The Conjuring - the anticipated follow up from the creators of Saw and Insidious - grasped our imaginations with its blend of jump scares, horror lighting and, vitally, basis in creepy real life events.
The original Conjuring was inspired by the haunting of the Perron family, and the spin-off movie, Annabelle, drew on the frightening true story of a real cursed doll - so frightening, in fact, that the movie caused riots in theaters.
The Conjuring 2 is also based on a true story: read on to discover the facts...
The Enfield Poltergeist case begins in 1977
Peggy Hodgson and her four young children lived in London, England, but it was her daughter Janet, 11, who began experiencing levitation, strange voices and other phenomena. Janet - now an adult living in Essex said,
The levitation was scary, because you didn’t know where you were going to land. I remember a curtain being wound around my neck, I was screaming, I thought I was going to die.
My mum had to use all her strength to rip it away. The man who spoke through me, Bill, seemed angry, because we were in his house.
Though Janet was targeted, the whole family suffered
A raspy male voice rang through the house with an eerie message:
Just before I died, I went blind, and then I had an ’hemorrhage and I fell asleep and I died in the chair in the corner downstairs.
Janet's sister Margaret recalls,
There were strange little noises in the house, you couldn’t make out what was going on. None of us got slept. We put on our dressing gowns and slippers and went next door.
Authorities witnessed bizarre events in the house
A female police officer reported seeing a chair fly across a room, and the Enfield house has been investigated by droves of paranormal experts. These range from belief - Guy Playfair dedicated a whole book to the case, This House is Haunted: The True Story of a Poltergeist - to ridicule, American magician Milbourne Christopher said:
The poltergeist was nothing more than the antics of a little girl who wanted to cause trouble and who was very, very, clever
The aftermath of the Enfield poltergeist
Although terrifying and upsetting - Janet was bullied and called 'Ghost Girl' at school and later spent a short while at a psychiatric hospital - she feels that the poltergeist was not an entirely malevolent spirit:
I felt used by a force that nobody understands. I really don’t like to think about it too much. I’m not sure the poltergeist was truly 'evil.' It was almost as if it wanted to be part of our family.
Note: this case is not to be confused with the Enfield Horror!