Unexplainable things that happened on the set of The Conjuring

More often than not, horror film sets are no weirder, or plagued by incident, than their lighter-fared counterparts. Typically, they are just like every other set; dull, badly-catered and staffed by tired people who wanted to go home six hours ago. In the case of The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, however, the scares didn't necessarily stop when the cameras did. Although neither movie reached Poltergeist or Exorcist-levels of hysteria (nobody was killed, thankfully), each boasted its own weird, unexplained incidents.

Mysterious bruising

Taken from the real case files of legendary paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, 2013's The Conjuring sees the Perron family's quiet home life disturbed by malevolent spirits, who take particular pleasure in taunting their young children. It seems like the disruption may not have ended there, however, as lead actor Patrick Wilson, who portrays real-life demon hunter Ed Warren in both the movie and its 2016 sequel, recounted how one of the child actors on The Conjuring got mysteriously injured on set.

Joey King, who played Christine, ended up covered in strange bruises "all over her body" after just a couple weeks of shooting. Wilson explained to the UK's The Independent newspaper that King hadn't been doing any stunts (child actors don't usually do stunts, to be clear), nor had anything hit her over the course of filming. They just kinda … showed up.

Although the marks subsequently disappeared, Wilson still felt weird about using the anecdote during press for the movie (even though he admitted it totally fit the bill). Wilson also confirmed, over the course of the chat, that his own home is haunted, noting that "I've heard people on two different occasions say they've heard kids' laughter in the middle of the night, in my house. And that used to freak my wife out." But that's another story entirely.

Possessed drapes

The Conjuring scared up over $300 million worldwide, meaning the mastermind behind it, Wan, would be seen as the biggest target should any demonic forces feel they were being unfairly portrayed onscreen. Wan has noted that he would be too busy directing to even notice a spirit standing next to him. However, Wilson (whose underlying interest in the paranormal seems to have grown exponentially while shooting the films) did show him a video, while on the set of The Conjuring 2, of a curtain supposedly moving by itself.

"…At the end of the sound stage, there was these huge curtain drapes. They started swaying on their own. They just kept moving. None of the doors were opened, the air-conditioning was switched off. They just moved on their own," Wan told Star2 in Seoul, South Korea. Considering his lead actor supposedly caught the whole thing on camera, it begs the question — where the hell is that film, and when can we judge it for ourselves?

The demonic hour

The guys (and kids) weren't the only ones targeted by vengeful spirits. Reportedly, lead actress Vera Farmiga also experienced some odd happenings over the course of filming. In an interview with Collider, Wan discussed how the actress confided in him that she had been waking up between 3 and 4 AM every morning, from the moment they started work on The Conjuring. This time of day/night is commonly known as the "demonic hour," and has been a significant focal point of movies, including The Exorcism Of Emily Rose.

Even weirder, The Conjuring itself features a witch who died during that specific timeframe — something Farmiga brought to Wan's attention after confiding in him.

The actress continued to have trouble sleeping afterwards. Take from that what you will.

Computer virus

Vera Farminga can't catch a break. CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg recounted how, during a round-table discussion for The Conjuring, Farmiga also divulged a rather spooky discovery of "three digitial claw marks" on her computer screen. The weird part is, the marks appeared immediately after she'd finished speaking to director James Wan about playing the role of Lorraine Warren, and about her desire to have Patrick Wilson acting opposite her.

This makes us wonder: is somebody in the afterlife mad at her, or Wilson?

Clawing their way back

Once again, poor Vera has spooky issues on set. Farmiga later revealed that, quite literally the day after she completed her work on The Conjuring, she woke up with "three claw mark bruises across [her] thigh." For those taking notes throughout this article, where once the claw marks were on her screen, now they're on her body.

Although the actress noted they weren't painful — silencing those who sought to suggest she might be under some kind of paranormal attack — and were more like little bruises, the fact the marks looked as though they'd been made by long fingernails was what really freaked her out. Apparently, she even texted Wan about it. But, much like her connection between the witch in the story and her own real-life sleep disruption, he wasn't too impressed (at least, not enough for her to register his response). Seen one ghost attack, seen 'em all.

Water works

Strangely, the spooky stuff didn't affect only those directly involved in the movie. Screenwriters Carey and Chad Hayes recounted in a chat with Collider that Carey's wife had experienced something weird while he was away on set, too, with Carey noting that "when things happen, [it's] usually … to a wife, or a woman at home, whose husband is gone. She experiences more." Nighmares of the Everyday Housewife?

In this particular case, she noticed a weird water formation that appeared on the floor out of nowhere. Considering it was cement on an open floor plan, the spill was blamed on the family dog. But the poor pooch was let off the hook once the spills started showing up again and again — in the exact same spot — after being meticulously cleaned up. After going to Lorraine Warren herself for professional advice, Carey deduced it was a water poltergeist, feeding off teenage angst from one of his kids who, Hayes and his wife confirmed, was going through a turbulent time (fair enough).

The writer remains remarkably calm about the incident, noting that nothing weird has ever happened to him personally but, "you have to have a pretty good faith in protecting yourself because when you write about stuff like this it can be somewhat of a beacon." And this is why we only write about horror movies, instead of actually writing them.

Falling in reverse

When the real-life Perron family came to visit the set of The Conjuring, they were already on edge at how realistic everything was, with Cindy (the second eldest, now a grown woman, but a child at the time of the haunting) physically moving away after coming face-to-face with the witch.

But it didn't end there. During a set visit with Shock Till You Drop, screenwriter Chad Hayes recalled how, in the style of an actual horror movie, one of the other Perron children told him straight out "something really bad is going to happen out here today." Worryingly, their mother, Carolyn, subsequently fell and broke her hip. She was the only one who didn't make it to set that day, which might mean it's better to face your demons head-on, rather than have them seek you out via creepy child premonition.

Moving parts

The Warrens' infamous artifact room — which turned out to be so popular with fans, it spurned a spinoff in the form of 2014's Annabelle — was lovingly recreated for The Conjuring. Considering it's a room where the paranormal investigators keep all their spookiest souvenirs, the process of making it ad hoc for the movie could be seen as tempting fate, depending on one's superstitions.

During the same visit, producer Rob Cowan detailed how, on the purpose-built set of the Warrens' infamous room, there was one particular piece of their history that just wouldn't stay still. A wooden pig, supposedly, kept moving around the room. "It would be there and they'd come back and it would have moved over to there" Cowan explained. Could the little guy possibly land his own Annabelle-style spinoff?

Paranormal construction

In keeping with being the less scary of the two films,The Conjuring 2 only really had a couple of low-mileage spooky incidents to speak of, which were discussed in detail in a set visit report conducted by Shock.

First off, the set was blessed by a priest prior to shooting taking place (it's seriously haunted — at least according to Warner Bros' security guard Johnny Matuk, who doubles as a real-life ghost hunter), but that didn't stop "drilling and hammering underneath the stage when there was no one working." Construction ghosts, perhaps? Do we need to call the Scooby-Doo crew for this one?

Ghostly images

It was also revealed during the Shock set report that Leigh Whannell, Wan's long-time friend and film-making buddy, had a strange incident while visiting the set himself. According to reports, a load of Insidious photos, which Whannell had shot during his production on the movie, mysteriously showed up on his iPad while he was visiting his buddy.

However, they were not saved on his PC, or his iPad, and he couldn't get rid of them either. Unsurprising, really, if the set really is as haunted as claimed. Just to be on the safe side, maybe instead of The Conjuring 3, just direct a Care Bears movie instead.

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