Enfield Poltergeist director on how doc differs to Conjuring 2 depiction
The new Apple TV+ docuseries looks into what exactly happened at 284 Green Street in 1977.
As we enter spooky season, Apple TV+ is exploring one of history's most famous accounts of a poltergeist haunting in its brand new docuseries, The Enfield Poltergeist.
Back in 1977, single parent Peggy Hodgson made claims of paranormal activity at her council-rented home in London's Enfield.
The chilling case has inspired many fictional works including The Conjuring 2, which was released in 2016; the three-part drama series The Enfield Haunting, starring Timothy Spall, Eleanor Worthington Cox and Juliet Stevenson; and several stage plays and books.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, The Enfield Poltergeist director Jerry Rothwell revealed how the Apple TV+ documentary differs from depictions like The Conjuring 2.
"I think of the representation of the story, apart from at the time there were radio reports and there was a TV report, most of them have been fictional. Fictional in the sense, based on a true story but obviously going for those fictional elements. I mean, ours is a documentary rooted in the archival material," Rothwell said.
"I think we've done a really extensive piece of research. The whole process took about three years. Obviously, when you start those research processes, you're gradually building up more and more kinds of sources of different testimonies and witnesses and loads on what happened."
Rothwell continued: "So certainly, we've got a very strong research base for the series, and I think the other thing we've done, which I think other people haven't done so much, is try and keep the audience located in that experience of the family.
"I mean, I don't feel like we're in competition with them, but I think it is really important to think about the impact of telling this story on the people whose story it is, and I think that's pretty crucial."
Using more than 250 hours of rare audio archive, meticulous recreation of the setting and original interviews with the people impacted by the case, The Enfield Poltergeist aims to tell the story centred around sisters Janet and Margaret Hodgson, who were just 11 and 13 at the time.
In order to understand the experience of the family, Rothwell worked closely with the Hodgson sisters, adding: "What we didn't want to do is to kind of add to that load of sensationalist misrepresentation that's happened in the past.
"So it felt important to work really closely with [Janet and Margaret], and towards the end of the series they come into it as adults, and we learn about the legacy and their sense of those events now."
The Enfield Poltergeist is available now on Apple TV+. Start your seven-day Apple TV+ free trial.
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