Couple Who Lives In 'The Conjuring' House Is Suing Warner Brothers
A Rhode Island couple is suing Warner Brothers, claiming that the portrayal of their home in The Conjuring has caused them a lot of grief.
Norma Sutcliffe and her husband, Gerald Helfrich, live in a farmhouse in Burrillville, Rhode Island. They say their lives have been disrupted ever since their home was featured in Warner Brothers' 2013 horror flick, The Conjuring, according to WHDH. Trespassers are constantly coming to check out the house, and nothing the couple does—including signs and motion-activated alarms—will stop them.
"[The trespassers] somehow feel that they have a right to be on this property by any means that they choose," Sutcliffe told WHDH. "It's the worry of that one or two that could be more serious than just trespassing. And that's what we live with every day."
Sutcliffe wants Warner Brothers to pay unspecified damages, as well the funds for a security system and plan to keep horror buffs and curious ghost seekers away.
The Conjuring tells the tale of Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) who, in 1971, move into an old fixer-upper in Rhode Island with their five daughters. They notice that their dog won't go inside, and one of the girls finds that the entrance to the basement has been boarded up. Cue the spooky, unexplained activity, and soon the family gets two paranormal investigators—Ed and Lorraine Warren—involved.
Ed and Lorraine, though portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Bates Motel's Vera Farmiga in the film, are two real-life paranormal investigators who have been involved in a number of cases later turned into films—like the story that inspired The Amityville Horror. Ed has since passed away, but Lorraine served as a consultant on the film, and has always insisted that many of the paranormal occurrences depicted in the film really happened, according to USA Today.
Sutcliffe and her husband moved into the house in the '80s and were, at one point in time, friends with the Perrons' oldest daughter, Andrea. Andrea has written three books, all self-published, about her ghostly experiences. She also claims that while the film is fictionalized in many ways, her family really was haunted by ghosts during the nine years they lived in the home.
A reporter for NBC 10 said that Sutcliffe had talked about the occasional spooky occurrence—a door banging, for instance—in 2012. The TV show Ghost Hunters also filmed there in recent years. And, Sutcliffe made a video with Andrea Perron talking about supernatural occurrences she herself had experienced in the home, including a mysterious banging on the door.
With the release of the film, however, Sutcliffe and Perron's friendship has evaporated. Sutcliffe has also taken to YouTube to try to dissuade any potential ghost seekers from disturbing her peace.
The Conjuring was not shot at Sutcliffe's home. Rather, a private home in North Carolina served as the exterior, while most of the interiors were filmed at Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The Sutcliffes would not be the first people to have trouble after having their home featured in a Hollywood production. The couple who lives in the Breaking Bad house in Albuquerque would really appreciate it if people would stop throwing pizzas up onto their roof.
Here's the trailer for The Conjuring: