In the 1970s, in Thornton Heath, England, a family was tormented by poltergeist phenomena that started one August night when they were woken in the middle of the night by a blaring bedside radio that had somehow turned itself on — tuned to a foreign-language station. This was the beginning of a string of events that lasted nearly four years.
A lampshade repeatedly was knocked to the floor by unaided hands. During the Christmas season of 1972, an ornament was hurled across the room, smashing into the husband’s forehead. “As he flopped into an armchair,” reports Haunted Croydon, “the Christmas tree began to shake violently. Come the New Year and there were footsteps in the bedroom when there was no one there, and one night the couple’s son awoke to find a man in old fashioned dress staring threateningly at him. The family’s fear grew when, as they entertained friends one night, there was a loud knocking at the front door, the living room door was then flung open and all the house’s lights came on.”
Having the house blessed failed to rid the house of the phenomena. “Objects flew through the air, loud noises were heard and the family would sometimes hear a noise which suggested some large piece of furniture… had crashed to the floor. When they went to investigate, nothing would be disturbed.”
A medium who was consulted told the family that the house was haunted by a farmer of the name Chatterton, who considered the family trespassers on his property. An investigation bore out the fact that Chatterton had indeed lived in the house in the mid-18th century. “Chatterton’s wife now joined in causing mayhem, and often the tenant’s wife would be followed up the stairs at night by an elderly gray-haired woman wearing a pinafore and with her hair tied back in a bun. If looked at, she would disappear back into the shadows. The family even reported seeing the farmer appear on their television screens, wearing a black jacket with wide, pointed lapels, high-necked shirt, and black cravat.”
After the family moved out of the house, the poltergeist activity ceased, and none have been reported by subsequent residents.