|Aerosol spray, loud music and too much coffee.|
Janet was 11. “I was due to start senior school the following week.” When she and Johnny heard a shuffling in the dark, they called for their mother again, who came upstairs once more and ticked them off for mucking about. But when she left, the sound returned.
They sat up in bed to see a chest of drawers slide from the side of Janet’s bed towards the door. “We shouted ‘Mum! Mum!’,” said Janet. “We were sort of frightened, but also intrigued. It’s so vivid, some of it.”
Janet’s mum, Peggy, thought there were burglars in the house. She called the neighbours in. They all searched and found nothing. But the knocking continued. “It sounded like it was coming from the outside wall, but it was like it was inside as well,” said Janet. “And sometimes, it sounded like it was coming from underneath the floorboards.” Peggy called the police. The officer who arrived, WPC Carolyn Heeps, reported witnessing a chair rise up and move across the floor on its own, in full view of everyone.
“She was astounded,” Janet says. “We were all astounded.” But she didn’t know how to help, and nor did anyone else, so she decided to call the Daily Mirror. “They came down and nothing much happened. And as soon as they went to their car, it all started.” What did? “Lego bricks, marbles flying about. The photographer came back and a Lego brick hit him above the eye. He still had the mark a few days later. And then Maurice Grosse came in on the case.”
Maurice Grosse was a member of the world’s oldest paranormal research organisation, the Society for Psychical Research. Founded in 1882, the SPR counts two prime ministers (Balfour and Gladstone) as well as Freud, Jung and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among its alumni. Grosse, who died in 2006, was a formidable man, a successful industrial designer who served World War II with the Royal Artillery. He’d investigate the case, with his colleague Guy Lyon Playfair, for six months. When I met him, he was a bright and energetic 85.
“When I first got there, nothing happened for a while,” he told me, over tea and ginger cake in the lounge of his Muswell Hill home. “But then I experienced Lego pieces flying across the room, and marbles. And the extraordinary thing was, when you picked them up they were hot, which is relevant to poltergeist type activity. I was standing by the table in the kitchen and a t-shirt leapt off the table and flew into the other side of the room whilst I was standing by it. I thought, ‘Well that’s good. Now I’ve really seen something’.”
The knocking, according to Grosse, could come from several places at once. “If you go and listen to it in the wall over here,” he said, “it’d suddenly come from the wall over there.” A run of knocks would often fade in, louder and louder, and then, slowly, out again. But that was just the start of it.
Over the coming months, he’d see sofas floating and tipping over; beds, tables and chests of draws spinning on the spot and flung over; stones flying right over the house; coins dropping out of the air in front of him; dogs barking in the middle of completely dogless rooms - all phenomena that have been recorded in poltergeist cases going back to Roman times.
On one particularly frantic day, Maurice and a neighbour heard one of the daughters crying out “I can’t move! It’s holding my leg!” They rushed out to find Janet’s sister Rose standing on the staircase on one leg, with the other leg stretched out behind her. The neighbour grabbed one small wrist and Maurice grabbed the other. They both pulled as hard as they could. Rose didn’t move.
Janet would go into violent trances, and claimed to be repeatedly thrown out of her bed in the night. One evening, the SPR investigators removed everything from her bedroom to see what would happen if it had nothing to throw. Later, the family heard a violent wrenching sound.
Upstairs, in an empty room, they found the iron fireplace had been pulled out of the wall. It’s said to be common for poltergeist activity to centre around a female on the cusp of adolescence and, sure enough, the activity peaked on Thursday 15th December, the day Janet got her first period.
But some visitors to the Enfield house were less convinced than the family, neighbours, journalists, the police officer and other witnesses. Perhaps the case’s greatest sceptic was academic Anita Gregory. Although she’s since passed away, I found a record of her views in the form of a lengthy and increasingly irritable correspondence between her and Grosse in the SPR’s quarterly journal. She called the evidence gathered at the house “questionable”, “greatly exaggerated”, and, ultimately, “pathetic”.
“She went away very, very sceptic,” Janet nodded. Gregory wrote that Janet and her sister wouldn’t allow anyone in the bedroom with them during their “possessions” when they’d speak in gruff voices of the “spirit”. Eventually, she was allowed in, “provided I faced the door and covered my head with the girls’ dressing gowns,” she wrote, at which point “slippers and pillows were shied at me.”
I wonder how likely it is that Janet could have got away with causing many of these events, even for an afternoon. Imagine chucking Lego at a houseguest and blaming it on the dead, even once. No doubt a clever illusionist could convince several adults they were witnessing a poltergeist disturbance for a few hours, maybe even a day or two. But an eleven year old girl? For 18 months?
But equally, the explanation they’ve given, which is that the disembodied consciousness of a previous occupant named Bill had possessed Janet and caused chaos in the property, is preposterous. So, I’m left thinking it was obviously just another case of something evil lives in our real life.
I searched far and wide for the artwork and when I first saw this image I tingled.
Finding the right artwork was a real challenge. I looked at over 1200 images ( that´s when i stopped counting) and hundreds of portfolios until " Vade Retro Satana" glared at me during one of my many visits to www.deviantart.com.
For me, much of Mister Trece´s artwork distils and captures the very root of a nightmare. It´s both expressionistic and literal and can hit me like a Francis Bacon painting ( my favourite artist). I also felt that this was very ME and reflected the "things" in my imagination, deep down, that powered these stories".
The book will be available for presales in July this summer, in a special bundle.....
Thank you so much, Adam, for to think on me and let me be part of your world, as an artist, for your amazing and kind words, and as a fan, for make one of my dreams come true when i started to paint. You´re a real talented, kind and cool professional to work with.
So my friends, close the computer and RUN for the books. If you trust me ( believe me, if i know about something, is about horror) you´ll discover a new amazing stuff waiting for you..... in the dark.
For more info, PLEASE check this out:
EMBRACE THE DARKNESS....................
Worst skateboarder ever.
50% not guilty.
I dont have Facebook or Twitter, thank you.
My art account:
Some of my music stuff:
All my albums ( free download )
I want to create something different, new ways to create with the same old tools. I don´t know if i do it. But to be honest… I don´t give a fuck and who cares about it. You just should to know one thing: expect the unexpected.
My other account here :
OFFICIAL: ALL MY STUFF ARE PROTECTED AND REGISTERED, BE CAREFUL WITH MY DARK ARTS! IF YOU WANT TO DO A COLLABO, PIECE OR WHATEVER YOU WANT, PLEASE ASK TO ME! email@example.com