We’ve devoted a lot of time to researching the Enfield haunting and the characters associated with the events. By now you know that Janet Hodgson was a young girl, apparently terrorized by a demon in her younger years. But who, really, was Janet Hodgson?
Janet Hodgson has remained out of the spotlight for the majority of her later years. Only one journalist has tracked her down that we’re aware of. The focus of so much media attention during her childhood, Janet Hodgson has remained largely anonymous since. So where is she now? Here’s what we
Janet Hodgson: Who Was She?
Janet Hodgson was the daughter of a single mother, Peggy Hodgson. She lived in public housing, north of London, with her sister, her two brothers and Peggy.
When the Enfield haunting began, she was 11 years of age, her sister Margaret was 12 and her brothers, Johnny and Billy, were 10 and 7 respectively. All four kids were otherwise normal, though Johnny did run into a bit of trouble every now and then.
All in all, the Hodgsons were a normal family. A single mom and her four kids, living in an ordinary neighborhood just north of London.
Was Janet Hodgson Really Possessed?
Normal, that is, except for the poltergeist they claimed possessed their home. The family received a lot of press in the years following Janet’s claims, and, by all reasoning, these claims are the only reason we’ve ever heard of the Hodgsons.
We’ve explored extensively on Enfield Haunting the research and investigation which the Hodgsons endured during the time of the possession. But was Janet Hodgson really possessed?
Movies and books about the Enfield poltergeist would lead us to believe that yes, the girl really did have a demonic presence afflicting her. The Conjuring 2 is the most vivid example of this. Highly sensationalized, the film depicts not only the Hodgson family but also other cases with Ed and Lorraine Warren studied.
The films show Janet being flung about the room. We hear her speaking in a voice which can only be described as chilling. Furniture flies and strange creatures appear, and for some reason a nun is present. Did these things happen “in real life?”
No. Not all of it, anyway. There exists film footage of Janet and her sister being interviewed in a BBC broadcast. In this interview, Janet clearly tells the interviewers that the house is “not haunted.” Her sister replies, telling her to shut up.
In tape recordings by Maurice Grosse, we can hear a voice, supposedly Janet’s, which sounds very much like we hear in the movies. However, on video footage, Janet tries to imitate this and it sounds like no more than a child trying to speak in a grown man’s voice.
While there are some unusual events which can’t easily be explained, it’s difficult to determine the veracity of the Hodgson family’s claims.
Was She Lying?
So, was she lying? Again, it’s difficult to tell. Police constables visited the Hodgson’s home at the onset of the events, and two claimed to have seen furniture moving about unaided. However, no neighbors or others have come forward to verify that they, too, witnessed anything inexplicable.
Maurice Grosse, Guy Lyon Playfair, and the Warrens all maintain the authenticity of the Enfield haunting. But those people number four. The Warrens were dismissed from the house because it was clear they wanted to make money from the case; that said, they had something to gain from claiming that there was paranormal activity.
Grosse and Playfair had something to gain, as well. Playfair wrote a book; his goal was quite obvious. And Grosse became quite close with the family. Having lost his own daughter just a year prior, he latched on to the Hodgson family and would be remiss to immediately dismiss their claims as false.
Janet herself has claimed that she made some of it up. Not all of it, of course. But she and her sister, both then and now, admit to fabricating some of the events in order to “make people believe them.”
Whether Janet Hodgson was lying or was telling the truth will likely never truly be established. There are skeptics and critics, and there are those who believe that the Enfield poltergeist did, in fact, plague Janet.
Janet Hodgson and The Conjuring 2
Prior to the release of The Conjuring 2, Janet and Margaret Hodgson participated in quite a few interviews. And why not? They were flown to studios and treated as stars – who wouldn’t turn that down?
Interviews were vague, at best. Of course, 40 years is a long time to remember every detail of your childhood – those of us with the best memories can’t claim to have that ability. The Conjuring 2, however, brought the Hodgson family back into the media, and those interested in the events of the Enfield haunting were able to take a second look.
Janet and Margaret, today, admit that some of the events of the Enfield haunting were made up. They were, as a point of fact, caught attempting to trick the investigators. Janet would attempt to bend spoons when no one was looking. She’d hide Grosse’s tape recorder.
However, the sisters claim that this mischief was caused for the sole reason that they felt pressure. The media and the investigators expected the poltergeist to perform. When he did not, the sisters felt that they were a disappointment.
Janet Hodgson’s Death
In the creation of this site, we’ve become familiar with what those researching the Enfield Haunting want to know. One of the most popular searches by researchers regards Janet Hodgson’s death.
Janet Hodgson is not dead. She is alive and well; as we mentioned, the Hodgson family has stayed in the shadows for the past 40 years. It wasn’t until The Conjuring 2’s release that Janet Hodgson emerged from those shadows and, once again, enjoyed a bit of publicity.
Janet Hodgson Today
The Conjuring 2 was released in 2016. Aside from the movie’s release, however, Janet has remained all but silent on the events which happened 40 years ago. One journalist, Will Storr, managed to track her down for an interview.
In April of 2017, Storr found Janet Hodgson was living in Clacton-on-Sea, a district in Essex, England. She’s a mother to three children. The interview which was published by Storr was very similar to those which Janet and Margaret gave at The Conjuring 2 release; Janet claims to remember some events but not others.
Whether Janet Hodgson was telling the truth 40 years ago or was simply a little girl, looking for attention will perhaps never truly be determined. The Hodgson family are the only people who know for sure, and the events will likely be debated for at least another 40 years.