‘The Enfield Poltergeist’ Recap & Ending: Who Was Maurice Grosse? Was Janet Really Possessed?

The Enfield Poltergeist, directed by Jerry Rothwell, is a montage of the supernatural, science, childhood trauma, and many other aspects. This mini-documentary series pulls lightly at the strings of horror while focusing more on the scientific aspects. The events surrounding the Hodgson family and the experiences that they have had have been explored here. The intervention of Maurice Grosse, a member of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), between 1977 and 1978 with more than 200 hours of tape recordings has been highlighted. The four-part mini-documentary series brings out a real-life infamous case of the haunting at a house in Enfield, reminding us of similar movies based on real-life stories like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Amityville Horror, and others. Was Maurice able to rid the Hodgsons of the torture of the poltergeist? Was Janice really possessed, or was she faking things to garner attention? Let us look into what several witnesses have said and find the answers ourselves.


Spoilers Ahead

What Efforts Did Maurice Grosse Put Into The Case?

Maurice Grosse, a businessman and a member of the SPR, had taken an interest in the Enfield Poltergeist case. He had done extensive hours of tape recordings to find proof of the paranormal activities at play in the house in 284 Green Street, London. He was sent into the house by Hugh Pincott, the head administrator, to investigate the case. He had called several experts into the house to help him solve the case. Roz Morris, a BBC radio journalist, had come up to the house to look into the matter after contacting Maurice. He also attended seminars that were taking place in the SPR regarding the case, the most significant of them being that of Nicholas Clark Lowes. The experiences that Maurice and others had at home were of things such as chairs, plastic Lego pieces, marbles, and other objects, being thrown around causing mayhem. Nicholas had also explained other similar experiences of poltergeists and other phenomena associated with them. At the same seminar, Maurice was approached by Guy Playfair, another SPR member, who wanted to assist him in the case. Douglas Bence, a ‘Daily Mirror’ reporter, was also present in the house to cover the news.


Graham Morris, a ‘Daily Mirror’ photographer, was also present in the scene and captured quite a lot of disturbing pictures in the house, which were later used for further investigations. Maurice, despite having his trust in the paranormal, was an extremely scientific man and wanted to know the scientific phenomenon associated with the case. There were also mediums brought into the house by Maurice,and he did all that he could to help the family. Maurice had also recognized that the main source of the energy that the entity was drawing was Janet, the younger daughter. He had talked to his school authority and had also managed to take the family out on a vacation because he thought that they were mentally stressed. He had done all that he could do within his capabilities for the family. He had fought till the end to prove the real existence of the poltergeist and the innocence of Janet in the case.

Was Janet Really Possessed? Was The Spirit Drawing Its Energy From Her?

There is a huge question mark as to whether Janet was really possessed or was just making it all up to seek attention. However, there is a lot of evidence that proves the existence of something supernatural. A picture where Janet was caught flying up from her bed in the middle of the night was captured by Graham Morris. John Hasted, a professor of physics at the University of London, was seeking the science behind the occurrences. There has been a concept of metal bending since the 1970s, after Uri Geller was said to bend spoons through his spiritual abilities. Something similar was done by Janet, as a spoon that had been bent by her one day during breakfast has also been presented as proof of her psychic abilities. Professor Bernard Carr, a member of SPR, has related the supernatural occurrences to those of the film ‘Exorcist’. In November 1977, David Robertson arrived at Greenfield Street to assist with the case and experienced paranormal activities that he couldn’t provide any scientific explanations for. On one occasion, David said that Janet was pulled into the bedroom and the door shut behind her. She was said to be flung inside the room by some invisible energy. Hazel Short, along with other neighbors, said that they saw Janet going up and down in the air, as they could see through the window. Many non-believers, like Richard, Maurice’s son, were turned into believers when they had first-hand experiences of the supernatural.


Maurice had tried contacting the entity in the house to get its message. The initial communications were through taps on the walls; later, the entity started communicating through whistles and animal sounds. After trying to communicate further, the spirit started talking through Janet. Her voice became very deep, and she talked almost without moving her lips. At an international conference in Cambridge on this case, these phenomena were presented, which were stated to be a hoax by many. Many experts said that Janet was a genius who was faking the deep male sounds to seek media attention. However, the supernatural experiences of the members of the house were stating something different: the major events included people being flung across the room, objects being thrown around the room, deaths of the pets, and others. The idea of us existing in various dimensions or living in many worlds at the same time has been presented, making it possible for Janet to have been using her other-dimensional energy to cause the mayhem without her own knowledge.

What Was The Real Identity Of The Poltergeist?

On being questioned about the real identity of the poltergeist, it answers through Janet in a deep voice. The identity is revealed to be that of Bill Wilkinsons, who died 15 years ago and was buried in the Durants Park graveyard. The entity had revealed that it had died in the same house where the family was living now and had died downstairs on a chair in the corner. He says that before his death, he had turned blind and then later died of hemorrhage. He said that he had come to search for his wife in the house but could not find anyone there and had therefore been tormenting them. Later, when Maurice finds out the real family of Bill Wilkinson and confronts his son, he says that his father had indeed died of hemorrhage in that house. When he is told about the weird tapping noises in the house, he says that his father was in the army, and that is how he used to communicate with other soldiers by tapping on the walls three times. This therefore proves that there is some truth associated with Janet’s story and that she was not just faking it all.


Why Did Many People Not Believe Janet?

There were many experts who were against the story put before the world by Maurice regarding the ‘Enfield Poltergeist’ case. Anita Gregory, a member of the SPR, stated that Janet made the sound deliberately to seek attention from journalists all over the world. A famous ventriloquist, Ray Alan, had also come to visit them to prove that Janet was faking her deep voice. He had taken Janet and her sister Margaret to an enclosed room and later claimed that both sisters had confessed to having faked supernatural acts. There was, however, no proof for his claims, but the family received a lot of backlash for it. The situation was traumatic for them, as they were even bullied at their school. There was an experiment that Maurice conducted on Janet, taping her mouth and filling her mouth with water. Even after taping her mouth, Janet was able to speak clearly in a deep voice. However, after water was put in her mouth, she could not speak. She spat out the water and claimed that the entity had made her do it. There were a set of people who were against the ideas put forth by Maurice about the possibility of an entity being present, but there were other aspects that proved Maurice’s claims right. Janet was slowly becoming full of hate, swearing, and talking like an adult, which was quite unlike her. She claimed that a voice talked from behind her back, causing no soreness in her throat after talking for such extensive hours in such a manly voice. Bill was a part of Janet’s subconscious, as per many non-believers. Janet is currently in Essex and, to this day, feels used and possessed. Dr. Peter Fenwick treated her, and he wanted to find differences in epilepsy, psychological changes, and the effects of a poltergeist through Janet. After her condition started deteriorating, a psychiatrist was called, and she was given a tranquilizer, which did not work at all, and later she was diagnosed with hysteria. It was later decided that Janet would be taken to a special home, and she was taken away to St. Joseph’s Children’s Home. The spiritual barricades that people have set up in their minds over the years have caused them to not believe Janet’s situation.

Was Janet’s Mental Trauma A Part Of The Occurrences?

There is a possibility that the trauma that Janet had undergone at an early age could have triggered her mental issues. Her parents had split up when she was a child, and there is a possibility that the spirit could have drawn energy from a disturbed mind, causing the phenomenon to grow inside her mind. Janet’s cousin Paul also stated that the condition that Janet was in was very pathetic, making her mentally and physically weak. In an interview with the BBC (1978), Janet’s mother, Peggy, also said that a deep-rooted trauma could have been present in Janet’s mind because of the separation of her parents after the constant fights in the house. As per Bernard Carr, consciousness is actually associated with the physical world, and the highest dimension of reality is the mind.


Final Thoughts

There are a plethora of possibilities associated with the case. It is possible that Janet had a psychic ability to create mayhem in their house by making objects fly on their own. Or the deep-seated trauma could have triggered the other dimensions of Janet’s existence, making her go beyond her earthly capabilities. There is also a possibility that the presence of the supernatural was what made Janet do all these acts. It is a coincidence that Maurice’s daughters’ name was also Janet, who had died in an accident. Many people are of the opinion that Maurice was too emotionally invested in the case because he could relate it to the grief of losing his daughter. He was also jokingly asked in an interview if he was drunk during those occurrences, but it was only Maurice who knew what experiences he had had while solving the case. I believe that a real chain of incidents has been presented in the documentary series because of the presence of several pieces of real-life evidence pointing in a direction that proves the involvement of a poltergeist in the case.

Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!


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