Ed and Lorraine Warren And The Paranormal
Ed and Lorraine Warren and the paranormal investigations they performed over the years are cause enough to believe in ghosts and demons. This is what some believe, some, not so much.
But Jason Hawes, founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), says that a paranormal skeptic is just someone who has not experienced it yet.
There are more skeptics and scientists out there to debunk the investigations done by the demonic dynamic duo than there are cases they investigated. Some people want to be the ones to find proof that the Warrens have no actual evidence of anything regarding unexplainable phenomena because to believe it can be too scary for some.
Like all ghost, spirit, and demonic possession stories out there, everything is in the eyes and ears of the beholder. Quite frankly, unless you witnessed it yourself first hand, you will never know for sure if it is true or not.
Books have been written, movies have been made, and articles created by and with the Warrens with their “proof” and experiences. Some people believe wholeheartedly that there is no afterlife- when you are said to be possessed by a demon, you are simply crazy. Unless you were there to witness the unleashing of the devil during an exorcism, there is no actual “proof” that these things exist- or is there?
Who were Ed and Lorraine Warren?
Ed and Lorraine Warren were a married couple who teamed up to question the unexplainable world of hauntings and demonic possessions. They aimed to solve the mystery and find closure for the people involved.
Ed himself was a self-proclaimed demonologist and Lorraine a said clairvoyant and trance medium. Together they investigated close to 10,000 cases of hauntings, spirit identification, Demonic Infestation, possession, and oppression of people and property.
Background of Ed Warren
Ed was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on September 7, 1926. His father was a state trooper and devout catholic and enrolled Ed in parochial school. The Warren family rented an old house from an unmarried landlady who didn’t like dogs or children and constantly threw things at them in agitation. According to Ed, she was a real crank!
When Ed was five years old, the crotchety landlady passed away, and it was then that Ed saw his first apparition. A few days after her death, Ed witnessed every child’s fear, a ghost in his closet. It was his landlady, just as sore-headed dead as she was alive.
Another “visitor” that Ed encountered was the ghost of his Aunt, who was a nun. He expressed a desire to become a priest to her. However, she discounted it. She told him he would instead consult priests and do more good work than 100 of them combined.
Like most people, Ed’s father claimed to his son that there had to be a logical explanation for the paranormal experiences. However, his father could never provide one. Ed soon found it more comforting to sit outside in freezing weather or pouring rain than to be alone inside of the haunted house his family lived in.
Ed’s family moved from the reportedly haunted house when he was 12. Having come to terms with the spirits he encountered there, his exposure to the paranormal just fueled the fire and his desire for more investigation and confrontation of otherworldly entities.
Lorraine Warren’s background
Just three blocks away from Ed lived Lorraine Moran. Lorraine was born a few months after Ed on January 31, 1927. Her parents sent her to a Catholic girl’s school, Laurelton Hall, in Milford, Connecticut. At age 12, Lorraine first discovered her gift of clairvoyance.
At an Arbor Day tree planting organized by the nuns, the sapling was placed into the ground, and Lorraine’s adventure began. She started staring at the sky and could see a clear vision of the tree in its full-grown glory.
When Lorraine told one of the nuns that her aura was brighter than the aura of the mother superior, it didn’t go over too well with the sisters. They believed her psychic abilities were sinful and sent her off to a weekend retreat of prayer and silence. But silence her – it did not.
Love everlasting at first sight
At 16, Ed worked as an usher at the Colonial Theater in Bridgeport. He and Lorraine met on June 23, 1943. Lorraine knew immediately that she and Ed would spend the rest of their lives together. Ed was the only boy that Lorraine ever dated. They would spend the next 50 plus years together not only as a married couple but with a kinship for the paranormal they both experienced.
They married on May 22, 1945, and welcomed a daughter Judy on January 11, 1946.
Delving into the paranormal
Ed attended art school for a short time and enjoyed painting landscapes; he turned his artistic talent into a living for a while – but something was missing. His real love was finding and exploring “haunted ” houses, which led him further into his ghost hunting desires. Building their ghost hunting experiences together as well as collecting a plethora of information, the Warrens headed into a full-time pursuit of paranormal consultation to frightened homeowners of a haunted house.
Ed and Lorraine were often the only confidants for the strange occurrences that happened in people’s homes. Their reputation proliferated, as did their knowledge, and soon they found themselves giving advice and consultation to more and more homeowners. Then, the many interested strangers they encountered were hungry for the ghostly information the Warrens held.
Ed and Lorraine Warren established the New England Society for Psychic Research (NESPR) in 1952. This is the oldest ghost hunting group in New England. Today, their son-in-law Tony Spera runs the group with their daughter Judy, keeping their legacy alive.
A growing paranormal portfolio
When the Warrens found that negative energy associated with teenagers and young adults attracted spirit activity, they started lecturing at colleges. Their purpose was to warn their listeners from unwittingly inviting supernatural trouble into their lives and family homes.
They started gathering an extensive archive of detailed interviews and reports from families plagued by paranormal activity. They also spoke with other investigators about their findings in cases they had handled. They obtained photographs, audio, and video recordings of paranormal activity, including voices of spirits, spirit-infested clothing, artifacts, and other objects. Their interventions in the horrific and unbelievable evil situations were commended through gratuitous letters from government officials, clergy, and ordinary people inflicted with the hauntings.
The investigation protocols
In their research, they were able to identify different types of spirits that required other remedies of extraction. Their investigations took them abroad as well as throughout America. When they received an invitation to investigate a potential paranormal entity, they would arrange to get to the property as quickly as possible.
Once they arrived at the site, they usually went in separate directions. Ed conducted extensive, careful interviews with all persons involved. Lorraine did a walk through the house to sense any spirit activity with her psychic senses. She could usually detect the presence of a spirit almost immediately upon entering the house. She also knew whether the entities were earthbound human ghosts or apparitions or inhuman Demonic entities.
Working with Demonology
Firm believers in God not allowing evil to visit humans, Ed and Lorraine warned people not to invite the ungodly forces into their lives. They cautioned against toying with the supernatural by means of conjuring, Ouija boards, séances, black witchcraft, or satanic rituals. Some of their other warnings warned of negative, depressive states or becoming obsessed with a person, place, or thing. Ed referred to these allowances as the Law of Invitation and the Law of Attraction. He furthered with the guidance that once a demon takes control, three stages follow: infestation, oppression, and possession. If the circumstances are severe enough, it can also lead to death.
The Warrens held the objective to document and affect closure through the clergy by helping to identify the manifestations of Demonic infestation, oppression, and possession. They did not conduct any exorcisms themselves but turned it over to trained exorcists to rid the victim of the evil influence within. The Warrens gave the afflicted support, blessings, and prayers during their ordeal. They strongly urged a warning against anyone taking on the challenge of performing an exorcism by themselves.
Notable Investigations of the Warrens
Several of Warren’s investigations became notable and capitalized on for movies, books, and articles. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a scary movie or a thrilling horror story? The world is intrigued by anything paranormal, which brought much acclaim to the Warrens throughout the years. These are some of the most notable investigations from their ghost hunting career.
In 1974 Ronald Defeo Jr. murdered his parents and siblings in cold blood. A year later, the house was sold to the Lutz family. The Lutz family began to experience strange occurrences and called Ed and Lorraine to investigate the paranormal activity. They claimed that a violent demonic presence was in their home, causing a stir and scaring the family, who was in fear for their lives.
The Lutz’s believed that the house was haunted due to the tragic murders that took place there. After two attempts by a priest to bless the house, the Lutz family could take no more and moved out after only 28 days of living there. The Warrens confirmed the suspicions of a demonic presence, stating that the land where the house sat had been cursed.
A nursing student was given a Raggedy Ann doll purchased by her mother at an antique store. It would move from room to room which escalated into the student finding parchment paper with messages to “help us” or “help Lou” on it. As sweet as the gesture was, the young woman and her roommate noticed peculiar things starting to happen.
Lou, a friend of the roomies, didn’t like the doll at all. He started having vivid nightmares about it harming him, and the girls soon called in a medium. The medium explained the land that the apartment building was built on was where the brutally murdered body of a 7-year-old girl had been found. Feeling sorry for the spirit of the young girl, the roomies affectionately named the doll Annabelle. When activity involving it became violent, Ed and Lorraine were called to investigate. Lorraine explained that demonic forces manipulated the doll and took Annabelle out of the house for their safety.
When Carolyn and Roger Perron moved into their 14 room farmhouse in 1971, they had no idea what was in store. Neither did their five daughters, who experienced the paranormal activity the family encountered from day one. Although some of the action reported was not sinister in nature, some of it most certainly was. The main target seemed to be the matriarch of the family, Carolyn.
When Ed and Lorraine were called in to investigate, Lorraine believed that the entity after Carolyn was a satanic witch named Bethsheba Thayer Sherman. Reportedly the woman became bitter and hostile in her years after an accusation of being responsible for the death of an infant.
It’s believed the target on Carolyn stemmed from her unacceptance of another woman running the house that she felt still belonged to her.
The Warrens conducted a seance in the house resulting in a demonic possession of Carolyn Perron. Witnessed in hiding by their oldest daughter Andrea, Carolyn began speaking in tongues, levitated, and was thrown across the room. Roger Perron blamed the Warrens and made them leave in fear for his wife’s life.
In 1986 Carmen and Al Snedeker rented a house in the small town of Southington, CT, to be closer to medical treatments their oldest son was receiving for cancer. Their son was sick, and they needed a place for their family of six during his treatment. Whether the family knew the house was once a funeral home with a deplorable history before they moved in doesn’t matter much.
Not long after moving in, the children started claiming strange people were in the house, voices were heard, and the family heard sounds of a large flock of birds taking flight. Then, their oldest son began behaving erratically with personality shifts, withdrawing from the family, and he started to experience uncontrollable anger. At one point, he attacked his cousin who lived with them and attempted to rape her. The Snedeker’s had him arrested and evaluated, and he started to improve. That is until he returned to the house.
Ed and Lorraine, along with Ed’s nephew John Zaffis (Haunted Collector), moved into the house for several weeks in an attempt to experience the same phenomena the Snedeker family did. They claim to have seen first-hand the damage the demons inflicted and dug into the funeral home’s history. In their investigation, they discovered that one of the undertakers had been found guilty of the ungodly act of necrophilia. The Warrens organized a full-scale exorcism of the property, after which they deemed the property free and clear of the demonic entities.
The Death of the Warrens
Ed Warren died in the home he shared with his beloved Lorraine in 2006. Reports are he passed from natural causes. In 2019, Lorraine Warren passed away in her sleep in the same home, also from natural causes.
Both Warrens are buried at Stepney Cemetery in Monroe, CT. There is a stone bench at the grave where visitors can sit- if they dare. Stepney Cemetery itself is one of the top 10 most haunted cemeteries in Connecticut. The most haunted cemetery being Union Cemetery down the road just a bit – ironically, Union Cemetery was investigated by none other than the Warrens themselves!
If you want to read more haunted history stories from cities across the country, take a ghost tour in person, or even take a virtual ghost tour from the comfort of your own home, check out our tours at US Ghost Adventures. We promise a historical hauntingly good time!