The Story behind “The Conjuring”
After doing a bit of research, I discovered that this movie is based on a true story of a professional investigation conducted by Lorraine and Ed Warren in the early 1970s at the family farmhouse of the Perron family in Harrisville, Rhode Island.
Andrea Perron was only eleven years old when she moved into the farmhouse known as the Arnold Estate with her parents and her four younger sisters. She has written a book about her family’s frightening paranormal experiences at the house from 1970 to 1980 called “House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story.”
The activity began with bedroom doors flying open on their own and banging against the walls. At first, no one in the family considered or even thought about the possibility of the house being haunted.
The children would hear voices talking in their rooms. Their beds would move. The voices would say: There are seven dead soldiers buried in your wall. One voice of several voices merged together. They would say those words over and over.
A little girl about 4 or 5 would walk through the house crying for her mother. She would sometimes appear as a healthy little girl carrying a book under her arm. Other times, she would appear in an emaciated condition wearing her burial gown.
The house was originally surveyed by the colonist John Smith who came to Providence to the Plymouth Plantation at Plymouth Rock. He did the deeding to Roger Williams for the State of Rhode Island.
The house as it stands in its current condition was built in 1736 and Perron informs us that eight full generations of one extended family lived and died in that house prior to their arrival.
Ms. Perron’s mother, Carolyn, did extensive research on the people who had lived in the house since its beginning. She wanted to help the spirits move on if possible.
The spirits sharing the home with the Perrons were both benevolent and evil. One of the friendliest spirits was a man the family called ‘Manny.” Believed to be Johnny Arnold, he killed himself in a painful manner by drinking horse liniment in the eaves of one of the bedrooms. He likes to lean up against the door and watch the children. He seems amused by the children. Once eye contact was made, he would disappear.
The most evil entity inhabiting the farmhouse was a female called Bathsheba. She lusted for Andrea’s father and loathed her mother explains Andrea. She tried to take control of the house and family from her mother. Bathsheba Sherman was a teenager in charge of an infant who died. A needle was found embedded in the base of the baby’s skull. Somehow, she was not convicted for the crime in the courts, but her peers in the community always said terrible things about her for the rest of her life. She was called a witch. She was called a devil worshipper. All four of Bathsheba’s own children died before reaching the age of four. She went from a beautiful young woman to a withered, crippled old hag. She was cruel to her staff and had a reputation for being an evil woman. In 1885, when Bathsheba died, the doctor said her body had “literally turned to stone.”
There are many many more spirits living in the old farmhouse, and Andrea Perron tells readers all about them in her books.
I have ordered Ms. Perron’s books and I’m looking forward to reading them as much as I am to seeing the movie “The Conjuring. “
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