The Conjuring topped many fans and critics’ lists as one of the scariest movies of 2013. Director James Wan based the film on the experiences of the Perron family in a haunted house in Harrisville, Rhode Island. Yet, Andrea Perron claims that the film was mostly fiction as Wan feared that true account was too scary to show on film. 

“It will run people right out of the theatre,” James allegedly said, per Global News’ interview with Andrea Perron. The Perron family stayed in Harrisville for ten years for one simple reason: The haunted house felt like home, and for some of Perrons, it still does. 

The Perron family lives far from Harrisville, but some occasionally return to visit the house

The Perron Family
Paul Edward Parker/The Providence Journal

By the time 1980 rolled in, Carolyn Perron, the family matriarch, had reached the end of her rope. She told her husband, Roger Perron, that she couldn’t survive another winter in Rhode Island: Winters were particularly bitter in the Perron residence. 

“She had been under attack in that house for 10 years,” Andrea said, per The Providence Journal. The destination in Carolyn’s mind was Georgia – the only place that felt like home. So, the family moved to Georgia, where Roger and Carolyn still reside. 

Seven people – Roger, Carolyn, and their children Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy, and April – moved into the haunted house in 1971. However, only six left in 1980: Nancy opted to remain. She stayed with the property’s new owner before moving to Chepachet, Rhode Island. 

Andrea stayed in Georgia for a while before moving to Florida. Christine and Cindy reside close to their parents in Georgia. The youngest member of the family, April, who found companionship with one of the ghosts in the house, passed away in 2017 following an accidental overdose. 

Nancy remained in the house for an extra year because she and Andrea never wanted to leave. Andrea told The Providence Journal that she, Nancy, and her father returned to Harrisville for a live-streamed paranormal investigation because the trio still felt connected to the house. 

Carolyn, Christine, and Cindy attended the live stream virtually. Andrea revealed that she had a productive time at the house as she contacted her sister April. “She was right there,” Andrea said. “Other spirits were saying her name.”

The Perron family recently lost Nancy’s granddaughter Lucy Connor to floods in Waverly, Tennessee. Andrea told The Providence Journal that she thinks the spirits acknowledged the family’s sorrow. “The spirits know how heartbroken we are,” Andrea said. “It’s like they were acknowledging our loss.”

Andrea told Global News that the family felt strangely comfortable after moving in half a century ago. “We felt like it was precisely where we belonged from the moment we all stepped on the property,” she said. 

Four decades after moving out, she feels connected to the house. “Every now and then, it just reaches out to me and says, ‘Come home,” she said. Despite Elizabeth Warren’s warning that Andrea will die if she returns, she hopes to one day acquire the property, though its current $1.2 million price tag eliminates her from contention. 

“I’ll let the universe decide whether this is our last visit to the farmhouse,” Andrea said. “I don’t need to own it. It owns me.”

The Perron family believes that Bathsheba wasn’t responsible for haunting their mother

Bathsheba is very much the villain in The Conjuring. The film blames her for the evil in the house, but the Perron family believes that she’s unfairly criticized. 

Speaking to Global News, Andrea blames Lorraine Warren for misleading the film’s directors. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the Perron family home. Andrea acknowledges that Lorraine connected with Bathsheba but misinterpreted her connection with the farm. 

Andrea sympathizes with Bathsheba, who was accused of witchcraft for allegedly sacrificing a child to Satan. She mourned the deaths of three of her four children and lived a ‘miserable life beneath a shroud of suspicion.’ Andrea said:

“There was only one really malignant spirit in the house who was so mean-spirited toward my mother, but we do not believe it was Bathsheba. My mother feels exactly the same way about her as I do. She thinks Bathsheba got royally screwed in The Conjuring, given the role of the evil spirit by default.”

Andrea opines that the ghost of Mrs. Arnold haunted Carolyn for a decade. Mrs. Arnold committed suicide by hanging after learning of her husband’s death. “I think she was probably an angry spirit, or bereft,” Andrea said. 

The Conjuring’s exorcism is probably the most terrifying part of the film. Andrea opines that the real-life séance conducted by Lorraine Warren was infinitely more terrifying. She explained:

“The night of the séance was a gruesome event, shocking and horrific, the definition of childhood trauma. It was absolutely heart-stopping hearing her [Carolyn] scream, watching her writhing in pain. It wasn’t Bathsheba that attacked my mother that night, but whatever it was, it was incredibly powerful, certainly powerful enough to claim her life if it wanted to.”

Carolyn has no memory of the séance that almost took her life. However, a decade of interacting with the supernatural world remains etched in her mind. 

Thanks to that haunted house, the Perron family lives free of the fear of death. Andrea told People: “It taught me everything I need to know about life, death and the promise of the afterlife. Because of it, I have lived fearlessly. I am not afraid to die because I know, in some way, we go on. Death is not the end. I find this knowledge comforting.”