Episode 15. Danny Robins of The Battersea Poltergeist

Danny Robins of Battersea Poltergeist

“The Battersea Poltergeist is a paranormal cold case, re-investigated through a thrilling blend of drama and documentary. The true story of one of Britain’s strangest hauntings.”

Danny Robins doesn’t believe in ghosts, however, he thinks that we need them.

The Battersea Poltergeist is the story of a haunting in south London that started in 1956. At the centre of the decades-long drama is the Hitchings family, its teenage daughter Shirley and a noisy ghost known as “Donald”.

At first the family is spooked by loud sounds and moving household objects. Then more threatening acts start to occur. Scrawled messages on the wall, flying pots and pans and a fire – all of it unexplainable. The podcast blends documentary, expert commentary and drama to recount and analyse the happenings that tormented the Hitchings family at 63 Wycliffe Road.

In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Danny from his shed about ghosts and “bringing the dead to life” through the use of dramatisations in the podcast. We also discuss his experiences listening to people tell their own ghost stories, including Shirley Hitchings. Danny also talks about the community of believers and sceptics that has formed on social media since the podcast started, both camps trying to understand what happened to Shirley and her family during those years.

Show notes for The Battersea Poltergeist

About Danny Robins

Danny Robins is an award-winning writer and journalist. He writes and makes drama, comedy and documentaries for TV, audio and the stage. On The Battersea Poltergeist, he writes, presents and co-produces.

His interest in ghosts stems back to childhood. He has made several shows about the supernatural, most recently the acclaimed podcast Haunted, exploring real-life ghost stories.

Danny grew up in Newcastle and started performing and writing comedy aged 15. As a comedy writer for BBC Radio 4, he has written the hugely popular shows The Museum of Everything, Rudy’s Rare Record and The Cold Swedish Winter. For TV he co-created the RTS-Award winning CBBC series Young Dracula and has presented for shows such as BBC2’s The Culture Show and Newsnight. He has written two critically-acclaimed stage plays.

Amongst his weirder achievements, he also once had a Number 11 hit single without realising it, entered North Korea for a few minutes and came second in the UK AirGuitar Championship final (he was robbed). He lives in Walthamstow in East London with his Swedish wife and two sons.