If you’re interested in the paranormal then you’ve probably heard about the Enfield poltergeist. I’ve often wondered why that particular haunting managed to garner worldwide attention when other stories are lost and forgotten.
For those who haven’t heard about it, the Enfield poltergeist refers to the haunting of a council house on Green Street, Brimsdown. Starting in 1977, the family that lived there claimed they had started to hear unexplained knocking sounds aswell as objects and furniture moving on their own. The ghost took an interest in the youngest daughter Janet. She would often begin talking like an elderly man whom they called Bill. Many believed that Janet was channeling the spirit that was responsible for the strange activity.
The Enfield poltergeist drew the attention of many paranormal investigators including Ed and Lorraine Warren. Some of these investigators believed the haunting was genuine whilst others were adamant that the 11 year old Janet was responsible for a lot of the activity. Many other people including a magician believed the voice that Janet spoke with when channeling ‘Bill’ was put on.
At the same time in 1977 there was a lesser known case of a haunting in Grimsby. This case also took place in a council house and affected an innocent family.
The house was situated on Caistor street on the Nunsthorpe estate in Grimsby. As with the Enfield haunting, the female members of the family were mainly affected.
The haunting started out rather mildly with clothing that had been folded then appearing crumpled on the floor moments later. Clothes that had been taken out of the wardrobe would suddenly appear back in the wardrobe. At first, this entity certainly had an interest in clothes, but the supernatural occurances later intensified.
Some members of the family said they had felt icy cold hands on them like the entity was touching them, this sensation was often accompanied by a foul smell. Objects starting being moved about. A watch belonging to Tina disappeared and was missing for months before reappearing on the stairs. Things like eggs would levitate in the air and objects were violently thrown.
The occurrences intensified again and the family started being physically pushed and hit by an unseen force. A teddy bear belonging to daughter Vicky levitated and days later was found in a different room with a tear in it and it’s stuffing strewn about the room.
It got to the point where the entity was no longer invisible, eventually every family member had seen it at one time or another. Daughter Carol described it as black with spikes round its head and red eyes. It got too much for the family and it was at this time that the family knew they needed help.
After telling their story to the minister of Calvary Church in Grimsby, the Reverend Fred Gros Smith was instructed to conduct an exorcism at the property.
The Reverend reported that he felt very uneasy in the house and began struggling to breathe, this was accompanied by heart palpitations. He knew almost straight away that the entity in the house was truly evil.
The exorcism was a success and the family continued to live in the property for years afterwards. Doreen said that the house felt like a completely different house after the exorcism and she could finally call it home.
You may wonder why I compared these two cases. For me they’re similar, not only because both cases started in 1977 but because they didn’t take place in an old gothic mansion or an old crooked house. Both cases happened in ordinary bog standard council houses. Young girls were present and the activity was often similar.
Even though there are some similarities with the case of the Enfield poltergeist and the Grimsby haunting, it is my opinion that the Routledge family were more genuine and honest. They had nothing to gain and did not want major publicity. All family members saw the entity and so the supernatural events could not be blamed on one of the daughters. In the Enfield case, the entity was never seen and Janet was caught on tape planning tricks to use to scare paranormal investigators and reporters.
The most famous paranormal cases like the Amityville horror, Enfield poltergeist, the Bell witch etc are often a little bit too incredible to be believed. They are often exaggerated to sell newspapers or books or film rights. It’s the lesser known stories that are truly interesting. The truth is out there, but you’ve gotta do a lot of searching to find it.