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In 1977 police were called to the home of single parent Peggy Hodgson, a mother of four whose daughters, Margaret and Janet, witnessed something inexplicable in their bedroom – and we’re not talking about the abundance of tartan on their Bay City Rollers poster. Objects flying around the room, strange noises emanating from the walls… and that was only the beginning. Two years of headline- grabbing hauntings followed in the most unlikely of locations – a council house in the North London borough of Enfield. Now the tale of local terror is heading to TV as three- part drama The Enfield Haunting.
The real- life incident remains one of the best documented cases of poltergeist activity on record and went on to inspire a wave of Hollywood films, from Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist to this year’s Conjuring sequel ( subtitled The Enfield Poltergeist). For writer Joshua St Johnston it was the opportunity to tell an authentic home- grown horror story that initially appealed. “What’s incredibly exciting is that we’re taking back ownership of this very British ghost story,” St Johnston tells Red Alert. “One of the breakthrough moments in terms of getting my head around the mood and how to tell the story was seeing a floor plan of the house and that the bathroom was on the ground floor at the back, next to the garden. There’s something so ’ 70s and so British about that kind of house and so potentially the stuff of horror. This is a celebration of a particular way of living at a particular time.”
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