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The Battersea Poltergeist
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The Battersea Poltergeist

Author: BBC Radio 4

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A paranormal cold case re-investigated through a thrilling blend of drama and documentary. The true story of one of Britain's strangest hauntings, with Dafne Keen and Toby Jones.
13 Episodes
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In a final bonus episode, Danny takes one last deep dive into the investigation, as he explores more of your theories, examines some of the most puzzling moments in the case, and puts your questions to Shirley. There are still some surprising revelations in store as Danny uncovers new witnesses to the strange events at 63 Wycliffe Road. What really happened to Shirley and her family 65 years ago? Written and presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings……..Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett………Toby Jones Wally Hitchings……..Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings……….Alice Lowe Ethel Hitchings……….Sorcha Cusack Joyce Lewis………..Miranda Raison Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe, Evelyn Hollow and Deborah Hyde Sound Designer: Charlie Brandon-King Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab Production for BBC Radio 4
In this final episode, the investigation reaches its climax as Danny and the experts assess the evidence and look for answers to explain the strange events at 63 Wycliffe Road. Who wrote the letters? How can the seemingly impossible happen in front of multiple witnesses? Is this a haunting or a hoax? As the modern-day investigators try to reach conclusions, back in 1956, there are still surprises left to spring… The Hitchings face a truly chilling event as Chib searches obsessively for the clues to back up his theories. Who or what is Donald? Written and presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings……..Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett………Toby Jones Wally Hitchings……..Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings……….Alice Lowe Lily Chibbett……..Kacey Ainsworth Ethel Hitchings……….Sorcha Cusack John Hitchings……..Calvin Demba Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow Sound Designer: Richard Fox Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Directed by Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab Production for BBC Radio 4
In this bonus episode, Danny discusses your questions and theories on the investigation after the shock developments of Episode 7, and, in a new twist, he uncovers another living witness to the bizarre events at 63 Wycliffe Road back in 1956. Can they shed any more light on the case? Written and Presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists, Capote), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now.
Episode 7: Dead Letters

Episode 7: Dead Letters

2021-02-2432:128

The Hitchings family experience strange new phenomena, as drawings appear on the walls and rooms are violently trashed, but strangest of all are handwritten letters that appear, seemingly from Donald the poltergeist. Meanwhile ghost hunter Harold Chibbett makes progress in his attempts to communicate, becoming convinced he is on the verge of discovering Donald’s true identity. Danny assesses the new developments, alongside experts Ciaran O’Keefe and Evelyn Hollow. How can these things be possible? Are there other more human explanations for what is going on? Written and presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings……..Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett………Toby Jones Wally Hitchings……..Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings……….Alice Lowe Lily Chibbett……..Kacey Ainsworth Ethel Hitchings……….Sorcha Cusack John Hitchings……..Calvin Demba Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow Sound Designer: Richard Fox Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Directed by Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab production for BBC Radio 4
Episode 6: Fright Night

Episode 6: Fright Night

2021-02-1834:003

After the press backlash, the Hitchings family fight to prove the haunting isn’t a hoax. They invite young journalist Joyce Lewis to spend a night at Number 63 Wycliffe Road – will she experience the phenomena that can prove Donald is real? Meanwhile, Danny spends his own night with a ghost, investigating a house that claims to have an active poltergeist, with sinister parallels to the Battersea case. Written and presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings……..Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett………Toby Jones Wally Hitchings…… Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings……….Alice Lowe Joyce Lewis………..Miranda Raison Steve………………..Rufus Wright Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow Sound Designer: Richard Fox Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Directed by Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab production for BBC Radio 4
Case Update: It Follows

Case Update: It Follows

2021-02-1519:433

In this second bonus episode, Danny discusses your theories about this supernatural cold case and answers some of your questions. Delving deeper into recent developments, he explores the strange tapping that seems to follow Shirley – to her new job, and even onto a live talk show on national television. Written and Presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now.
Episode 5: Strange Bones

Episode 5: Strange Bones

2021-02-1131:016

After the exorcism, Shirley’s fame increases, but as she’s drawn into a press expose by two journalists, the world wants to know – is this a haunting or a hoax? At Number 63, the poltergeist activity seems to intensify, taking a terrifying new direction that puts the whole family in danger. Written and Presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Prevenge), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings……..Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett………Toby Jones Wally Hitchings…… Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings……….Alice Lowe Ethel Hitchings……….Sorcha Cusack John Hitchings……..Calvin Demba Lily Chibbett……..Kacey Ainsworth Ronald Maxwell……….Rufus Wright John Knight……..Dan Starkey Consultant…….Stephen Critchlow Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow Sound Designer: Richard Fox Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Directed by Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab production for BBC Radio 4
A psychic medium offers to perform an exorcism to remove Donald the Poltergeist. Broken by sleepless nights and constant fear, the Hitchings family accept – but is this putting teenage Shirley in even more danger? As Danny continues his present day investigation of the case with the help of parapsychologists Ciaran O’Keefe and Evelyn Hollow, he meets a real-life exorcist to learn about the risks involved. Written and Presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings……..Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett………Toby Jones Wally Hitchings…… Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings……….Alice Lowe Ethel Hitchings……….Sorcha Cusack John Hitchings……..Calvin Demba Harry Hanks…….. David Troughton Ronald Maxwell……….Rufus Wright Joyce Lewis………Miranda Raison Mrs Hanks……….Lizzie Roper Christina.........Amina Zia Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow Sound Designer: Richard Fox Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Directed by Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab production for BBC Radio 4
Case Update: The Key

Case Update: The Key

2021-02-0116:501

A special bonus episode, answering your questions about this thrilling investigation. In our first case update, Danny discusses your theories about the case so far, finding out more about the mysterious key on Shirley’s bed, and hearing from experts Ciaran O’Keefe and Evelyn Hollow about possible explanations for the strange noises at 63 Wycliffe Road. Written and Presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman and Alice Lowe, with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now.
Danny explores possible links between the Battersea case and the Enfield Poltergeist, a famous alleged haunting from 1977. He meets two reporters who covered the case, one of whom claims to have been attacked by the poltergeist. We hear more from the real-life Shirley Hitchings as, back in 1956, teenage Shirley appears to communicate with Donald the Poltergeist, and her story becomes front page tabloid news, gripping the nation. Written and Presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings……..Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett………Toby Jones Wally Hitchings…… Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings……….Alice Lowe Ethel Hitchings……….Sorcha Cusack John Hitchings……..Calvin Demba Ronald Maxwell……….Rufus Wright Joyce Lewis………..Miranda Raison Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow Sound Designer: Richard Fox Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Directed by Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab production for BBC Radio 4
Episode 2: Shirley

Episode 2: Shirley

2021-01-2129:167

Danny meets the only surviving witness to the haunting – the real-life Shirley Hitchings. What was it like living with a poltergeist? Back in 1956, Harold Chibbett begins his investigation of 63 Wycliffe Road, learning more from the family about the shocking events, as objects appear to move of their own accord. Written and presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 1950s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved… until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings……..Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett………Toby Jones Wally Hitchings……..Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings……….Alice Lowe Ethel Hitchings……….Sorcha Cusack John Hitchings……..Calvin Demba Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow Sound Designer: Richard Fox Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Directed by Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab production for BBC Radio 4
63 Wycliffe Road is an ordinary house on a quiet South London street, but in 1956 it becomes famous as the site of an alleged poltergeist. The strange events focus around teenager Shirley Hitchings – but is it a haunting or hoax? Ghost hunter Harold Chibbett arrives to investigate. This series blends drama and documentary to explore an intriguing paranormal cold case. As we hear the original haunting brought to life, host Danny Robins begins his own present-day investigation – what really happened to terrify the Hitchings family 65 years ago? Written and Presented by Danny Robins, starring Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Toby Jones (Detectorists), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), with original theme music by Mercury-nominated Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier, this gripping 8-part series interweaves a chilling supernatural thriller set in 50s London with a fascinating modern-day investigation into Britain’s strangest ever haunting – a mystery unsolved... until now. Cast: Shirley Hitchings........Dafne Keen Harold Chibbett.........Toby Jones Wally Hitchings........Burn Gorman Kitty Hitchings..........Alice Lowe Ethel Hitchings..........Sorcha Cusack John Hitchings........Calvin Demba Mrs Cameroo..........Amina Zia Written and presented by Danny Robins Experts: Ciaran O’Keeffe and Evelyn Hollow Sound Designer: Richard Fox Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Nadine Shah and Ben Hillier Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard Directed by Simon Barnard Consultant: Alan Murdie With thanks to James Clark, co-author of 'The Poltergeist Prince of London' A Bafflegab production for BBC Radio 4
A paranormal cold case, re-investigated through a thrilling blend of drama and documentary. The true story of one of Britain’s strangest hauntings, with Dafne Keen and Toby Jones.
Comments (84)

Adam Walsh

is this as good as Haunted that Danny Robins did? That podcast was excellent!

Apr 6th
Reply

Rich B

The only minor thing that I don't like is the music. Other than that I love this show.

Mar 14th
Reply

Tessa Hollis

So good!

Mar 5th
Reply

SleepyCat

Absolutely fantastic podcast - I'm going to miss it so much!😭 I am a firm believer in the Paranormal and am still convinced that there is more in heaven and earth than we mere mortals understand. Thank you Danny, the fantastic ensemble cast, Ciaran and Evelyn and all involved in the production! Looking forward to episode 9!!!!!😊

Mar 4th
Reply

Elizabeth Wells

That last detail on ep 7 about Jeremy Spencer has my jaw on the floor... I looked him up and couldn't see anything about a car crash but if true then that's insane!

Feb 26th
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Chesca

this is so good! please do more than this one season. o feel so sorry for Chibb and Shirley.

Feb 25th
Reply

Jennifer MARSHALL

Having problems getting this episode to play but other episodes are fine

Feb 25th
Reply

SleepyCat

I can't see Ciaran ever drinking the kool aid!🍸😅My nerves can't take much more of this - last episode next week!!😭😭😭

Feb 24th
Reply (1)

Melissa Galvan Chavez

love this

Feb 21st
Reply (1)

SleepyCat

This podcast is so good!!!! Have run out of superlatives!!😀👍

Feb 18th
Reply (18)

SleepyCat

The hammer toe theory doesn't hold water for me. That sounds like clicking - not tapping or banging. I know as all my children crack their fingers/joints incessantly!😁

Feb 18th
Reply

SleepyCat

Good Lord - I feel so sorry for Shirley😢 How awful for such a young girl! Cliff Mitchelmore - that's a blast from the past!!

Feb 18th
Reply (23)

Chesca

is anyone else having issues playing these episodes all of a sudden? I can't listen to the new ep 😭

Feb 14th
Reply (13)

SleepyCat

Ugh - The Maxwells😝 What a hideous bunch of manipulative creeps they were/are! Gross, evil bunch - bad blood runs through that family!

Feb 11th
Reply

SleepyCat

This podcast is one of my favourites by far! A fab Who connection too with Toby Jones and David Troughton! Appalled at the newspaper coverage of a story that sexualised a child! Poor Shirley and her family and friends😢

Feb 6th
Reply (3)

SleepyCat

I'm totally hooked on this podcast! Fantastic stuff!👍

Feb 2nd
Reply

Natalia Guba

BBC truly makes the best podcasts.

Feb 1st
Reply

Chesca

Need more episodes please! Such a wonderful way of telling this story and the narrator's voice is very radio friendly. I hope BBC chips in for a new sound system for you!

Jan 27th
Reply

Nicky Neil

so far this is really cool

Jan 26th
Reply

SleepyCat

What Shirley says about fear in the dramatisation, is one of the most accurate descriptions of fear/anxiety I have ever heard.

Jan 23rd
Reply
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