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on 17 March 2016
Being a paranormal investigator myself and running a ghost hunting event’s company for the general public, I simply had to purchase this book covering the Enfield Poltergeist case. I have of course heard all sorts of stories from varying sources pertaining to this – perhaps the most infamous poltergeist case in history – throughout the years, but decided that I need to read the story from the horse’s mouth, so to speak; Guy Lion Playfair was one of the two main investigators on this case (the other of course was the delightful Maurice Grosse). I found this book an absolutely fascinating read – in fact I am planning on reading again shortly – and one that I could not put down for too long. It is a detailed account of the incidents that the family who were living in the Green Street residence were encountering, some of which were truly frightening. If you saw the recent (2015) three-part miniseries The Enfield Haunting then you really owe it to yourself to read this book. Nothing is embellished. A worthy addition to any paranormal enthusiasts collection.
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on 4 June 2015
After watching the recent tv show I felt compelled to read the book. There are differences in the book and tv show which are to be expected but I did find the book lacking in something. It was ok and I managed to read it all but it took some determination on my part to keep going. An over all ok read
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on 11 May 2014
This book was very informative and gives the story of the Enfield Poltergeist in much more detail than any other account I have seen on television or in print. A very good read and very enjoyable. I would recommend this book to anybody with an interest in the paranormal.
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on 11 May 2017
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on 9 November 2013
Read this as a teenager, on its first publication, in the early eighties. I re-read it as a man in his late 40's, like a vintage wine, it get's better with age. Anyone that fancies themselves as a paranormal researcher should refer to this book, and discover how research should be carried out.
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For anyone fascinated, as I am, by alleged real-life hauntings, this is a must-read - the Enfield Poltergeist case is extremely famous and this is an eye-witness account of it by one of the paranormal investigators who spent time with the family supposedly targeted by an angry spirit. For that reason alone, it's worth reading.

However, it doesn't really stand up as part of an objective investigation, and really raises as many questions as it answers. If you absolutely 100 per cent believe in ghosts, you might well be nodding along with Playfair's assertions: if you are in the slightest bit sceptical, however, you will find many things to question here, which makes it a frustrating read.

What does seem pretty certain is that *something* very strange was going on at this otherwise unexceptional surburban council house - whether that was a ghost, however, or something entirely different, is certainly not a question answered definitively by this book, whatever Playfair claims.
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on 20 July 2016
I completed the book......but didn't like the defensive tone to the writing. It came across as a bit desperate, childish and sulky at times in an effort to convince the reader that a ghostie was responsible for the incidents the author highlighted.

I think there's a rational explanation to all the incidents that has absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural. It's my opinion that the girls were obviously disturbed and traumatised and enjoyed the mischief and attention. I'm not blaming them. With no father around, it's obvious to me that they just enjoyed the older, male attention of those assigned to investigate.

If you do believe that a poltergeist was responsible, you will love this book. It gives a full account. For anyone else, you may find yourself cringing a little throughout as it is just SO obvious that the children alone were responsible for the bulk of the incidents. Perhaps the way to go is to distance yourself from it and consider it a bit of fiction.
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on 8 July 2015
Fantastic insight into one of the most famous hauntings in the world. I've been interested in this story for such a long time, and actually had no idea this book had been written until quite recently. The recent TV series prompted the search, and I have to say the book tells the story so much better, and makes you realise the TV series really didn't do it justice. Guy Playfair is a very engaging story teller which makes this book a great read. Highly recommended.
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on 13 April 2014
The investigators are known to me personally. They are fastidious researchers and one hundred per cent honest. I have the advantage of having heard the tapes from the investigations. The number of reliable witness testimonies to the phenomena should alone give one of open mind food for thought. As I always say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and the 'person' causing the problems was identified as a previous tenant of the building. This is a classic case and should always be remembered. Well done Guy!
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on 5 July 2011
In a 1995 book titled Bizarre Beliefs, the authors emphatically stated that "there are no ghosts, no poltergeists, and no hauntings. They are all mistaken, imaginary or fakes." Much of mainstream science shares this view, but Guy Lyon Playfair, the author of this book, knows better, as he has been involved in investigating a number of poltergeists, including the Enfield Poltergeist, one of the most intriguing cases in the annals of psychical research and the subject of this book. He will agree with the "bizarre" part, but definitely not with the denial of such phenomena.
The Enfield case took place during 1977 and '78 in the northern London suburb of Enfield. It involved a divorced mother, Peggy Harper, and her four children, Rose, 13, Janet, 11, Pete, 10, and Jimmy, 7. The phenomena included large pieces of furniture being overturned, objects flying through the air and floating through walls, dancing slippers, levitations, coins falling from the ceiling, strange voices that often responded to questions, people thrown from their beds and chairs, mysterious writing on the walls, electronic disturbances, a number of ghostly apparitions, stones seemingly falling from the sky, excreta appearing in the sink and on walls, inexplicable outbreaks of fire, and mysterious knocks and footsteps.

As a member of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), Playfair, a Cambridge graduate who spent many years as a freelance journalist for The Economist, Time, and the Associated Press, was, along with fellow SPR member Maurice Grosse, asked to investigate the anomalous activity at the Harper home. Beginning in September 1977, the two researchers devoted some 14 months to investigating the case, often spending nights at the Harpers' home and observing first hand some of the bizarre phenomena, which gradually declined and ended in early 1979.

This book gives a near blow-by-blow account of the intriguing phenomena, which will no doubt exceed the boggle threshold of many readers. I must confess that although I am very much interested in paranormal phenomena, the subject of haunted houses has not been of particular interest to me. However, I found this book difficult to put down once I started it. There are a dozen or more photos in the book.

There were three alternative the researchers faced: Was it fraud? Was it a dissociated fragment of the personality of one of the girls? Or was it a mischievous spirit or a number of spirits? Playfair thoroughly examines the three alternatives and provides some updates to his original book, which was first published in 1980.
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