A girl's eyes area the windows of a house in 'The Enfield Poltergeist.'

‘The Enfield Poltergeist’ Mixes Mediums in Creepy New Docuseries

It’s spooky season, so we’re all searching for the perfect ghost story. The creepiest ones are always based on actual events, like Apple TV+’s newest docuseries, The Enfield Poltergeist.

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It’s a novel take on the story of the Enfield Poltergeist, one of the most famous hauntings. The case from the 1970s is well documented, as journalists and scientists came to the home to try to find what haunted the family. The Enfield Poltergeist retells the story for new audiences, and The Mary Sue’s Rachel Leishman interviewed director Jerry Rothwell to discuss just how he brought this story to life.

Rothwell used the original tapes recorded during the investigation for the audio in the series. “I think what, what sort of drew us to the, the series in the first place was the fact that there are these kind of authentic archival recordings,” Rothwell explained. “And that sound, sound always kind of invites pictures and invites interpretation. You know, if you are in a room in empty, in an empty house and you hear kind of footsteps upstairs, you immediately have a picture of what that might be. And often you picture the worst thing it might be, you know?”

The series mixed the real elements with a recreated house and actors in place of the family. Unlike many other reenactments, using the original audio meant a change for the actors. “The tapes dictated a lot of what the actors did, you know? So that one of the things the actors said is that the first thing they needed to get really was how the person breathed.”

Rothwell added, “We decided we wanted to rebuild the house and work with actors in that house with the tape recordings. And there’s this kind of layer of interpretation on top of it, and sometimes it’s really fruitful to blur those lines.” For the series, this added dimension to the ghost of the story. “I guess one of our uncertainties about ghosts is are they out there or are they in our head?” Rothwell said. In reminding audiences that this is a retelling, Rothwell wants the audience to keep asking, “What do I believe and what do I not believe?”

Check out the full interview below.

The four-episode docuseries premieres on October 27, streaming only on Apple TV+.

(featured image: Apple TV+)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.
Image of Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.