The Perron Family's Nightmare: The True Story Behind The Conjuring

The Perron Family’s Nightmare: The True Story Behind The Conjuring

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Written By Haunting Realm

Adventurer. Cryptozoology enthusiast. Paranormal investigator. Storyteller.

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During their stay at Arnold Estate, the Perron family encountered a distressing paranormal entity that left them feeling terrorized. This historic property, dating back to 1693, has long been known for its eerie hauntings, and the Perrons' experience only adds to its chilling reputation.

Comprising of a mother, father, and five daughters, the Perron family lived in the infamous house for almost a decade, from January 1971 until 1980. 

However, the property’s sinister past dates back much further, with local legends suggesting that a woman named Bathsheba Sherman had been haunting the area for centuries before the family’s arrival. 

Though the claims that she was a witch remain unsubstantiated, the stories of her apparitions and supernatural disturbances have been passed down through generations of families who have called the property home. 

In the 1970s, renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren paid a visit to the house to investigate the reports of paranormal activity. This experience later inspired the blockbuster horror movie, The Conjuring.

The Real-Life Haunting Behind the Movie

Behind the cinematic spectacle of The Conjuring lies a tale rooted in reality, a haunting narrative that unfolded in the quiet town of Harrisville, Rhode Island. 

The Perron family haunting is a chilling saga that inspired the movie. 

The Perron family, consisting of Roger and Carolyn Perron and their five daughters, moved into a farmhouse in January 1971, unaware of the spectral inhabitants that already resided there. 

Their decade-long experience with the paranormal, marked by a series of inexplicable and terrifying events, forms the backbone of The Conjuring’s narrative. 

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The family’s encounters with the supernatural, particularly the alleged ghost of a woman named Bathsheba Sherman, have since become a part of paranormal folklore.

In this article, I want to review and analyze the real-life events that inspired The Conjuring. I also want to explore the experiences of the Perron family, the involvement of renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, and the truth behind the haunting of the farmhouse. 

Furthermore, I will look over some discrepancies between the movie and the actual events, providing a comprehensive account of the haunting that continues to intrigue and terrify to this day.

The Perron Family and the Haunting of the Farmhouse

A New Home, A New Beginning

In January 1971, the Perron family, comprising Roger and Carolyn Perron and their five daughters, Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy, and April, moved into a quaint, 14-room farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. 

The family was drawn to the idyllic charm of the Arnold Estate, a 200-acre property that promised a peaceful, rural life. 

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Little did they know that their dream home, nestled near the old Baptist cemetery, held a dark secret that would turn their lives upside down. 

The family’s initial excitement soon gave way to a sense of unease as they began to experience a series of inexplicable events that defied logic and reason.

Photo of Andrea Perron at the Arnold Estate and the alleged spirit
This image captures Andrea Perron in the Arnold Estate, the real-life setting of “The Conjuring.” The faded rays of light in the top left corner are believed to be an alleged ‘spirit,’ adding a chilling layer to the photograph. Photo credit: T + E.

Unsettling Occurrences and the Family’s Reactions

The Perron family’s first encounters with the paranormal were subtle yet unsettling. 

Household items would disappear only to reappear in unexpected places. Strange noises echoed through the house at night, and the smell of rotting flesh would fill the air without any discernible source. 

The children reported seeing people who vanished into thin air, and beds would shake inexplicably in the middle of the night. 

Initially, the family dismissed these occurrences as quirks of the old house. 

However, as the intensity of these events escalated, the family could no longer ignore the reality that they were not the house’s only inhabitants.

Unearthing the Dark Past: The Spirit of Bathsheba

As the hauntings became more frequent and terrifying, the Perron family decided to investigate the history of their home. 

Their research revealed a series of tragic deaths and suicides associated with the property, the most infamous being that of Bathsheba Sherman, a previous inhabitant of the house in the mid-19th century. 

Bathsheba was rumored to be a witch who had sacrificed her child to the devil and was cursed to roam the earth after her death. 

The family believed that Bathsheba’s spirit was responsible for the most malevolent hauntings, particularly those targeted at Carolyn Perron.

The Arrival of Ed and Lorraine Warren

Desperate for help, the Perron family reached out to Ed and Lorraine Warren, renowned paranormal investigators known for their work on prominent cases such as the Amityville haunting. 

The Warrens conducted a series of investigations at the farmhouse, during which they claimed to witness various paranormal phenomena.

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They concluded that multiple spirits, including the malevolent spirit of Bathsheba, indeed haunted the house. 

The Warrens attempted a séance to cleanse the house, an event that reportedly resulted in Carolyn becoming momentarily possessed. The séance proved to be a turning point for the family, marking the beginning of the end of their ordeal with the supernatural.

The real grave of Bathsheba Sherman
Image of Bathsheba Sherman’s grave. She was a 19th-century woman who lived in the house later inhabited by the Perron family. Rumored to be a witch in local folklore, she’s believed to be the malevolent spirit haunting the Perron family in “The Conjuring.” Image credit: Twitter.

The Truth Behind the Story: Fact vs. Fiction

The Conjuring: Movie vs. Reality

While The Conjuring franchise has captivated audiences worldwide with its chilling narrative, it’s important to note the discrepancies between the cinematic portrayal and the actual events. 

For instance, the movie depicts the Warrens performing an exorcism on Carolyn Perron, a dramatic event that never occurred, according to the Perron family. 

In reality, the Warrens conducted a séance, not an exorcism. 

Furthermore, the movie’s portrayal of Bathsheba as a witch who sacrificed her child to the devil is a significant embellishment. 

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Historical records suggest that Bathsheba was a regular woman who lived and died in the 19th century, with no concrete evidence linking her to witchcraft or infanticide.

The Perron Family’s Perspective

Andrea Perron, the eldest daughter of the Perron family, has been very vocal about her family’s experiences at the farmhouse and the portrayal of these events in “The Conjuring” movie. 

In an interview with Freesat, she shared more about her family’s decade-long haunting and the movie’s depiction of it.

Andrea has stated that while the film captured the essence of their haunting, it also took creative liberties for dramatic effect. According to her, the malevolent force they encountered was far more terrifying in real life than depicted in the movie. 

She also mentioned that the family lived in the house for ten years, from 1970 to 1980, and she still regularly returns to the farmhouse, despite the terrifying experiences they had there.

However, she has a different relationship with the spirits in the house than her mother did. She described the house as “the most amazing place I’ve ever been in my life” and referred to it as “a portal cleverly disguised as a farmhouse.” 

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She also spoke about the Warrens, stating that they did everything they could to help the Perron family, even though they were in over their heads. 

From Andrea’s perspective, the Warrens were not prepared for the intensity of the haunting at the farmhouse:

Ed and Lorraine Warren walked into our house the night before Halloween in 1973… But I will go to my grave believing they did everything they could to help us; they just didn’t know how.

Andrea also defended Bathsheba Sherman, the spirit Lorraine Warren identified as the malevolent presence in the house. She believes Bathsheba was unfairly blamed for all the paranormal activities in the house. 

I think that’s very unfair on Bathsheba… I just don’t believe that, and I’ve had a spiritual connection with Bathsheba, even at her own gravestone – I’ve heard disembodied voices, she’s come through spirit box to talk to me – she’s a part of my consciousness and a part of my life. And I defend her at every turn.

In the same interview, Andrea also mentioned other spirits that dwelled in the house, including a spirit with a deep Scottish brogue that threatened her mother and a ghost named Oliver Richardson, who was represented as the little boy Rory in the film.

Andrea has authored three books to fully recount what her family experienced, including “House of Darkness House of Light,” a title suggested by her mother. 

1885 photo of the Arnold Estate
This photo is believed to be the oldest existing picture of the Perron family house, taken well before the family resided there. The Arnold Estate, located in Harrisville, Rhode Island, is infamous for its haunting history. The Perron family, who lived there from 1971 to 1980, reported numerous paranormal experiences. They believed several spirits caused these, most notably that of Bathsheba Sherman, a previous inhabitant rumored to be a witch. Image credit: Youtube.

Bathsheba Sherman: The Woman Behind the Legend

The real story of Bathsheba Sherman is far less sensational than the movie’s portrayal. 

Historical records indicate that Bathsheba was a woman who lived in the 19th century and was married to Judson Sherman. The couple had four children, three of whom tragically died young. 

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While local folklore painted Bathsheba as a witch, no substantial evidence supports these claims. The accusations seem to stem from a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the tragic events in her life.

The Aftermath

The haunting left a lasting impact on the Perron family. They eventually moved out of the farmhouse in the 1980s, but the memories of their spectral cohabitants continue to haunt them. 

Andrea Perron has written a trilogy, “House of Darkness House of Light,” detailing their experiences. 

The experiences have undeniably shaped the lives of those involved, leaving them with stories that continue to chill and fascinate.


The real-life events that inspired The Conjuring profoundly impacted the family involved. Despite moving away from the haunted farmhouse, the Perron family carried the memories of their spectral encounters with them. 

The experiences shaped their perception of the world and the unseen forces that inhabit it. The haunting not only disrupted their lives but also thrust them into the public eye, subjecting them to scrutiny and skepticism. 

On the other hand, Ed and Lorraine Warren, with their involvement in high-profile cases like the Perron family haunting, the Amityville case, and the Enfield Poltergeist, have left an indelible mark on the field of paranormal investigation. 

Their life’s work, immortalized in the Conjuring franchise, continues to captivate audiences, reminding us of the thin veil that separates the known from the unknown.

Answering Common Questions

What happened to the Perron family?

The Perron family lived in the farmhouse for about ten years, during which they experienced numerous paranormal events. They eventually moved out of the house in the 1980s.

Where is the Perron family now?

The members of the Perron family have moved on with their lives since leaving the farmhouse. Andrea Perron, the eldest daughter, has written a trilogy of books detailing their experiences.

What book talks about the Perron family?

The Perron family’s experiences are detailed in Andrea Perron’s trilogy, “House of Darkness House of Light.”

What does the Perron family say about The Conjuring?

The Perron family has stated that while the movie captured the essence of their experiences, it also took creative liberties. They affirmed that the actual events were far more terrifying than depicted in the film.

When did the Perron family leave?

The Perron family left the farmhouse in the 1980s, almost a decade after they moved in.

How much money did the Perron family receive from the movie The Conjuring?

The Perron family did not receive any direct profits from the movie. However, the increased interest in their story following the movie’s release has likely contributed to the sales of Andrea Perron’s books.

How did the Warrens get involved with the Perron family?

The Perron family reached out to the Warrens for help when the hauntings at their farmhouse escalated. The Warrens conducted a series of investigations and attempted a séance to cleanse the house.

Where is the Perron family house located?

The Perron family house, also known as the Arnold Estate, is located in Harrisville, Rhode Island.