Ed and Elizabeth Warren are portrayed as erstwhile paranormal investigators in the series of films collectively referred to as “The Conjuring Universe.” The films have grossed over 2 billion dollars. In real life, they also portrayed paranormal investigators.
Yet our research indicates they took advantage of people in distress and avoided discussions of evidence. If parts of their work did in fact involve real paranormal research, it’s almost impossible to parse from the hoaxes and stories they told.
Let’s take the Amityville Horror case. This was the case that made Ed and Lorraine Warren famous. For those unfamiliar, the claim around Amityville horror was that George and Kathy Lutz moved into a house for 28 days before they were forced to move out by malevolent spirits.
The house really had been the site of some terrible murders prior to the Lutz’s occupying the home. They also claimed it had been the site of a Native American burial ground, and this was the cause of the disturbance.
The Amityville Horror case has been debunked ad nauseum. There is a popular book about it titled “The Amityville Horror Conspiracy.” More books and more articles debunking the claims followed. Though none of them would match the popularity of the book and movie inspired by writer Jay Anson and the Lutz’s stories.
Even worse for those who chose to believe the Warrens, a lawyer friend of the Lutz’s named William Weber told A Current Affair in May of 1998, “We took real-life incidents and transposed them…. In other words, it was a hoax.”
Weber was a defense attorney for the man convicted in the the murder which occurred prior to the Lutz’s moving in to the home. According to Weber, he needed a defense and coordinated along with the Lutz and a writer by the name of Jay Anson (who would write the book on which the franchise was based).
Weber and the Lutz’s engaged in a court case around profit and rights to the story. During the trial, Judge Jack B. Weinstein said, “it appears to me that to a large extent the book is a work of fiction. . . .”
The fact the book was fiction was relevant to the trial.
The burial ground claim was debunked when members of the Montauket tribe of Long Island told ABC news “there are no records of a burial ground in Amityville. Even if there were, ‘that doesn’t mean we will go into somebody’s body and capture their soul and control in a very negative way … that’s not us,’ said the tribe’s Chief Straight Arrow Cooper.”
So amidst, what is now widely regarded (click around and you’ll see) a hoax, arrived the Warrens who were then unknown ghost hunters. Ed Warren claimed to be a paranormal researcher. Lorraine Warren claimed to be a psychic. The only way we know of to tell if someone is psychic or not, is to have them tell you something they couldn’t possibly have known.
Remote Viewing is a real thing. We discuss it in our article below. Yet, Lorraine wasn’t telling the future, your Great-Grandpa’s favorite pie or which card you were holding in your hand. She was telling people what the ghosts were saying.
So, Ed would confirm there were ghosts, according to his research, and Lorraine would talk to them and tell everyone what they said. Does any part of that sound like something you should trust?
Click here for our breakdown of the remote viewing phenomenon:
A TV Crew grabbed onto the story (and the media hasn’t let go). In 1976, they followed Lorraine and Ed Warren to the door of the Amityville Horror home and showed them entering the house to spend the night. They emerged from the house claiming it was haunted by evil spirits, and Ed claimed to have taken a photograph of one of them.
The TV stations loved it. It was the late 70’s right before the “satanic panic” of the 1980s. Ed and Lorraine put a Christian spin on their ghost-hunting and claimed they were battling demons. Though the Diocese of Rockville Centre, responsible for the Amityville area, denied “that any psychic events took place or affected clerical officials as reported in Jay Anson’s book.”
Ed and Lorraine started doing the talk show circuit, writing books, sold their brand and attempted to make appearances (and stories up) at the sight of famous hauntings.
The Enfield Hauntings are a famous and controversial set of hauntings involving two young girls. An investigator, at the time, who researched the case thoroughly, named Guy Lyon Playfair described Ed Warren to Darkness Radio as follows: “They did turn up once, I think, at Enfield, and all I can remember is Ed Warren telling me that he could make a lot of money for me out of it. So I thought, ‘well thats all I need to know from you’ and I got myself out of his way as soon as I could.”
The list of Warren hoaxes goes on. If you need more, Top 5 Scary Videos did a really good breakdown.
The grifts get worse. If you’re interested, I hope you have a strong stomach for con artists taking advantage of people in distress. The Hollywood Reporter published an article around allegations of Ed Warren having an affair with a 15 year old girl. The brother of the allegedly possessed teen in the Conjuring 3 film sued another individual involved in the event for having taken advantage of his mentally ill brother. He said the Warrens exploited his family.
Yet, the films have grossed more than 2 billion dollars…so the Warren lie finds a way.
Why does it matter? #1: We’re all about telling you whether or not things are real, and we don’t believe anything the Warrens have to say, that’s based on the evidence and data we provided. If you like them and want to believe in them… It’s a free world.
Con-artists come up a lot in para or sub-normal research. This is because there are so many people who want to believe. Additionally, there are pseudo-con artists who do some investigating and some making up. We find it’s best to ignore this type entirely. They really muddy the waters.
You don’t have to want to believe. You can know. There are people conducting real research into these subjects. Poltergeist activity is a real phenomenon. We don’t know what it is, but it happens.
Many ghost hunter shows are bad reality TV, but some are based on sound scientific principles. They’re usually monitoring the electromagnetic spectrum around haunted areas, and that’s real data. Whether they find anything or not.
A team conducts paranormal research on the TV show Hellier which yields results, share it and allow everyone to make up their own mind. That’s research.
It may not be as dramatic as The Conjuring but if you’re really curious about the truth of these events, they can be complex and gray. It’s what makes them so intriguing.
Charlatans like the Warren’s make the whole subject look bad. They can be debunked within 15 minutes. So, anyone interested in the reality of the subject (who makes the mistake of Googling the most famous paranormal investigators) thinks the whole thing is bunk.
The only antidote for darkness is light.
From the Fortean Winds POV: It is the Warrens who are bunk.