Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigator and inspiration for 'The Conjuring,' dead at 92
MONROE, Conn. - Famed medium and paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, who inspired films like "The Conjuring," passed away Thursday at the age of 92, according to a statement from her family.
On Friday morning, the New England Society for Psychic Research confirmed Lorraine's death in a post on its Facebook page.
Lorraine and her demonologist husband, Ed, formed the New England Society For Psychic Research in 1952 with the intent to investigate hauntings. Their mission expanded over time to include direct action, like exorcisms, to resolve what they called "pre-to-natural" problems, which were described by the Warrens as negative occult occurrences (as opposed to supernatural events which the Warrens considered to be positive).
They spent 50 years exploring and investigating the paranormal in the United States and beyond and were widely considered experts in the matter.
Lorraine bravely and boldly lived the kind of nightmares that have haunted american movie-goers for decades. "The Amityville Horror" was based on a series of events that the Warrens investigated firsthand.
When Lorraine entered the residence, she said she was overwhelmed by a demonic presence and felt like she was physically being pushed backward. The 2014 film "Annabelle" was based on another investigation in which Lorraine and Ed visited a mother and daughter who said that a second-hand Raggedy Ann doll from a hobby store was moving around their apartment and scrawling notes on parchment paper.
When most other people would have gone running, Lorraine dove in head-first. After facilitating a recitation of exorcism by a priest at the apartment, Lorraine and Ed took the haunted doll home, where it still resides today in The Warren's Occult Museum. There is a picture on the NESPR site of Lorraine calmly carrying the doll from the residence.
In her later years, Lorraine was featured on the A&E show "Paranormal State," which followed the paranormal investigations of Ryan Buell, who founded the Penn State University Paranormal Research Society at age 19. Lorraine sometimes helped Buell as a guest investigator.
Buell honored Lorraine in an Instagram post, explaining that the Warrens inspired his journey into paranormal investigation as a child. "What makes Lorraine great isn't her fame from well-known hauntings. It's her humanity. She lived as she loved. She WAS love," Buell wrote.
In the years before her death, Lorraine had effectively retired and passed the reigns at NESPR to her son-in-law, Tony Spera, who carries on the Warrens' legacy today.
Lorraine devoted her life to the work of better understanding the paranormal, and she is remembered fondly by those who knew her. In his Facebook post honoring Lorraine, Spera said, "Lorraine touched many lives and was loved by so many. She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul."
This story was reported from Los Angeles.