The life of the author and paranormal investigator, Guy Lyon Playfair was remembered in BBC Radio 4’s The Last Word Programme in April and TV News London’s Managing Director, Roz Morris, talked to presenter Matthew Bannister about him.
Roz first met Guy when, as a young BBC radio reporter, she produced a radio documentary for BBC Radio 4 about the Enfield Poltergeist in the late 1970’s. Guy investigated the case as a member of the SPR, the Society for Psychical Research. His book ‘This House is Haunted- an investigation of the Enfield Poltergeist’ was first published in 1980 and has sold nearly a hundred thousand copies worldwide.
The case is often described as the most heavily documented and investigated UK poltergeist incident with more than 30 eyewitnesses including family members, neighbours, police officers, and journalists describing seeing and hearing strange incidents. These included toys and furniture moving around without anyone being seen to move them, unexplained loud knocking on walls, ‘ghostly’ voices, levitation and trances.
It has resulted in several Hollywood films, most recently ‘The Conjuring 2’, as well as the Sky Living drama series ‘The Enfield Haunting’ loosely based on Guy Playfair’s book.
Recently, Roz took part in a programme about the Enfield Poltergeist as part of BBC Radio 4’s series The Reunion which brings together people who have taken part in historic events. Guy Playfair was scheduled to take part, but could not do so due to illness. He died in London aged 83 on Sunday April 8 just before the programme was first broadcast.
In The Last Word Roz explains how she admires Guy Playfair for his courage, despite lifelong criticism from sceptics of his work as a paranormal investigator writing books about mediums, psychic surgery, poltergeists, metal bending with Uri Geller, and telepathy between twins. Ten of his books have been translated into 15 different languages.
Born in Quetta, India , in 1935 to a military family, his mother was a member of the SPR and he was brought up to have an enquiring mind. He always stuck to his belief that: ‘Nothing is supernatural however strange it seems. Everything is natural. We just don’t know what it is.’
The programme includes recordings made by Roz Morris and others at the time of the Enfield Poltergeist and interviews with Guy Playfair and is available to download from the BBC website.
The Last Word BBC Radio 4
Society for Psychical Research