Since The Conjuring reintroduced us to the notorious real-life demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, the authenticity of their famous case files has been brought into question. While it’s difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction in matters of the paranormal, the Warrens have a reputation for investigating phenomenons that cannot be explained, even now. Their most notable investigation, the case of the Amityville Horror house, experienced worldwide recognition thanks to numerous films depicting the events that supposedly took place. But the truth remains a mystery.
The Perron family has publicly stated that The Conjuring was an extremely accurate representation of the horrors they experienced in their Rhode Island home in 1971. Additionally, Andrea, the oldest Perron child, wrote a three-book series titled documenting her family’s terrifying experience, which parallels the Warrens’ own account. Whether the Warrens were truly helping people who had nowhere left to turn, or they were exploiting the desperate, their cases are enough to make anyone question the paranormal, and they continue to inspire horror movies, more than 40 years later.
The big question is: Just how many movies based on the Warrens’ case files can we expect to see?
We have officially seen the Perron family’s story brought to the big screen in The Conjuring, while The Conjuring 2 allows us to witness the terrifying experience that the Hodgson family endured. 2014’s Annabelle provided us with an exaggerated story about the doll that the Warrens confiscated from a student nurse who believed it was possessed, and the Amityville story has been told, and retold. So, what’s next?
Luckily for horror movie connoisseurs, the Warrens have a handful of case files ripe for movie adaptation.
Check out a few notable cases below.
The Devil Made Me Do It
The highly publicized trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson was the aftermath of the severe possession that the Warrens claimed resulted in the murder of Johnson’s landlord. Prior to the murder, Johnson was in contact with his fiancée’s younger brother David Glatzel, who was allegedly possessed by a total of 43 demons. According to the Warrens, and those present during one of David’s exorcisms, the demons left the boy’s body and entered Johnson’s, only a few months before he committed the murder. The Warrens tried to warn police in the area that something was going to happen, but were not taken seriously. The case is also known as the Demon Murder Trial.
The Haunting In Connecticut
Despite the accusations of Ed Warren instructing writers to embellish the story, the 1986 Haunting in Connecticut is a story worth telling. The 2009 movie of the same name was not a faithful depiction of what happened inside the Snedekers’ Connecticut home. While the movie was not entirely factual, the Warrens did conclude that the house was once a funeral home, and that morticians practicing necromancy and necrophilia did factor into the paranormal happenings on the property. An accurate adaptation of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s case files could bring us the story in a whole new light and would be an excellent addition to The Conjuring series.
The New England haunting began during Maurice “Frenchy” Theriault’s teen years, after he reportedly asked the devil for help with his difficult life working for his abusive father on his farm. Shortly after asking for help, Frenchy experienced abnormal strength and increased intelligence. Things came to ahead in the ’80s when, as an adult, witnesses testified to seeing him in multiple places at once, and he was often unaware of where he had been. The Warrens were brought in to investigate, and after the activity intensified, they contacted Bishop Robert McKenna, who reportedly performed a successful exorcism. Later events led some to believe that the story was a hoax, but Ed Warren remained adamant that the unsettling events were a direct result of possession.
Jack and Janet Smurl, along with their four daughters, experienced unexplainable phenomenon in their Pennsylvania home dating back to 1974, shortly after Jack Smurl had brain surgery due to meningitis. After years of foul odors, physical assaults, phantom pig noises, unplugged radios playing music, and a television spontaneously combusting, the Smurls sought Ed and Lorraine in 1986. The Warrens determined that there was a demonic presence. They called upon a priest to perform a series of exorcisms, but the family claimed the Warrens were unsuccessful. Jack’s surgery, bad plumbing and mass hysteria were blamed for the strange happenings, but no one has officially proven that the story is a hoax, or a product of delusion. Although the Smurl haunting was turned into a 1991 made-for-TV movie, The Haunted, an updated, accurate portrayal would certainly be welcome.
After seeing how director James Wan depicted the Enfield Poltergeist for The Conjuring 2, I can’t wait for more of the Warrens’ true case files to be brought to the big screen!
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Love DC, Marvel, and Horror… but most of all I love Jason Voorhees