- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: White Crow Books; 3rd ed. edition (April 20, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1907661786
- ISBN-13: 978-1907661785
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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This House is Haunted: The True Story of the Enfield Poltergeist 3rd ed. Edition
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D.Scott Rogo FATE - an excellent blow-by-blow description of what life with a poltergeist is like. I know of no other book that gives such a detailed account - A wonderfully human document. Brian Inglis WHAT'S ON - a mass of corroborative evidence - backed by months of observation, supplemented by tapes and film and a variety of sophisticated gadgets - Unquestionably it was a genuine haunting. Bob Rickard FORTEAN TIMES A thoroughly commendable effort, providing us with a unique record of a poltergeist which, I am sure, will stimulate analysis and debate for years to come. Richard Whittington-Egan CONTEMPORARY REVIEW The log of events is meticulous and provides the reader with an exceptionally full and satisfying account of what must regarded as an extremely important record of a contemporary outbreak of poltergeist activity. Isa Gray THE STAR, JOHANNESBURG Brilliantly written book of compelling interest throughout. Alan Gauld PSYCHOLOGY NEWS My sympathies lie with Mr Playfair and with his colleague Mr Grosse, whose perseverance and resourcefulness in the face of numerous problems impressed me more and more as I read on. Sam Syers HAMPSTEAD & HIGHGATE EXPRESS A classic of its kind.
About the Author
GUY LYON PLAYFAIR was born in India and educated in England, obtaining a degree in modern languages from Cambridge University. He then spent many years in Brazil as a freelance journalist for The Economist, Time, and the Associated Press, also working for four years in the press section of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The first of his twelve books, The Flying Cow, in which he described his experiences investigating the psychic side of Brazil, was translated into six languages and became an international best seller. His most recent book is Telepathy - the Twin Connection. He now lives in London and is a council member of the Society for Psychical Research.
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Although I would prefer to give the book four stars, because I feel I didn't quite get to know the family well enough and that there was something a little lacking in this regard, I understand that the author was being respectful in trying to guard their privacy as much as possible, while at the same time, getting this important story out there. Without more input from all the people involved, however, you don't feel you can quite wrap your mind around the whole thing, if it is even possible to do so.
Janet, the epicenter child, was removed from the house for extended periods of time, once to a convent run home to be cared for by nuns, and then to a psychiatric ward somewhere. The author does talk about her trances, but not that she would run full speed right into walls, as reported on video by Mr. Gross, the other lead investigator. There is no discussion as to what the psych doctors actually thought, if anything, about the situation (they said Janet was normal) or how Janet herself views the events now as an adult. I would love for a very long and comprehensive documentary to be made about the entire case, incorporating all the many interviews and so forth that were taken, with much more input from the family.
I've never heard a single thing from, or about, the youngest son. My feeling is that he just wants to forget. There is a lot of disbelief and ridicule that people who report these things are confronted with, I know; so we just shut down and don't even bother. I feel we owe it to each other, if not to history, however, to open up about our experiences.
There is a mind boggling event in the book (sorry for giving it away) where Mrs. Hodgson's niece comes to the front door and sees Mr. Gross, the other investigator, peering out from behind a living room window curtain at her. Rather than let her in, he turns and walks away, climbs halfway up the stairs, pauses to glance back at her, than continues on.
In answer to her inquiry as to why Mr. Gross didn't open the door to let her in, she is told that Mr. Gross was not downstairs at all and that he had been upstairs with Mrs. Hodgson the whole time! Fascinating! We have here an apparition of a LIVING person apparently; but the author, a thorough paranormal investigator, strangely doesn't really expand on this at all. Is this a common occurrence in poltergeist cases? Nor do we get the niece's thoughts on this.
We don't even really know the author's true opinion of the, "voices," but it is clear to me that the other investigator, Mr. Gross, clearly thought that he was communicating with the dead. Mr. Playfair discovers Tourette's, a syndrome apparently not well known back then, and they consider this as a possible explanation. I don't think anyone today, however, when listening to the voice of, "Bill," would simply chalk that up to Tourette's; nor do I think that any reasonable person, when hearing that little girl's sweet voice, would think that it was capable of faking Bill's.
My opinion is that Janet was collaborating with, "the spirit," or whatever it was, as it were using her. Rather than a straight possession, there was a definite interaction between the two. The author states that there was a seamless transition between their two voices. In that regard, old Bill asking, "why do girls get their periods?" really doesn't strike me as too bizarre.
All I know, and which this book confirms, is that this world of ours is a much, much, stranger one than most people realize. I feel lucky to have the knowledge, even without the answers.