Originally airing on Sky in 2015 and now available for streaming, THE ENFIELD HAUNTING is a three-part miniseries describing a notorious haunting that allegedly took place at a council home in the Enfield district of London in the years 1977-1979. (The case is also featured in THE CONJURING 2.) The series offers solid acting and an engaging story until, well, it kinda goes off the rails.
It’s 1977, and single mom Peggy Hodgson is raising four children in her council home. When her daughters Janet (11) and Margaret (14) discovered odd noises in their room, Peggy investigates only to see furniture move on its own. The DAILY MIRROR runs a story, which draws the attention of the Society of Psychical Research, which in turn sends novice paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse to either prove or debunk. Grosse has his own interest in the afterlife, as he and his wife lost their daughter the year before. When Grosse becomes convinced the haunting was genuine, the Society sends Guy Playfair, another investigator, to the house. The series, in fact, is based on his book, THIS HOUSE IS HAUNTED.
I loved the Seventies setting and quick pacing, with the spirit steadily revealing itself and inviting more attention from the press, Society, and authorities. The actors are great–notably David Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall of Harry Potter fame, with their dynamic driving the story for me. The third episode, however, jumps the shark as things get even worse and then wrap up tidily in an emotional if incredulous finish.
The real-life haunting the series is based on has been judged a hoax by experts, while to this day Janet Hodgson maintains it was all true, making it a matter of individual belief. Regardless of where you stand, THE ENFIELD HAUNTING is surprisingly fun, at least until the “real life” events start to imitate a sappy movie. Check it out for a neat little ghost story.