Ed and Lorraine Warren Cases That Inspired Horror Movies

Ed and Lorraine Warren were real-life paranormal investigators who have inspired a popular film franchise called The Conjuring. The first movie in the franchise, released in 2013, was a big hit and led to numerous successful spinoffs.

These films dramatize the Warrens’ experiences investigating various hauntings and exorcisms over the years. With the upcoming release of The Conjuring: Last Rites, it’s a great time to look back at the many Ed and Lorraine Warren movies that have been made.

1. Horror Movies inspired by Ed & Lorraine Stories

1. The Amityville Horror (1979)

The First Of Dozens Of Ed & Lorraine Warren Movies About The Infamous Haunting

The 1979 movie “The Amityville Horror” was based on the alleged haunting of the Lutz family in Amityville. It was the first in a series of over thirty Amityville Horror movies that addressed this controversial real-life case.

Despite receiving mixed reviews, the film was a huge success and is still regarded as a classic of the haunted house genre, though it may feel dated today. Interestingly, the movie does not feature the iconic Warrens, replaced by priests and nuns brought in to address the house’s haunting.

This may be because, as horror author Stephen King noted, the movie was as much about the family’s financial troubles as their supernatural experiences, an idea explored more deeply in later Amityville Horror films.

2. The Haunted (1991)

The First Movie To Feature The Warrens As Characters

One of the lesser-known films featuring Ed and Lorraine Warren, “The Haunted” (1991), received decent reviews but has largely faded from memory over the decades since its initial release.

The movie tells the story of the Smurl family, who claim they were haunted by a demon that caused numerous terrifying incidents in their Home.

This was the first film to feature Ed and Lorraine Warren on screen, portrayed by Diane Baker and Stephen Markle.

Despite this, the film is mostly a serviceable horror movie, with the Smurls’ on-screen ordeal not significantly different from the more famous cases of the Warrens’ clients.

3. The Haunting In Connecticut (2009)

A Forgettable And Inaccurate Ed & Lorraine Warren Movie From The 2000s

The Haunting in Connecticut was one of the Ed and Lorraine Warren movies that didn’t receive positive reviews from critics. The 2009 horror film claims to be based on the true story of Carmen Snedeker, whose Home the Warrens investigated for reported paranormal activity after it was formerly used as a mortuary.

However, the book author who inspired the movie later stated that he was told to make the story more sensational and exaggerate reality. As a result, the movie version likely strayed significantly from the Warrens’ actual investigation.

Which horror movies were inspired by Ed & Lorraine?
Kyle Gallner in The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) | Source: IMDb

4. The Conjuring (2013)

The First Movie In The Hit Ed & Lorraine Warren Franchise

Based on another well-known Warren case, The Conjuring makes the Warrens the story’s focus instead of the Lutz family.

Directed by James Wan, a co-creator of the Saw horror franchise, this tense and terrifying horror film received critical praise for its fictionalized account of the Perron family’s haunting in their Rhode Island home.

Supported by some highly effective scare sequences and an excellent central performance from the often-underappreciated Lili Taylor, The Conjuring was the first of the Ed and Lorraine Warren movies to feature the pair as the main characters and heroes and remains the most positively received film about their adventures.

Which horror movies were inspired by Ed & Lorraine?
Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Patrick Wilson, and John Brotherton in The Conjuring (2013) | Source: IMDb

5. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Ed & Lorraine Warren Movie That Dives Into The Enfield Poltergeist

The Conjuring 2 was released three years after the original movie and continued to expand the popular franchise.

This horror film was louder and more action-packed. It told the famous story of the Enfield poltergeist, a well-known haunting in a British family’s Home during the 1970s. While not perfect, this sequel to the Ed and Lorraine Warren movies was gene­rally seen as a solid addition to the series.

It also introduced the frightening demon Valak to the Conjuring universe. The real-life Hodgson family case was likely exaggerated for the movie, but this sequel at least featured a skeptic questioning the entire affair.

6. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

The Ed & Lorraine Warren Courtroom Drama About Demonic Possession

The Conjuring 3 takes a different approach from the previous films in the series. Instead of focusing on a haunted house, it centers on a courtroom drama.

The case involves Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who claims that demonic possession drove him to commit manslaughter. The Warrens, Ed, and Lorraine are trying to establish a legal precedent for this defense. While this shift in genre is new ground for the couple, the movie is a solid addition to their filmography.

Which horror movies were inspired by Ed & Lorraine?
Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Keith Arthur Bolden in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) | Source: IMDb

7. Annabelle (2014)

The Haunted Doll Is Based On A Real Ed & Lorraine Warren Case

The Annabelle movies are not based on the events that Ed and Lorraine Warren experienced.

While the films take some creative liberties, the real-life haunted doll in the Warrens’ possession is a Raggedy Ann doll, not an antique porcelain one.

The story tells of two young nurses who were haunted by a possessed doll, and the Warrens were called in when the situation took a sinister turn, with a demonic spirit attached to the doll.

8. Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Ed & Lorraine Warren Acquire The Haunted Doll In The Sequel

Ed and Lorraine Warren appear in the sequel Annabelle Comes Home, the seventh installment of The Conjuring franchise. The story follows the couple taking Annabelle back to their museum and locking the doll in her case.

The Warrens then ask babysitter Mary Ellen to watch their daughter Judy for the night while they go out on another case. Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela accidentally lets Annabelle loose, leading to other spirits causing chaos in the Home while the Warrens are away.

While the Annabelle case is based on an absolute doll, much of the narrative was made up for the movie.

Interestingly, the scene where Ed drives the doll home and faces supernatural forces is a story that the Warrens have corroborated, though it was dramatized for the film. Annabelle Comes Home is dedicated to Lorraine, who passed away on April 18th, 2019.

The 2017 prequel, Annabelle: Creation, didn’t feature the Warrens despite being (loosely) based on the real-life Annabelle doll.

2. How is the Nun connected to Ed and Lorraine Cases?

The Warrens don’t feature heavily in The Conjuring Spinoff but are still important.

The Nun is a spinoff movie in The Conjuring movie universe. Unlike in some of the other spinoffs and sequels to the Ed and Lorraine Warren movies, the Warrens do not appear in The Nun.

However, The Nun focuses on a demon they discovered in an earlier movie: Valak. Valak is the main antagonist in The Conjuring, and it takes on many different forms in the various movies. Both the Crooked Man and the Nun are versions of Valak.

The Nun, a prequel to The Conjuring movies, introduces the character of Valak. Valak is a demonic entity first mentioned in The Conjuring and becomes a central antagonist in The Conjuring 2.

The Nun’s story takes place before the events of the previous movies, providing fans with insights into Valak’s activities before encountering the Warrens. In The Nun, Valak is sealed in a rift beneath an abbey in Romania.

Bombs reopen this seal during World War II, allowing Valak to emerge. Valak then becomes a nun to torment the abbey’s residents until Sister Irene believes she has sealed it away once again.

Valak even appears in cameos in the Annabelle movies, which spin out of the Conjuring universe. In Annabelle: Creation, Valak appears in a photograph from the abbey in Romania.

Footage of Valak being exorcised from the character Maurice, who appears at the end of The Nun, also appears in Annabelle Comes Home. Valak’s connections to many other Ed and Lorraine Warren movies make it clear that the demonic entity is a significant threat in the Conjuring universe.

3. Other Ed & Lorraine Warren Movies

Ed & Lorraine Warren Cases Inspire Dozens Of Movies

There are other movies about the paranormal investigator Ed and Lorraine Warren beyond The Conjuring Universe. The classic film Poltergeist, directed by Steven Spielberg, is rumored to have a character based on Lorraine Warren.

Additionally, the famous Warren case inspires the entire Amityville universe, with over thirty films. The Nun and its sequel also draw from cases investigated by Ed and Lorraine and feature Vera Farmiga’s sister, Taissa Farmiga, from American Horror Story.

In addition, the Spanish tale The Curse of La Llorona does not mention the Warren couple but is based on Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman.

4. What Warren Case Will The Conjuring: Last Rites Be Based On?

The Conjuring franchise is going to continue with The Conjuring: Last Rites. Speculation is rampant regarding what Warren’s case, The Conjuring: Last Rites, will cover.

While the Smurl haunting was chronicled in the 1991’s The Haunted, it’s one of the biggest contenders to make it to the big screen.

The Smurl haunting is one of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s most significant cases, with patriarch Jack Smurl even claiming that he was sexually assaulted by one of the spirits in his home.

Lorraine believed the Smurl house was infested with four spirits, including a demon, which used the other three to attack the family.

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5. About The Conjuring Universe

The Conjuring Universe is an American media franchise and shared universe centered on a series of supernatural horror films, produced by New Line Cinema, the Safran Company, and Atomic Monster Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The films present a dramatization of the supposed real-life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent yet controversial cases of haunting.

The main series follows their attempts to assist people who find themselves possessed by demonic spirits, while the spin-off films focus on the origins of some of the entities the Warrens have encountered.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

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