The Enfield haunting

Discuss favourite or least favoured paranormal TV shows

Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby GhostInTheMachine » Tue May 05, 2015 4:41 pm

Thanks Martin, I just found out it's £6.99 a month to watch Sky TV online even if you don't have a Sky TV, which I think is a bargain if you are going to watch a whole load of shows. So signing up and will watch this soon.
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby martin1985 » Tue May 05, 2015 5:45 pm

nice one! let us know what you think :smile:
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby GhostInTheMachine » Wed May 06, 2015 1:56 am

I saw the first two episodes, very entertaining and interesting, well acted. But from my recall, I'm not so sure about how close it is to the truth though, it's based on the book but leaves a lot out. Most of the PNI incidents, yes, but all the emotional claptrap ... hmm, a lot of that is for the drama of it. It leaves a lot out that is in the book, the thoroughness of the investigation and the sheer length of it for a start, also it depicts Playfair as at loggerheads with other members of the SPR right now, certainly not the case now, Playfair is still a veteran and senior member who is well respected. Mary Rose Barrington, for example, a senior barrister and member examined all the evidence and files and was impressed, as others have been.

I'm going to dig out my copy of the book and compare again to refresh my recall.

I will be very interested to hear Playfair's own opinion and take on it... I'm sure he was pleased with the casting though, well acted. The drama, costume and sets remind me of This House Is Haunted.

It also leaves a whole section of phenomena out that happened at then start including stuff witnessed by the reporters from the Daily Mirror, police officers, and neighbours, that could not have been caused by the girls.
The bit about Janet's voice changing like that is correct, and that it would be impossible for her to take it for hours without severely injuring her vocal chords after a short duration. Also the bit of the experiment about the water in the mouth and taped up.
Playmaker & Grosse did catch the girls prancing to fake some stuff, which has since been used by debunking sceptics to deduce that ALL the phenomena was faked, but this would not be possible in the circumstances, and also it AlAsdair & Grosse who found this out - really obvious and not clever fakery.
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby karen » Sat May 09, 2015 8:08 pm

It does mention at the beginning of the first episode about the police and reporters from the Daily Mirror which is why Grosse was called in. Only a brief mention mind you and the opening credits show the actual pictures that where taken.

Like all things based on books, things are left out, ie... the Woman in Black, Under the Dome, Bag of Bones.... It etc. I remember watching one adaptation of a book and they missed out major characters which I found really annoying.

But all in all it is a good series and well worth a look.
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby GhostInTheMachine » Sat May 09, 2015 10:54 pm

I saw it now, on the pay as you go Sky service - only £6.99 a month to watch all the Sky TV you want online, not bad!

It's very good, very entertaining I must say! Really worth watching, and excellent acting by everyone, especially the girl and the medium!

I notice Guy was listed as a consultant on the show. I'm going to try to find out what he thought of it himself, he's bound to have seen it now. I understand he sold the rights to the book some time ago, and I hear was very pleased with the casting of it.

However having read the book and also seen this, it's "based" on the book, not strictly adhering to it, so that has to be taken into account, and it was made for entertainment after all! But, I think a few things could have been added or made more clear and there were a few key inaccuracies in my view.
For a start, the investigation by Grosse and Playfair lasted 14 months, most of the time they were resident in the house. It was the most thorough paranormal investigation in history, before or since, this degree of time and thoroughness isn't really clear in the drama.. ... though a lot of their experments were quite boring as they were repetitive, so I suppose that wouldn't be very entertaining!
Then all that concentration on Janet Grosse, daughter of Maurice, personally I'm sure is way, way OTT. I do believe it was a factor, and It does mention at the beginning of the book this case was on the back of Grosse's loss etc, but they really centralize this drama around that and make it like a lot of what's going on IS just that, like it was influencing his investigation, whereas I think Maurice would be appalled by that suggestion if he were alive and able to have his say.

There is also all the stuff and impression the senior members of the SPR dismissed or didn't rate the evidence collated and presented by Grosse and Playfair .. . the drama missed a lot out about that, as the evidence of the case was thoroughly reviewed by the SPR's Vice President, barrister Mary Rose Barrington, report here:

Mary Rose Barrington, a solicitor and longtime SPR Council member with considerable experience of both careful examination of evidence and the investigation of spontaneous cases, including poltergeists.

With three colleagues, Peter Hallson, Dr Hugh Pincott and the late John Stiles she carried out a meticulous follow-up study of the whole case including interviews with almost every witness to the events, including the girls’ mother, whom she found ‘perfectly sane’ and questioned at length, obtaining ‘some very clear testimony’ which she found ‘impressive’. And did she conclude that the girls were faking it all? No, she didn’t. Here is her actual conclusion:

“There is every reason to think that there was poltergeist activity in the house.”


Some good info about the Enfield case is on the SPR's website, for instance this:

http://www.spr.ac.uk/publication/house- ... oltergeist

SPR is promoting the drama though, on this page:

http://www.spr.ac.uk/news/enfield-haunting
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby martin1985 » Sun May 10, 2015 8:26 am

Glad you enjoyed it GITM, The only thing i didn't like about it was the fact there were multiple spirits that were causing the poltergeist activity (i am not sure if this was indeed what they concluded but i am sure it's not) not just Bill, I thought they should of just kept 1 entity since he lived there.
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby Chatelaine » Sun May 10, 2015 11:02 pm

The actors were very good in my opinion and maybe I wouldn't have enjoyed it so much if Timothy Spall and Matthew McFadyen hadn't been the mainstay. I was a little disappointed as it wasn't completely true to the book, but to be fair to them, they didn't sell out like nearly everyone else has by turning into a silly demon shock horror fest. I enjoyed it and it's made me want to watch all the old documentaries with the late great Maurice Grosse again. Good job :-bd
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby Pequisto » Mon May 11, 2015 12:41 pm

I just watched the first episode and knowing the Enfield poltergeist mainly from the "Ghost Hunters" series from the 1990s, I think it hasn't been "Hollywood-ized".

Spall is spot-on as Grosse.
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby Chatelaine » Thu May 14, 2015 10:08 pm

Spall played him excellently! Maurice seemed a lovely man who really cared about Janet and the family, this came across really well in the drama.
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Re: The Enfield haunting

Postby GhostInTheMachine » Mon May 18, 2015 1:03 am

Well, I suspected as much, and looks like I was right - Guy Playfair's reaction was not good toward the drama adaptation.

Having read his book, and knowing someone who knows him, I'm not surprised and don't blame him at all.

TBH his book and the true story is far more riveting and it's a huge shame they didn't stick to it. The acting was very good, as was the production, and it was entertaining, - but the story should have stayed true. Why it didn't is beyond me. As for all that rubbish about Maurice and his state of mind.... well!

Here's what the Express is publishing as an exclusive interview with Guy:

Article by Ruth Halkon, Sun 17th May

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/577729 ... journalist

" EXCLUSIVE: ‘Truth about Enfield Ghost was stranger than the TV fiction’ says book's author

THE MAN at the centre of the real life Enfield Haunting has accused the TV show of distorting what happened and says the truth is stranger than any fiction.

Former journalist Guy Playfair, 80, spent nearly two years investigating claims a poltergeist was tormenting the Hodgson family, and particularly 11-year old Janet.

His book This House Is Haunted was turned into Sky Living’s drama, starring Matthew MacFadyen as him and Timothy Spall as fellow investigator Maurice Grosse.

It claims to be “based on real events” at the council flat in Enfield, north London, during the 1970s.
But Mr Playfair has branded it “dumb entertainment” and showed events that “did not happen”.

When MacFadyen was thrown against the ceiling he realised they had taken liberties with his script.

He said: “People think it’s all true. They ask what it was like levitated to the ceiling – but it didn’t happen.
"The film-makers assured me they were going to follow the story, but didn’t.
"The most authentic thing was Maurice’s E-type Jaguar, and that was two years older than his.
“They didn’t have to make up anything. Incidents were as dramatic as any horror film.”

A spokesman for Eleven Film and Sky said: “Some scenes contain dramatic licence. We are making a three-part drama series.”
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