The Conjuring — True Story with Proofs

‘The Conjuring’ IS based on a ‘true story’…our story. However, the film is not based on my trilogy ‘House of Darkness House of Light’. It is, instead, based upon the case files of Ed & Lorraine Warren. … 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!
:- Andrea Perron (eldest daughter of the perron family)

How long did the Perron Family live in the Rhode Island farmhouse?
The real Perron family lived in the farmhouse for approximately ten years. Located in the small country town of Harrisville, Rhode Island, Roger Perron and his wife Carolyn purchased the home in the winter of 1970. The 200-acre property offered plenty of space for them to raise their five daughters: Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cynthia and April. They moved out in June of 1980.

Did Lorraine Warren and the real Perron family support the making of the movie?
Yes. Our research into The Conjuring true story reveals that paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren acted as a consultant to director James Wan and the filmmakers. She even visited the Wilmington, North Carolina set on the lot of EUE/Screen Gems Studios. The film itself was mostly inspired by her and her late husband Ed Warren’s case files and recordings dealing with the 1970s Perron family haunting. The entire Perron family also put their support behind the film, having already come together to support daughter Andrea Perron’s self-published 2011 book about their experience, titled House of Darkness House of Light (available in the right column). Like Lorraine, various members of the Perron family, who were friends with producer Tony DeRosa-Grund, also visited the Wilmington, NC set. Andrea, as expected, has been the most vocal of the group while her sister Christine has been the most reluctant to talk about her experiences in the house.

Who was the real Bathsheba Sherman?
The most haunting spirit in the movie is that of suspected witch Bathsheba Sherman. Born Bathsheba Thayer in Rhode Island in 1812, she married fellow Rhode Islander Judson Sherman (one year her senior) in Thompson, Connecticut on March 10, 1844. The two were married by Vernon Stiles, a local Justice of the Peace. Bathsheba filled the role of housewife while her husband Judson worked as a farmer on their land. Fairly well-off, Bathsheba and Judson had a son, Herbert L. Sherman, born when Bathsheba was approximately 37 years of age in March of 1849. It is possible that they had three other children as well, all of whom did not survive past the age of seven, though no census records could be found to confirm these reports. The family also usually took in a border, most likely to help them on the farm. But according to an interview Andrea gave, she said “Bathsheba wasn’t the main ghost in their house. The reason why Bathsheba was the main villain in the movie is that Lorraine Warren only felt the presence of Bathsheba Sherman.

Suspected real photo of Bathsheba. btw, why is she wearing a surgical mask?

Was Bathsheba Sherman a witch?
There is no hard evidence to support that Bathsheba Sherman was a witch, only legend and local folklore. Having lived on a neighbouring farm in the 1800s, suspicion grew when an infant mysteriously died in her care. When the baby was examined, it was determined that the mortal wound was caused by a large sewing needle that had been impaled at the base of the child’s skull. Though the townspeople believed that Bathsheba sacrificed the infant as an offering to the devil, due to insufficient evidence a court found that she was innocent of any wrongdoing. Despite her name being cleared legally, the public was not convinced. In her book House of Darkness House of Light, Andrea Perron describes her mother Carolyn talking to a man who she refers to as “Mr McKeachern.” Supposedly a bit of a local historian, Mr McKeachern told Carolyn that Bathsheba treated the help badly and that she starved and beat her Sherman Farm staff.

A male actor and composer Joseph Bishara portrays female witch Bathsheba in The Conjuring movie.

How did Bathsheba die?
In researching The Conjuring true story, we discovered that the suspected witch Bathsheba Sherman died as an old woman on May 25, 1885, roughly four years after her husband Judson Sherman’s death in 1881. Bathsheba lived to see her son Herbert, a farmer like his father, marry his fiancée Anna in 1881.

Various articles online will have you believe that her body “literally turned to stone” when she died, or that Bathsheba died from “a bizarre form of paralysis” that puzzled and frightened doctors. Their basis is never more than legend and local folklore (or internet rumours), and these same articles often state that Bathsheba had four children, all of whom died before reaching the age of four. However, U.S. government census records contradict this since we know that Bathsheba had a son, Herbert L. Sherman, who lived a long life as a farmer and had a family of his own. As for her three other children, we could only find an unofficial record of their existence on a public internet family tree that lists their names as Julia (born in 1845), Edward (born in 1847) and George (born in 1853). It is possible that they died before the next census was conducted. -Ancestry.com

The real Bathsheba Sherman’s gravestone site in downtown Harrisville, Rhode Island.

The gravesite of Bathsheba Sherman is located in the historic cemetery across the street from the fire station and rotary in downtown Harrisville, Rhode Island (near the start of Sherman Farm Road). See a satellite view of the cemetery.

How did the Perron family figure out that the spirit haunting them was that of Bathsheba Sherman?
The family’s connection to the spirit of Bathsheba Sherman came at the suggestion of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The mother, Carolyn Perron, told Ed and Lorraine about an incident that had happened a few years earlier. She said that she had been lying on the sofa and all of the sudden felt a piercing type of pain in her calf and then the muscle began to spasm. Upon examination, she noticed a puddle of blood at the point of impact. She checked for bees or anything else that could have caused the puncture in her leg but found nothing. In her daughter’s book, Andrea Perron describes the wound as a “perfectly concentric circle” … “as if a large sewing needle had impaled her skin.”

When Carolyn told Ed and Lorraine Warren this story in conjunction with the tale of Bathsheba Sherman, who had been suspected of killing an infant with a knitting needle (see above), Lorraine suggested that Bathsheba Sherman could have taken the needle with her to the afterlife and used it to stab Carolyn in the calf. From that point on, Lorraine Warren referred to the demonic presence in the Perron house as “Bathsheba.” -House of Darkness House of Light

Was the real Perron family home used in the movie?
No. Tapping into its $13 million budget, the filmmakers rebuilt the Perron farmhouse on a sound stage in Wilmington, North Carolina (top photo). Pictured on the bottom is an image of what the real Rhode Island farmhouse looked like in the 1970s when the Perron family lived there.

Where is the real farmhouse located?
The real Conjuring farmhouse, often referred to by the Perron family as the Old Arnold Estate, is still standing and is located in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The barn is also still standing and is located to the left of the house. When the real Perron family fell upon hard times after a pipe burst and flooded their business, they reluctantly sold off a significant portion of their property’s 200 acres. The lot size is currently listed at 8.5 acres.

Subsequent owners have referred to the property by other names in addition to the Arnold Estate, including more recently the Old Brook Farm. Its original name before it was called the Arnold Estate was the Dexter Richardson House, named after the family that built it. The current owners, Norma Sutcliffe and Gerry Nelfrich, have no relation to the Perron family.

How many people died on the farmhouse property?
“Eight generations of one extended family lived and died in that house before our arrival,” says Andrea Perron, adding, “Some of them never left.” The Black Book of Burrillville, the town’s former public records book, reveals that throughout its existence the property had been host to two suicides by hanging, one suicide by poison, the rape and murder of eleven-year-old Prudence Arnold by a farmhand, two drownings, and the passing of four men who froze to death, in addition to other tragic losses of life. -WJAR

In her book, Andrea Perron addresses the members of the Arnold family who died on the farm, where she states, “Most of the recorded deaths which occurred on the farm were in that family: Mrs John Arnold, Harmonie, Johnny and Prudence…even Bathsheba was an Arnold.” However, concerning the rape and murder of eleven-year-old Prudence S. Arnold, her official death record indicates that she died in the town of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, not Burrillville, Rhode Island, revealing her place of death was likely not on the farm. Furthermore, the record lists her cause of death as “her throat was cut by W.E.K.” These initials contradict the name Andrea gives in her book, “Bill Norton.” The first initial ‘W’ could stand for William, which can be shortened to Bill. However, this still doesn’t explain the last name being incorrect. Andrea cites her source as being the Black Book of Burrillville, which was compiled by a man named John Smith with additional entries by J.C. Mathewson.

The Conjuring movie house vs the real farmhouse

Did the seller of the Arnold Estate disclose to the Perron family that the house was haunted?
No. Our investigation into The Conjuring true story revealed that the state of Rhode Island does not legally require the seller of a home to inform the buyer of the existence of a supernatural presence, nor does it require them to disclose any paranormal events that have taken place on the property. However, in her book House of Darkness House of Light Andrea Perron states that on the day the family moved in, the man selling the house told her father, “…leave the lights on at night.”

Have any other homeowners who’ve lived in the Perron family home had paranormal experiences?
Daughter Andrea Perron, the author of House of Darkness House of Light, addressed this question in an interview, “Everyone who has lived in the house that we know of has experienced this. Some have left screaming and running for their lives. The man who moved in to begin the restoration on the house when we sold it left screaming without his car, without his tools, without his clothing. He never went back to the house and consequently, the people who owned it, the adjacent landowners, never moved in and it sat vacant for years.” -Tallapoosa-Journal.com

The current owner, Norma Sutcliffe, stated that she and her husband Gerry have had far less intense experiences in the farmhouse, including the door banging in the front hall, sounds of people talking in another room, the sounds of footsteps accompanied by a door opening in another room and her husband’s chair vibrating in the study. The only things that were ever visible to them were a blue light that Norma saw shoot across the bedroom and her husband once thought he saw a fog in the home. Norma stressed that she always looks at things from a scientific standpoint and that she has never jumped to conclusions over any of these minor experiences in the home. Since the movie’s release, Norma has endured an ongoing barrage of trespassers and onlookers. To fight back, she spent months gathering evidence to disprove both Andrea Perron’s story and the movie (watch video).

During Norma’s conversation with Andrea Perron, she states that a minister and his wife who had lived in the home never spoke of experiencing anything paranormal. The real Lorraine Warren attempted to attribute this to the fact that he was a minister and would not want to reveal such information.

The End

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