empty rooms with nobody there."
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