‘The Conjuring’ series: All the real-life horrors it’s based on
The Conjuring series has been scaring people since 2013 when the first film came out. Exploring the creepy world that paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren lived in, The Conjuring series has taken on everything from Annabelle the possessed doll, to the demonic entity known as Valak.
But the thrills covered across all seven films so far aren’t fiction. Ed and Lorraine have lived through some terrifying incidents, and their stories as paranormal investigators are told throughout the series. So in case you really didn’t want to sleep after watching Annabelle, here’s the true stories behind your favorite The Conjuring series films.
In 1971, the Warrens went to a farmhouse in Rhode Island where the residents reported paranormal activity. The pair figured out a witch’s curse was responsible for the events, who killed herself after curing the land her home lived on. Trying to help the Perron family, they worked with the local church to get approval to perform an exorcism on the house.
The Conjuring 2
The Enfield poltergeist has been a well known case of supernatural activity, occurring in a council house in England. The Hodgson family reported furniture randomly moving, loud noises, disembodied voices, and even levitating children over 18 months. Among others, the Warrens came to Enfield to investigate the home, and declared there was a supernatural presence at the house.
But an interesting Easter egg occurs at the beginning of The Conjuring 2: Ed and Warren are investigating the Amityville house. Of course, anyone familiar with The Amityville Horror franchise knows the Warrens went to see if supernatural forces inspired Ron DeFeo to kill his entire family. Will the Amityville Horror appear in The Conjuring series at some point?
Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and Annabelle Comes Home
Arguably the most famous case of the Warrens, Annabelle the possessed doll is a longstanding case of the Warrens. Currently in their son’s possession at the Occult Museum, Annabelle follows the tropes of other “haunted dolls” where she is possessed by a vengeful demon, out for blood.
Annabelle was given to a student nurse back in 1970, who said the doll was acting strangely. When she brought the doll to a psychic, the psychic told her the doll was possessed by the spirit of a young girl named Annabelle. The nurse kept the doll to try and nurture the spirit, but Annabelle lashed out and was vicious to her.
The nurse reached out to the Warrens, who came out to investigate the doll. Once they declared it “demonically possessed”, they took the doll home with them to place in their museum, where Annabelle has remained since. And no, Annabelle has not escaped the museum, but we did dream about what an evil doll would do if she did escape the museum.
Lorraine Warren has a personal connection to The Nun, as the spirit that possessed Sister Irene and Maurice, Valak, haunted her at home for years. Valak is one of the seventy-two demons named in the Lesser Key of Solomon, who appears as a child with angel wings riding a two-headed dragon.
The demon’s main power is to locate, summon, and control serpents. Valak is also well known for finding hidden treasures, specifically through dowsing or water witching.
The Curse of La Llorona
The film’s not based on a case of the Warrens, but anyone familiar with Mexican folklore knows La Llorona. Scaring children for generations, La Llorona, also known as “the weeping woman” is on the hunt for children. She waits by bodies of water for both children to take as well as cheating husbands to attack.
The legend goes that a woman named Maria caught her husband cheating, and out of rage drowned her children. But she instantly regretted it and drowned herself. However, Maria was denied entry into Heaven and sent back to Earth as a spirit, and would only be allowed into Heaven once she found her “lost children.”