Demonologist's legacy lives on in popular movie series

Most people who are avid fans of horror films have a high chance of knowing who Lorraine Warren, ‘Queen of the Paranormal’, was. Movie franchises like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror” were inspired by Lorraine and her husband, Ed, who passed away in 2006. Lorraine died in her sleep just recently on April 18th at 92 years old. Claiming to have investigated over 10,000 cases during their career, the two world-renowned paranormal investigators were best known for their involvement with prominent cases of hauntings. Both Lorraine and Ed were self-professed demonologists and Lorraine also was self-proclaimed to be a clairvoyant, which is someone who has the alleged ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through extrasensory perception. In 1952, the Warrens founded the New England Society for Psychic Research, which is the oldest ghost hunting group in New England.

The popular series of movies surrounding the possessed doll named Annabelle, which are spin-off prequels of “The Conjuring” franchise, was loosely based off of the Warrens’ 1968 investigation of an actual Raggedy Ann doll that currently resides in their Occult Museum in Connecticut. The Warrens took the doll from two roommates who claimed it had been exhibiting frightening and unusual behavior and said it was “being manipulated by an inhuman presence”, therefore putting it on display in their museum. The Amityville Horror was considered to be the most infamous of all of the Warren’s paranormal investigations, inspiring both a book and film series of the same name. After gruesome murders of a family in a Long Island neighborhood, the next occupants of the acclaimed Amityville house left the home after 28 days, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal activity. “The Warrens believed that the suffering there had left the property with a very negative energy and dark history,” the Warrens’ psychic research society summary of the case says, “and that such a negative history was a magnet for demonic spirits and the preternatural.”

Religion was a big part of the Lorraine’s life and she often believed that a lack of religion was what often opened the door for malevolent forces to enter a home or a life. “Going into haunting experiences, there were some bad ones, scary ones,” Lorraine said to a sold-out audience during a presentation at Lauralton Hall in Milford, CT. “My faith was always my protection.” There has always been controversy surrounding the topic of ghosts, spirits and anything in the paranormal world when it comes to the facts and “realness” about these so-called encounters. It’s totally okay to not completely agree with someone’s views or even their stories on their own experiences with paranormal events, but one can still appreciate and respect their work and the mark that they have left on this earth. Over the years, many skeptics have spoken out about the hoaxes they believe Lorraine and her husband have fabricated over time. Skeptics Perry DeAngelis and Steven Novella described the Warrens’ evidence as “blarney” on the front page of a Connecticut Post issue on 1997.

Both Lorraine and Ed’s legacy has shown throughout time and has definitely prevailed from the release of these box-office hits like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror” series. The question is: should film producers consider respecting the Warrens’ unfortunate deaths by not continuing to profit off of movies based upon their terrifying tales? Based on the fact that Lorraine has contributed and even made cameos in some of these films, most of us would like to think that she, her husband and even her family would be proud and excited about the work that they have produced and inspired people to create. Bringing the Warrens’ stories and experiences to the big screen has obviously sparked a passion in filmmakers’ creativity and has created an entirely new era of horror film fanatics that can carry on Lorraine and Ed’s legacy.