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The Conjuring, Is It Really Based on True Events?

Caution: This movie is recommended for a mature audience, viewer discretion is advised

The Conjuring is a three-part horror movie series about a couple, Lorraine and Ed Warren who are paranormal investigators and demonologists. In each movie they go to a family's house that is supposedly “haunted” or “possessed”. At the beginning of the movies they have a disclaimer saying “based on true events”. At the end of the movies they even show photos of the real families and photos from when it supposedly “occurred in real life”. After seeing this disclaimer, I was very skeptical if they were based on true events and even if they were this intense. The first Conjuring movie was made in 2013 but was based in 1970. This movie is about this family who moved into a new 14 room farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island where a supernatural presence had made itself known. The parents were Carolyn and Roger Perron and together they had five kids. Almost immediately after they moved in they started noticing some strange things. It started small, Carolyn would notice that the broom went missing, or seemed to move from place to place on its own. It progressed rapidly to other events, for example, they would hear the sound of something scraping against the kettle in the kitchen when no one was in there. Carolyn would find small piles of dirt in the center of a newly-cleaned kitchen floor, and the girls started to notice spirits around the house but for the most part they were harmless. Carolyn started to research the history of the house and discovered that it had been in the same family for eight generations and that many of them had died under mysterious or horrible circumstances. Several of the children had drowned in a nearby creek, one was murdered, and a few of them hanged themselves in the attic. The spirit that was represented in the movie, Bathsheba, was the worst of them all. There was a real person named Bathsheba Sherman who lived on The Perron's property in the mid-1800s. She was supposedly a Satanist, and there was evidence that she had something to do with the death of a neighbor’s child, though a trial ever took place. She was buried in a nearby Baptist cemetery in downtown Harrisville. The Perron’s believed it was her spirit haunting them. According to Andrea (the oldest of the five kids), her family experienced other spirits as well that smelled like rotting flesh and would cause beds to rise off the floor. She said her father would enter the basement and feel a “cold, stinking presence behind him". They tried to stay away from the dirt-floored cellar, but the heating equipment would often fail mysteriously, causing Roger to go down into the cellar. The Perron’s lived in the house for ten years and in those 10 years the Warrens made multiple trips to investigate. At one point, Lorraine conducted a seance attempt to contact the spirits that were possessing the family. During the seance, Carolyn Perron became possessed, speaking in tongues (a phenomenon in which people speak words that are languages unknown to the speaker) and rising from the ground in her chair. Andrea says she secretly witnessed the seance. “I thought I was going to pass out” Andrea said. “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.” The movie showed Ed performing an exorcism and not a seance, Lorraine says that neither her or Ed would attempt one and that “they should be performed by a Catholic Priest”. After the seance, Roger kicked the Warrens out because he was worried about his wife’s mental stability. Andrea says that her family continued to live in the house due to financial instability until they were able to move in 1980. After which the spirits were silenced and the hauntings ceased This movie seems over-dramatized however apparently, it's not. Ed Warren unfortunately died in 2006 but Lorraine Warren is still alive and was part of the filming process and would not let the directors overdramatize the real story. The Conjuring 2 is based on a true story as well. The story is known as “The Enfield Haunting”. Six years after the Perron family were terrorized by their demon, another family in Enfield, England began to experience similar things. In August 1977, the Hodgson started having similar problems with the paranormal world where the Warrens then flew to England for yet another adventure with some paranormal activity.

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