Hollywood often likes to base their scary movies loosely on accounts from real people, and The Conjuring (in US theaters July 19) is actually using the real people as part of their marketing campaign. Roger and Carolyn Perron and three of their five daughters tell parts of their story during The Conjuring trailer:
The family moved to a farmhouse in 1971 known as the Arnold Estate. According to the oldest daughter Andrea, who wrote a couple of books about their experience, at first the owner told them it was a great place to raise a family, but the day they moved in he issued a strange warning: “Leave the lights on at night.”
Andrea says they lived with the dead for the next several years. Their parents sold in the house in 1980 while Andrea was in college, and she was “heartbroken” because she loved it despite the things they endured there.
According to Andrea the movie isn’t based on her books about her experience, but on an investigation by psychics Ed & Lorraine Warren who also worked on the Amityville case that inspired The Amityville Horror movie. She told Horror-movies.ca that she is ultimately pleased with the film, although there is no way a two-hour movie could capture what the family experienced. “There is no conceivable way to condense what we as a family endured in the farmhouse into a two-hour motion picture,” she says. “But James (Wan) captured the essence of it and for this I will remain eternally grateful.
Here’s a long video of Andrea revisiting the house:
The Conjuring‘s director James Wan (Saw and Insidious) claims even the set of the movie was haunted. He told the NYDN that his maltipoo dog Lana “would stare at the corner of the office and make this really low growl. She would just be growling away and she would be just tracking whatever this thing is across my office, just looking at it, following it. She did this many, many nights in a row and it just freaked me out.”
Scriptwriters Chad and Carey Hayes claim they heard voices on the phone line while talking to Lorraine Warren to do research for the film. She says that this often happens, and she deals with it by saying “‘In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to leave.’ And the static gets better.” Chad’s son witnessed a top spinning on a shelf by itself at an Occult museum they visited (in the back of the Warrens’ home like in the movie,) which they also attribute to paranormal activity.
UPDATE: The current residents of the Perron’s former home are being kept up at night, but not by ghosts. They are constantly getting visits, calls, and even threatening online comments.
The film stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, and Shannon Kook.