Andrea Perron was just twelve years of age when her family moved into The Arnold Estate, a large farmhouse, with a big barn and two-hundred acres of land.
The family lived at the farmhouse for nearly ten years claiming to have experienced paranormal activity throughout their stay and they became the interest of researchers both academic and sensationalistic.
It took Andrea nearly 30 years to put pen to paper and start to write a memoir of the events that she claimed happened on the farmhouse. She has released House of Darkness House of Light Parts One and Two with favourable reviews. The third book that concludes her trilogy is due out June 2013.
Hollywood became interested in the story and began filming a fictionalized story of the suggested events with a project that based the focus towards two controversial paracelebrity investigators – Ed and Lorraine Warren, of the Amityville Horror fame. The film, initially entitled The Warren Files, has recently been the subject of much scrutiny and the producers have changed the title to The Conjuring.
Advanced screenings to test audiences have delivered positive results, however, critical reviews have already dismissed the horror movie as a sham claiming that any movie based upon the exploits of The Warrens cannot be considered anything more than another hoax-tale like Amityville. They also point out the scriptwriter's previous failures and the director's predictability.
But what the critics fail to recognize is that the story begins with a family, who were not influenced by The Warrens until much later into their experiences at the farmhouse. What is the truth behind their story?
Andrea Perron was just a child when she, along with her sisters and mother began noticing and experiencing strange activity at the farm. At first the father dismissed the activity altogether and accused his wife of not telling the truth. Andrea admits it was a difficult and confusing time for the family, but ultimately it brought them closer together.
The Arnold Estate - All images used within this article are courtesy author Andrea Perron who maintains copyright
Andrea has agreed to be interviewed about the events and her memories of the happenings at The Arnold Estate.
Q - What was the purpose in writing your book and what do you hope readers will take from each volume and the story as a whole?
A - The purpose of writing the book was to tell this extraordinary series of encounters with spirit and detail the story as a whole, as it was time to clarify the folklore around our family. The rumors were persistent, the Warrens kept it alive over 30 years and I knew it was time to tell the truth.
It was a divine spark. In August of 2007 I began writing my own memories on note cards, gathering them in a recipe box. Within six weeks I had an outline, at which time I informed my family that the process was under-way. There was a lot of reticence. My mother was particularly unwilling to exhume the dead, though she now admits they were buried remarkably close to the surface. I spent many sleepless nights with her, sipping tea at the kitchen table (I moved in with her & my sister Christine in 2008) and taking copious notes as she recalled her experience at the farm. Christine was the lone holdout as I worked. She did not want to disclose her traumatic encounters and it took Cindy to convince her it was for a greater cause. Perhaps it will bring some peace to those troubled by the fear of death.
This is not the kind of story one should rightfully take to the grave without sharing and though it was very difficult, it was worth the effort. I wrote this as a gift to my family, dedicating the first volume to my mom, the second to dad and the third to my sweet sisters.
Q - In writing House of Darkness, House of Light, did you collaborate with your sisters and mother and discuss what had happened during these events or did you primarily utilize your own memory?
A - I interviewed each member of my family and discussed our experiences at length. In fact, I left R.I. and relocated to Georgia to be close, necessary to telling the story authentically.
MOST of the manuscript came directly from them, transcribed into the text. As you read you'll notice that few of the stories actually center on me. I was more of an observer and kept a journal of the experiences as they occurred. At first I thought it would be a jumble of scattered stories but everyone remembered well the encounters they had and when it came time to compile all of it into one story, I had to change only one discrepancy, as one event (the bloody orange) had occurred in a different season than I'd recalled. That was it. Really, I was amazed. Some things you never forget.
Q - Are any of the events and experiences lost to your memory? Or are they very clear?
A - As stated previously, they are still very clear. There are moments in life which are so compelling, so surreal, it is impossible to forget them.
We ALL still have flashbacks and vivid dreams about these encounters, including my father. Each of us was fundamentally altered by these events. They were impaled in our memories to such an extent, a scent or a song can trigger an intense memory. We've all learned to deal with it and move on but it is amazing how it happens.
When we were on the set of the film Cindy had a meltdown moment no one expected but we came together to help her through it, as we always do when someone in the family is struggling. To say our experience of the farm is a permanent part of our collective psyche is an understatement. It is part of us all.
Q - What was the trigger affect that made you sit down and need to tell your story?
A- It was as if an alarm clock went off in my head. I cannot explain it. Something told me "It's time" and I proceeded to gather my notes and old journals together without discussing it with my family. I suppose I wanted to test the waters myself and determine if I was up to the formidable task before I informed them about the sudden sense of urgency I felt, literally the first time I had a sense of it.
Q – How old were you and your sisters when you first moved into the farmhouse?
A - I was 12, Nancy 10, Christine 9, Cindy 8 and April 5.
Q - Did your father believe what was happening to the children and your mother or was he skeptical at first?
A - My father was an ass. He created an environment which was more difficult to tolerate than having the spirits infringing on our lives. The entire story of his transition to belief is detailed in the books but I can tell you, his disbelief in all of us was the root of an eventual divorce. To question my mother's voracity was the greatest mistake of his life.
Q - Why do you think activity and events increased when the family dynamic was tested? What do you think caused the family tension and why do you think the activity increased during this time?
A - Based on my recollections, the activity increased when turmoil erupted between my parents. Most times it was a low-level angst, an almost imperceptible resentment and hostility, as my mother tried hard to hide her deep disappointment and contempt for my father.
However, when harsh words were exchanged, something always seemed to happen to either break it up or spur it on. A bottle from the sideboard would fly across the room or the stereo (turned off) would suddenly begin blaring music at speaker-rupturing volume. It would usually shock everyone into silence and my mother didn't object because it was more validation of what she was fighting about, his inability to recognize or discern or even acknowledge the activity in our home.
Perhaps it was their way of saying they were listening or a joyous outburst indicative of getting what they wanted. They thrived on disruption because it generated energy, I believe, a form of negative energy easy to absorb. Mrs. Warren said it was "feeding the beast" and on this point, I think she may have been correct. OR...it could have been that they craved peace & quiet in much the same way we did and it was their way of saying "HUSH!" "ENOUGH!" "HERE! LET ME GIVE YOU SOMETHING ELSE TO THINK ABOUT!" As if being chastised for the altercation, like a parent scolding children, it was usually an abrupt action which brought an argument to a close.
Frankly, I'm not sure but there was no mistaking the presence made known during an absence of peacefulness in the house. To this day, I'm still fascinated by the fact that it happened at all. I'd like to think they were interceding on behalf of the war-weary children in our family.
Q- Why did the family chose to stay living in the home for 10 years?
A - This is the most commonly asked question I receive and my own impression and personal answer is simple: We were supposed to stay until it was time to go. Most people find it inexplicable and a bit "out there" when I say this but I must speak what I believe.
There were, of course, serious economic factors at the time. The economy was in utter turmoil, housing values dropping like lead weights, oil & gasoline embargo, a war raging and a country in a blue funk (thank you Richard Nixon) so selling the farm we'd just purchased would not be so easy to offload. The logical question: WHY would you be selling a farm you just bought? What's WRONG with it? BUT there is one more circumstance which must be explored on the issue and that's the fact that we LOVED the farm. Capital-letter-love. It was magical, beyond beautiful, and we, the five children, would beg our mother to reconsider every time she made mention of wanting to leave it behind. To do so would have financially crippled our family. We would have had to walk away. She put it on the market once in spite of our vehement objections where it languished for six months without so much as a single showing. No calls. Not one. Perhaps there is such a thing as destiny and we were supposed to be there -- to see, hear, feel, interact -- then later, much later, tell the world our tale of darkness & light.
Q - How did the Warrens get involved with your family?
A - We're not quite sure how the Warrens found us. One night they pulled into our large circular driveway just before dusk, right around Halloween in 1973. A family friend named Barbara Shaw had seen them speak in Putnam, CT and she came by the house and told my mother she'd been to a paranormal seminar and asked if my mother would like to go to the next. She declined.
We're pretty sure Barbara told them about our dilemma during another lecture at Rhode Island College. We had no idea who they were when they came to the door until they identified themselves and mom recognized their names from her last conversation with Barbara. Mrs. Shaw was very concerned for our welfare and was only trying to help.
Q - How were the Warrens perceived by your family?
A - My father didn't trust them at all. He was rather harsh and unkind to my mother about their involvement. We (the kids) were grateful to have someone listen and believe us and my mother was listening very closely to what they said, trying to discern the meaning and figure a way out of the problem. She sought resolution and was willing to give them a shot as a means to an end. In other words, she was receptive and cooperative, though she couldn't understand why Lorraine seemed so interested in helping the spirits transcend...she just wanted them gone. Mom thought Lorraine showed a bit too much compassion for their plight, though she did eventually come to understand that we were all inextricably linked.
Truth is, the Warrens bit off more than they could chew. In over their heads. A priest my uncle dispatched from the Vatican (where my Uncle Gene lived and served as a Brother of the Sacred Heart) told my mother the house could not be cleansed.
Q - What did the Warrens do during their involvement?
A - For that, you'll have to read Volume Two. The chapter entitled "Warren Peace". It details their interaction with our family and is far too much to relay in this format. Suffice to say, they came to help but were ill-equipped to handle the job and in the process, made matters worse, though none of us believe that was their intention, including my father. He was afraid of them and what was in the house and lashed out in anger toward them, running them off the property.
Q - You mentioned your father punched Ed Warren in the face and escorted him off the property. Why did your father act in such a manner?
A - My father punched Ed because (I believe) he perceived him as the culprit who caused such awful upheaval. It was a spontaneous reaction. It happened so fast it was as stunning to the witnesses as it was to the recipient of the blow. He was actually angry at himself for allowing it to occur against his better judgement. He felt entirely out-of-control because he was out-of-control. Roger Perron was as angry with Lorraine, more so than her husband. She initiated the conversation and shamed him, questioning his commitment to his wife and family. The man erupted like Vesuvius, spewing venom in rather blunt terms while dismissing them from our home. There was no escort out. They knew it was time to go. Unceremoniously, they gathered their equipment and left the premises. Mrs. Warren remembers the encounter well, every detail of it. When we met her again recently in CA (for the private screening of the film) she sat with Cindy and myself and recounted the episode as if it happened yesterday. My father is the only one who cannot remember this incident, blocked out, no doubt. We all deal with our demons in different ways. My father lives in denial of the physical altercation, but we all saw it...we saw it all. The episode is in Volume Two in the chapter "Warren Peace". Read it and weep.
Q - In regards to the Warrens how did the children feel about them?
A - We, the children, had different reactions to them. April feared them because she thought they would take her friend away. She withheld from them. Nancy poured her guts out while Christine was reticent, having learned all too well about the bullying and critical comments coming from others. She and all her sisters had learned not to speak of it. Cindy was as open as any of us. Though I was unable to recreate the encounter word for word, by extensive interviews with my sisters, I was able to cover some of the ground and describe the events of the day when we "told" our secrets. In the chapter *inquest. Vol II. We liked and even trusted Ed and Lorraine Warren. Ed was very kind and understanding. Lorraine spent most of her time with my mother but she did interact with us to some extent. However, she was very concerned for our well being and repeatedly asked my Mom about us. She insisted that we were all susceptible to danger. About that, she was right. All of us were vulnerable. All of us were touched by the Light of spirit but something dark and evil, too.
Q - Do you think the Warrens helped your family and the situation. If they did not, please explain why? And if they did, please also explain how.
A - As I write about in Volume Three, we each interpreted their intervention differently. I perceive them to be, as all else in life and afterlife, a balance of blessing and curse. Darkness and Light.
Q - If you could describe the entire experience in one word, what would that word be?
A - Phenomenal
Q - When is Volume Three available?
A- June, 2013.
Q - I understand a children's book and a play have been authored – what is the subject of each and what are your future endeavors?
A- I have several projects partially completed, and hope to spend my golden years bringing them to light, including a stage play I believe is destined for Broadway. None of the other works are about OUR story "House of Darkness House of Light" though the fictitious story for children is set at the farm, my childhood home. There is nothing supernatural about it, though some would think it has a spiritual element to it. I've got a closet full of writing. Where most people store clothing, I keep my life's work in office boxes.
Q - Do you think the movie The Conjuring was truthful to your story? Do you believe it was accurate? If not, could you explain why not?
A- "The Conjuring" is a mesmerizing film, well-crafted with care taken. It is a film for adults and is not intended to entertain as much as inform. In broad strokes it tells our story well, though it was based on the case files of Ed & Lorraine Warren. Liberties were taken as well. The screenwriters created a script based on what Mrs. Warren divulged and what I provided the producers. They retrieved elements of it then wrote a script based on what they read. This is to be expected. There is no conceivable way to cram ten years into two hours. As for our memoir, they merely scratched the surface. What they did capture on film was most significant: the love of a family. This film is not what you expect.
Q - What do you hope audiences will gain from watching The Conjuring in theatres this summer?
A – This is a serious issue. It is difficult for me to think of "The Conjuring" as entertainment. And it would be unfair for me to characterize it so because that would be tacit approval of such, putting my family on display in this way. I signed a contract on behalf of my family, giving a movie studio the rights to our names and likenesses, telling our story from the perspective of others, some I did not even know at the time. It was a huge risk to take. Essentially, I let go and let God. It was an act of faith, a blind extension of trust. I've since met everyone involved in the film and I am satisfied that I made the right decision. I hope the audience is touched by the spirit of it.
Q - How has your mother reacted to the media attention and upcoming film?
A – My mother hasn't reacted at all. She lets me handle all of it and remains reclusive, in the background, feeding her birds and tending her flower gardens. It is my sole responsibility to protect her from scrutiny and I do it very well, and always will. She deserves her peace.
Q - Have you, your sisters or your mother experienced anything paranormal before the farmhouse? And since the farmhouse? Please explain.
A – Yes. My mother had one childhood experience (Vol III) and since we've lived at the farm, all five of us, the kids, grew to adulthood gifted with abilities we did not possess prior to dwelling in a portal cleverly disguised as a farmhouse. We were all profoundly altered by our experiences there. Perhaps these gifts are innate to all mortal souls and must be triggered by an event. I don't know. All I know is this: I am never alone. I am completely surrounded at all times. We moved into that farmhouse as a "normal" family and emerged ten years later as a "para-normal" family, sensitive to spirit in ways few could comprehend, Cindy more so than any of us. I cannot do investigations because my presence skews the results. I cannot do any more appearances in St. Augustine, FL because of an incident which occurred there about a year ago. Too many stories to tell. You'll have to read the book about writing the trilogy and all that happened as I deliberately chose to raise the dead, all buried remarkably close to the surface. "Lesson Learned Message Received" will be out in 2014. Believe me, I had help from beyond the grave while compiling this memoir. More than once I abandoned it as impossible and was gently guided back to my desk. They were so helpful, so loving, so persistently here with me that they received acknowledgement at the end of the trilogy. There it is. In my humble opinion, they are the source of all enlightenment. For me, there is no veil. It is the illusion.
Q - If someone were to experience a similar series of events, what would you recommend they do?
A – Stay. Learn. Evolve. Accept. Embrace your destiny. Banish your fear. Merge with the Light because you will never fear death again. It was the most liberating experience of my life.
Q - If you could change anything about the experiences, the events, the way things turned out – anything at all – what would you change?
A – Nothing. I would change nothing. Let it be.
Q - I noticed your siblings and mother are not very vocal about the story. Why is this?
A – Because I am the author and they prefer to remain out of the spotlight and I don't blame them a bit. Whenever I need them to film an interview with my friend and production partner (Les Anderson) they graciously do so because they love and trust him. We've got many hours of footage with my family and I use clips of their interviews to augment and elaborate on the story in my book promotion videos. That's enough for them, though Cindy did go to California with me and she was what made that trip so special. We watched the film together with Mrs. Warren and Tony Spera. It was important that we view it together. We held hands and passed a box of tissues. It was an emotional ordeal. I'm so grateful she was with me. As for my family, they all participated in the telling of this tale from beyond. Many sacrifices were made, dredging up things they'd prefer to forget forever. It was no easy feat for anyone and so they receive the utmost latitude from me. The time will come when they will share more. In the interim, I do my best to preserve their privacy.
Q - Do you think these were spirits of those that departed or do you think they were something else? Please explain.
A – Both. All of the above. Not until the seance did I believe in a demonic force not of this world, but now I do. There were entities benevolent and benign and oblivious. There were spirits who noticed us and those who interacted with us, one dominatrix and something purely evil. In the end, the house released us and we released the house, though it is never far away in mind. Routinely revisiting it in dreams, I find myself eternally there in recent years as I write a story with no end. Only death will part us, though I doubt that memory ever really dies. Rather, it is imprinted on our souls. That's my belief.
Q - When the incidents took place and shortly after did the media descend upon the family? What was the reaction? The outcome and could you point to any historical news articles or stories that were published at the time?
A – One rag mag printed an article and the current owner has a copy of it. The source came from beyond our family and it was riddled with inaccuracies. We never said or did anything to publicize our plight. In the chapter *hippies, freaks and misfits (in VOL II) I describe the onslaught of unusual characters who graced our threshold in search of further information, including paranormal researchers. The first to come (August 1973) was Keith Johnson with P.I.R.O., a group from Rhode Island College. The Warrens came shortly thereafter when they were informed of our plight. They arrived in October, close to Halloween. My mother never asked anyone for help. A close friend of hers involved the Warrens and I know the P.I.R.O. group consulted with them, as well. Keith and I are close friends. He and his wife Sandra have done all in their power to help me share this story. They are good and kind and whatever Keith Johnson says is the truth, on that you can rely.
Q - Have you come to learn more about the Warrens and their involvement with other cases and families?
A – When we left the farm in 1980 we all moved on with our lives and tried to leave that experience behind. Such fools, we were! It wasn't long before Mrs. Warren found us in Georgia. This subject and its aftermath are detailed in Vol III and I don't want to divulge too much. Suffice to say, we learned much later about ongoing disputes and lawsuits. Once the internet came into existence it was easy to track life events but I never did. I had nothing to do with paranormal ANYTHING for 30 years. Once I decided to write the book(s) I began doing research with my SEO partner and soon discovered that the Warrens are as infamous as they are famous. It is a complicated relationship between us, made all the more intriguing by a film script penned from their perspective. Speaking only for myself, my heart is filled with gratitude because I believe they tried to help us and my heart is full of forgiveness for any and all transgressions. They're only human, after all...and so are we. Everyone makes mistakes and hurts others inadvertently. I do not believe there was a malicious bone in either one of them. I have to trust my instincts on this, and I do.
Q - What could have your family, the Warrens or anyone else involved with the case done differently that would have resulted in a different outcome?
A- The obvious answer is never going through with a seance at all. That was our worst moment in that house and the worst thing the Warrens ever saw before or since, by their own admission. However, allow me to backtrack a bit and answer this question differently. I've not failed to notice that you have a proclivity for asking "what if?" questions. Personally, I do not think that way. Instead, I assume that everything happens with purpose and reason and unfolds as it will in life. It serves no purpose for me to speculate about what might have been because it is already done and gone and is, in fact, practically ancient history. I could not alter events if I wanted to and I wouldn't want to if I could. What I learned during that decade has served me well for a lifetime. Yes, I would have liked to be able to spare my mother what she endured but it was her path to travel and I could not intervene. I was only a child myself, coping with my own dilemmas, transfixed by what I witnessed in that house. My job was to observe and chronicle these events and I knew it from the age of 12. I believe we were supposed to live in that farmhouse and I believe I was supposed to tell the story when the time was right. So, you see, I have no need of conjecture. It bears no fruit in my garden.
Our thanks and appreciation goes out to Andrea for allowing John to interview her and for PSICAN to share it with our readers. It is not easy either living through or sharing openly and very publicly such highly personal experiences such as Andrea has done, and we appreciate her courage in doing so. If you would like to get in contact with Andrea or would like purchasing information for her series of books House of Darkness House of Light please visit her personal website http://www.houseofdarknesshouseoflight.com/
Remembering a Childhood Encounter with The Paranormal
A great deal of laboratory research involving normal people in everyday situations demonstrates that memory is not perfect. Evidence shows that memory can be influenced by other people and situations; that people can make up stories to fill in memory gaps, and that people can be persuaded to believe they heard, saw or experienced events that did not really happen.
Studies also reveal that people who have inaccurate memories can strongly believe they are true.
“Researchers note that parents provide an important support for children’s developing memory functions. When children begin to recount their past experiences, parents typically provide 'scaffolding' in order to help them with details, sequencing of events, and a sense of place and time,” says Dr. Spezzano, C. Psychology.
“Flaws in memory can arise at different points in the process,” explains Daniel Schacter, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. “When someone first records a memory, the viewer incorporates his or her own reactions and inferences about the event. As a result, the viewer can color or distort the memory from the very beginning.”
Other distortions can occur when a memory is retrieved.
"When you recall a memory, it is not just simply read out, you have to store and consolidate it again," Schacter said. “During this process, the recalled memory becomes vulnerable to outside influences and can be distorted by them.”
However, researchers also note that if an memory involves an emotional event, the memory is more accurate and pronounced. And certainly the experiences recalled by the Perron family, especially the mother and the children, are emotionally-based.
What outside influences may have played into Andrea's and her family's recall of the events that took place at the Arnold Estate? Are her memories and theirs intact and realistic even after 30 years?
John Savoie - April 25th, 2013
Who Are The Warrens? – A Brief History of Their Involvement With The Paranormal
Ed and Lorraine Warren are often called the pioneers of paranormal research and are one of the most recognizable faces in para-celebrity circles. The following is what I have been able to uncover, and glean from my research in regards to them. This is not meant to be a complete biography, but should give the casual reader a better idea of who they are.
Ed and Lorraine began their paranormal adventures when Ed dropped out of art school claiming he could paint better than the instructors. Together, the young couple hit the road and Ed painted houses he thought were haunted, with ghosts and goblins sketched flying out of the windows. Lorraine would then take these paintings and knock on the doors of the houses and try to sell them to the owners. Some were painted on canvas, others on dinner plates and some even simply sketched out on paper.
That was the extent of their education in the paranormal. Contrary to popular belief, they do not have a parapsychology degree, are not trained to perform exorcisms, do not hold any related degree or accreditation that would help them in researching the paranormal that we could find.
Lorraine's smooth talking would soon get Ed and herself into these haunted homes. Ed was fascinated by ghosts, however Lorraine was skeptical. But together, they soon found out that the public likes a good ghost story and started “investigating” haunted locations in their neighborhood.
All of their early work was all about ghosts and hauntings. There was no mention of demons, vampires or werewolves. That was, until, a hugely successful horror movie blasted into the psyche of every American. The Exorcist brought scares and provided a tale that demons really do exist and can wreak terrible injustices to the innocent. The public was fascinated and scared.
From that moment on, every ghost, or haunted house that The Warrens came into contact with was deemed infested with demons. Ed now proclaimed himself to be a professional Demonologist and together with a good marketing and publicity plan his notoriety excelled.
Lorraine was left in the shadows so seemingly instantly she became a self-proclaimed psychic able to feel and see the dead. She labelled herself a “trance-medium”. This, allegedly happened instantaneously when visiting a haunted home.
Both Ed and Lorraine possessed great charm and personality and it is often stated that the families really believed they were there to help. The media thrived on the sensationalistic couple and their exploits and when the Amityville Haunting was exposed on television and in print, the couple were there for an investigation.
Ed claimed the Amityville House full of demons, and went on to embellish the stories he was told about the haunting. As it turned out, and is widely accepted among parapsychologists The Amityville Haunting was a hoax, but that did not stop Ed and Lorraine Warren from exploiting the fame they now possessed. Everyone who was involved with The Amityville House knew it was a hoax and paranormal researchers such as Dr. Kaplan and news reporters from ABC News exposed it. But The Warrens were already in over their heads. They had already claimed the house to be the most haunted, the most demonic; the most terrifying. They could not retract their own statements because that would expose them as frauds. So they kept the story alive.
The media continued focusing on The Warrens who are said to have investigated over 10,000 cases but others in the field started asking: Where is the evidence?
Ed claimed to have photos and video of ghosts and demons but all of his evidence has been debunked. The most sensationalistic photos and video never seem to surface, as the video is misplaced, destroyed, accidentally erased, etc. etc.) and Ed always directed those who questioned his evidence to his own backyard Occult Museum.
Over the course of decades, The Warrens collected “haunted” and “demonic” items that they displayed in a museum located at their property. Some of the items were collected from homeowners and others were given to them, while still yet, some are claimed to be bought from yard sales.
The Occult Museum is like a hodge-podge of occult material mixed in with cheap Halloween novelties and anyone serious about such a topic in my opinion would not only find the museum offensive but immature.
Ed warned people not to touch anything in the museum and claimed one person did touch his demonic-possessed Raggedy-Ann Doll and on his drive home died in a motorcycle accident. The story has never been verified.
Others have visited the museum and have purposely touched nearly every object in the museum, to have no encounters of the demonic-sort, nor have an ill-fated future.
Among the pieces at the museum are photographic “evidence” of ghosts including what Ed referred to as “Ghost Globules”. These are simply what we know today as Orbs, a naturally occurring anomaly on film caused by dust, moisture, pollen etc. Even ghosthunters know that Orbs are not evidence of the paranormal.
Ed and Lorraine began holding weekly meetings which they charged participants to hear their stories of the paranormal and they also hit the lecture circuit to further their quest for fame.
When a story broke on the news about a “Werewolf” in London, Ed and Lorraine were sent by producers to “investigate”. The National Inquirer and Weekly World News said the Werewolf-man lifted police officers in the air and flung them 50 yards! Police reported none of this. Of course, Ed diagnosed the mentally-ill man to be possessed by a demon and he was brought to the United States for an exorcism.
During this exorcism Lorraine claimed that the man grew fangs, his muscles on his shoulders and back grew and that his fingers grew larger with pointed fingernails. Even his ears grew out long and pointy! She described a Hollywood description of the Werewolf in transition, the kind we have seen in the then popular movie, An American Werewolf in London.
Bishop McKenna performed the exorcism and said that nothing of the sort happened. He went on to say that The Warrens often sensationalized the work that he performed against his wishes.
And that is exactly what The Warrens did.
What have they contributed to the field of study? What peer reviewed articles, papers and works have they contributed?
Who have they helped?
Ed passed away in 2006 but one can still get up and personal with Ed and Lorraine Warren by visiting the house and museum. For $109 US, one can have dinner with Lorraine and visit the museum and then take a walk to the cemetery to see Ed's grave.
Sadly, many people take them up on this offer because The Warrens offer pseudo-celebrity status to those who take photos at their house and with Lorraine.
Often ghost hunters and ghost hunting groups who do no more than cosplay their favourite television ghosthunting program showcase these photos as evidence of their paranormal stature. They neglect any research or scientific study, and much like their paranormal heroes, delight in their Facebook-fame.
These same individuals will no doubt dismiss this entire article as they have met Lorraine and she is “such a sweet lady” and on that, we must agree – she does seem old and sweet. But she does not offer anything to the study, nor did her late husband Ed.
Instead she offers her celebrity-status to those who would like to gain a similar position such as the likes of Ryan Buell of the PRS. Others use her status to prop up their commercial ventures such as paranormal documentaries and their often entertaining, yet unrealistic, horror films.
If we were to study World War II, we would not use Tom Hanks as a source, nor would we use Brad Pitt. The Warrens at best, in my opinion, are entertainers playing a role, nothing more.
John Savoie April 2013
For further information you can have a look at their Wiki entry, but even that is considered very problematic and controversial as you will see at the top of the page.
Working Along Side The Warrens – A Warren Paranormal Investigator Speaks Out
“Oh, they’re crazy," Ed Warren said in regards to the people that come to them for help. "Everybody who comes to us is crazy. Otherwise why would they come to us?”
Dave O., a paranormal researcher, began his relationship with working alongside The Warrens in the late 1990s when he answered an advert The Warrens had published.
The Warrens were conducting weekly “classes” at The Carousel Restaurant in Seymour, CT charging those in attendance $20 per head to listen to Ed and Lorraine speak of the cases they were involved with. In addition, The Warrens are suggested to have retained a portion of the food and beverage tabs of the guests. The “classes” ran for about two hours each evening, with an hour of lecturing by Ed and anecdotal tales by Lorraine.
As a result of attending the class Dave O. was brought on board as an investigator.
“I forged a strong relationship with The Warrens and, from my end of things, a friendship built on trust and seeking to get to the truth,” Dave O. explains. “I spent a good amount of time at their home in Monroe, worked with law enforcement on their behalf and assisted with presentations and other events.
The fact that I brought a good amount of knowledge and experience prior to meeting them and that I was mature and in my 30's probably aided them in their need to appear professional. They often would seemingly hand pick key people during these meetings to be seen with and involve in cases in the interest of preserving credibility.”
As Dave O. worked closely with The Warrens he came to question their authenticity and the relevancy of their work.
“The investigations were cultivated purely as fodder for their calendar of speaking engagements which gained full steam beginning in September and usually ran through the winter months. There would be the "gala" near October while the lecture season was in full steam.
Having examined one of the contracts put forth by one of their agents I can attest that, in the mid 90's they were receiving in excess of $5,000 per "lecture". Also, the sale of books based on these mostly fictitious accounts of hauntings. Lastly, lest you forget the classes held weekly at the restaurant. Admission was $20 cash per person and the meetings averaged 30-40 people weekly. Do the math.”
Dave O. discovered that The Warrens were interested in two things: Fame and Fortune. And he soon found out first hand how far they would go to obtain both.
“I perceived there to be, a lack of professionalism, an ongoing habit of presenting 'half truths' to people they were supposedly trying to assist and an overall sense of being in the line of work purely for self marketing and promotion. Their ability to tell a story, capture the minds of others and appear credible was, in a word, inspiring if not felonious.”
Dave O. says that most of the cases involved half-truths, lies and deception. He remembers one case in particular that inspired him to move on and disassociate himself with The Warrens.
Dave O. was assigned to a case in New Hampshire which was described to him by Ed as being the work of a powerful Poltergeist.
“Smashed walls, a terrified family and it gets worse from there,” he says. “I, looking for a serious case, went for it with another fellow investigator. The stint went on for over two days. Two days of no sleep living in a small home with two totally stressed out parents and a truly mentally disturbed son of 12 years of age.”
“The crescendo culminated with Boston News staggering into the house on the Friday evening to interview Lorraine regarding this 'most heinous' case of a violent haunting. Her love of the camera is only exceeded by her arrogance, I assure you.
As the interview ensued, my colleague and I could only look at one another with astonishment. The gall these people have, Lorraine in particular, is legendary. She even attempted to have the news crew engage us for comment. We declined, thankfully.
To say, after nearly three days of sleeplessness and living among this very sad and desperate family was nauseating if not depressing would be a gross understatement.”
Dave O. says that The Warrens believed the family was under the influence of an evil poltergeist, but he says that the holes in the sheet rock were not caused by anything paranormal and believes the mentally-ill boy, who had a large assortment of karate trophies was most likely responsible for the damage. He also states that the family was on the brink of financial collapse as well as being told that an evil entity was the cause of all their problems.
According to Dave O., once the camera-crew packed up and Lorraine was interviewed the family was abandoned and left to deal with whatever was troubling them.
“From what I understand nothing was brought to closure on any count. Once a case was exhausted and/or drained of its potential usefulness (read: exploitation) then the case was filed, in more ways than one by, usually, Lorraine,” says Dave O.
“I wouldn't refer to what was collected as evidence, per se, but often material items i.e. Ouija boards, black candles, etc was taken off the premise of an investigation at the request of the prospective 'haunted' person,” he continues.
Scientifically based evidence....no. Very often, photos were captured, at the time with celluloid film, not digital captures, indicating strange mists, blobs, etc.”
Ed Warren stated that these were evidence of spiritual manifestations, his ghost “globules” of yesterday are today's orbs, which have been exposed as nothing more than dust, pollen and moisture.
“The astonishing aspect is that their minions were so enthralled, and I can assure you, it was easy to be captivated by them, that in spite of being in the presence of the truth regarding a case or event , said minions would not, or choose to not, see that NOTHING whatsoever had happened or was happening.”
Dave O. says that The Warrens often embellished stories to make them more spectacular or even embellished events happening right at the investigations.
“Make no mistake, and I want to clarify this, I firmly believe that particularly in the early stages of their careers, the Warrens wanted to assist people experiencing paranormal activity of a sort,” he says. “These people are not what I'd consider evil. I believe that because of the attention to them and their work, media interest and other areas that tend to feed the ego that at some point they just went off track. This is not an uncommon event and has been demonstrated to its ugliest heights say, for instance, in Hollywood. It's predictable.”
“There were times when the Warrens efforts had, in fact, helped some of the people and families they involved themselves with,” continues Dave O. “Sometimes simple reassurance. Perhaps a suggestion to bond more as a family, perhaps return to their faith whatever it may have been and that it may have become luke warm.
Sometimes they would remove a Ouija board that, legitimately was opening a door that should not be opened, ever. Often, illicit drug use was identified as a cause of what seemed to be a psychic problem. Oft times the case was simply dropped and no further contact was made by Lorraine with the person or family. Sometimes the people would end up in the 'class' at the restaurant!”
Dave O. went on to form a strong alliance with a few others in the Warren classmates and together they were working on a case in which Dave O. suggests was the real deal and not a fairy-tale The Warrens had concocted. The Warrens and others were also involved but Dave O. was the lead investigator.
“For the people involved, it was terrifying,” he states. “Can you imagine staying in the home of a family looking to you, (me, in this case), for guidance, advice and protection and having assistant 'investigators' running out of the house screaming in terror into the night? Funny, yeah, but pathetically unprofessional and ridiculous. After this case, I was out.”
“I think one can draw their own conclusions about the elusive mystery of the Warrens and their agenda. Not sinister people just misdirected and caught up in their fame. Some people are motivated by money, some power and some by fame.”
Dave O. created a local investigative group and to this day continues to investigate the paranormal outside of the limelight and The Warren influence.
Our thanks to Dave for sharing his personal experience with us.
Horror Author Ray Garton recalls The Warrens
Ray Garton worked with The Warrens when he was contracted to write a non-fiction horror novel about The Snedeker family and their ordeal living in a haunted home.
“Back in the early ‘90s, I was offered a chance to write a book for Ed and Lorraine. As a kid, I used to follow their ghost-hunting exploits in the National Enquirer. I thought it sounded like a fun job, so I took it. I went to Connecticut and spent time with the Snedeker family. They’d moved into a house with their sick son and learned the place used to be a funeral home. They claimed all kinds of spooky things had happened in the house. They’d called in Ed and Lorraine, and after investigating, the Warrens announced that the house was infested with demons. Some of these demons had anally raped members of the family.
A little aside here. Back when I was reading about the Warrens, they were ghost hunters. Every house they investigated had at least one ghost, and there was always a spooky story behind it. But after The Exorcist was so wildly popular, first as a novel and then as a movie, Ed and Lorraine stopped encountering ghosts and began to uncover demon infestations. And it seems that wherever they went, people were being sexually molested by demons. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Carmen Snedeker was an unemployed wife and mother who was running an illegal interstate lottery business, about which she asked me numerous times to tell no one. I never met the son, who was said to be ill, although I was allowed to talk to him on the phone once, supervised by Carmen. When the boy began to talk about drugs and told me that he didn’t hear and see strange things in the house once he began taking medication, Carmen ended the conversation. As I gathered all the necessary information for the book, I found that the accounts of the individual Snedekers didn’t quite mesh. They just couldn’t keep their stories straight.
I went to Ed with this problem. "Oh, they’re crazy," he said. "Everybody who comes to us is crazy. Otherwise why would they come to us? You’ve got some of the story – just use what works and make the rest up. And make it scary. You write scary books, right? That’s why we hired you. So just make it up and make it scary." I didn’t like that one bit. But by then, I’d signed the contract and there was no going back. I did as Ed instructed – I used what I could, made up the rest, and tried to make it as scary as I could. The book was called In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting.
As soon as it was published, I started telling my story, knowing full well that it would not be too popular with the Snedekers or the Warrens. I was right. Carmen Snedeker, now Carmen Reed, has denounced the book. She claims they had little involvement in it, which is a lie. Since the release of that book, the Discovery Channel has aired a "re-enactment" of the story called A Haunting in Connecticut, which, of course, presents the Snedekers’ story as hard cold fact.”
A feature film, The Haunting in Connecticut was released in 2009 to Theatres nationwide. Again, the movie suggests that the fiction-based account is actually based upon a true story.
“Last I hard, Carmen is working on a new book, to tell the real story – apparently they’ve settled on one. I don’t know if Carmen runs her little interstate lottery operation anymore, but now she’s claiming to be some kind of psychic healer. She says she’s always been a psychic healer, although I didn’t hear anything about it in Connecticut back in the early ‘90s.
These days, John Zaffis is the "investigator" being used to make this cockamamie tale look like something remotely resembling legitimate. Zaffis is the nephew of Ed and Lorraine Warren. He was around back when I was working on the book. He didn’t do much, just stood around. Lorraine told me he was learning the business. He told me a story about something he saw in the former funeral home – some kind of "fully formed demon," or some such nonsense.
During my stay in Connecticut, Ed, Lorraine, and Zaffis repeatedly told me they had videotape of supernatural activity they’d shot in the demon-infested former funeral home (which I never visited because the current owners claimed the Snedekers were full of it and wanted nothing to do with the Warrens’ little dog and pony show). They assured me I would see that footage. Throughout my visit, they kept telling me the videotape was coming, that they were having trouble finding it, but they’d show it to me. By the end of my visit, there had been no sign of any videotape. After my experience with the Warrens, I talked to a couple of other writers who’d written books for Ed and Lorraine – and their stories were nearly identical to mine.”
*Special thanks to Maria Grazia who allowed us to use the interview with Ray Garton that originally appeared in Horror Bound Magazine.
As The Conjuring 2 is in current (as of April 2014) litigation and may never see the light of day, the current homeowners of the house (at the time of this publication April 26th 2014) depicted in the book House of Darkness, House of Light by Andrea Perron and the major motion picture The Conjuring has come forward with intensive research on the home and the alleged hauntings.
In a video posted to Youtube, current owner Mrs. Sutcliffe exposes the history of the home and her past involvement with the TV show Ghost Hunters. Here she explains that Caroline Perron, Andrea Perron and The Warrens had made up the story entirely. She also explains and hints that she may be pursuing a lawsuit of her own for exposing her personal information and house that has been besieged by thrill-seekers and paranormal enthusiasts.
Friends of The Warrens suggest that Mrs. Sutcliffe may be under demonic influences and trying to hide the truth from the public. Andrea Perron has yet to comment publicly about the evidence presented by Mrs. Sutcliffe.
Here is the video in its entirety, that gives yet another side of the story:
This should be a cautionary story to homeowners who live in reportedly haunted houses. Once paracelebrities engage in your story and television and film studios are presenting your home on the small and large screens, there is no going back. Even today, The Amityville House, located on Long Island, New York, is visited by thrill seekers, and that case has been widely accepted to be a fraud.
Mrs. Sutcliffe has interacted with Andrea Perron on many occasions and filmed interviews were she indicated she had witnessed paranormal activity on the property. She also called TAPS and allowed for the Ghost Hunters to do an entire episode on the case. She explains herself on the video and why she had interacted with Andrea Perron and other ghost hunters. Take a look at the video, and judge for yourself what the truth may be.