A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

The Enfield Haunting

The Enfield Haunting
16 January 2024
Ambassador Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Based on the famous real-life story of a supposed poltergeist occurrence in North London, The Enfield Haunting recreates the events of the alleged haunting at its height in 1978. Peggy Hodgson and her three children experience a range of unexplained and at times terrifying disturbances over the course of several years, mostly focussed around the daughters, Janet and Margaret. Often categorised as a hoax, with both children admitting playing pranks to several journalists, it is still a very popular topic of discussion among those interested in paranormal happenings. It is one of the most famous hauntings in the world, and the basis for many books, several films, and now a play!

With the family close to breaking point, paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse spends night after night at the Hodgson house to record evidence of the haunting. With furniture flying through the room, Janet speaking in tongues and seemingly losing control of her own body, the tensions run high. But there’s still doubt, suspicions that all these weird happenings are engineered by the girls for attention.

The play is very balanced with this, raising the suspicions openly while also showing some of the more outrageous events without explanation. Some of the tapes recorded throughout the haunting are recreated, and Grosse’s personal life is entangled in story and form a strong motivation for his deep involvement with this phenomenon.

While there are a few spooky moments and a handful of well done jump-scares, this play is not a cheap fright vehicle. It builds an atmosphere of intrigue, measured doubt within a human story filled with varying motivations and strong emotions. The Enfield Haunting was a joy to watch, the play didn’t seem to take sides but rather managed to toe the line between paranormal haunting and social drama without a definitive answer either way. A family drama with an injection of spooky, and definitely worth your time!

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