Newspaper does a totally unbalanced piece on Warren and The Conjuring

Poorly done story hypes the haunting and ignores the issues with the Warrens “true stories”.

The ‘true’ story behind ‘The Conjuring’ | Daily Record |

‘The Conjuring’ scared up a surprising $41.5 million over the weekend with a haunted farmhouse tale said to be “based on the true story” of ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren.

[…]Lorraine, now 86, was a consultant on the film and remains a paranormal investigator. She insists that many of the movie’s harrowing moments actually happened.

“The things that went on there were just so incredibly frightening,” she says, citing her own investigation nearly 40 years ago. “It still affects me to talk about it today.”

Neurologist Steven Novella, president of the New England Skeptical Society, who has investigated the Warrens in the past, is far from convinced.

“The Warrens are good at telling ghost stories,” says Novella of the couple who were also involved in the paranormal story that was made into the 1979 film The Amityville Horror.”You could do a lot of movies based on the stories they have spun. But there’s absolutely no reason to believe there is any legitimacy to them.”

Lorraine is currently riding high on the success of this movie as we noted in various articles. But she is sounding a bit incoherent. Frankly, what are you going to say about your life as a “demonologist/psychic” at age 86 when it’s all you’ve ever done and been known for? You are going to remember the times exactly as suitable for you. That’s not going to be altogether accurate. Our memories are malleable and serve our needs. They are not recorders. The Warrens made their cases into best-selling books, not scientific papers.

Lorraine still rides the wave of investigating the Amityville horror house even though it was never shown to be “possessed” or haunted or unusual in ANY way by anyone other than those who wanted it to be so for various reasons. The creepier the better.

Take a look at this piece by Novella and The Ness from their investigation of the Warrens. The newspaper was too enamored with the paranormal hype to include any information from it. It’s nice to know newspaper are promotion machines instead of after a good story. The GOOD story is that the Warrens managed to build a reputation on supernatural nonsense that has not held up to scrutiny and in no way has advanced our scientific understanding of hauntings and the paranormal. When asked to see their best evidence, it was weak:

[…]the only piece of evidence that we were given turned out to be less than compelling. It was, in fact, a simple malfunction at best, and fraud at worst. Even cursory analysis of this piece of tape would have revealed what we found to the Warrens. Yet no one in the Warren’s investigatory network bothered to check it out. Rather than take this obvious first step, one of their investigators simply declared that the “ghost light” (the car headlights mentioned above) was “unexplainable.” Further, none of the people in the tape were aware that anything had even occurred until the following day when the tape was viewed (again, the fingerprint of artifact), including the young man who allegedly dematerialized! Ed put his credibility in serious jeopardy when he looked at that tape, and without any verification, stated that experts, “… can only come to one conclusion, that kid disappeared.”

Despite numerous attempts to examine other physical evidence the Warrens claim to possess, we were given nothing else. Instead, we were given excuses such as “The film was erased,” “The people in the film want privacy,” “We had just turned off the recording equipment, when…” Forty years of “research” into a phenomenon and precious little to show for it.

Brothers sue world famous psychic Lorraine Warren for false accusations in Devil book.

Lorraine, who is very religious, would not subject herself to a test of her skills. She relies on her stories and her faith in God. If you are not a God-fearing person, she does not think much of you.

I’m typically OK with people who really believe in the paranormal and want to help others but I don’t care for the Warrens. Their history is just as littered with unpleasantries that they were not nice people in many respects. As Steve said above – there is NO reason to believe anything they say has any validity whatsoever. If you want to swallow their stories, go right ahead. Until someone shows me better evidence of a demon-possessed house than some people’s stories, I’ll not be so gullible.

Share your links about the Warrens in the comments.

  6 comments for “Newspaper does a totally unbalanced piece on Warren and The Conjuring

  1. July 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I attended a talk by the Warrens, back about 1990, at a local community college. Back then they dismissed Amityville as a fake. When I read years later about how the felt it was a horrific real haunting, my eyebrows launched to the rafters. But even back then, when I was credulous and believed in all sorts of woo, I thought they were frauds.

  2. July 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Our newspaper didn’t even bother with questioning the Warrens:

    After listening to how the guys on the SGU talk about the Warrens, when I do watch it on video I might actually view it as a comedy instead of a horror. Perhaps pointing out the parts that are hypnagogia. The movie preview shows the mom being pulled in the bed, which is what it does feel like when it happens to me, especially when I was sleep deprived due to menopausal hot flashes.

    I have been trying to find third party information about the particular story used in that movie, but I mostly get movie reviews. A few of them have quoted one of the daughters has claimed they did not use her book, but the Warren’s notes on their “case.” So I looked up the book, and was amused at the one star reviews: House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story Volume One (Volume 1).

    I wonder if the SGU will do their own movie review. I know the one they did on “Prometheus” greatly improved my viewing of the DVD that I checked out of the library (I knew better than to pay to see it, and besides I can speed it up on my computer without loosing sound).

  3. Dang
    July 23, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    “I’m typically OK with people who really believe in the paranormal and want to help others…”

    [Multiple citations needed to attest to the claim of ‘typical’.] 😉

  4. Chris Howard
    July 23, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    It’s a great jump out and scare you flick, regardless of the wrong doings of the Warrens.

    Hollywood is entirely, and always about entertainment for profit. It is a ridiculous request to ask for accuracy, and facts in a movie “based” on a “true story.” That’s why it defines itself as the entertainment industry, rather than the education/truth industry.

    That said, the BBC’s “The Awakening” is a much better ghost story. Much more antiquary, and M. R. Jamesesq.

  5. Chris Howard
    July 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    The other thing here that I think people need to realize is that PR is often passed off to news desks, and then published uncritically (as in a press release about a movie, with the intent of making money via entertainment).

    The news departments do this for a variety of reasons. Slow news day, they’ve been paid to run it, or they’re a subsidiary of the company who wants the PR published.

    It’s a way of generating controversy to get people to see the movie, even if there is, or especially if there is, no controversy. Controversy sells.

    Hitchcock did this by claiming that Psycho may cause people to have a breakdown. Exploitation films have usually had some sort of “medical” disclaimer, not because there is an actual chance of cardiac arrest from viewing the film, but it helps sell the film, the experience.

    The mistake is in believing that uncritical pieces are news pieces, in the first place. With regard to the entertainment industry it should always be taken at face value. It’s job, by its own definition, is to make a profit by entertaining people. Hyping a movie by manufacturing a controversy via press releases to news sources is a standard practice.

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