Timothy Spall: I was terrified making new poltergeist drama The Enfield Haunting

The Mr Turner actor says playing the role of a paranormal investigator made him worried he'd have spooky experiences of his own

Playing a man who investigates ghosts can have its drawbacks, according to Timothy Spall – especially when it comes to going to bed at night.


Spall is starring alongside Ripper Street actor Matthew Macfadyen in The Enfield Haunting, Sky Living’s upcoming drama about the supposedly genuine haunting of a small house in north London in the late 1970s.

In preparation for the role, the Mr Turner actor met parapsychology investigator Guy Lyon Playfair who is played by Macfadyen in the series and who wrote the book This House is Haunted on which the drama is based.

According to Spall, the encounter calmed his terrors about taking on the job which he initially turned down because it “frightened the life out of me”.

“I asked him, ‘didn’t you worry that when you came back there would be demons sitting on your bed or something?’ and he said, ‘oh no, made a nice cup of tea, went to bed’.

“So I was heartened by that because I certainly didn’t want to wake up at night with the doors opening and shutting because, being an actor, I am someone who works off my imagination.”

Spall’s character Maurice Grosse is a rookie paranormal researcher drawn to the house on Green Street in Enfield after the tragic death of his daughter in a motorcycle accident. He is joined in his quest to investigate the strange incidents at the address by his wife Betty, played by Truly, Madly, Deeply and The Village star Juliet Stevenson.  

Macfadyen plays Playfair, an experienced investigator who helps Maurice and Betty get to the bottom of the hauntings.

Rosie Cavaliero, John Simm’s co-star in the ITV drama Prey, takes on the role of single mother Mrs Hodgson with the role of her youngest daughter Janet played by Eleanor Worthington-Cox.

Along with Janet’s siblings Margaret and Billy, played by Fern Deacon and Elliot Kerley, they complete the family who were terrorised by the malevolent force in their home for more than two years before seeking help.

The Enfield Haunting will air on Sky Living in the spring


READ MORE: First look pictures of Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson and Matthew Macfadyen in The Enfield Haunting