James Wan’s 2013 chiller The Conjuring, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as paranormal investigators who must fight off supernatural forces while on assignment at a rural home, made more than $300 million worldwide, and spawned an upcoming sequel based on the notorious Enfield Poltergeist. It seemed to satisfy most horror fans, and I certainly enjoyed it, though truth be told it didn’t really frighten me in the way it did many others. However, the moment I read the following piece of news I felt just a tiny shiver make its way down my spine, especially considering there were reports of eerie happenings while the film was being made. A gust of wind encircled the Perron family while they were on set in North Carolina yet the trees nearby seemed unaffected while at the same time Carolyn Perron, who had remained behind in Atlanta, felt a dark presence and suffered a severe fall that put her in the hospital. Wan, when in his office one night, heard his puppy growling at some unseen intruder and tracking its movements. And Farmiga opened her laptop one day and saw five claw marks slashed across the screen. Just nonsense to publicise the film or yet another reminder that films dealing with spooky subjects run the risk of having to deal with forces that may not like the film to be made?
Anyway, it now seems that the couple who own the spooky house that inspired The Conjuring have filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. over what court documents have described as “a Conjuring-instigated siege of their property”. Norma Sutcliffe and Gerald Helfrich, owners of the Rhode Island property since 1987, claim that they’ve been deluged by fans of the movie, and mostly fans who are:
“Threatening physical violence and harm, causing them sleepless nights, and to worry that one day, one of the many trespassers will commit an act of destruction, violence, or harm”.
The couple hold Warner Bros responsible for making and releasing the movie without their approval, the lawsuit states, and therefore blame them for the current events which do sound rather scary to me. Okay, on the face of it there’s nothing obviously supernatural about this story, but it does seem odd. Surely most fans of a horror movie would want to visit the creepy house where it was filmed, but why on earth would they threaten the couple who live there? Some kind of supernatural malign influence maybe? Are these visitors actually fans of the film or something else?