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