Perhaps the most famous house of horrors of the modern era has just sold for nearly 30% above asking price.
An old farmhouse situated on an eight-in-a-half acre plot in the northwest corner of Rhode Island sold in late May for $1.525 million — 27% more than the asking price of $1.2 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
One of the conditions of the sale to Jacqueline Nuñez, owner of the Boston-based WonderGroup, is she is not allowed — for her safety — to live in the famous house year-round.
Michelle McGrath, a spokeswoman for Nuñez, told USA Today the 1677 Round Top Road property in Burrillville will not be turned into a private home but will remain open to the public. As part of the sale agreement, the new owner has to honor reservations made for dates through the end of this year.
The house was last sold in 2019 to Jenn and Cory Heinzen, who purchased it for $439,000.
Of course, the selling point for the Rhode Island home is its provenance as the inspiration for “The Conjuring,” a horror film directed by James Wan. The 2013 box-office hit launched The Conjuring Universe film franchise.
The first film chronicles the experiences of self-proclaimed demonologists and paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, called in by Roger and Carolyn Perron, who moved into the Rhode Island house in the 1970s with their five daughters. They claimed to immediately pick up on some sort of supernatural presence.
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Like the Perron family, the Heinzens claimed to witness paranormal activity themselves.
“Footsteps, knocks, we’ve had lights flashing in rooms … and when I say lights flashing in rooms, it’s rooms that don’t have light in there to begin with,” Cory Heinzen told the New York Post in 2019.
He also told the Sun Journal he saw doors opening on their own and admitted he struggled to stay in the house by himself, explaining, “I don’t have the feeling of anything evil, [but] it’s very busy. You can tell there’s a lot of things going on in the house.”
It should be noted that, while the Perrons, Warrens, and Heinzens claimed to witness strange spiritual sightings in the eerie house, the woman who owned the sprawling property from 1987 until 2019, Norma Sutcliffe, never reported seeing any so-called paranormal activity.
“I never said I believed in ghosts, but did remark on some sounds, which, of course, could be explained by natural causes,” Sutcliffe reportedly said in 2019.
Before we go any further, we should note Scripture is clear about the spiritual dangers of necromancy, the practice of communicating with — or attempting to communicate with — the dead, particularly for the purpose of predicting the future or influencing the course of events. The spiritual practice, forbidden by the Bible, is also known as “divination,” “sorcery,” and “spiritism,” according to Got Questions.
In the Old Testament, Moses addressed this topic with Israel at a time when occult practices were commonplace:
No one among you is to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire, practice divination, tell fortunes, interpret omens, practice sorcery, cast spells, consult a medium or a spiritist, or inquire of the dead. Everyone who does these acts is detestable to the Lord, and the Lord your God is driving out the nations before you because of these detestable acts. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. Though these nations you are about to drive out listen to fortune-tellers and diviners, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do this.
Deuteronomy 18:10-14, CSB
Nuñez described buying the house as “a very personal purchase,” adding, “When it hit the market, I thought, ‘This is a property that enables people to speak to the dead.'”
She told the Journal she feels the house is “uniquely an amplifier for our energy, attitudes and beliefs,” adding, “If your end goal is to be terrified, it can deliver. Or if you go there to connect with a loved one, it can deliver that, too.”
Jenn Heinzen said Nuñez’s offer was one of more than 10 offers, one of which was an anonymous, all-cash bid much higher than asking price.
“We got a lot of ridiculous bids,” she said.
As for the 2013 movie, it brought in $320.2 million at the box office on a $20 million budget. To date, the franchise has created seven spin-off films and has earned a whopping $2 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
One of the stars of the movie, Joey King, revealed earlier this year that terrifying events unfolded while she and her co-stars were shooting scenes for “The Conjuring.”
“It was pretty intense,” King told actor and talk show host Drew Barrymore. “Some weird stuff happened on the set, along with the movie being scary. It’s true, I developed this bizarre, rare, out-of-nowhere blood disorder, and basically, my body, like all the red platelets from my body were like drained. They were just gone.”
During the filming process, King was apparently on the verge of needing a transfusion. Bizarrely, though, once they were done filming, the blood issue resolved itself immediately.
King said she has “never had a problem” since, adding she “shudders” to think about it even now.
Having faith in the supernatural — especially as a Christian — is what makes such oddities so disconcerting.
Gary Dauberman, screenwriter and director of the “Annabelle” movies, which are part of The Conjuring Universe, told CBN’s Faithwire in 2019, ahead of the release of “Annabelle Comes Home,” that his Christian faith informs his creative process and has led to more authentic storytelling on his part.
“From a story standpoint, I think it helps to always come from a grounded place,” he said at the time. “Not knowing what it’s like to write something and not believe the stuff is possible, I can’t really speak to that. It certainly helps me get the juices flowing creatively, having a sense that these things can happen or have happened in the past.”
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