The Conjuring, a film that has now grossed over 125 million dollars, has been ranked by Box Office Mojo as #6 for top grossing horror films of all time. Last month I had the opportunity to see an advanced screening of the film and was researching the story to write my review. In my research, I quickly became fascinated with learning about the very real family behind the true story. This led me to Volume One of Andrea Perron's trilogy, House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story.
The author, who is the eldest Perron daughter, writes in a beautiful style that leaves no detail behind. After all, volume one alone is 504 pages. As I've mentioned before, she puts you in that house with the characters. Roger and Carolyn Perron, along with their five daughters, moved to the infamous farmhouse (built in 1736) in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971. They remained there for nearly ten years. For decades, the world knew very little about the incredible events that happened in that farmhouse. What little we knew was probably due to the fact that the famous Ed and Lorraine Warren, pioneers in the field of paranormal investigation, came to the aid of the family and documented their experiences. This was all before the famous Amityville case that involved the Warrens as well.
Forty years later, the family's story is finally told.
The book begins with the Perron family in their former suburban home, before they even knew the farmhouse existed. But fate seems to take over and leads them there, like it or not. They experienced paranormal activity in the farmhouse from day one, and even though it is hard for the reader to believe, the family's acceptance of their reality – the fact that they share their home with others – is a slow and gradual process.
As a reader, I felt I had the opportunity to get to know each of the seven members of the Perron family. Mrs. Perron (Carolyn) seems to have experienced the worst of the activity, having been directly attacked by a jealous ghost named Bathsheba, the nastiest and most complicated spirit (with quite a history) in the farmhouse. Mr. Perron (Roger), a hard worker who spent much of the time traveling to provide for his family, for the majority of the book is in complete denial about the activity in the house. This causes a lot of friction in the family, and it frustrated me to no end. One of my favorite moments involved an incredibly brave and blunt Nancy, the second daughter, who finally had enough and told her father what was what. Everyone else knew and accepted it. It was time for him to wake up. That seemed to be the beginning of his awakening, and also the moment that I tried to silently cheer in the middle of the night while the rest of the world was asleep. Roger Perron's family was indeed learning to survive in an incredibly haunted house.
Another character that I felt like I got to know and related to was Cindy, the 4th daughter in line. Growing up in the house, she experienced hundreds of visits from the spirit of a little girl. She was always crying for her mother. As she grew older, the little girl didn't. Cindy cared for her, giving her space whenever she came around, and even letting her play with her toys.
We occasionally get bounced around in time when it is necessary, and the Warrens never make an official appearance, but I have no doubt that by the third volume (not yet released) we'll know it all.
It is important to note that Andrea Perron began writing the trilogy in 2007 and this volume was released in 2011, well before the movie. It also must be noted that the movie is based on the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren and not Andrea's books.
Visit the author's website at houseofdarknesshouseoflight.com
Also, learn more about the book on Facebook.