Lorraine Warren, the famed demonologist and paranormal investigator, has died at 92 years old.
According to the Horror News Network, Warren and her husband, Ed, founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952, and became involved in some of the most famous situations of paranormal and poltergeist hauntings in history. Their work has since become popularized through the Annabelle and The Conjuring film franchises, as well as several books they’ve written.
Here’s what you need to know about Ed.
1. He Was the Demonology Expert, While Lorraine Specialized in “Spirit Activity”
In an interview with Birth.Movies.Death, Lorraine talked about the division of emphasis in her and Ed’s paranormal partnership. When asked if she deal with a lot of demons in general, she replied:
My husband was a demonologist, so we had a lot. But there are more human spirits. There are far more human spirits.
In 2013, author Gerald Brittle wrote a book about the Warrens’ careers titled “The Demonologist.” The Amazon.com description calls them “America’s foremost experts on demonology and exorcism.”
The New England Society for Psychic Research website makes the same distinction about the two, calling Ed the “demonologist” and Lorraine the expert in “trance medium,” which according to the First Spiritual Temple is the overshadowing of “the consciousness” between a spirit and the person communicating with that spirit.
Ed Warren is a demonologist. Lorraine Warren is a trance medium. But you’d never know it if you met them on the street. They are not occultists. They are not strange. They are essentially ordinary people who happen to do highly extraordinary work. And though the Warrens have no ax to grind, their orientation is distinctly religious.
The Warrens claim to be Catholic.
2. Ed Passed Away in 2006 Due to a Stroke
Ed passed away in his Monroe (Conn.) home on August 29, 2006. According to the New York Sun, he suffered a stroke in 2001 and “never regained the power of his speech.”
He lived a full life aside from the paranormal research and investigation. He was born in Bridgeport in Sep. 1927 and served in the Navy in World War II.
After serving in the Navy during World War II, Warren attended art school and married his high school sweetheart, Lorraine. The two lived a care-free proto-hippie lifestyle, tooling around the back roads of New England in a jalopy and selling paintings to get by. Warren began making paintings of houses that were reputedly haunted and sometimes traded the paintings to the homes’ owners in return for access. Lorraine, whose psychic ability had lain dormant since she saw nuns’ auras in grade school, now became aware that she had special powers.
3. Ed & Lorraine Investigated Over 10 Thousand Suspected Hauntings in Their 61-Year Partnership
According to Ed’s obituary in the Hartford Courant back in 2006, the Warrens investigated over 10,000 supected hauntings in their career “in the U.S. and abroad in Japan, Australia and Europe.”
They believed they were expelling ghosts who stubbornly remained earthbound and evil spirits from another world who had never been alive. In return, all the Warrens asked was for their expenses to be covered, (son-in-law Tony) Spera said.
Some of their more famous cases involved the ones that were adapted into movies. According to All That’s Interesting, the Annabelle Doll Case involved a Raggedy Ann Doll that kept changing positions. It practically the unofficial mascot of the Warrens, as it is displayed in their Occult Museum.
According to the Warrens’ report, a 28-year-old nurse who received the doll as a gift noticed that it started to change positions. Then she and her roommate started finding parchment paper with written messages saying things like, “Help me, help us.”
As if that wasn’t strange enough, the girls claimed that they didn’t even have parchment paper in their house.
Next, the doll started showing up in different rooms and leaking blood. Unsure of what to do, the two women turned to a medium, who said the doll was being occupied by the spirit of a young girl named Annabelle Higgins.
They concluded that the doll was not possessed, but rather manipulated by an inhuman presence. Other cases include the Perron Family Case that inspired “The Conjuring” and Lutz Family Case that provided the basis for various Amityville Horror films.
4. Ed Was Played by Actor Patrick Wilson in Both The Conjuring and Its Sequel
Director James Wan, who eventually would direct the highly-successful Aquaman movie this past year, earned a lot of fame with his Conjuring movies, which have earned over $600 million at the box office with a sequel in the works.
He cast then 39-year old Patrick Wilson to play Ed and Vera Farmiga to depict Lorraine. While Farmiga had the opportunity to meet Lorraine, Wilson was unable to communicate with Ed due to his 2006 passing.
Both Farmiga and Wilson met with Lorraine in her Connecticut home to do research for their roles. Per an interview with Collider, Farmiga talks about the paranormal experiences she felt with Wilson on the way to meeting Lorraine.
We spent all of maybe three days together. Patrick [Wilson] and I visited Lorraine’s house in Connecticut. We live in the tristate area, so we met up at a mall close to your [Warren’s] house. And I had just read the part of the demonologist where there’s a scene in one of your cases, where there’s a truck. I can’t remember which case it was and what the detail was but in the truck, you and Ed [Warren] were driving late at night and something off this truck was flying. There was some strange truck or something that appeared on a highway — I forget what the details of that story are — but Patrick has scars on his hands still to this day. On the way over to your house, we had met up in the parking lot but he had some strange experience on the highway where some suitcase on a truck in front of him came out from the car and kind of attacked his car. The whole fender kind of fell off on the top of his car.
5. Warren Claimed to Receive Signs From Ed After His Death
Our own Caroline Burke reported earlier on how Spera claimed that Lorraine had several visions of her late husband after he passed away. He told Patch in 2014, “Once while investigating a case of demonic activity alone after Ed passed she felt his hand grab and hold her hand while she was in the house. It felt like electrical energy tingling throughout her hand and fingers.”
He shared another memory to Patch:
“Another incident occurred at the Bluebird restaurant in Easton. Ed would always take her there for breakfast. Ed always used to whistle when he was happy and at peace, such as when he would paint his New England scenes and representations of haunted houses. On September 7, 2016, he died on Aug 23rd, 2006, she went to the Bluebird to honor his birthday. She walked in and asked for a table for two, but she was alone. Moments after sitting, the owner came out and said that the dishwasher had come into work early and while alone in the kitchen, heard someone whistling in the dining room. When he went into the dining area no one was there but he definitely heard a man whistling. When he went back into the kitchen, the whistling started again. The man was so spooked by this he called the owner and told her to come right down because he was going to leave. The owner asked that he not leave and that she would be right there. The owner brought the dishwasher into the dining room to relay what happened to him to Mrs.Warren. Lorraine remarked, ‘Well, I guess Ed got here before I did.’”
Spera, according to the NESPR website, has inherited the family profession.