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Levitation, Contortion, Possession. What happened in Enfield, England that may be in “THE CONJURING 2”?

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James Wan’s haunted house picture THE CONJURING is now excitingly over 100 million dollars at the box office. Based in real events and the exploits of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, it’s a wonderfully crafted original horror film that’s doing intensely well. Naturally, there’s a sequel being developed. Little is known, but the Warrens have multitudes of files to delve into, and rumors are now accruing the one being eyed for a follow-up is a 1978 case out of England.

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Photo: Channel 4

Ain’t It Cool reports that a small event at the home of Lorraine Warren helped reveal the word that a sequel to last month’s horror hit would center on two possessed sisters. Commonly referred to as The Enfield Poltergeist, the phenomena that enraptured the UK at the time took hold in the home of Peggy Hodgson as strange occurrences swirled around two of her four children, sisters Margaret and Janet. Long suspected to be hijinks of the girls, reports of chilling knocking sounds, moving furniture, flying objects and ultimately levitation, possessed voices and contortion all came out of the ordeal. Janet, in particular, was the center of the activity and the one who allegedly levitated (in one of the famous photos, seen right) as well as the vessel through which the demonic voice spoke. One of the girls even “dematerialized,” vanishing for 17 minutes and reappearing twisted up in a cabinet.

The case is now widely thought of as a hoax—and part of the controversy that views the Warrens as enablers—leaving Ed Warren to address skepticism in THE DEMONOLOGIST, mentioning Enfield specifically. He says, “Those who deal with the supernatural day in and day out know the phenomena are there—there’s no doubt about it. Therefore, when people tell me they don’t believe in ghosts and spirit forces, what they’re really saying to me is they’re not familiar with the data on the subject. Yet the data is there—should one care to look. In fact, much of it has been collected under such rigid conditions as to make a lot of other scientific research pale in comparison. For example, take a case Lorraine and I began investigating this past summer [1978] in Enfield, England, where inhuman spirit phenomena were in progress. Now, you couldn’t record the dangerous, threatening atmosphere inside that little house. But you could film the levitations, teleportations, and dematerializations of people and objects that were happening there—not to mention he many hundreds of hours of tape recordings made of these spirit voices speaking out loud in the rooms.”

Below, find the first part of a 2007 Channel 4 documentary about the Enfield case entitled INTERVIEW WITH A POLTERGEIST. Additionally, the Enfield Poltergeist served as a loose base for the infamous BBC mockumentary GHOSTWATCH, which effectively freaked out much of its audience when it aired only once.

Correction: In a previous version of this article, Margaret was listed as the Hodgson mother, not Peggy.

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Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
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