Ed and Lorraine Warren: The Late Ghosthunters
Late Ghost Hunters
Ed and Lorraine Warren
The Conjuring Universe, the film series that gives us nightmares! Before whom the horror genre used to be held ‘hostage’ by all kinds of disgustingly scary movies that have more blood and gore than actual scares. By ‘hostage’ I mean there was no alternative, if you wanted to see a horror movie you would have to settle for “The Exorcist”, “Childs Play” etc. It was the same in every movie, possession and disturbing violence. But the conjuring universe has an amazing story, a scary ghost and actual scares! They cover the real-life cases of “Ed and Lorraine Warren”, Paranormal investigators. The husband wife duo was well known for their ‘ghost-busting’ skills.
Ed Warren (1962 – 2006) a United States Navy Veteran became a self-professed demonologist and painter after retirement. He grew up in a haunted house. Lorraine Warren (1927 – 2019) was a clairvoyant. From a young age she could see ‘auras’ around people. Lorraine explained ‘Auras’ saying "A person's Aura is the supernatural glow that emanates from every living thing. It is the energy that surrounds us, it evens surrounds our pets. I can tell quite a lot about a person from this glow. You see the aura produces different colors, blue hues, green, red, yellow and various other shades. They have different intensities to them, some are bright, some are dull, sometimes they spike out like fireworks. From the condition of the aura I can tell a lot about a person. I can tell if they are religious or not, if they have emotional troubles, or even if they have a violent temper." Married in 1945, in their earlier years the couple would look for haunted houses, Ed would sit near that house and start sketching it then Lorraine would present it to the owners of the house as a gift. The couple would be let in and enquire, Ed wanted to see if people had the same experiences as him.
N.E.S.P.R and Occult Museum
Satanic rituals and demonic activities were quite common in the 80’s and 70’s. The Warrens have been involved in over 10,000 cases. During their investigation they would often bring doctors, priests, police, media and other investigators. They never charged for their services except for travel expenses. The Warrens once encountered a spirit of a child looking for her mother! This moved them and they started to help too not just investigate. In 1952, they founded the ‘New England Society for Psychic Research’ also establishing an 'Occult Museum' where all demonic objects from their cases are displayed! They have a cursed mirror, creepy masks, Vampire’s coffin, haunted dolls etc.
The Warren Cases
- Annabelle, a haunted ‘Raggedy Ann’ doll. According to the Warrens she was gifted to a 28-year-old nurse by her mother. First, she started noticing the doll in different postures then in different rooms without anyone moving it, then she and her roommate would find parchment paper with things like “Help me, help us.” written. But they didn’t even have any parchment paper in the house! The doll once leaked blood too! The girls went to a psychic medium, who told them that a young girl’s spirit named Annabelle Higgins (who died at age 7) was attached to the doll, she wanted to stay with the girls and be loved. They took the doll back but things got worse. The doll attacked their friend! When Warrens arrived, they came to the conclusion that the doll was a conduit to an inhuman spirit looking for a human host. Warrens took the doll, sprinkled holy water on it and locked it inside a box. But this doesn’t seem to stop her from harming anyone who dares to insult her! A man once came into the museum and made fun of Annabelle (TO HER FACE), banged her box a few times until Ed threw him out. The next day they found out that the man had died in an accident on the way home. When the Warrens were bringing the doll home their car had problems too. A priest once grabbed Annabelle and said "You’re just a rag doll, Annabelle. You can’t hurt anything." When the priest reached home, he called Lorraine to tell her that he had an accident. Seems like the only way Annabelle can cause harm is by causing road accidents. The ‘real’ Annabelle is not as frightening as her movie version, she looks like a sweet stuffed doll. But Judy Warren (daughter of Warrens) is so scared of Annabelle that she doesn’t even go into the museum!
- In 1971, a home in Harrisville, Rhode Island, owned by the Perron family was haunted. The Warrens found out that it was owned by Bathsheba Sherman in the early 19th century. She was rumored to be a Satanist and involved in the death of a neighbor. The same family lived there for eight generations. During which many members committed suicide, were murdered or drowned in the lake. “Get out! Get out! I’ll drive you out with death and gloom!” a warm welcome. Carolyn Perron (Most affected) says that she saw a woman in a gray dress. One daughter, Andrea secretly looked during a séance and saw her mother become possessed and levitate in the air! She says that the thought of itself as the mistress of the house and resented her mother in that position. The Warrens’ involvement made it worse so they had to leave. Unfortunately, the family couldn't afford to move out so they stayed till 1980. The Conjuring (2013) was based on this case.
- 'The Amityville House' is the most documented haunted house. The Warrens were one of the only investigative groups ever allowed inside. The house was once used as an asylum for Native Americans who were either sick or dying. But the activity increased after the Defeo murders. In November 1974, Ronald Defeo Jr. shot his family. Ronald was using drugs and hated his father. He had plotted to kill him but he claims that the spirit made him kill everyone. At 3:15 am, he killed six of his family members. The Warrens went into the house at least 20 days after the Lutz family fled the house at night, they were so terrified that they left all their belongings. Lorraine went room to room, one look at the bedrooms and knew that the Lutz family was using the same beds that the DeFeo family died on! She even encountered the spirit of Ronald DeFeo, she said he was so sinister that he can't be removed from the house! How strange…Ronald Defeo is in prison, so how can he be haunting a house? Visit warrens.net to know more.
- The Enfield Poltergeist. A house in the North London suburb of Enfield rose to fame as the ‘Amityville of England’. In 1977, a woman named Peggy Hodgson (mother of 4) called the police claiming that her furniture was moving on its own and her children heard knocking on the walls. The police themselves witnessed a chair move across the room. The house was haunted by the spirit of an old man who died in the house. The case was mostly covered by investigator Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, who stayed 13 months there. Playfair claims that the Warrens arrived on the scene twice uninvited. But the Warrens say they stayed at the house for 4 nights. They even had an interview with Janet Hodgson (the girl often possessed). Maurice wrote reports on his investigation which proved that Warrens did arrive. He revealed that Lorraine wrote letters to him informing him of their visit, this Lorraine confirms. The haunting stopped few years after it started, the family says they did nothing to stop it. ‘The Enfield Haunting’ and the movie 'The Conjuring 2' were based on this case.
- In 1981, a man named Arne Johnson was charged with murder. He had allegedly stabbed his landlord 20 times. The brother (David) of Johnson's fiancée was once possessed and the Warrens were called to help. Later the Warrens claimed that Johnson was also possessed. Johnson said that he told the demons to take him instead. He tried to plea in court that he committed the crime under possession but too bad for him there is no such thing in the Law. Johnson’s fiancée claimed that he would often go off into trances or start speaking a different language. This case was a first of its kind.
Books and Movies
If there’s a case then there’s always a book or a movie! That’s how the Warrens liked it! This is one of the main reasons they were heavily criticized, they always wanted media with them. Ed Warren didn’t mind admitting liked things that way! He wanted to ‘expose’ the devil. The movies show the Warrens conducting exorcisms but in reality, they didn’t, only a priest was allowed to do so, Warrens only watched. They gained fame by investigating some of the most popular cases and making headlines, also gaining a fortune through books, movies, documentaries, interviews and lectures. They gave lectures on their research and cases. They’ve given lectures in dozens of institutes. The books by Warrens are: Deliver Us from Evil, The Demonologist, The Devil in Connecticut, The Haunted, Werewolf, Satan's Harvest, The Ghosthunters, In A Dark Place and Graveyard.
In the film series there’s The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, Annabelle Comes Home, The Nun, The Curse of La Llorona and many more to come...... While some films completely captured the soul of the case, some were partially fictional. Like Conjuring 2 showed Warrens more involved than they actually were. The Nun was completely fictional, the director of the film said he made up the character through his conversations with Lorraine, she said it was like the ghost she used to see in her house. The Curse of La LIorona was based on an old Mexican myth, but had nothing to do with reality.
Skeptics and Controversies
There is no smoke without fire. Not a single case of the Warrens is known that wasn't surrounded by controversy. The Warrens used to say that to understand their work one must believe in God's existence. Warrens weren’t angels, they made mistakes too or made things up. Many critics say that they were good story-tellers, pleasant and sincere people, who believed every story they told. Their critics say that the Warrens made a lot of money out of books and movies but they would never hurt a soul to do so. If you, the readers, were to judge would you believe that the Warrens had a case involving man turning into a werewolf under a demonic possession? If you think that's funny… The Warrens found Bigfoot’s ghost too, who led them to an open field in the forest where there was dried blood (probably his). A good investigator would’ve taken a sample but they didn't! One of their most notable 'rivals' is Guy Playfair from the Enfield case; he also wrote a book on the case titling it "This house is haunted". Gerald Brittle author of "The Demonologists" says Playfair stole Lorraine's line when he titled his book. Playfair claims that Ed made him an offer to make a lot of money through the Enfield case. I suggest reading Tom Ruffles' Blog (Google it and mention 'Enfield case' too) he has written everything in detail about what really happened. An investigator Dr. Steven Kaplan (first to investigate Amityville) had opposed Warrens’ theory for over 20 years on the Amityville case calling it a hoax. Warrens said he showed up at the house with 6 ‘witches’. After he was told to leave the Warrens were called. The Warrens said that the book “The Amityville Horror” by Jay Anson is reliable. Dr. Kaplan believed the book was not 100% accurate, the Warrens agree on this too. Ed once offered Dr. Kaplan money during a program to show the evidence but Dr. Kaplan refused. He wrote his own book named “The Amityville Conspiracy”. The story on their site seemed a little brutal while mentioning Dr. Kaplan. I thought it was best not to write the exact words used because all of the people mentioned have departed and need to be respected. This is all Warrens’ version of the story, which doesn’t guarantee it’s the truth.
At the End
The Warrens told the truth or lied we will never know but they did make their mark in the history of Paranormal Research! Though they are no longer with us R.I.P, their legacy will be carried on by their son-in-law Tony Spera, who spent years working and learning from them. Ed Warren died of a heart attack back in 2006 while Lorraine silently passed away in her sleep earlier this year. The Museum is looked after by Tony while also conducting investigations. To know more about the Warrens’ cases read “50 Years of Ghost Hunting Research with The Warrens", a PDF (Google it) or try ‘warrens.net’ and read exclusive articles and interviews!
That concludes this article! Hope you liked it and got to learn a lot about the Warrens! Stay safe.
And stay terrified!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Syeda Nawal Azhar Zanjani