What The Conjuring Didn't Tell You About The True Story

Since the release of The Conjuring in 2013, audiences have been chomping at the bit for the further adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the real-life paranormal investigators that the movie was, depending on your viewpoint, either based on, or "based on." 

This much is undisputed: Like any film adaptation, The Conjuring made edits to the original material. The supernatural, based-on-a-true-story nature of the movie has meant a vocal division of opinion regarding which direction those edits took. Did the filmmakers tone down the demonic elements to make a more believable story? Or did they sensationalize the story of a troubled family? The facts often get in the way of The Conjuring's haunted narrative, and not just because the Warrens weren't such a reliable source, as detailed by the Hollywood Reporter.

Well, they got the first syllable right

The Warrens involvements with the Perrons led to an infamous "seance." Once this ended, according to the Skeptical Enquirer, Carolyn's husband, Roger Perron, kicked the Warrens out of the house, citing concerns about his wife's mental health. From what can be pieced together, it wasn't an unreasonable move.

Since then, many people have made a living off of Perron family's story, including, notably, the Perron family. Eldest daughter Andrea even wrote a trilogy of books about it, titled House of Darkness House of Light, which describe her mother, Carolyn, as destructively impulsive. Carolyn made a down payment on the allegedly haunted house, without discussing it with her husband, despite the family's financial struggles. There was frequent high drama in the household, as Carolyn frequently experienced fainting spells when her husband was present, usually in front of the fireplace, forcing Roger to rescue her.

Reality is complicated

Carolyn was deeply into new age spiritualism, reporting that she sensed "presences" even before moving to the new digs. The struggle to get her attention reads as very real, and escalation between the five Perron sisters appears impassioned. The preschool-age kid couldn't just have an imaginary friend: She had to be receiving telepathic messages from a supernatural force. Describing the fierce competition for her parents' affection in troubling ways, Andrea wrote that her four-year-old sibling watched "as her sisters begged for the same type of attention she received all day, every day."

And then, just before Halloween, the Warrens showed up. What started as a ghost story became a demonic one, fueled by fringe Catholicism and a downward spiraling pattern of oneupmanship. Maybe.

Later property owners have had mixed experiences. Norma Sutcliffe, who lived there until 2019, ran a daycare out of the home for 20 years without any demonic incidents: she told the press that the only "living hell" she experienced wasn't from ghosts, but the wave of trespassers who vandalized her home after The Conjuring released. The new owners, Cory and Jennifer Heinzen, have reported several remarkable occurrences. They're also self-described paranormal investigators, who offer tours of the property for a nominal fee, according to News Center Maine. That's all probably unrelated.