When Cory and Jennifer Heinzen bought the notorious Rhode Island house that inspired the horror movie ‘The Conjuring,’ they knew exactly what they were getting into. They’d always been fascinated with the supernatural, and they knew the sordid history of their new home when they moved in June 21st. So the couple wasn’t exactly surprised when strange things started happening around the house. But it did inspire them to share the creepiness with others.
The couple purchased the home at 1736 Rhode Island in Harrisville earlier this summer, around the same time that ‘The Conjuring 3’ entered production. Coincidence? We think not. However, it was the news that the Heinzens plan to open their home to public tours that got everyone’s attention. For horror movie buffs like myself, the chance to set foot in a reportedly haunted house that inspired a really good series of movies is seriously appealing.
The real-life Conjuring house
Those of you who’ve watched the Conjuring series already know that the house in the movies is not the actual house in Harrisville. The Rhode Island home now owned by the Heinzens served as the inspiration for the movies, which were based on events that took place here during the 1970s.
Back in the 1970s, the creepy looking house was owned by Carolyn and Roger Perron, who lived there until 1981 with their five daughters. The family experienced all kinds of weird, inexplicable things while they lived in the house, and they eventually moved out in the early 1980s.
While living in the house, Carolyn allegedly became possessed by a supernatural spirit, which prompted the involvement of Ed and Lorraine Warren, renowned paranormal investigators at the time. The filmmakers of the first Conjuring movie actually consulted with Lorraine Warren several times during production, to ensure that they had all the details down to a tee.
The first movie premiered in 2013 and was widely acclaimed for its top-notch acting by Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Lili Taylor, and its eerie atmosphere. The movie did not, however, get a good review from the house’s owners at the time, Norma Sutcliffe and Gerald Helfrich. They actually sued the filmmakers because the movie prompted fans to constantly vandalize their property.
The Heinzens might just avoid the extra attention from fans when the third Conjuring movie debuts in 2020, by opening their home to the curious eyes of horror fans. For now, they’ll have to enjoy the four bedrooms and four fireplaces by themselves — well, that’s if you don’t count all the ghosts.
The couple reported strange things happening at the house, like doors opening and closing on their own, weird voices, random knocking and electronic voice phenomena. Whether all that’s real or not, we’ll soon be able to find out for ourselves.
The eight-and-a-half-acre property was built in 1736 and has had many names over the years, including the Dexter Richardson House, the Old Arnold Estate, and Old Brook Farm. Nowadays, we just call it the Conjuring house.
UPDATE: Just after we published this story, the Discovery Channel announced that it would air a two-hour Halloween special filmed at the Harrisville house in October, as part of Travel Channel’s ‘Ghostober’ event. The month-long spookathon will also debut a four-part miniseries dubbed ‘Ghost Adventures: Serial Killer Spirits.’
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