It's hard not to discuss the vintage era of ghost investigations without mentioning the married couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who became famous for their high-profile investigations and last word on hauntings.
Ed was a lecturer, self taught demonologist, and author and his wife Lorraine was a psychic medium/clairovoyant. In 1952, the couple opened up the New England Society For Psychic Research. The couple authored many books and went on many investigations.
It was reported that they handled over 10,000 cases in their career, including the Amityville home, and many other notable locations. They covered cases of demons, werewolves, hauntings, possessions, you name it; the whole gamut of paranormal possibilities.
Ed has passed on and Lorraine, a gentle soul, is in her retiring years after many decades of responsibility for people who are in distress and coming to the aid of troubled those in homes.
The 2014 film, "Annabelle" was based upon one of their cases where some roommates believed their doll was possessed by the spirit of a little girl. The Warrens took the doll to put in their own family oddities museum, saying it was possessed by something inhuman.
Interestingly, many of their cases were deemed as something evil, inhuman or demonic. And, coincidentally many of these cases went on to become films; "The Amityville Horror," "The Haunting in Connecticut," "Annabelle," "The Conjuring," and "The Haunted." If there was a voracious appetite for ghost stories in this vintage era, likely their cases sparked it.
If you call in a demonologist for a case, they're probably gonna find a demon. That's my take on it. I am sure that for some clients, Ed and Lorraine offered comfort, though I'm sure that in a lot of cases they scared the bejesus out of them. I am always concerned about people who have a belief system in place and a business based on a particular belief, like demons, who go into investigations.
Personally, I've never been a follower. There is a vast majority who admire and revere them as the final word on hauntings, however. I think that what they offered the public in this vintage era was what was available, something between spiritualist movement and church.
What Ed and Lorraine offered to the field of research, it is that it's okay to go public and talk about these things, even if you might be ridiculed because open discussion is better than doing this in the dark. Given their belief in demons and the like, they were pretty fearless about entering cases head on, and for that they can be respected.
They were investigators in a period of time in which open talk about ghosts was just beginning and they certainly paved the way for the concept of investigators who go in and evaluate a site. Their techniques or take on hauntings might seem rather vint Hunting Theoriestage today, but no other couple will ever be in on as many intriguing cases likely ever again. It was a mixture of the right people at the right time.
5 things you need to know about the Warrens:
By Kelly Kazekkkazek@al.com
1. Ed Warren grew up in a haunted house.
From the time Ed was ages 5 to 12, he lived in a Connecticut house in which he experienced supernatural events.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga portray Ed and Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring.
“My father, who was a police officer at the time would often say, ‘Ed, there's a logical reason for everything that happens in this house.’ But he never came up with that logical reason," Ed said in an interview on the Warrens’ website.
The family heard pounding, rapping and footsteps, he said.
“My family would all go to bed and just around 2 to 3 o'clock in the morning, many times I would hear the closet door beginning to open up. At first I'd look into that closet and see only shapeless darkness, then slowly I'd start to see a light beginning to form and it would morph into like a ball shape, sort of like a basketball and then I'd begin to see a face in that ball.” Ed said it was the face of an old woman.
2. The Center for Psychic Research.
The Warrens founded the New England Center for Psychic Research in Connecticut in 1952 with the goal of investigating hauntings. Around 1965, the Warrens went into a home where the spirit of a little girl named Cynthia who, speaking through a medium, said she was looking for her mother. The Warrens expanded the mission of their center to help earth-bound spirits move on. The Warrens say the center’s work is based in religion but also uses science.
3. Religion and ghost busting.
The Warrens are Catholic and have said that background is what allows them to fight demons and to continue supernatural investigations. Ed describes himself as a demonologist, while Lorraine is a trance medium. The website contends they are not occultists and “not strange.”
“They are essentially ordinary people who happen to do highly extraordinary work.”
4. In the beginning.
Ed, an accomplished artist, would hear of a home whose owners claimed it was haunted and would take Lorraine to check it out.
Movie poster for "ÂÂThe Conjuring"
“We were just kids nobody was just going to let us in, we were curiosity seekers," Ed said on the website. So he would begin to sketch the house.
“I would do a really nice sketch of the house with ghosts coming out of it, and I'd give it to Lorraine, she'd go knock on the door and with her Irish personality she'd say, ‘Oh, my husband loves to sketch and paint haunted houses and he made this.’”
Then they would ask the homeowners for their story.
5. The Warrens’ Occult Museum.
This museum founded by the couple claims to be the oldest and only museum of its kind. The museum houses an array of haunted artifacts and items used in occult activities and diabolical practices around the world, including a conjuring mirror used for summoning spirits, a coffin used by a modern vampire, an organ that plays by itself and a Raggedy Ann doll said to be responsible for a death of a young man.