Ghost hunter who inspired blockbuster horrors dies aged 92
Lorraine Warren and late husband Ed investigated more than 10,000 cases in the US and abroad.
Paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, whose decades of ghost-hunting with her late husband Ed inspired horror films like The Conjuring and The Amityville Horror, has died aged 92.
During their 61 years of marriage, the couple investigated more than 10,000 cases in the US and abroad, often writing about their experiences.
Their son-in-law Tony Spera said that Mrs Warren died in her sleep on Thursday night at her Connecticut home.
“She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul,” Mr Spera wrote.
The Warrens founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in Monroe, Connecticut, in 1952 to investigate suspected hauntings.
Their unusual profession has been credited with sparking popular interest in the paranormal, as well as the television shows and films now dedicated to the subject.
“When nobody was really even talking about ghosts, they were just two people from Bridgeport, Connecticut, who came together and fell in love and Ed happened to have had a lot of paranormal instances when he was growing up and Lorraine was always the sensitive clairvoyant,” said the Horror News Network’s Larry Dwyer.
The heavens will surely burn a little brighter tonight. We lost a friend and and inspiration. I will miss the stories, the laughter, and the guidance. Rest In Peace, Sweet Lorraine. Tell Ed I said hello. ❤️@VeraFarmiga pic.twitter.com/Ewx4CsOU7B— patrick wilson (@patrickwilson73) April 19, 2019
He said the couple realised they could use their “gifts” and Catholic faith to help people who believed they were being tormented by ghosts or demons.
Mr Warren died in 2006 and Mr Spera now oversees the New England Society for Psychic Research.
My dear friend Lorraine Warren has passed. From a deep feeling of sorrow, a deep feeling of gratitude emerges. I was so blessed to have known her and am honored to portray her. She lived her life in grace and cheerfulness. She wore a helmet of salvation, she dawned her sword... pic.twitter.com/Kn2E6ZO9fL— Vera Farmiga (@VeraFarmiga) April 19, 2019
The organisation’s website said Mrs Warren had “decided to retire from active investigations regarding the areas of haunted homes and demonic infestations/possessions” but was still a consultant to the organisation at the time of her death.
The Warrens’ work did receive criticism from doubters over the years.
The New England Sceptical Society in 1997 said the Warrens’ “copious anecdotal evidence” of reports of hauntings vastly outnumbered their “low-grade physical evidence”.
Warren told the Associated Press in a 2013 interview that she understood it was very difficult for people to accept she could see ghosts if they had never seen one themselves.
“I hope you never will,” she said. “I really don’t.”
The NESPR team regretfully announces the passing of our loving teacher, mentor, friend, mother, Lorraine...Posted by New England Society for Psychic Research - NESPR on Friday, April 19, 2019
The 2013 film The Conjuring is based on the couple’s investigation into alleged events at a Rhode Island farmhouse in the 1970s.
Mrs Warren visited the set during the filming. She also spent time at her Connecticut home with actress Vera Farmiga, who portrays her in the movie and its sequels.
Farmiga expressed her condolences on Twitter Friday, saying she was “blessed to have known” Mrs Warren and “honoured to portray her”.