This week on The Past Lives Podcast I am talking to Dr Melvyn Willin about the book ‘The Enfield Poltergeist Tapes: One of the most disturbing cases in history. What really happened?’
This book was written by Dr Melvyn Willin. Dr Willin, BMus, MMus, PhD, LRAM, is a member of the Society for Psychical Research and during his time there he has published articles in the Journal and Paranormal Review on his two main fields of research, namely, music and witchcraft. (Books were published on these subjects in 2005, 2007 and 2008). In his role as Hon. Archive Officer he regularly explores and adds to the wealth of material that is housed in the London and Cambridge libraries. He houses the audio-visual collection at his secure premises and has an in-depth knowledge of its content. Melvyn is currently (2009) researching the musical perspective of near death experiences as a part-time Perrott-Warrick scholarship.
Do not buy this book if you want to read a biased account of the famous Enfield Poltergeist Case from 1977 through to 1978. There are many other choices you could make which will either try to convince you of the genuineness of the phenomena produced or its fraudulent origins according to the interpretation of the authors concerned. I do not mind whether you have a wide-open mind or a totally shut one, since I shall not be trying to convince you one way or the other.
‘The Enfield Poltergeist Tapes: One of the most disturbing cases in history. What really happened?’
Do buy this book if you want to know what really happened! I have listened and transcribed all of the several hundred audio tapes that were made by Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair during their investigation of the alleged poltergeist case that took place in Enfield some 40 years ago and I shall present, in chronological order, what occurred. It will then be your decision as to whether you believe the phenomena came from spirit entities; psychic forces; mistaken interpretations; hallucinations; naughty children or any other source you might wish to present. I shall strive very hard not to be influenced by what I have read, however intelligent it might be, and instead rely on my ears to describe what was happening via the tapes.
I shall leave out the many hours of general conversation that took place between the parties concerned since I do not believe that the reader will be particularly interested in the weather; special offers in the local supermarket; or what happened in Coronation Street … except, of course, when any of these discussions may have been pertinent to the phenomena. I shall include some of the more humorous occurrences since the events occasionally demanded this. Perhaps some light relief from the sometimes all-pervading chaos. Because of their age some of the audio tapes were corrupted beyond recognition and at other times the sound quality was poor. I have therefore had to listen very carefully to unravel the indistinct voices especially when people were often talking at the same time or were not specifically identified by name. There is substantial screaming at times which was difficult to distinguish between the children concerned, so I may have attributed the wrong name to a ‘screamer’ at times…sorry, but I’ve tried to get it right! The language used is extremely crude, abusive and explicit at times, so the reader should be aware that parts of the book should be ‘X’ rated, as films used to be in bygone days.
If all this hasn’t put you off then read on and prepare to possibly find out what happened in Enfield from 31, August 1977 onwards.