Tag Archives: Perron family

Children who have spirit friends…

Currently I’m in the middle of reading Volume Two of Andrea Perron’s House of Darkness House of Light, the true story of the decade of events experienced by the Perron family and depicted (loosely, I’m finding out) in the movie The Conjuring. Just in case you’re new to my blog, the movie doesn’t have any direct ties to the book, but is inspired by the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren.  

I recently read the chapter titled “in the closet”, when I had one of those moments… a moment where you find yourself tearing up and getting deeply into what you’re reading. In this chapter, Andrea writes about experiences that happened to April, the youngest of the five Perron daughters. April doesn’t come up much in Volume One and so far in Volume Two, and I always wondered why. It turns out she had plenty of experiences, perhaps just as many as the other kids in the house, but she refused to open up and discuss them with anyone until just recently. It turns out April has truly been haunted with memories and a pain in her heart since then.

 

April spent a lot of time alone, or at least that’s what the rest of the family thought. Very early on after moving to the farmhouse, April met the spirit of a little boy, a boy who gradually got comfortable with her presence and friendship, though he was constantly in fear and hiding. They appeared to be about the same age. They would play together, sharing April’s toys while they were alone in her room. When they were done playing he would disappear in a closet to hide. She was never once afraid. She grew to like spending time with him, even though he never spoke. As April grew up to be a teenager, she mentions that often the little boy would peek out of the closet into her room in hopes that she’d decide to play for a while. Not being the same little girl she once was, she ignored him. When she described the disappointed look on his face as he disappeared into the closet once more, that’s when I felt the tug in my heart and my tear ducts proved to be fully functioning. These experiences and the guilt of leaving the little boy at the farm has affected April her whole life.

 

A common theory is that many or all children are open to seeing spirits on a regular basis, but adults drive this ability out by making them feel ashamed for speaking such nonsense, thus blocking the experiences out of their minds. I wonder how many of us don’t remember a significant friendship or two from childhood. As a child I loved to spend time alone. It was nothing unusual. Very often I’d turn down invitations to play because I had a fun filled day planned out already. When my little sister arrived and was old enough, I was able to drag her through the experiences of things like playing school to keep me occupied. Even though it would be cool to suddenly remember a long lost spirit friend from my childhood, I don’t recall ever having an additional student in the attic or “imaginary friend”. After this chapter I kind of wish I did, although I would not want the sadness that has followed April.

 

I know that for several of my readers, seeing or feeling the presence of spirits is not an unusual thing, but I’m curious to know how many people had a spirit friend as child that no one else knew about. Please share!

 

Related: 

Flies and Hauntings: "You can't really kill what's already dead." (Big Séance)

Flies and Hauntings: “You can’t really kill what’s already dead.” (Big Séance)

Apparitions (Big Séance)

Apparitions (Big Séance)

Investigation Report of a Private Residence in St. Peters, Missouri (Big Séance)

Investigation Report of a Private Residence in St. Peters, Missouri (Big Séance)


Flies and Hauntings: “You can’t really kill what’s already dead.”

Hey folks! I’m on page 218 of the first volume of House of Darkness House of Light, the true story of the events that happened in the movie The Conjuring, written by Andrea Perron, the oldest daughter. I’ve got to be honest. I was initially intimidated by the size of these books (the third and final book is yet to come), but at this point I’m pretty sure that there’s virtually no chance of me not buying into all three volumes. I’ve been sucked into the story all weekend, and I’ve not been able to think of anything else in the last two days. It is such a good book!

Early on in their story, not long after moving in, the Perrons experienced supernatural and never-ending amounts of flies that seemed to come from nowhere. This was in the middle of a very cold and snowy winter. No amount of swatting or extermination could solve their problem. It was making them crazy, and along with other bone-chilling events, it was gradually tearing a family apart.

Most likely, when you think of flies and hauntings, you think of the famous scene from the movie The Amityville Horror from 1979. Usually when I hear someone describe flies as being a sign of a haunting, I get the instant urge to roll my eyes. You won’t find many “experts” in the paranormal who are willing to validate flies as being harbingers of things to come in a haunted location, though Lorraine Warren supposedly told Mrs. Perron that this was the case. Referring to their nasty fly situation, Warren is quoted in the book as saying “You can’t really kill what’s already dead.” In The Conjuring, James Wan apparently chose to nod to Alfred Hitchcock and use birds as a harbinger, rather than flies. It could be that birds play a role in the book as well, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I’ll admit I’m conflicted. It just seems so Hollywood to me… and like talk of “demons” (which I’m sure I’ll be discussing soon), it seems to require a certain kind of religious belief that I don’t usually buy into. But I’ve done lots of researching into this story and the Perrons recently, and unlike the questionable history of the Amityville haunting, and though I don’t know the family personally (though I’ve enjoyed recently being connected with Andrea on Facebook), I really believe their story. So here it is. I feel like I have to tell you that all of this is really making me re-think my position on evil harbinger flies.    

 

Thoughts? Experiences? Fly swatter recommendations?

Related Posts:

The Conjuring Movie Review

The Conjuring Movie Review (Big Séance)

True Haunting: Reads Like Fiction… But it’s Not! (Big Séance)

Andrea Perron's House of Darkness House of Light trilogy (Big Séance)

Andrea Perron’s House of Darkness House of Light trilogy (Big Séance)


The Conjuring movie review

First of all, if you are a fan of this genre of film, YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE! You WILL see this movie! (Although… some of you may want to see an afternoon matinee so that when you leave the theater you can go to a park, watch the bunny rabbits play, and soak in the last hours of sunlight before you’re home checking rooms and corners.)

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, we can get to the review and the details. Last night I attended an advanced screening of the much anticipated film, The Conjuring, starring Patrick Wilson (Insidious, Evening), Vera Farmiga (A&E’s Bates Motel), Ron Livingston (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), and Lili Taylor (The Haunting, HBO’s Six Feet Under, and TV’s Hemlock Grove). The film is directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious), is rated R, and opens in the United States on July 19, 2013.

There are multiple reasons why I’ve been so excited to see this film, but one of them has to do with the fact that the screenplay for The Conjuring (written by Chad and Carey Hayes) is based on the case files from actual events involving the Perron family in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971. These files are from two of America’s earliest, most experienced, and most loved paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Wilson and Farmiga). Outside of the paranormal circle, this married paranormal team will be most remembered for their involvement in the real events of the Amityville haunting that later spawned a book and movie. Many of the people more intimately involved in the field know this duo to be paranormal rock stars.  But the events depicted in this film happened before Amityville and before this rock-star status.

Even though the film is told from the perspective of the Warrens, there is a tormented family in this story as well (as is common in the haunting genre) … the Perrons. Livingston and Taylor take on the roles of real life Roger and Carolyn Perron who struggle to keep their five daughters safe and protected from the horrors going on in their secluded country house (built in 1736) which has an incredibly dark history. Many of the ads, trailers, and TV spots for the movie have been playing up the fact that this case might not be known to you because it was just too disturbing for you to know and was kept quiet for almost 40 years. But now the world is ready … or so the ads say.

It is my understanding that after Andrea Perron, one of the daughters, wrote two volumes about the experiences in 2011 entitled House of Darkness House of Light, it drew more attention to the story. The movie is not based on this book, but as I mentioned earlier, the screenplay is based on the Warrens’ case files. As far as I’ve read, the family and Lorraine (Ed Warren passed away in 2006) seem to approve of the film and are fully behind the events depicted in it. In a YouTube video where Andrea reviews the upcoming film, she states “I expected something entirely different. I expected Hollywood to do what Hollywood does, and yet in some ways this is a very quiet and studious film. You would never know that from the trailers, but that’s their job… to entice an audience. It’s also about the love of a family. It’s also about people who came to help, who felt that this was the most significant and compelling, and dark and disturbing story that they had ever heard in the course of a fifty year career.” She also mentions that the film “truly captured what we endured.”

According to the production notes (a lengthy but fascinating read that can be downloaded from the movie site), Lorraine Warren, who is looking good and in her 80s, is quoted as saying “When I walked inside, I immediately knew it was haunted. There’s a feeling that comes over you, almost like a veil, it draws your energy because the entity needs it in order to manifest; the only way to get that energy is from you. It was really heavy in that house and being on the set brought all that back. It was uncanny. I’m very fond of James. He wanted to get everything right, and I’m excited about the film.” According to the Warrens, this case was the “most intense, compelling, disturbing and significant investigation.”

I found the film incredibly spooky and satisfying, and in a way felt like I was watching something that was released from a time capsule. You really do feel as if you’re watching events from 1971. I don’t have the film production vocabulary to accurately describe it, but the whole thing was shot in a stylistically retro way. Even the design of the ads and the title seem very period. Along the same lines, I’m a huge fan of minimal special effects and computer generated imagery in horror films, and I feel like this had to have been a goal of the production team. Instead, for the most part they used sound, dark corners, squeaky doors, and a really good makeup team… just like the old days. It made the whole thing way more believable, and spookier, in my opinion. The last film from this genre that I saw do this so well was The Woman In Black. But before I move onto the next paragraph, let me be very clear. Like me, you may be fascinated with the history and story, and it is truly a great film, but… This. Film. Is. Scary.

I’m going to avoid busting out spoilers, but the acting in this film was spectacular. Lili Taylor for sure had what must have been some incredibly difficult scenes to film. In the production notes she has some interesting things to say about preparing for her character and blowing her vocal cords. I love Patrick Wilson (who doesn’t?) and Vera Farmiga earned my respect after being hooked on the first season of Bates Motel this year. In such an uncomfortable story, seeing the very loving and beautiful relationship and camaraderie between Ed and Lorraine made me very comfortable when I needed it.

A few interesting bits of information about the production. James Wan decided to film The Conjuring in chronological order. I don’t know why this always makes me happy to hear, but it just makes sense to me. Also, as with many famous films of this type, according to production notes there were apparently several strangely paranormal incidents that happened to various individuals involved in the production of the film, including incidents involving Lorraine Warren and the Perron family members visiting the set.  

Now before you run off to buy your tickets (and remember, it doesn’t open for a few days), let’s stop for a minute and discuss the ads and trailers. Don’t try to pretend like the television spots with the two claps and the sharp tug of the leg in bed didn’t horrify you. And if you think those were the only two scary parts that were thrown away for advertising, think again. I find it interesting that in only one of the three main movie trailers do they even introduce us to perhaps the two main characters, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The other two are your typical “family in a haunted house” trailers, although in the third trailer they made an interesting decision to add commentary from the real Perron family members. So depending on what trailer you saw, you may have been expecting a slightly different movie. The shorter TV spots have had a mix of all of the trailers and include the Warrens.

Thank you for visiting the Big Séance! Check out the trailers below and make sure to go see The Conjuring! (Leave the bunnies at the park.)

 

 

Related Articles:

The Conjuring and its True Story (rhinews.wordpress.com)

‘The Conjuring’ commercials are freaking me out! (Entertainment Weekly)

 


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