If you’re interested in the paranormal then you’ve probably heard about the Enfield poltergeist. I’ve often wondered why that particular haunting managed to garner worldwide attention when other stories are lost and forgotten.

For those who haven’t heard about it, the Enfield poltergeist refers to the haunting of a council house on Green Street, Brimsdown. Starting in 1977, the family that lived there claimed they had started to hear unexplained knocking sounds aswell as objects and furniture moving on their own. The ghost took an interest in the youngest daughter Janet. She would often begin talking like an elderly man whom they called Bill. Many believed that Janet was channeling the spirit that was responsible for the strange activity.

Janet supposedly levitating.

The Enfield poltergeist drew the attention of many paranormal investigators including Ed and Lorraine Warren. Some of these investigators believed the haunting was genuine whilst others were adamant that the 11 year old Janet was responsible for a lot of the activity. Many other people including a magician believed the voice that Janet spoke with when channeling ‘Bill’ was put on.

At the same time in 1977 there was a lesser known case of a haunting in Grimsby. This case also took place in a council house and affected an innocent family.

The house was situated on Caistor street on the Nunsthorpe estate in Grimsby. As with the Enfield haunting, the female members of the family were mainly affected.

The Routledge family pose outside of their haunted home. Doreen Routledge, left, daughters Vicky, 8, Pauline, 4, Tina, 13, Carol, 12, and family friend Julie Intress, 12.

The haunting started out rather mildly with clothing that had been folded then appearing crumpled on the floor moments later. Clothes that had been taken out of the wardrobe would suddenly appear back in the wardrobe. At first, this entity certainly had an interest in clothes, but the supernatural occurances later intensified.

Some members of the family said they had felt icy cold hands on them like the entity was touching them, this sensation was often accompanied by a foul smell. Objects starting being moved about. A watch belonging to Tina disappeared and was missing for months before reappearing on the stairs. Things like eggs would levitate in the air and objects were violently thrown.

The occurrences intensified again and the family started being physically pushed and hit by an unseen force. A teddy bear belonging to daughter Vicky levitated and days later was found in a different room with a tear in it and it’s stuffing strewn about the room.

It got to the point where the entity was no longer invisible, eventually every family member had seen it at one time or another. Daughter Carol described it as black with spikes round its head and red eyes. It got too much for the family and it was at this time that the family knew they needed help.

After telling their story to the minister of Calvary Church in Grimsby, the Reverend Fred Gros Smith was instructed to conduct an exorcism at the property.

The Reverend reported that he felt very uneasy in the house and began struggling to breathe, this was accompanied by heart palpitations. He knew almost straight away that the entity in the house was truly evil.

The exorcism was a success and the family continued to live in the property for years afterwards. Doreen said that the house felt like a completely different house after the exorcism and she could finally call it home.

You may wonder why I compared these two cases. For me they’re similar, not only because both cases started in 1977 but because they didn’t take place in an old gothic mansion or an old crooked house. Both cases happened in ordinary bog standard council houses. Young girls were present and the activity was often similar.

Even though there are some similarities with the case of the Enfield poltergeist and the Grimsby haunting, it is my opinion that the Routledge family were more genuine and honest. They had nothing to gain and did not want major publicity. All family members saw the entity and so the supernatural events could not be blamed on one of the daughters. In the Enfield case, the entity was never seen and Janet was caught on tape planning tricks to use to scare paranormal investigators and reporters.

The most famous paranormal cases like the Amityville horror, Enfield poltergeist, the Bell witch etc are often a little bit too incredible to be believed. They are often exaggerated to sell newspapers or books or film rights. It’s the lesser known stories that are truly interesting. The truth is out there, but you’ve gotta do a lot of searching to find it.

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23 thoughts

  1. Thanks for posting this. The “big” town near me is Bisbee, Arizona, population about 5300. It is an old copper mining town and is said to have numerous ghosts in town. In fact, two hotels are famous for their ghosts. None of the ghosts seem aggressive in any way.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Sadly, no. But I have only stayed one time in one of the hotels. I live here, so I don’t spend nights usually. I stayed in the most famous one just the one time, just to say I had

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I have heard of the Enfield poltergeist where the little girl was supposedly tormented by a spirit. It looked made up to me. The Routledge family I had never heard about or if I did I forgot all about it. What a way clothes fashion was at that time. No wonder the ghost messed with them!
    Your right about lesser-known stories that are truly interesting. In the 20 plus years, I lived in Maine at the same residence I had whom I called “the little boy ghost” who thought I was his mommy. He had died at 2 years of age many years before I moved in. I wasn’t sure if I was just seeing things until my friends saw him as well. I always got verification when I asked what he was wearing which was a striped little t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. When I moved to Vermont I tried and hoped I helped him pass for I haven’t seen him since.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha yes the ghost definitely took a disliking to their clothes 😂
      Thanks for sharing your story about the ghost boy, it’s such a sad thing to imagine that he was all alone and scared, probably not even knowing he’d died. It’s interesting that others saw it too, it’s great when you get confirmation, otherwise you think you’re going mad haha.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have MANY ghost towns out here in California – they are really cool …

    I didn’t know about those stories… I know Amityville Horror 😳 among others over here.

    I am always curious about what the site was before the home was there? Or if something traumatic happened in the house prior to the haunting.

    Always love these sorts of stories ❤️

    I am not big on horror lol… I live out in the country so I don’t generally watch horror lol

    But I like ghost stories 👻 Fascinating ✌️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah you make a good point, even though they’re modern council houses, the land they’re built on could have a rich history. Most of England has an in depth history so it makes sense that any house could be haunted even if it’s a new build.

      You guys in the US seem to have the best hauntings though with your ancient Indian burial grounds. I suppose the equivalent here would be plague pits.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah there are a few stories about places built where major things occurred – the energy stays in that location no matter what is there. Maybe even wakes the spirit?

        People don’t think to be aware of what happened there to begin with… we have many sacred places or places that had great unrest.. something wakes it up and you have a haunting whether it’s new or old

        England is very rich with those things – I’m surprised there is not hauntings everywhere! There was so much that went on over there!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah that’s true, there’s also stories about renovations being done to an old house and it somehow awakens some dormant ghost.
        Places with a gruesome history is often rumoured to be haunted so you’re right, I’m surprised that not all of Britain is haunted haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sometimes there are peaceful spirits or pranking ones lol

        If I ever have the chance to haunt a place – I know exactly where I would want to be…

        My family owns a house that we have had since 1917… it was built in 1914… it is a 3-decker back in Massachusetts … all floors used to be all family.

        My grandmother was born there, and so was my dad. In that house… that house was my one “constant” my entire life… and it’s beautiful!! They made houses so rich with detail back then… all oak floors and window detail… they used to have the claw foot tubs – they took those out though… but it does have gully kitchens – pretty old fashioned – it is beautiful.

        I would haunt there ❤️ I love that house

        So I would guess depends on the spirits connection with the location ??

        And like you said… when is a traumatic event or major thing… maybe the spirit has been trapped there?

        We have really old mental hospitals used up until 1960’s or so?? that were never torn down. And old abandoned prisons … those are incredible!! Omg – you hair stands up is so creepy

        The other night I worked late… I am never bothered being at the funeral home – until I worked late lol… then I kinda got a feeling- ok time to leave lol

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes you’re right those old houses are gorgeous. Is it a Queen Anne revival style house? I’ve always dreamed of moving to America and living in a Queen Anne revival, they’re so pretty and kinda creepy looking. They always look haunted but I like that.

        I often wonder why a ghost would haunt somewhere depressing like a mental asylum. If they had such a bad time there, then why would they stick around that place after death? Yet apparently they do, it’s a horrible thought but maybe you don’t get to choose where you haunt haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. They could be tied to a location maybe because of deep seeded feelings at the time of death? Maybe a severe event happened that they felt strongly with? Or if killed there – their energy can maybe be trapped there? there could have been unrest due to unfinished business? Or maybe that was the only place they knew? I have also heard stories of spirits who do not realize they have died? 😮

        My grandparents house was built in 1914… I think old Victorian – but 3 levels and the architecture is just magnificent- care and details went into the build and they kept it up all this time. When you walk in was like a time capsule from the turn of the century. They had a parlor… a beautifully kept room – decorated and immaculate – you weren’t allowed in there unless was for some special occasion or guests. It was beautiful… the furniture in there matched the time period of the house and they had all the old black and white photos of family in there

        I never had a “parlor” in my houses growing up… we did have living rooms and family rooms – but never a parlor lol… maybe my living rooms were as close as you can get to a parlor ?

        There was what used to be a small outdoor porch… but they had closed off all 3 floors porches and made each into home offices or tiny bedrooms.

        And then the living room in the center of the floor…

        There were 3 bedrooms, and a large eating area which also had the stove and fridge… cause those didn’t fit in the Gully kitchen lol

        The walls had secret doors … just small little storage areas but to a child playing hide and seek was the most awesome house ever!!

        And in the center separating the kitchen from the family room was this gorgeous built in china cabinet!!

        I think I have a few photos of one of the floors – if I can find them, I’ll post it. It is beautiful! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I think sometimes negative energy sticks around in a house and that residual energy can replay. We think we’re seeing the spirit if a dead person when really it’s just a re- enactment. This could explain why there’s ghosts in asylums, it could just be scenes playing out. You could be right that some ghosts probably don’t even know they’re dead.

        Your grandparents house sounds amazing, I’d love to see pictures. You should do a post about their house. I love the layout of old houses like that 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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