Lorraine Warren, who with her late husband, Ed, was a world-renowned paranormal investigator and author whose decades of ghost-hunting cases inspired films such as “The Conjuring” trilogy and “The Amityville Horror,” has passed away.
Who are Lorraine and ED?
Edward Warren Miney was Born on September 7, 1926, and Lorraine Rita Warren (née Moran) was born on January 31, 1927. They were American paranormal investigators and authors linked to notable cases of purported hauntings. Edward was a self-proclaimed and self-taught demonologist, author, and speaker. Lorraine claimed to be clairvoyant and a medium with a light trance who collaborated closely with her husband.
The Warrens established the New England Society for Psychic Research (NESPR) in 1952, making it the oldest ghost hunting organization in New England. They wrote a number of books on the supernatural and their own investigations into various tales of paranormal phenomena. Throughout their tenure, they claimed to have investigated well over 10,000 instances. The Warrens were among the first to investigate the haunting in Amityville. According to the Warrens, the official website of the NESPR, Viviglam Magazine, and a number of other sources, the NESPR employs a wide range of persons in its investigations, including medical doctors, researchers, and police officers, nurses, college students, and members of the clergy.
Numerous films, television shows, and documentaries have been adapted from or indirectly inspired by the Warrens’ famed ghost stories, including multiple films in the Amityville Horror series and films in The Conjuring Universe.
Perry DeAngelis and Steven Novella, two sceptics, evaluated the Warrens’ evidence and deemed it to be “hogwash.” Joe Nickell and Benjamin Radford, two sceptical investigators, decided that the haunting of Amityville and the Snedeker family did not occur and were fabricated.
Notable Investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren
In 1968, two roommates believed their Raggedy Ann doll was possessed by the ghost of a young girl called Annabelle Higgins, according to the Warrens. The Warrens removed the doll, explaining to the roommates that it was “being controlled by an unnatural entity,” and displayed it in their “Occult Museum.” The legend of the doll inspired several films in The Conjuring Universe, and it serves as a motif in many more.
The Warrens are most well-known for their involvement in the Amityville Horror case of 1975, in which New York couple George and Kathy Lutz claimed their home was plagued by a demonic presence so violent and intense that it eventually forced them away. Stephen and Roxanne Kaplan, authors of The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, branded the case as a “hoax.” Lorraine Warren informed a reporter for the publication The Express-Times that the Amityville Horror was not a fake.
The purported haunting served as the idea for the 1977 book The Amityville Horror and the 1979 and 2005 films of the same name, as well as for the subsequent film series. The opening segment of The Conjuring 2 partially adapts and depicts the Warrens’ account of the events (2016). According to Benjamin Radford, eyewitnesses, investigations, and forensic evidence refuted the story. In 1979, attorney William Weber alleged that he, Jay Anson, and the residents “created” the terrifying tale “over many bottles of wine.”
In 1971, the Warrens claimed that a witch from the early 19th century haunted the Perron family home in Harrisville, Rhode Island. According to the Warrens, Bathsheba Sherman cursed the area so that everybody who inhabited it perished horribly. The tale is depicted in the 2013 film The Conjuring. Lorraine Warren acted in a cameo appearance and served as a consultant for the production. A reporter for USA Today wrote about the film’s alleged factual basis.
In 1981, Arne Cheyenne Johnson was charged with murdering Alan Bono, his landlord. Prior to the murder, Ed and Lorraine Warren were contacted to deal with the supposed demonic possession of the younger brother of Johnson’s fiancée. The Warrens later alleged that Johnson was possessed as well.
Johnson unsuccessfully attempted to use the Not Guilty by Reason of Demonic Possession defence at trial. This story inspired the film The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021). The story was detailed in Gerald Brittle’s 1983 book The Devil in Connecticut.
In 1977, the Warrens investigated rumors that poltergeists haunted a North London neighborhood household. Several objective observers regarded the occurrence as a prank perpetrated by “attention-seeking” children, but the Warrens were persuaded it was a case of “demonic possession.” The event was the inspiration for The Conjuring 2; however, critics suggest the Warrens were involved “to a far smaller extent than depicted in the film” and had arrived uninvited and been denied entry to the residence.
Guy Lyon Playfair, a parapsychologist who studied the Enfield case alongside Maurice Grosse, concurs that the film grossly exaggerates the Warrens’ involvement in the investigation. In 2016, he asserted that they “appeared once” and that Ed Warren informed Playfair that “[the Warrens] might earn a lot of money from [the lawsuit].” He confirmed that the Warrens were “not invited” to the Enfield residence and that “no one in the family had ever heard of him before [Ed Warren] showed there.”
Film adaptations from Investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren
Throughout the years, a number of films and television programs have been based in whole or in part on the paranormal investigations or occurrences that the Warrens are believed to have experienced or reported. The films in The Amityville Horror series, including The Amityville Horror (1979) and The Amityville Horror (1988), are partially based on their narrative (2005).
The Haunted, a two-hour made-for-television film based on the Smurl haunting, was released by 20th Century Fox in 1991. The film was written by Robert Curran, Jack Smurl, Janet Smurl, Ed Warren, and Lorraine Warren. Jeffrey DeMunn and Sally Kirkland portrayed Jack and Janet Smurl, respectively. The 2009 film The Haunting in Connecticut was partially inspired by the Warrens’ 1986 investigation of the Snedeker haunting.
The Spellbinding Universe
The Warrens’ case files serve as the basis for the horror film franchise The Conjuring Universe.
The 2013 film The Conjuring, directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren, focuses on a Warren case. Annabelle, a supernatural psychological horror film directed by John R. Leonetti and released in 2014, is both a prequel to The Conjuring and a spin-off inspired by the story of the Annabelle doll. Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, and Alre Woodard star in the film. The following film in The Conjuring Universe was the 2016 sequel The Conjuring 2, directed by James Wan and starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Lorraine and Ed, respectively.
It is based on the case of the Enfield Poltergeist. Annabelle: Creation, a 2017 prequel that tells the genesis tale of the Annabelle doll, was released. Farmiga and Wilson featured briefly as Ed and Lorraine in the 2018 spin-off film The Nun, which focused on the “Demon Nun” incarnation of The Conjuring 2’s antagonist Valak. In Annabelle Comes Home, the sequel to Annabelle, and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It; the actors reprised their roles.
How Ed Warren Died?
Ed Warren passed away in 2006, and Spera is now in charge of the New England Society for Psychic Research. According to the organization’s website, Lorraine Warren “decided to withdraw from active investigations in the areas of haunted homes and demonic infestations/possessions” but remained a consultant until her death.
Obituary of Ed Warren
“Monroe’s Ed Warren, a 79-year-old paranormal researcher and ghosthunter of international repute, passed away at home on August 23, 2006, with his devoted wife of 61 years, Lorraine Moran Warren, by his side. Mr. Warren, who was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on September 7, 1926, was one half of the husband-and-wife duo Ed and Lorraine Warren, Seekers of the Supernatural. Numerous police investigations involving satanic ritualistic murders frequently requested the team’s assistance, and they were in high demand by hundreds of schools and universities to talk on the supernatural. Mr. Warren was a World War II veteran of the United States Navy who served in both the Pacific and European theatres. After completing his military service, Mr. Warren attended art school and sold many paintings, primarily depicting haunted houses and New England winter scenery. Mr. Warren and his wife, Lorraine, co-authored twelve supernatural-related books. The Demon Murder Case and The Haunted have been adapted into made-for-television films. They were recruited to investigate the Amityville Horror Case and served as consultants for the first Amityville Horror movie. Mr. Warren was one of the nation’s seven religious demonologists. Ed was also an animal champion and an ardent animal lover, having rescued countless animals. When asked if he feared death, Mr. Warren responded, “No, I don’t fear it one iota; I know I’ll be going to a magnificent paradise, a place so spectacular that it beyond description.” When posed the same topic, Jackie Gleason once responded, “Why should I dread it? I’m going to die anyway.”
Mr. Warren is survived by a daughter, Judy Spera and her husband Tony of New Milford, two grandchildren, Heather Valentine and her husband Greg of Conestoga, PA and Christopher McKinnell of Lititz, PA, four great-grandchildren, Cory, Kyle, Brianna, and Michael Denlinger, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. in St. Stephen Church, Trumbull. In Monroe’s Stepney Village Cemetery, full military honours will be accorded the deceased’s interment. Friday visitors are welcome from 4 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Center, P.O. Box 475, Newtown, Connecticut 06470, in Ed’s memory.”