Ed and Lorraine Warren And The Paranormal

Posted by junketseo in Chicago Ghost Tours
Ed and Lorraine Warren And The Paranormal - Photo

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.

There are more skeptics and scientists out there to debunk the investigations done by the demonic dynamic duo than there are cases they investigated.

Books have been written, movies have been made, and articles have been 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?

Portrait of Ed and Lorraine Warren
Copyright US Ghost Adventures

Ed and Lorraine Warren were a married couple who teamed up to investigate the unexplainable world of hauntings and demonic possessions. They aimed to solve the mystery and bring closure to the people involved.

Ed himself was a self-proclaimed demonologist, and Lorraine was 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.

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 Unknown


Ed attended art school briefly and enjoyed painting landscapes, but his real love was finding and exploring “haunted ” houses, which led him further into his ghost-hunting desires. Building their ghost-hunting experiences together and collecting a plethora of information, the Warrens headed into a full-time pursuit of paranormal consultation to frightened homeowners of a haunted house.

They started gathering an extensive archive of detailed interviews and reports from families plagued by otherworldly activity. They also spoke with other investigators about their findings in cases they’d 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.

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.


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 otherworldly by means of conjuring, Ouija boards, séances, black witchcraft, or satanic rituals. Some of their other declarations 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’ objective was to document and effect closure through the clergy by helping to identify the manifestations of Demon infestation, oppression, and possession. They did not conduct any exorcisms themselves but turned them 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 warned 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 otherworldly, which brought much acclaim to the Warrens throughout the years. These are some of the most notable investigations from their ghost-hunting career.

Amityville House

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 unexplained 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.

Annabelle Doll

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.

Perron Family

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 Carolyn, the family’s matriarch.

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.

Snedeker House

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. Not long after moving in, the children started claiming strange people were in the house, voices were heard, and the family heard the 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 of natural causes in the home he shared with his beloved Lorraine in 2006. 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 is the Union Cemetery down the road just a bit – ironically, Union Cemetery was investigated by none other than the Warrens themselves.

For more terrifying tales, book a Chicago ghost tour with Windy City Ghosts!