Finally, as promised, here is the third installment in my series examining three high profile cases of the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. I’ve already mentioned the Amityville and Smurl hauntings. Now, I’m going to explore the supposedly true story behind the horror hit movie The Conjuring. Please note, there will be some spoilers.
First off, let me say that from as far as I can tell, the movie is very close to the supposedly true story it covers, even though it does take some important liberties. The Perron family as well as Lorraine Warren all had an active participation in the making of The Conjuring, visiting the movie set and even being featured in marketing materials. Andrea Perron, the oldest daughter and author of a book about the haunting titled House of Darkness, House of Light, says that the movie has “many elements of truth to it, and some moments of fiction.”
The story started when the Perron family of seven moved into their Harrisville, Rhode Island home in 1971. According to the Perrons, the ghosts haunting their new home smelled of “rotting flesh”. These ghosts would also arrive regularly at 5:15 am to levitate their beds, similar to how the spirits in The Conjuring began to get really active at around 3:07 am. Also, there were cases when the Perron daughters would sense movement and even hear voices, such as when Cynthia heard a ghostly chant of “There are seven dead soldiers buried in your wall.” There also was, a “real” ghost boy who the youngest daughter, April, has said she had a relationship with.
It should be noted that the Warrens did not perform an exorcism on the mother of the family, Carolyn Perron, as seen in the movie. Lorraine Warren said that they would never attempt to do an exorcism, since this can only be done by a Catholic priest. However, according to the oldest daughter Andrea, her mother was temporarily possessed by an evil spirit during séance:
“My mother began to speak a language not of this world in a voice not her own. Her chair levitated and she was thrown across the room.”
As for the supposed Satanic witch Bathsheba Sherman depicted as the main evil ghost in The Conjuring, she actually was a real person. However, whether or not she really did kill her own baby is a matter of folklore and legend. Apparently, the child had died mysteriously while in her care, and it was determined that the mortal wound was caused by a sewing needle impaled at the base of the infant’s skull. Though the townspeople did believe Bathsheba had sacrificed the baby to the devil, the court acquitted her since there wasn’t that much evidence against her that she had even killed the baby, much less sacrificed it to Satan. Also, it is a fact that she did not hang herself. In fact, she died as an old woman in 1885, and there is no evidence that it was of anything other than natural causes.
Other than the supposed witch, there are other reported tragedies that had occurred at the Perron house, including suicide, rape, murder, etc. All of this supposedly led to the
house being overrun by ghosts, as seen in the movie.
As one final note, I should say that there is really an Annabelle doll, though it has absolutely nothing to do with the real life Perron case, and it also is not nearly as creepy as the doll featured in the film (it is in fact, a rather normal looking Raggedy Ann doll, as seen in the picture to the right).
Overall, I must say that The Conjuring was an excellent movie, and that the story behind it is mysterious, to say the least.