The Conjuring universe has made itself very known within the horror world as the underlying vein of the supernatural, with the release of Annabelle Comes Home later this year, and the recent reference in the movie The Curse of La Larone. Creating an intricate web that is popular with the likes of Marvel and DC movies, The Conjuring is the universe that horror resides in - but did you know that there is truth behind this horror?
If you've seen The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, you will be familiar with the names of Ed and Lorraine Warren, American paranormal investigators who have been at the forefront of some of America's greatest mysteries and are the real versions of Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural. Their history is so rich, it deserves to be told.
Edward "Ed" Warren was born September 7 1926 and Lorraine Rita Warren was born January 31, 1927. Edward was a World War 2 US Navy veteran who became a noted demonologist, author, and supernatural studies lecturer, while his wife Lorraine was a professed clairvoyant and medium. The Warrens have claimed to have investigated over 10,000 hauntinga throughout their career and in 1952 they founded the New England Society for Psychic Research as the oldest "ghost hunting" group in New England. With it, they opened The Warren's Occult Museum and went on to train current paranormal investigating demonologists. If you want the demon professionals - Ed and Lorraine were it.
People have called the Warren’s eccentric because they believe in devils and demons and Ed replied with “Of course I do. I learned about them as a child and proved they exist as a man—beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you don’t want to call them devils and demons call them evil—I don’t care what you call them. Religions are man-made, but spirituality isn’t.”
Unfortunately for Ed and Lorraine, their cases are met often with scepticism and are left rather widely unproven or ignored in law-abiding means. Many condemned Ed and Lorraine for using film crews to document their hauntings, and deemed the wide-media attention a chance for them to become famous, like many current modern day investigators are want to do. To that, Ed replied, "From the day’s that I went into a haunted house I always wanted media people with me and people condemned me for that. They said, “Ed Warren wants to be written up in newspapers, he wants to have books and movies. He wants to be exposed to the public. You’re damn right I do. My whole thought is expose the devil and expose evil. A skeptical public is the best protection that evil has, and I’m going to make sure that I expose that evil anyway I can."
One of Ed and Lorraine's most notable cases has to be the Amityville haunting, where they were one of the first researchers involved in the noted haunting case. New York couple George and Kathy Lutz claimed their house was a haunted by a violent demonic presence after discovering that a man named Ronald Defeo killed his mother, father, and four brothers and sisters in the house back in 1974. When the Lutz' moved in they began noticing strange haunting like appearances and invited Ed and Lorraine to investigate, where they were both physically and mentally attacked by the presence. Further investigations into the history of the area found a classic tale of Shinicock Indians using the area for the sick and the mad, left to die and leave a negative energy on the area.
The case was widely reported as a hoax but Lorraine Warren was quoted in The Express Times newspaper that there was no hoax about it. The reported haunted was the basis for the 1977 book The Amityville Horror, which went on to become popular horror movies of the same name in 1979 and 2005. The house in question was sold in 2010 and there have been no reports of activity from the recent residents.
Most recently, Ed and Lorraine's investigations into the doll Annabelle became very talked about thanks to the 2014 film of the same name, and the upcoming sequel. The real Annabelle is an antique Raggedy Ann Doll that was purchased in 1970 for a birthday present for Donna, a college graduate with a nursing degree. While it was a strange gift for an adult, Donna loved the doll and gave it pride and place in her home, only to begin noticing that doll mysteriously seemed to move around the house and change position. Donna began to find messages on parchment paper throughout the house in a small child-like handwriting that proclaimed, "Help us!" and "Help Lou". Donna held a seance and discovered that the doll was attached to the spirit of Annabelle Higgins, a young seven-year old girl who was found dead in a field in which their apartment now stood. Feeling compassion for Annabelle, Donna gave her permission to inhabit the doll but eventually the doll began to showcase signs of demonic possession, rather than the habitation of a sweet girl's soul. Ed and Lorraine moved into the case and agreed that the spirit was being manipulated by an inhuman presence, conducted a blessing on the house, and took the doll with them.
Eventually, the doll began to showcase demonic abilities to Ed and Lorraine and they built a special case for Annabelle which is still on display in their occult museum today.
Some of Ed and Lorraine's other cases have included the demonic possession of an Arne Johnson in 1981, who was accused of killing his landlord Alan Bono. At the trial, Mr Johnson plead not guilty by reason of demonic possession but was unsuccessful in his plea. The case was described in the book The Devil in Connecticut by Gerald Brittle. The Warrens also exorcised a werewolf in demon in 1983 when a man named Bill Ramsey had bitten several people and believed himself to be a werewolf. The case remains open despite the Warren's writing a book about it in 1991 called Werewolf: A true story of demonic possession. The Warrens also took on investigations of my favourite haunting The Borley Rectory and it's nun, as well as the infamous Haunting in Connecticut, which has been made into a 2009 film.
There is without a shadow of a doubt that Ed and Lorraine have been the faces behind the revelations of some of the most famous hauntings in America, and without their investigations these tales would still be left behind. In their investigations they have also led us to some of the most spookiest horror movies today, including 2013 The Conjuring, 2016's The Conjuring 2, 2020's The Conjuring 3, 2018's The Nun, 2014's Annabelle, 2017's Annabelle: Creation, 2019's Annabelle Comes Home, and 2019's The Curse of La Larona,
Ed Warren died in August 2006 at 79 from a heart attack due to complications from a stroke. Lorraine Warren died in her sleep in April of this year at 92,