For most of us, ghosts, demons and spirits are only part of horror films or inventions of too impressionable people, but for the Warren family, the study of otherworldly phenomena has become a matter of life. We tell how Ed and Lorraine gained fame as real ghostbusters, and what mystical puzzles they managed to solve.
“The Curse of Annabelle”, “The Curse”, “The Amityville Horror” – almost all of us are familiar with these horror films. However, few people know that these stories are based on real mystical puzzles, the investigation of which was taken by the spouses Warren – the most famous American detectives who sought confirmation of the existence of paranormal phenomena. Over the years, Ed and Lorrien have participated in the investigation of more than 10,000 high-profile cases, but the public still wonders who the Warren spouses really were, and did they really meet with representatives of other worlds?
Edward Warren and Lorraine Rita Moren met in 1943 in Bridgeport. Shortly after meeting Ed, he was sent to serve in the US Navy, but this did not prevent the lovers from getting married a few years later – according to the spouses themselves, they were connected not only by a strong feeling, but also by common interests, which later became the main business of their life .
Even before meeting her future spouse, Lorraine called herself a medium and regularly held spiritualistic sessions, claiming that she communicates with ghosts and spirits. Edward was also fond of paranormal theories, but his profession was more “earthly” – after returning from service, the man got a job at the police station.
From the very first meeting, the couple began to discuss their common interest and make plans for a joint future – a year after the wedding, Ed and Lorraine began to travel around the country in search of people who were faced with supernatural phenomena, and, fortunately, there were many such people in the USA.
Soon, the Warren spouses became known throughout America – newspapers appeared all the new materials on the activities of Ghostbusters, and people began to independently seek meetings with them to tell their story about meeting with representatives of the other world. In 1952, the couple founded their New England Mental Research Society, and created the Warren Occult Museum in Connecticut, which to this day holds the mystical finds of its founders.
Over the course of their careers, the couple have uncovered over 10,000 mystical puzzles, which earned them the title of the most experienced and dexterous ghostbusters. We talk about the most high-profile cases that glorified Lorraine and Ed.
One of the most high-profile investigations of the spouses was the case of the damned house in Amityville. This story originates in 1974 – then 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo shot six of his relatives, including parents, two brothers and two sisters, on the night of November 13. The young man was immediately arrested, but could not clearly answer the questions of the detectives and explain the cause of the brutal crime. DeFeo was sentenced to 150 years in prison, and a year later the Lutz family moved to the house in which this terrible crime was committed.
The story did not end there – shortly after the move, the Lutz couple began to feel a “demonic presence” in all rooms of their new home. At first, they assumed that the unpleasant sensations were associated with their subconscious unwillingness to be in the room where the murder was committed, but later the confidence that someone was really pursuing them was strengthened. The presence of spirits was especially evident around three in the morning – at the time when Ronald DeFeo killed his family.
In total, the Latsy stayed in the house for twenty-eight days, after which the couple decided to leave the residence in Amityville with their children – according to the family, being there was unbearable due to the obvious presence of evil spirits. Nine days after the new owners left, the Warren spouses arrived at the house – they were invited by one of the local journalists to sort out what had happened.
When Ed and Lorraine arrived at the scene with the crew, the couple tried to get in touch with the spirits of this house, however, according to Mrs. Warren, something prevented them from having a spiritualistic session. After that, the reporters, who arrived with the couple Warren, decided to install a camera on the second floor of the house, which recorded a very strange phenomenon – when the group was looking at the recordings, one of the frames showed the figure of a little boy who could not be in the house at the time of filming. This picture was shown to the daughter of the Lutz spouses, Missy, who recognized the boy as her friend, who appeared in her room at night. Comparing the photograph of the ghost and the pictures of Ronald DeFeo’s younger brother, the Warren couple came to the conclusion that at the time of the shooting it was his spirit that came into the view of the camera.
After studying the history of the house, Ed and Lorraine found out that not one of the deceased owners could have such a clear effect on its inhabitants – according to preserved documents, only one person died in the walls of the house before the November events, and his spirit did not want revenge. Then the couple went deep into the study of the former inhabitants and soon got to the bottom of the truth – several centuries ago the owner of the house was John Ketchum, who practiced black magic. After death, his body was buried in the territory of the house, and it was he who became the evil spirit that haunted his inhabitants.
This story formed the basis of the novel by Jay Anson “The Amityville Horror”, and later found a new sound thanks to the film project of the same name, which was released in 1979. In 2005, the history of the damned house again reminded itself after the release of a remake of the movie under the same name.
In 1971, the Perron couple moved with five daughters to a large new home in Harrisville, Rhode Island, which had previously belonged to the Arnold family. At first, their life in a new place was developing quite well, but soon the peaceful existence of the inhabitants of the house was disrupted by the invasion of spirits.
The first to notice the presence of otherworldly forces were the children – the girls began to complain that at night they hear a rattle, an ominous whisper, and also feel something invisible touching their legs. The words of the children did not convince the parents, who felt that their daughters were simply tired of the recent move. A few days later, the spirits reached the Perron spouses – according to the eldest daughter, one day she woke up from a scream coming from her parents’ room.
When she went into the room to find out what was happening, a terrible thing appeared before her eyes – the figure of a woman hanging over her mother with a withered face, resembling a mummy, on which insects crawled.
From that night on, an evil spirit began to haunt all family members, paying particular attention to Carolyn Perron – for some reason, it was the mother of the family who was most interested in him. Every day the atmosphere in the house became more and more tense, but the family, having financial difficulties after moving, did not have the opportunity to buy other housing, and therefore they decided to turn to the demon hunters already known at that time.
When Ed and Lorraine Warren arrived at the damned house, they immediately felt the presence of evil spirits and tried to conduct a rite of purification, which only angered the otherworldly entity. According to Lorraine, the family was haunted by the ghost of the witch Bathsheba Sherman, who lived in the house in the 1840s – local residents considered her guilty of the death of her own son, whom she allegedly sacrificed to demonic forces.
After the failure to conduct the rite, the head of the family asked the Warren to leave their house, and this temporarily calmed Bathesheba’s spirit. However, the otherworldly residents of the Perron family residence continued to harass them, appearing at night and threatening reprisals. The nightmare ended only in 1980, when the family had money to sell the damned house and move to another state.
These terrible and mysterious events formed the basis of the film “The Spell”, which was released in 2013 and became one of the most discussed horror films in the history of cinema.
The Curse of Annabelle
The story of a doll named Annabelle began in 1970 – then a woman bought a toy at a sale to give it to her student daughter Donna, who collected old toys. The girl was glad of a touching gift, and immediately took the doll to her apartment, where she lived with Angie’s neighbor.
Soon, mysterious events began to occur in the girls’ house – students constantly found Annabelle in different rooms and in different poses, and sometimes blood appeared on the doll’s hands. Then Donna and Angie called into their house a medium who told them that the spirit of the deceased girl Annabelle Higgins was enclosed inside the toy. For some reason, the students were reassured by the psychic’s explanation, and they decided that they should offer the ghost to stay with them.
This decision led to dire consequences – suddenly the doll, which had not previously harmed its owners, began to behave extremely aggressively. According to the girls, she attacked them at night, scratched them to blood, and once tried to strangle their friend Lou, who was visiting Donna and Angie’s house during the holidays.
Frightened students went to the local church, whose priest recommended them to turn to Ed and Lorraine Warren. When the demon hunters arrived at the girls’ apartment, they examined the doll and came to disappointing conclusions – the spirit of the girl Annabelle, enclosed in a toy, was captured by a demon who was looking for a human body.
After that, several cleansing rituals were performed in the apartment of Donna and Angie, and the doll itself went to the Warren Museum, where it is stored to this day. Many visitors to the museum asked why the couple did not want to destroy the dangerous exhibits, to which Ed gave a very frightening explanation:“Some things should not be touched just because by destroying them you can free those who dwell in them”
The events of those years formed the basis of the plot of the third part of the film about the cursed doll called “Curse of Annabelle 3”.
The story of the Enflids poltergeist is one of the most famous ghost cases. Mystical events that took place in a house in London in the 1970s formed the basis of the acclaimed horror film “Spell-2” and attracted more than thirty psychics and mediums to the house of the Hodgson family, including the Warren couple.
This story originates in August 1977, when Peggy Hodgson, putting her daughters to bed, first noticed strange phenomena in the nursery – her daughter Janet suddenly began to complain about the sounds and voices that she hears in her head. When Peggy looked around, she saw that the heavy cupboard, previously standing in the corner of the room, was independently moving towards the door – a frightened woman tried to move the furniture into place, but was faced with strong resistance.
Since then, the family was regularly harassed by otherworldly inhabitants of the house – furniture was constantly moving in the rooms, the kitchen itself bent cutlery, the doors of the cabinets opened. Worst of all was Peggy’s daughter – Janet, who was the first to notice the presence of an evil spirit in the house – according to the family, the ghost regularly scared her, appeared in her room, and sometimes even threw her into the air and put it to the wall with force.
Soon, the situation began to worsen – once Peggy went into Janet’s room to find out if everything was okay with her. When the woman came closer to the girl sitting on her back, she turned around sharply, threw her mother to the side with a terrible low voice and shouted to her: “Get out!”
Frightened, Peggy Hodgson began to turn to mediums and specialists who were engaged in the study of paranormal phenomena – over the course of several months, about thirty psychics visited her house, one of which reported that the former owner of the house, named Bill Wilkins, was the evil spirit terrorizing the Hodgson.
When the Warren couple arrived in Anfield in 1978, they confirmed the theory that Peggy and her children suffered from the presence of the ghost of Wilkins, who did not want to share his house with strangers. However, Ed and Lorraine could not calm the spirit of the former owner and invited the Hodgson to invite a priest to conduct a rite of purification.
After the family followed the advice of the Warren, order reigned in their house, though not for long. A few years later, a terrible misfortune occurred in Peggy’s house – her 14-year-old son Johnny died of cancer, and a little later, the same disease caused the death of Mrs. Hodgson herself. After these events, Janet left the damned house, where new residents soon settled – a woman named Claire Bennet and her four children. However, after two months, the Bennets also chose to hastily leave the new haven – apparently, the ghost of Bill Wilkins did not want to share his house with the new guests.
Returning to the question of who the Warren spouses really were, it’s worth saying that today there is no answer to this riddle – many scientists who studied the affairs of Ed and Lorraine after their death found a lot of inconsistencies and details that testify to that all these stories were just skillful hoaxes. At the same time, one cannot ignore the facts gathered not only by the demon hunters themselves, but also by those people who faced frightening paranormal phenomena in their homes – did they become victims of the influence of the Warrens or do phenomena really exist outside the human mind?