7 of the Most Famous Cases Investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren
"Shock Docs: The Devil Made Me Do It” is the true story and the basis of the blockbuster film “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” now streaming on discovery+. It profiles the infamous murder case of Arne Johnson in 1980’s Connecticut and his attempt to put Satan on trial aided by experienced demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Lorraine (L) and Ed Warren (R) flank Mrs. Wendy Evans and her children who had been frightened out of her supposedly haunted Gladesville, Australia home. [Getty]
Ed and Lorraine Warren were made famous by their investigations of paranormal cases in the Connecticut area and around the world. Here are seven other notorious cases they investigated.
The Snekeder House
In 1986, Carmen and Al Snedeker rented a house in Southington, Connecticut. While exploring the residence, they uncovered mortuary tools in the basement, leading them to the chilling realization that their new home was a former funeral parlor. It seemed as though many of the former “clientele” had never left. The smell of rotting flesh lingered throughout the house, and running water would at times turn blood red. The eldest Snekeder son was plagued by visions and claimed to see ghosts. These ghosts reportedly sexually assaulted both Carmen and Al. Unsure where else to turn, the Snedekers asked Ed and Lorraine Warren for assistance. After examining the home, the Warrens attributed the hauntings to the ghosts of those who were brought to the funeral home. They concluded that the morticians had partaken in unsavory activities with the bodies.
The Perron Family
When Roger and Carolyn Perron moved into a 200-acre farmhouse in Rhode Island with their five young daughters, they had no awareness of its dark history. Many former residents had died under horrible circumstances; a few were murdered, and others hung themselves on the grounds. The Perrons came to believe that their spirits were still present in the home. Some were benign and would play with the children or help out with chores. Other sinister spirits would relentlessly torment the family. Ed and Lorraine Warren were brought in to help in 1974. However, their presence allegedly escalated the haunting to the point where Roger eventually asked them to leave. Their story would be the basis for the 2013 film, “The Conjuring.”
The Enfield Poltergeist
In 1977, single mother Peggy Hodgson called police to her home in Enfield, telling them that she had witnessed furniture moving and her two of her four children had heard knocking from inside the walls. In the subsequent 18 months, more than 30 people, including the neighbors, psychic researchers, and journalists, said they witnessed heavy furniture moving of its own accord and objects being thrown across a room. Two of the children, Janet and Margaret, were also photographed, levitating several feet off the ground. Lorraine and Ed Warren were contacted in 1978 and concluded that a demonic presence inhabited the house.
Annabelle The Doll
Annabelle is a raggedy ann doll, originally gifted to a young nurse named Donna by her mother. When Donna took the doll back to her apartment, she and her roommate, Angie, noticed that it would often change its position, moving from one room to another. They would find notes scattered around the apartment reading “help me” in a child’s handwriting. Lou, Angie’s boyfriend, claims that he woke up one night, totally frozen, and saw the doll slowly crawl up his body, attempting to strangle him. Distressed, Donna and Angie reached out to a medium who told them that the doll was possessed by the spirit of a seven-year-old girl named Annabelle Higgins. The medium asserted that the spirit was ultimately benevolent, but Ed and Lorraine Warren had a differing opinion. They determined that a demonic presence was inhabiting the doll. They performed a blessing in the residence before taking Annabelle off the young women’s hands.
The Smurl Haunting
In 1974, Jack and Janet Smurl moved into a house on Chase Street West Pittston, Pennsylvania. Strange occurrences followed, leading the Smurls to believe that a demon possessed their home. They claimed the demon had slammed their German shepherd into a wall, bit Jack’s ear, and pushed one of their daughters down a flight of stairs. Both Jack and Janet were said to have been sexually assaulted by the demon. In 1986 they contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren, who confirmed that their house was indeed haunted. Ed Warren would go on to say that he had witnessed “a dark mass” form inside the home and that the demon had left him a message telling him to “get out.”
The Southend Werewolf
One of the most bizarre cases ever investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren occurred in Essex, England. A seemingly ordinary carpenter named William Ramsey claimed to be possessed by a demon that compelled him to take the form of a werewolf. Ramsey had experienced his first “transformation” at the age of nine. As he described it, he was playing outside when he felt an icy cold breeze, followed by an awful smell, before he flew into a rage, uprooting a fence post - with the fence still attached - and gnawing at the wire mesh. Ramsey would not experience another episode like this until adulthood. Bill would fly into violent fits of rage, during which he would display “inhuman strength,” baring his teeth and growling while curling his hands like claws. When the Warrens caught wind of this in 1989, they convinced Bill Ramsey to come to their church in Connecticut and undergo an exorcism with their specialist Bishop Robert McKenna.
The Amityville Case
Perhaps the most well-known case to be investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren was the haunting in Amityville, Long Island, in 1975. The Lutz family had moved into a quaint suburban home, where only a year before, mass murderer Ronald DeFeo Jr had killed six members of his family. During the first 28 days of their stay, the Lutzes reported swarms of flies, banging noises, disturbing entities, and witnessing the levitation of family members. When the Warrens were asked to cleanse the house, they brought a local TV crew with them. They took photographs of the house, one of which seems to show a little boy standing in the shadows with glowing eyes. Lorraine has said that the Amityville house case is the one that haunts her the most.