The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It debuts in theaters and on HBO Max this Friday, and is once again based directly on a case taken from the files of late paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The film reunites Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who portray the Warrens, as they assist with the real-life case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. In 1981, Johnson was put on trial for the murder of his landlord, whom his lawyers argued he killed while under the influence of demonic possession.
Sadly, Ed Warren passed away in 2006, due to complications of a stroke. Lorraine died in 2019, at the age of 92, with her son-in-law Tony Spera issuing a statement on her passing. "It is with deep sadness that I must announce that Lorraine Warren has passed away. She died peacefully in her sleep at home last night," Spera said "The family requests that you respect their privacy at this time. Lorraine touched many lives and was loved by so many. She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul."
"To quote Will Rogers, she never met a person she didn't like. She was an avid animal lover and contributed to many animal charities and rescues. She was wonderful and giving to her entire family. May God Bless her," Spera concluded his statement. Below, we have put together a list of the many films that Lorraine and Ed Warren inspired through their work with the paranormal. Scroll down to check out the movies and let us know in the comments which one is your favorite!
The Amityville Horror
The first film to ever be based on the investigations of the Warrens, albeit partially, was the classic horror film The Amityville Horror. The 1979 movie was based on Jay Anson's purported non-fiction book of the same name which featured investigation information provided by the Warrens.
Lorraine Warren was so shaken by the events of The Amityville home that she was once quoted as saying, "Amityville was horrible, honey. It was absolutely horrible. It followed us right straight across the country. I don't even like to talk about it. I will never go in the Amityville house ever again. You don't know how long my career is; that's the only one."
The Amityville Horror starred James Brolin and Margot Kidder as real-life couple George and Kathy Lutz, who experienced frightening happenings in their home. In 2005, a remake was released with Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George playing the Lutz's.prevnext
More than a decade after The Amityville Horror, Fox produced a made-for-TV film titled The Haunted, which was based on one of the Warrens' investigations. It was inspired by the haunting of the Smurl family, who experienced "supernatural phenomena, including sounds, smells and apparitions."
According to the story, the Warrens came to the conclusion that they believed the Smurl home to have been possessed by four different spirits. They also believed that a demon may have sexually assaulted Jack and Janet Smurl, the homeowners. The Haunted starred Sally Kirkland (JFK, Private Benjamin) and Jeffrey DeMunn (The Hitcher, The Walking Dead) as Janet and Jack Smurl.prevnext
The Haunting in Connecticut
In 2009, Lionsgate released The Haunting in Connecticut, a film that is "loosely based on the 1986 Snedeker haunting investigated by the Warrens." According to details of the story, the Warrens believed the house, which was previously used as a funeral home, was infested with demons. Prior to the film, the story inspired a Discovery Channel anthology series titled A Haunting.
The Haunting in Connecticut starred Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Martin Donovan, and Ty Wood as the members of the Campbell family, who were at the center of the terrible paranormal experience. The film later went on to spawn a sequel, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia.prevnext
The Conjuring Films
The biggest influence that the Warrens had on paranormal and horror films, however, was through the Conjuring Universe. The first Conjuring film was released in 2013 and was based on the Warrens' investigation of the Perron family home in the early '70s. Lorraine and Ed eventually came to the conclusion that they believed the paranormal events the family was experiencing were due to a witch named Bathsheba Sherman who previously lived there putting a curse on anyone who lived there after her. Notably, Lorraine had a cameo in the film and was a consultant to the production team. The film series stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine.
A second Conjuring film was released in 2016, this time focusing on the Enfield Poltergeist case, which took the Warrens overseas to the United Kingdom to investigate a family home that was alleged to be under siege by malicious spirits. The third Conjuring film was originally scheduled to be released in 2020 but was postponed due to mass theater closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It opens in theaters this Friday, June 4, and will also be available to stream on HBO Max.prevnext
The Annabelle Series
The Conjuring did not only go on to spawn its own sequels, it also led to a few other spinoff films set within the same horror universe. Most popular have been the Annabelle films, which revolved around a possessed doll that was featured in The Conjuring.
The first Annabelle film was released in 2014 and was a prequel to the doll's story in The Conjuring, explaining how the Warrens came to be in possession of her. In 2017, a prequel to that film was produced — Annabelle: Creation — which went back to tell the story of the doll's actual origins. In 2019, a third Annabelle film opened in theaters — Annabelle Comes Home — with the possessed doll rising from its slumber to torment the Warrens' daughter, Judy, and her babysitter.
Notably, Annabelle is not an aspect of the franchise that was made up for scare purposes, as the doll is very much real and was featured on the tours of the Warren's Occult Museum. "Annabelle is believed to be responsible for the death of an individual who came in to contact with it.. This doll also reportedly slashed a grown man several times across the chest," states a description of the doll on the museum website.
"She terrorized a family for months until the Warrens and an Episcopal priest were called in and an exorcism was performed. Although Annabelle has been exorcised several times it is believed that some energy is still attached to this doll," the description continues.prevnext
Another spinoff of the Conjuring films is 2018's The Nun, which was based on an evil entity named Valak or "Demon Nun," from The Conjuring 2. In The Conjuring sequel, the Nun torments the Warrens as they attempt to investigate other paranormal events. The Nun is a prequel story set in the 1950s, which revolves around "a Roman Catholic priest and a nun in her novitiate as they uncover an unholy secret in 1952 Romania."
According to a story by Esquire, The Warrens' son-in-law Tony Spera previously stated that the story of The Nun is not directly taken from the couple's investigations, but it is very similar to one they encountered in an English church in the 1970s. In 2019, it was announced that screenwriter Akela Cooper had been hired to write a script for a sequel to The Nun.prevnext
The Crooked Man
While not yet released, another Conjuring spinoff that is still to come is The Crooked Man, which is based on an entity introduced in The Conjuring 2, like The Nun. In the film, a zoetrope toy featuring the Crooked Man fairytale character is at the center of the haunting taking place in the home of the Hodgson family.
As previously mentioned, in real life this investigation centered around the Enfield Poltergeist. Arguably, there does not appear to be any evidence that the Crooked Man was an apparition that the Warrens officially investigated, but rather, he may be more of an amalgam of other spirits they did research. At this time, it appears that The Crooked Man is still in the scripting stage, with no real timeline on when it may emerge.prevnext
The Curse of La Llorona0comments
The most recent film from The Conjuring Universe, prior to The Devil Made Me Do It, to be released is The Curse of La Llorona, which does not fall in with the series' established chronology, as it is more of a stand-alone film. The movie is based on the Mexican folklore of La Llorona, or The Weeping Woman, who "is the ghost of a woman who drowned her children and now cries while looking for them in the river."
In the film, Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks, Mad Men) plays "a mother in 1970s Los Angeles who must save her children from a ghost who is trying to steal them away." The most notable connection that The Curse of La Llorona has to the Conjuring series is it features a cameo by Tony Amendola, who played a priest named Father Perez in the first Annabelle film. Even though this film is not taken directly from the case files of the Warrens, it is not so far-fetched to assume that the couple may have encountered something similar during their many years investigating paranormal events.prev