On Sunday, Sky’s terrifying new drama The Enfield Haunting hit our screens. Personally, as someone delighted by all things paranormal, I was excited ever since the show was announced. And, despite keeping my eyes pinned to the floor a couple of times, I got through it, and now can’t wait for the second episode to air this week.
How it kicked off
Thanks to my preview earlier that week I’d done my research and knew that the real Enfield haunting was a big deal in the ‘70s. It made newspaper headlines all over the world, which is just one more reason to watch this three-part drama and see how it portrays real events.
So, my thoughts on the first episode? Well, although spooked—I believe in this phenomenon, you can make all sorts of films/shows or write all sort of books, but it’s REAL—I was very intrigued and fascinated by the tale. Single mother Peggy Hodgson and her four children are being kept awake by strange knocking sounds and furniture moving of its own accord. This is the beginning of what will be months of spooky activity, drawing dozens of people to the small residence in Enfield, none of whom can explain the strange events they saw. The police are called and one of the officers to respond becomes the first person outside of the family to witness what is happening, watching as a chair moves four feet across the floor, apparently unassisted.
Despite the witness, the police prove useless. Instead, two members of the ‘Society for Psychical Research,’ Maurice Grosse (Spall) and Guy Lyon Playfair (Macfadyen) are called in to investigate the happenings. Grosse’s interest in the paranormal is recent, while Playfair has travelled the world investigating supposed poltergeists. Their quest to unravel the mystery begins.
I was struck by the fact that the real-life unfortunate victim of this inexplicable haunting was 11-year-old Janet (Worthington-Cox)—one of Hodgson’s daughters. Nobody believed her stories, especially after she was discovered as the one responsible for the scribblings on the walls. The show seems to lean towards suggesting that Janet might, twistedly, be making these things happen on purpose. Nevertheless, it was obvious that she is set to grow attached to Maurice in the show, as he is the only one who doesn’t treat her like a lunatic child.
The majority of the cast was unknown to me. I only remembered Timothy Spall from his part in Disney movie Enchanted. However, his performance was impressive and many viewers will recognise Matthew Macfadyen (Pride & Prejudice) and Juliet Stevenson (Atlantis). Special mention must go to Eleanor Worthington-Cox for brilliant acting at such a young age; her drama scenes were emotional and highly intense.
A little online investigation seemed to show that the public opinion was close to my own.
And, to be fair, #TheEnfieldHaunting managed three good scares which is more than AHS Freakshow managed in a whole season.
— James Dawson (@_jamesdawson) May 3, 2015
This is fine. This isn’t scary at all not AT ALL *cries* #TheEnfieldHaunting
— Jennyinneverland♥ (@jennymarston_xo) May 5, 2015
I was also glad to discover I wasn’t the only one who jumped off the couch during one particular scene.
— Nick Smith (@PeripateNic) May 3, 2015
The scary old man in the viewer made a little bit of wee come out #TheEnfieldHaunting
— The Brettman (@brettman) May 3, 2015
Of course, the one guy who should be more inclined to believe is the one who dismisses the events immediately with “it’s the kids”. However, after rescuing Janet from being strangled by the curtains in her bedroom and him being thrown against and up the wall by an invisible force, episode One leaves us with Playfair *finally* realising that there IS something in the house. Possibly too late, according to this Twitter user.
Always one that insists it’s not a ghost, you’ll be the first to die dude #TheEnfieldHaunting
— Lana (@origsugdenslut) May 3, 2015
Coming up next: the investigation continues as Guy calls on the services of a medium, much to Maurice’s annoyance and more light is shed on the dark entity they’re dealing with. Episode Two of The Enfield Haunting airs on Sky this Sunday 10th May at 9pm.