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The Enfield Poltergeist Review | A Haunting Documentary Perfect for This Halloween Season

Apple TV+’s latest documentary series, The Enfield Poltergeist, is a spooky project that fits right in with the Halloween season. It’s a haunting documentary with never before seen footage, audio logs, and interviews of the terrifying, yet suspicious events of the council house in the London estates. Its combination of real life footage, interviews, and staged recreations make for a wholly compelling watch. It’s not Apple TV+’s best documentary show, but it is still intriguing for anybody interested in the paranormal and ‘real life’ scary stories.

The Enfield haunting is perhaps the most infamous paranormal case in Britain. It’s been the center of numerous supernatural horror movies and TV shows, such as the limited TV series, The Enfield Haunting starring Timothy Spall and Matthew Macfadyen. Most may recognize this case from James Wan’s The Conjuring 2, which saw Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) visit Enfield to investigate the strange happenings at this normal looking housing estate in London. Those who have seen The Conjuring 2, or pretty much any film or show revolving around the haunting at Enfield, are fairly familiar with the story already. However, Apple TV+’s latest docuseries uses numerous bits of never before seen footage, audio logs, interviews, and news reports that make this case, and the series feels effortlessly fresh as a result.

The Enfield Poltergeist

If you have somehow gone this long without hearing about the controversial paranormal case at Enfield, then The Enfield Poltergeist follows a London family, the Hodgsons, who have recently encountered some horrifying, unexplained happenings. The Hodgsons experienced knocking on the walls as well as furniture moving on its own, which led the mother, Peggy Hodgson, to call the Metropolitan Police.

While each family member does get affected, it is the poor teenager, Janice, who gets the brunt of it. She is hurled across rooms, occurs numerous bruises, and is strangled by her own bedsheets. That’s all without mentioning her possession. It wasn’t long before the family sought help, and that’s when paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse got involved. Grosse was the lead investigator of the Enfield poltergeist. He conducted interviews with the family, friends, and neighbors, as well as recording himself around the house as often as he can, just to catch something.

Grosse, along with writer Guy Lyon Playfair, were the family’s biggest believers, experiencing some of the unexplained happenings himself. The Hodgsons, Grosse, and Playfair were among the 30-odd people who actually did witness the furniture move in unexplained ways. When reporters, and journalists got involved in the case, the Enfield poltergeist dominated the news between 1977 and 1979. However, there were many that thought these paranormal occurrences to all be a hoax, including famed magicians and illusionists at the time. While it’s uncertain whether the Enfield poltergeist was actually all true or not (especially since the two sisters involved admitted to staging some of the activity), it is still a fascinating, and terrifying story nonetheless.

Related: 10 Best Horror Movies Based on True Stories

A Haunting Halloween Binge

Apple TV+

For those hankering for a new show to watch this Halloween season, The Enfield Poltergeist should be right up your alley. It’s tense and fairly ominous throughout, offering up numerous scares through recreations and haunting archival footage and recordings. It’s enough to keep horror fans and fans of the supernatural satisfied through the show’s four episodes.

The Enfield Poltergeist’s use of real world interviews, with the craggily 1970s audio tech of the time, creates an instant sense of unease. While it won’t have audiences shaking in fear, The Enfield Poltergeist is still a spooky enough show to get you in that Halloween spirit, and it arguably appeals to more people as a result.

The Enfield Poltergeist - Footage
Apple TV+

If you’ve heard the story about the Enfield poltergeist before, then you know exactly what to expect. However, what makes this show so captivating is the previously unseen footage. Throughout the four hour-long episodes, audiences will be treated to some creepy interviews, voice recordings, and footage of the Enfield haunting case that they have never heard before.

For example, the docuseries delves into numerous interviews with the neighbors who experienced some of the occupancies, such as a neighbor who came over to help the Hodgsons and heard knocking everywhere he walked in the house. He heard three knocks in the living room, and when he went to investigate, he then heard three knocks coming from upstairs. The neighbor goes upstairs only to find that there is nothing and no one there. He then begins to go back down the stairs before he hears the same three knocks on the wall again. This would happen over and over again, before he eventually gave up.

Related: Best Horror Movies of the 1970s, Ranked

Impressive Recreations

The Enfield Protagonist actors
Apple TV+

The recreations of the Enfield poltergeist are surprisingly effective. The production and costume design is excellent, and everything is lit and filmed in a spooky way that brings to mind the great horror documentary, The Nightmare. The truly unique aspect of these reenactments is the use of the actual, crackling audio of 1970s interviews and footage in place of the actors’ voices. This is mentioned at the top of every episode, and it’s occasionally obvious that they’re lip-syncing, but it nonetheless creates an immersive experience few docuseries manage to recreate. Keeping the original audio logs in the show.

The clever production behind these recreations is one of The Enfield Poltergeist‘s best movies, and results in a more captivating docuseries as a whole. Yes, you probably know this story, and yes, there’s a large possibility that this was all a hoax perpetrated by two bored sisters. But The Enfield Poltergeist takes you back to the moment before everyone knew about the case, and before we could shrug it off as a hoax. It exists in that space where the hauntings just might be real, and is effective as a result.

The Enfield Haunting is now streaming on Apple TV+.


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