By: Kaylee Bliaya
“Based on a true story” the five dreaded words at the end of a bloodcurdling horror movie that leaves people with horrendous nightmares.
Here you’ll discover the true stories behind the movies The Conjuring, Child’s Play, and The Possession.
The movie, The Conjuring tells, the tale of how famous paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, helped the Perron family as they uncover the dark truth behind the farmhouse they are living in. In 1971, Roger Perron, Carolyn Perron, and their five daughters Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy, and April moved into a Harrisville, Rhode Island farmhouse where their nightmares began coming to life.
On their first day there, not only did their dog Sadie refuse to go into the house, but they discovered that the cellar had been boarded up. During the first few nights since they had moved in, they had started to experience a few paranormal events like the death of their dog Sadie, all the clocks freezing at 3:07 a.m, and the appearance of a spirit that is only visible to Nancy who tells them that the spirit wants them dead.
Later Carolyn gets trapped in the basement and Andrea and Cindy get attacked by the spirit, so Carolyn contacts famous paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens decided that they need to have an exorcism after investigating the house, but before they do that they need to find more evidence and the authorization from the Catholic Church. Later they find out that the property was cursed by an alleged witch who sacrificed her child to the devil and taking her life in 1863 named Bathsheba. Following her death, the Warrens discover that there have been multiple suicides and murders on that property.
After the Ed and Lorraine catch Cindy being lured into a secret passage, Lorraine sees a spirit who Bathsheba possessed long ago, and Nancy is dragged by an invisible force, the Perron family find a hotel to stay at. As the Warrens are coming home from the Church where they were trying to set up an exorcism, their daughter is attacked by Bathsheba and the possessed Annabelle doll, but they get there before they can hurt her. Ed is able to prevent Carolyn from killing her daughter and exorcist her after she was possessed by Bathsheba.
At the end of the movie, the Warrens get a call from a priest they contacted so that he could perform the exorcism, saying that he got permission from the Catholic Church, and that they have another case to solve. Before the screen goes black, it shows the Annabelle doll, and the music box that April had found open and started to play music.
The true story behind The Conjuring is based off of the Perron family, while they were living in Rhode Island like how it is in the movie. Soon after moving in, they invite Ed and Lorraine to investigate their house because they said hauntings and spiritual possessions had started to occur. The Perrons said that the spirits would always arrived at 5:15 to levitate their beds, and that there were both harmless and angry spirits. “Because I was the youngest and the most vulnerable, I was approached more than anyone, and I actually had a relationship with that [ghostly] boy,” said April Perron in a promotional video for the movie.
In the movie there was said to be multiple murders and suicides that happened on that property, according to the town’s old records, there had been two hanging suicides, one poison suicide, two drownings, four men who froze to death, and the rape and murder of an eleven year old girl.
Bathsheba, the spirit that haunted the family in the movie, was real, and some say they they really did kill a child and was involved in witchcraft. She was born in 1812, married in 1844, and had a son named Herbert who lived into adulthood, but she may have had three other children. That may not be known, but there was a child who was found dead with the spinal column under its skull pierced by a needle in her care. She had died in 1885 and is buried in downtown Harrisville.
Carolyn Perron said that there was one incident where she was left wounded by a mysterious object that couldn't have been caused by anything in the room she had been in. Andrea, her daughter, described the wound as a perfectly concentric circle, like someone would have if they were impaled by a sewing needle. After doing some research, Lorraine Warren made a connection that Bathsheba might have taken the sewing needle she used to kill the infant from before to the other side. “The Conjuring is based on a true story, our story. It's a fair reflection of the chaos and danger we faced at the farm. There are liberties taken and a few discrepancies but overall, it is what it claims to be — based on a true story, believe it or not,” said Andrea Perron.
The next movie, Child’s Play, follows a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray, a widow, Karen Barclay, little boy named Andy, and a detective by the name of Mike Norris. Charles Lee Ray, who is also known as the Lakeshore Strangler is a wanted criminal on the run in Chicago before being fatally wounded by Detective Norris on November 8, 1988. Charles is able to transfer his soul into a “Good-Guy” doll which destroys the shop, and Detective Norris discovers Charles's body believing that he died.
In the morning Karen Barclay comes across a peddler who has the same “Good-Guy” doll, and she ends up purchasing it for Andy, her son’s, sixth birthday. Andy is being babysat by a woman named Maggie Peterson when the “Good-Guy” doll that’s being possessed by Charles, now named Chucky, attacks and kills her with a hammer as an act of revenge. Soon after that, the authorities arrive and make some assumptions that Andy had a part in Maggie’s death which causes Karen furiously and tells them to leave.
Andy follows Chucky’s orders of ditching school to visit Eddie Capto, who is an old accomplice of Chucky’s who abandoned him the night he was shot. While Andy was busy, Chucky slipped into Eddie’s house and murdered him as revenge. Andy is later sent to a mental hospital after the police interrogate him, only for him to blame it on Chucky.
After discovering that Andy was telling the truth when she finds out that Chucky didn’t have any batteries, Karen is cussed at and bitten by Chucky. Detective Norris agrees to help Karen after he is almost murdered in his car by Chucky. Chucky’s old voodoo teacher, John told him that the longer he stayed in the doll, the more human he became, and the only way to escape was by possessing the first person he told about him possessing the doll which was Andy. After refusing to help him escape the doll, Chucky kills John, and leaves to the mental hospital where Andy is staying at.
He finds Andy and tries to possess him, but is stopped by Karen and Detective Norris, who is cut by Chucky. Karen and Andy burn him in the fireplace before leaving to help Detective Norris, but Chucky follows and tries to kill them again, but is shot by Karen. They leave and meet Jack Santos who doesn’t believe them, and then later gets strangled by Chucky. Mike kills Chucky before they all leave to the hospital, but not without one more glance at Chucky from Andy.
Child’s Play is based off a homemade “Robert the Doll.” Robert Eugene Otto was given this voodoo doll made from wire frame, cloth, straw, and Eugene’s own hair, from one of his family’s servants in 1906. She was said to be mistreated by the family and masterful in black magic and voodoo.
His parents didn’t think much of the doll until it started to answer back to him when Eugene talked to it. His other toys were soon destroyed by Robert out of jealousy, people said they would see Robert watching from the windows, and other people believed they saw him blink and change his expressions. After Eugene’s parents died, he moved back into the house, which still had Robert in it, with his wife Anne who instantly disliked the doll. There’s said to have been multiple times where Robert was found out of the attic even after Eugene placed him in there.
In 1974 Eugene passed away, and a family with a ten year old daughter bought the house along with “Robert the Doll.” She claimed that Robert tried to attack her, and the family soon placed the doll back in the attic after they found their dog tied tightly with a cord. Even as a grown woman, the girl still says that “Robert the Doll” was really alive and evil.
The last movie that will be told, is The Possession, which is about a newly separated couple Clyde and Stephanie Brenek, their two daughters Emily and Hannah. The movie begins with Clyde picking up Hannah and Emily, and taking them to a yard sale where he purchases a mysterious wooden box with Hebrew letters for Emily. Later that night Emily opens the box to find a tooth, a dead moth, a wooden figurine, and a ring after she hears whispering coming from it. She quickly takes a turn for the worst and stabs her dad with a fork, and moths infest the house.
Emily’s teacher dies after confiscating the box from Emily because she attacked another student who took it from her, and when she attempts to open the box a dybbuk throws her out the window. Emily tells Clyde that an invisible woman lives in the box, so he tries to throw it away, but Emily finds it. Clyde informs him that it’s a special box used to contain a Jewish demon from the 1920’s called a dybbuk box. He later learns from a Jewish man named Tzadok that a possession has three stages. During the last stage, the dybbuk will attach to the host, and that only way to beat it is by locking it back in the box with a forced ritual. Tzadok later learns after studying the box that the dybbuk’s name is Abyzou which translates to the Taker of Children.
Clyde, Tzadok, Stephanie, Hannah go to the hospital to perform an exorcism on Emily when Clyde is attacked by her and becomes possessed. Tzadok successfully performs an exorcism on him, the dybbuk goes back into the box, and the family becomes united once more. After Tzadok is hit by a car while he’s driving away with the box, it lands safely away from the accident, and you can hear whispering coming from it.
There really is a dybbuk box that comes in the form of an old wine box that contained locks of hair, some pennies, a dried flower, a wine cup, and an engraved granite slab. The original buyer was a man named Kevin Mannis, who bought the box from an old woman, who was also a Holocaust survivor. Mannis’ store was destroyed by a mysterious stranger before he could get home with the box.
He later cleaned up the box, and gave it as a gift to his mom, and soon after receiving it she had a stroke and wasn’t able to speak for a while. Mannis then tried giving it to family and friends who quickly returned it saying that doors wouldn’t stay closed or open by themselves, and others said that they smelled jasmine and cat urine when they had the box. He tried to sell it to a couple, but soon they returned it with a note, and started to experience nightmares.
He was afraid to throw it away, so he sold it on eBay to Losif Nietzke for 140 dollars, who says that he had similar experiences. Losif Nietzke soon started to lose his hair even though he was in perfect health, and now the box belongs to a museum curator named Jaxton Haxton.
He says that he is interested in the box because of it’s religious background, and wishes to be buried with it when he dies so that it can leave the world.
It’s somewhat neutral – neither evil nor good. I believe it was designed and equipped to move a person toward their innermost desire or wish. Of course, sometimes what a person wants is not always a good thing for them or others. The Dybbuk Box moves toward understanding and exposing the truth at the smallest level. Its original acting out against its early owners and others was a way of continuing to move toward the ultimate goal of its creator. Those not willing to move it forward received stronger assaults from it until they let loose of the box so it could find someone who would fulfill its destiny and accomplish the goal or task it was given. Now the journey and its work is finished. As long as the Dybbuk Box remains contained with no one requesting anything more from it, it will stay in a neutral state,” he said in an interview. After learning its history, he hid the box, and there haven’t been any more incidents.
Some people believe that some horror movies are based off of true stories, and some don’t. There are people here at Samueli Academy who believe that some movies have to be based off of true stories. “I think they are because they have to get an idea of what something looks like in order to put it into a film,” said Karla Macias. Others like Brianna Rosal say that they can, but they might tweak the story to make it more interesting. Then there are people like Steven Novella, who is the president of the New England Skepticism Society. "The Warrens are good at telling ghost stories. 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," says Steven Novella.
Whether or not they are true is up to you, but don’t blame this if you have nightmares soon.The true stories behind The Conjuring, Child’s Play, and The Possession have been revealed, so beware of the creatures that crawl in the night because you may face the same fate as others before you.
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