The Conjuring scared the bejeezus out of moviegoers in 2013. The true story behind it might be even more terrifying. In 1971, the Perron family moved into an old farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. What they claimed happened to them was nothing short of terrorizing.

The Conjuring true story

It’s no secret that The Conjuring series is one of the most terrifying trilogies in the 21st century. The first film proved it was so much more than just jump-scares and special effects. Everything from the haunting script to the truly horrifying acting makes The Conjuring a horror-lover’s delight. However, the film wasn’t merely created to send shivers up the spines of movie-goers. In fact, the script is far from fictional. The Conjuring’s true story proves how unsettling reality can be…especially when mixed with the supernatural.

It all began with the poor, unassuming Perron family: Roger, Carolyn, and their five daughters. When they moved into an old home in Rhode Island in 1971, they were likely expecting to deal with some basic leaks and damages…not supernatural entities. Yet, their haunting was no ordinary case of ghostly activity. The forces in their home were out to wreak havoc more significant than the Perrons could imagine…and weren’t afraid to use them to do it.

Um, so, this is freaking terrifying

Of course, like most hauntings, nothing wild happened right off the bat. However, shortly after the Perrons moved in, they began to notice some strange activity in their home. From odd noises in rooms without anyone in them to missing household objects, something wasn’t sitting right with the Perrons. And before long, it became clear that they weren’t alone in their new house.

Soon, their daughters began to see spirits around the home. It was quickly made clear that they weren’t all friendly like the cuddly, cartoon Casper. Before long, all members of the family began to feel the undeniable pull of the paranormal presences in their home. Sometimes, the ghosts would simply kiss or brush against them; other times, the rot-reeking spirits would violently lift their beds from the ground and do other things to instill fear. As they tore down the Perrons’ psyches, the supernatural entities began to destroy their house, their peace of mind, and their sense of safety. But, considering the horrid history of the home, it’s hard to blame the spirits for not resting in peace.

Okay, I get why they’re mad…

Before the Perrons moved in, the home was passed down from generation to generation of one family… all of whom died terrible and mysterious deaths. From hangings to murders to drownings, the gruesome passings of the previous tenants may have inspired their fury in the afterlife. Of all the ghosts hanging around, the most grief-inducing was Bathsheba Sherman, the featured entity in The Conjuring. Unsurprisingly, Bathsheba was a terror far before she became an evil spirit. She worshiped Satan and may very well have been involved in the death of a neighboring child.

It seems like sharing a house with such malevolent spirits would inspire the Perron family to get the hell out of dodge. However, they’d invested big bucks in their R.I. home, and didn’t have the funds to relocate. They were utterly terrified, though unable to escape their spooky situation. So, who are you gonna call for a haunted house? Not Ghostbusters. Instead, they enlisted the help of paranormal power-couple Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Well, that sure got worse and worse

By the time the Perrons contacted them, the Warrens had an incredible history of researching and repelling ghost, ghouls, and demons under their belts. They’d dated each other since they were sixteen. Lorraine, a clairvoyant, dedicated most of her adulthood to supernatural research and authorship. Her husband Ed was equally as involved in the investigation and authoring of paranormal activity. The duo ultimately claimed fame after opening a case on the infamous Amityville hauntings, gaining them credibility in the community of supernatural researchers. However, despite working with the supernatural frequently, the case of The Conjuring home seemed to rattle them to their cores more than most.

Many likely viewed The Conjuring as a dramatized flick. Yet, the Warrens witnessed first-hand the terrifying, life-altering events that took place in that Rhode Island home. Over the ten years that the Perron family lived in The Conjuring house, the Warrens made several, unsettling trips to investigate the haunting. They uncovered the deeply disturbed Bathsheba and a number of other spiteful spirits ruining the lives of the Perrons. However, they weren’t just there to log the strange events in the home. Rather, Lorraine and Ed believed they might actually be able to help the Perrons get rid of and/or make peace with their ghosts. As a result, they attempted a pretty jarring event: a seance.

That didn’t quite go as planned…

The movie paints what happened in the terrifying basement scene as an exorcism. However, Lorraine actually performed a seance to try to communicate with the ghosts in the home. It makes sense, right? Considering neither Ed or Lorraine were priests (but were savvy with spirits), it was their best option. Unfortunately, Bathsheba didn’t quite think so. In fact, she was intent on turning their seance into more than just a quick trip to Hell.

Bathsheba ultimately possessed the poor Perron mother, Carolyn. The experience went down much like it did in the movie. The angry, anguished mother, possessed by Bathsheba, levitated over the ground. And yes, according to all eye-witnesses, the mom actually flew. It probably would have been pretty cool had she not been a screaming, terrifying monster the whole time. Unfortunately, after the whole seance-gone-wrong, the Warrens were kicked out of the Perron house for good. Still strapped for money, the Perrons stuck around and put up with chaos for many more painstaking years. Could you imagine living out the plot of The Conjuring for a decade? Thankfully, the resilient family eventually saved enough to move…and left the horrors of the home behind them.