Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Enfield Miscellany (Part 6)

(See part 1 here for an explanation of what this series is about. Here are links to the other parts: two, three, four, and five. I'll be citing the Enfield tapes of Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair. I'll use "MG" to reference a tape from Grosse's collection and "GP" to designate one from Playfair's. MG44A refers to tape 44A in Grosse's collection, and GP10A refers to 10A in Playfair's, for example.)

Hazel Short's Other Experiences

She's typically discussed in the context of a levitation of Janet Hodgson that Short witnessed on December 15, 1977. The other events she witnessed don't get much attention. An article published several years ago reports:

Hazel, now 65, said: “I was once invited into her [Peggy Hodgson's] house, it was a boiling hot summer’s day outside but inside it was like a freezer, ice-cold.

“Peggy, Janet’s mum, led me through to the downstairs toilet and stuck to the wall was the toilet brush and a bottle of bleach.

“I will never forget what I saw and felt in that house. “It’s just a surprise that the story has taken this long to be turned into a film.”

She seems to be saying that the toilet brush and bottle of bleach were sticking to the wall in a paranormal manner.

A Triple-Digit Number Of Witnesses

In an article a couple of years ago, I estimated the number of witnesses of Enfield events to be in the low triple digits. I said I was in the process of doing further research on the subject. Given what I've learned in the years since then, I'm confident that the number is a triple-digit one. I've been keeping a list.

To provide some idea of how difficult it is to arrive at a precise number of witnesses, there was an incident with a bus moving after it had been shut off and the brake had been applied (MG91B, 26:05). Do a Ctrl F search for "coach" here to read more about it. It seems to have been some kind of school bus Peggy and Margaret Hodgson were on, and Peggy refers to how the driver told her "I think we've got room" for Peggy to ride on the bus with the students. So, it seems that a lot of people were on the bus at the time. She goes on to refer to "all the different children" getting on the bus, and she names a few of the individuals present as she goes on to give the rest of the account. It seems likely that the number of individuals on the bus was in the double digits, even though no number is specified by Peggy.

Other examples of the difficulties involved in determining a precise number of witnesses can be seen in a discussion on tape GP26B (2:28). They were talking about the Hodgsons' experiences with the poltergeist in public contexts. The discussion occurred shortly before Christmas, on December 17, 1977. Peggy Hodgson refers to how she and her children had gone to a store "at the top of Green Street", and she explains that "being near Christmas, it was terribly busy". Keep in mind that this was in 1977, with no internet, so stores had more customers then than they do now, especially around Christmas. Peggy told Janet to stay outside the store, since they were concerned about the poltergeist voice manifesting in public, as it sometimes did. Peggy went into the store with Margaret, and after getting in, she turned to Margaret and commented that she (Peggy) was experiencing one of her premonitory headaches, which she often got in anticipation of paranormal activity from the poltergeist. (For more information about those premonitory headaches, see the relevant section of the post here.) She told Margaret she was convinced that somebody was following them. So, she turned around to see Janet following. Peggy was upset and asked Janet why she hadn't stayed outside the store as she was told to. She explained that there were "lots" of people outside the store and that the voice was "roaring". Later, they apparently got behind a woman with a lot of items in the checkout line, so Peggy sent Janet back out due to a concern about the voice manifesting while they were waiting in line. After Janet went back out, the voice began roaring again. It's unlikely that a teenage girl would want to be associated with that sort of behavior in public, her going back into the store suggests she disliked the roaring that was occurring outside, and Peggy's premonitory headache (which she was able to distinguish from ordinary headaches, as explained in the post linked above) suggests that something paranormal was going on. The voice is the only other paranormal activity reported on this occasion, so the premonitory headache probably was connected to that manifestation of the voice. So, this seems to be genuine paranormal activity that took place in the presence of "lots" of people in the context of a store that was "terribly busy" because of the Christmas season. Peggy, Janet, and Margaret go on to talk about other paranormal events that happened in public settings. I'll just mention one other one here. Peggy refers to an incident in a store involving items moving in a paranormal manner. Apparently, somebody working in the store joked with her about how he knew she was coming because of the paranormal activity starting up and was glad to see her go when she left. Judging by what Peggy says, this store employee didn't see the items moving that Peggy had seen. But he may have seen other items moving that day and/or have been referring to one or more other occasions when items had moved paranormally when the Hodgsons were there. The individual who talked to Peggy on this occasion or other people affiliated with the store may still be alive and have relevant memories. Anyway, my main point here is that incidents like these make it difficult to be precise about the number of witnesses. However, even if we estimate the overall number of witnesses involved in the case conservatively, it has to be in the triple digits.

Since writing my post about the number of witnesses a couple of years ago, I came across a 1983 article in which Playfair refers to how he and Grosse "reckon, at a very conservative estimate, that around 2000 inexplicable incidents were observed during the case, by about 30 different people." (The Unexplained, vol. 11, issue 121, "Enfield: The Trouble Begins", 2404) That 30 figure, which has frequently been cited in one way or another over the years, is a very conservative estimate. It seems highly probable that the actual number is in the low triple digits.

Maurice Grosse's Life Story

He appeared on a television program titled Video Diaries in 1996, to tell the story of his life. To my knowledge, only about the first half of the program had been available on YouTube until recently. The full program is now available. It includes some segments about an alleged apport Grosse witnessed, with some video footage, at Charlton House. I linked the Video Diaries program and discussed the Charlton House incident in a post earlier this year, but those who follow my Enfield posts without following my other posts may have missed it. For anybody who's interested, you can find it here.

Christmas Pudding

Much has been said in many places about the events of December 15, 1977. But there are occasional references on the Enfield tapes to details that I've seldom or never seen discussed elsewhere. One of those occurred during a conversation on May 1 of 1978. Janet Hodgson was discussing the events of December 15 with some visitors, apparently some men doing a story on the Enfield case for Esotera, a German magazine. She mentioned that when she teleported through the wall on December 15, into the Nottinghams' house, she saw Christmas pudding in Peggy Nottingham's room. Janet then commented that Peggy later confirmed that there had been some Christmas pudding there at the time (GP52B, 25:54). After Janet's comments, Maurice Grosse said that he hadn't heard that before. However, it should be noted that the people from Esotera initiated the discussion, that Janet made the comment about Christmas pudding in passing, along with mentioning other things she saw in the Nottinghams' house, and that she's unlikely to have mentioned corroboration from Peggy Nottingham if she (Janet) was making that detail up. There was already so much evidence for the teleportation in question. There was no need for Janet to have fabricated evidence like the Christmas pudding detail. And her mother goes on to say that Janet had told her about it, even though they apparently hadn't told Grosse. I suspect Janet was telling the truth.

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