The “True” Stories Behind the Warrens: Part 1- The Amityville Horror

I’ve recently went to see the critically-acclaimed horror movie The Conjuring, and I must say that it is probably one of the best horror movies I’ve seen. Directed by James Wan (also the director of Saw), the movie is a supernatural horror film based on the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, two of the most famous psychic investigators around (more about them in a moment). The movie follows the supposedly true demonic haunting of a Rhode Island family.

Following the movie showing, I decided to read more about the Warrens and the stories behind them and The Conjuring. What I found was interesting, to say the least. The next three posts in this series will show some of the most high profile cases the Warrens investigated: the Amityville Horror, the Smurl Haunting, and finally, the actual case behind The Conjuring. I will post the next post in this series Monday around noon EST.

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The Warrens

Ed (1926-2006) and Lorraine (1927-) Warren was a married couple who are considered “America’s preeminent experts on the subjects of spirits and demonology”. Ed was a demonologist, while Lorraine was a medium. They were involved in multiple high profile “hauntings”, including one you’ve probably heard of already: The Amityville Horror.

In 1974 Amityville, New York, 6 members of the DeFeo family were found murdered in their beds, killed by Ronald DeFeo. He was eventually convicted of the murders and sentenced to 6 life sentences. A year later, the Lutz family moved in, and almost immediately moved out after only 28 days in the house. According to them, many bizarre and sinister things happened to them in the home, including foul, unexplained odors, black stains on ceramic fixtures, and a green gelatin substance appearing throughout the house. A Catholic priest tried to bless the house and was scared out of the house by an unseen voice saying, “Get out!” Probably the creepiest thing about the Amityville story was the supposed fact that George, the patriarch of the family, would wake up nightly at 3:15 am, the same time that police suspected the DeFeos were executed.

Twenty days after the Lutzs fled the house, Ed and Lorraine Warren set up a team of paranormal reporters, investigators, etc. to examine the house. During this investigation, the family refused to enter the house.

According to the team, Ed was pushed to the floor in the basement because apparently the demons didn’t like that he was using “religious provocation”. Lorraine was plagued by psychic impressions of the DeFeos’ bodies. Also, they supposedly found out that the land was used by Shinnecock Indians to house the insane and the sick to die and also that it was owned later by a “black magician”. The Warrens believed that all of this somehow contributed to the evil ghostly presence in the house.

Eventually, the book The Amityville Horror, written by Jay Anson and published in 1977, detailed all of the supposed events surrounding the New York home. Then there was a movie of the same name. Of course, many people doubted the story, and soon it was proven that the story was inconsistent and false. For example, the weather and moon patterns described in the book did not match the actual weather. Also, the Shinnecock Indians never lived anywhere near Amityville.

The final nail in the coffin in the believability of the story came from William Weber, the lawyer for Ronald DeFeo. In an interview, he said that the whole tale was cooked up by him and the Lutz. He later sued them for taking his idea and then profiting off of it.

To this day, however, Lorraine Warren still says that the house was haunted. I’m not going to guess whether she believes this in some way or not, however it is obvious that she’s wrong. It’s hard to believe that this case has any element of truth to it, even if you, like me, have an open mind when it comes to the paranormal. It’s way too over the top to be believed.

However, it still makes a good story, doesn’t it? ;-)

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