Join Patrick as we look back on over 3 years and 100 episodes of The Big Seance Podcast. Plus bloopers, funny moments, and the top 6 all-time most popular episodes.
Join Patrick as we look back on over 3 years and 100 episodes of The Big Seance Podcast. Plus bloopers, funny moments, and the top 6 all-time most popular episodes.
Andrea Perron, author and eldest daughter from the family depicted in the 2013 film, The Conjuring, shares her terrifying yet beautiful true story. Plus her beautiful trilogy, the truth about Bathsheba, responding to critics, and future films in the works!
Demonologist Keith Johnson was one of the first to investigate the now famous farmhouse that inspired the movie, The Conjuring. He has also been featured on paranormal television shows, such as Syfy’s Ghost Hunters. His experience at the now famous farmhouse in Rhode Island was all before Ed and Lorraine Warren showed up on the scene. Keith shares the truth about Bathsheba, whether the farmhouse is still haunted, a response to the current owner speaking out, plus some behind the scenes controversy involving the Warrens.
Pssst… Are you looking for the SpeakPipe Link?
A little more than a year ago, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a ticket to an advanced screening of the then upcoming film, The Conjuring. In doing my research for the review that I wrote for the movie, I discovered the first two volumes of Andrea Perron’s House of Darkness House of Light, the books that tell of the author and family’s very real story that inspired the movie. The first two volumes of Andrea’s books are not light reads, but I consumed them as quickly as I could and blogged several times with my thoughts as I made my way through them. If you read any of those posts (that are some of my most popular, by the way), you know that I very much enjoyed the books, though there seemed to not be a large amount of connection to the movie. As you probably know, The Conjuring ended up being a huge success, and so it seemed that I was immersed in all things The Conjuring and House of Darkness House of Light for an entire summer and fall.
Andrea’s first two volumes were published two years apart, and many of her readers and fans only discovered her due to The Conjuring, and so for a year she has been experiencing lots of pressure to complete and release the third and last volume.
This weekend I share great news with you! Just days ago, the third volume was released, and on her Facebook page, Andrea Perron says “This last book was the most emotional and the most difficult.” She also says “The third volume is the best of the three books because it brings with it the gift of hope. Resolution. Perhaps even revelation.”
Book Description for all three volumes, from the publisher’s site:
Roger and Carolyn Perron purchased the home of their dreams and eventual nightmares in December of 1970. The Arnold Estate, located just beyond the village of Harrisville, Rhode Island seemed the idyllic setting in which to raise a family. The couple unwittingly moved their five young daughters into the ancient and mysterious farmhouse. Secrets were kept and then revealed within a space shared by mortal and immortal alike. Time suddenly became irrelevant; fractured by spirits making their presence known then dispersing into the ether. The house is a portal to the past and a passage to the future. This is a sacred story of spiritual enlightenment, told some thirty years hence. The family is now somewhat less reticent to divulge a closely-guarded experience. Their odyssey is chronicled by the eldest sibling and is an unabridged account of a supernatural excursion. Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated this haunting in a futile attempt to intervene on their behalf. They consider the Perron family saga to be one of the most compelling and significant of a famously ghost-storied career as paranormal researchers. During a seance gone horribly wrong, they unleashed an unholy hostess; the spirit called Bathsheba; a God-forsaken soul. Perceiving herself to be the mistress of the house, she did not appreciate the competition. Carolyn had long been under siege; overt threats issued in the form of fire…a mother’s greatest fear. It transformed the woman in unimaginable ways. After nearly a decade the family left a once beloved home behind though it will never leave them, as each remains haunted by a memory. This tale is an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit on a pathway of discovery: an eternal journey for the living and the dead.
The book does not appear to be on Amazon right now, but can be purchased HERE.
My “To Be Read” shelf has never been more full, but I look forward to getting this one on the doorstep and finishing the story!
This evening I received a comment submitted by Norma Sutcliffe, the current owner of the house and farm that is depicted in the movie, The Conjuring. It is Norma’s house that is the main character and focus of Andrea Perron’s books that tell a lengthy and frightening decade-long story of hauntings. As I’ve mentioned before, the movie is not based on Andrea’s books. The Hollywood version is supposed to be based on the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, though I can tell you that the books, as exciting and descriptive as they are, don’t seem to have much to do with the movie. With that being said, I think I’ve made it clear on this blog that I love the books and the movie, though they’re completely separate identities in my eyes.
If you follow Andrea Perron or have been a fan of the movie, or even this blog, you probably already know that since the overwhelming success of the movie, Norma’s house and land has been consistently invaded, vandalized, and trespassed upon by inconsiderate and crazy fans of the movie and the story. I first learned about this when Andrea herself posted a video pleading for people to stop violating the privacy of Norma and her husband. This was back in late July of last summer.
On one of several posts I wrote about the first two books from Andrea’s trilogy (the third has yet to be released), House of Darkness House of Light, I posted a comment updating folks about the unfortunate events going on at the house.
I suppose I should make it clear that I do not know Norma, and have no real way of verifying that this is truly her, though I can’t think of why someone would parade around using her name and sharing this information, and I’m sorry if it’s insulting to even wonder. You just never know now days. Even so, the comment submitted by “Norma Sutcliffe” was in reference to my update on the house and is below:
The video that Norma references is embedded below. It is over an hour long and I watched (although “listened to” is probably more appropriate here) every second of it. Norma includes a ton of information based on her own research and makes a lot of claims. I have no way of knowing if this is all true, but thought it was definitely worth sharing to get your thoughts, and to simply share her side of the story. No doubt about it, her and her husband have gone through hell since the movie was released. In one of her comments in the video, she says “Our home has now been mocked, made a spectacle, and stigmatized forever.”
Here’s a brief summary with some of my thoughts, if you don’t have an hour to watch the video:
The video presents her points in 6 sections.
1. Research about claims made by the Perrons
2. History and research of the Warrens
3. History of the times and interesting facts and connections from the 50s to the 80s
4. Life during the assaults
5. Life before the movie
6. Past videos made in our home
Norma Sutcliffe maintains that they’ve experienced no paranormal activity in the nearly three decades of living in the home. Perhaps Norma’s biggest beef with Hollywood and the creators or The Conjuring is that they included personal and private information, including the name of the actual town, and the Perron family name. This easily led anyone to locate their farm. She claims that no one made them aware or warned them of any of this. The movie, she claims, is complete fiction and not based on reality. According to her, Andrea Perron was more involved in the movie than she claims. Norma says that Carolyn Perron made up much of the haunted history of the home, including details of suicides and the infamous Bathsheba. Apparently Andrea Perron had mentioned publicly, and I seem to recall hearing or seeing this myself, that the production company had been providing security for the Sutcliffes and was somehow assisting with all of the chaos. Norma denies that any of this was true.
Something interesting that I learned from the video that I didn’t realize, is that SyFy’s Ghost Hunters filmed an investigation there in 2005. At least at the time of this posting, you can view that video HERE. I remember seeing this early episode several times, but because they didn’t give many specific or private details, and because this was years before The Conjuring, I had no clue that I’d actually seen “The Conjuring House” in that episode. If you watch the Ghost Hunters episode, you’ll hear Norma kind of go along with the claims of the hauntings (which conflict with her views now), and in the end, even make the statement that she lives in a “bonafide haunted house.” She addresses some of those conflicting comments and interactions in her video below.
I’d love to know your thoughts. I’m a little torn between a movie and an author that I’ve loved and followed recently, and a couple that is clearly going through hell right now. I may follow this and keep you posted.
Since the first part of July of this year, a lot of my blogs and reading have had to do with either the House of Darkness House of Light trilogy by Andrea Perron or The Conjuring movie. Even though the movie is based on the investigation case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, Andrea, the eldest real life Perron daughter, tells the story of the very real events in her books. Though I have not seen or read the actual case files, after reading Andrea’s first two volumes, I’m fairly confident in saying the movie is VERY loosely based on the events from that farmhouse outside of Harrisville, Rhode Island during the 1970s. I didn’t have knowledge of just how loosely it was based when I wrote the review of the movie. At the time, I was very excited about researching the back story and seeing an advanced screening of the film. I’d read that Lorraine Warren was pleased with the final product (she also makes a very brief appearance that many people, including myself, missed). Also, in a YouTube video Andrea reviews the film and 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 mentioned that the film “truly captured what we endured.”
I really did love The Conjuring and I think it’s truly a new classic, but after reading volume one and two, they don’t seem to be connected. You know how it is when you get sucked into reading a novel AFTER you watched the movie it inspired? Do you allow yourself to visualize the setting and the actors in the situations you saw in the film? I usually try to shake the temptation, because as soon as I allow myself to watch the movie in my head while reading, something ends up being slightly or majorly different. Once that happens I’m hopelessly confused till the very last page. Well… let’s just say I didn’t have this problem with House of Darkness House of Light.
At around 500 pages each, volume one and two aren’t for light and quick reading. Volume one had my intense attention for most of the book. I really enjoyed how detailed Andrea was. I don’t think there’s any chance of her leaving out any of the details. After a blogger and Big Séance reader commented on my review of volume one, mentioning how the book jumps back and forth in time, making it very confusing, I had to agree. Though it didn’t bother me as much in the first book, I frequently got lost in the timeline of the story in volume two. Not only that, but you have to try to keep track of the five siblings, the order of their ages, and how old they are at that particular moment. Was this chapter before or after a particular event I just read about? Had the Warrens been there yet? In my opinion, even though I think Andrea is a fantastic writer, and I very much enjoyed the books, the back and forth in time thing is the biggest flaw in these two volumes. With that being said, perhaps an explanation for this style has to do with these events lasting a whole decade. It may have been impossible to get points and information across in a simple chronological style. The reader might also want to be aware that Andrea writes in a very flowery and poetic style, which might not be something everyone resonates with.
By the time I got midway through volume two, it had my serious attention, just as volume one had. It was the moment the Warren’s arrived on the scene (their involvement is only hinted at in volume one). They made several appearances in the book, but the infamous séance chapter, which I can only assume was the direct inspiration for the exorcism portion of the film, was so very powerful. Dramatic and intense, after being carried away with real life and reading short chunks at a time for a week or two, it brought my focus back to the book. This was the height of the supposed “oppression” (making its way to “possession”) of Carolyn Perron (the mother). Before the séance was over, Roger Perron (the father), who incidentally is painted horribly in the books, ended it all and threw all non-family members out of the house.
Speaking of being painted horribly, what I didn’t know and was surprised to find out, was that the Warrens aren’t portrayed at all to be the saviors that they are in the movie. In fact, the family seems to end their relationship with the Warrens on bad terms. For the most part, they’re blamed for making everything worse. Prior to their first visit, Carolyn took quite a few notes on her early haunting experiences at the house. She did lots of research on the history of the farmhouse and the residents that appear to be haunting them. Apparently the Warrens either lost these documents or just never returned them. Possibly the biggest strike against them was the fact that they apparently broke their confidentiality agreement with the Perrons, discussing details of the fascinating haunted Harrisville farmhouse in the talks they gave around the country. For a while the Perron family’s privacy was continually violated by curious travelers dropping by to catch some kind of paranormal activity first hand. Ironically, the popularity of the movie caused the same thing to happen for the current residents. I sincerely hope that problem is old news by now.
In the remainder of volume two there are some very heartfelt moments, some incredible stories involving the sisters, and a big life-changing realization by Carolyn. The paranormal activity (which isn’t always negative) apparently got milder as the family learned to give respect and practice “live and let ‘live'”. In the end, Roger and Carolyn split up, though it’s unclear to me whether this happened before or after they move out of the farmhouse for Georgia, leaving a decade of haunting experiences behind. I’m only guessing this will be cleared up in the last volume.
Volume three has not been released yet, but I imagine you’ll hear from me at some point after it arrives and after my bookmark has the chance to make its way through the pages.
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!
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.
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?