The Arnold Estate circa 1885.
Reality versus Hollywood
As I watch The Conjuring, I can’t help but wonder how far artist interpretation went. Not that it hindered me from watching, and enjoying, the movie.
Reality: In 1970, the Perron family moved into their dream house situated on 200 acres in Harrisville, Rhode Island. When they moved in, the former owner told the family to keep the lights on at night. The family started seeing multiple spirits in the house. The youngest daughter had a friendship with a dead little boy. The family wanted answers and sought the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The investigation uncovered a lot of history. Specifically, two suicides by hanging; one suicide by poison; the rape and murder of eleven-year-old, Prudence Arnold, who died nearby; drowning of two people; and four men froze to death.
There was a woman named Bethsheba Sherman who lived near the Perron property. However, there is no primary source evidence that she was in fact a witch.
The Perrons lived on the property for ten (10) years. While the property has transferred hands several times and had just as many names, there are still reports of paranormal activity tied to the land.
Hollywood: This movie is “based on a true story.” That is a convenient way of stating that the premise may have been true; however, the exact storyline may not be. Hollywood scripts follow a format. This is no big secret. Further, the format is highly formulaic and precise. Scenes are usually broken down into fifteen (15) minute segments. As you can guess, those segments contain a form of activity. Early movies could contain more dialogue and less action. Not today. Moviegoers expect action—and lots of it. The storyline was condensed into a shorter period of time and did not cover ten (10) years. It would not have been optioned or produced. For those trying to link the actual events to the movie version, you will be disappointed. The movie is for entertainment and profit. I would like to note that I especially enjoyed the music selections in the film. Fabulous!
Does It Matter: No. The movie may ignite your curiosity. If it does, there are plenty of sources to find out more information. For the other: Sit back and enjoy.
Final Note: As for the Annabelle Doll: I would love to see that story on the big screen!
The Annabelle Doll