Following on from Annabelle the Doll (Part 1), the article continues with Ed and Lorraine Warren, who investigated Annabelle and which makes an appearance in the movie The Conjuring.
Ed and Lorraine Warren
I have to say from the start that I have a lot of respect for Ed and Lorraine Warren. When I was in my mid-teens, and really coming into my own as a paranormal investigator and researcher, they were my inspiration and one of my major influences. While I don’t subscribe to notions of demons or demonic entities, I’ve never completely agreed with their thoughts on the subject or on some of the methodology they used. I do, however, have no doubt that some nasty, very dark, malevolent spirits do exist and that they can cause serious harm to people, even kill them.
Edward "Ed" Warren Miney and Lorraine Rita Warren, née Moran, were American paranormal investigators and authors associated with some very well-known haunting cases, including Amityville and the Demon Murder Trial.
Ed was a US Navy veteran in WWII and a former police officer, who studied Demonology. He became a self-taught, self-proclaimed expert, author, and lecturer on the subject, as well as on satanic cults. After serving in the Navy, he married his high school sweetheart, Lorraine, and together they lived a care-free proto-hippie lifestyle, bombing around the New England back-roads in a battered old automobile.
Lorraine was a professed clairvoyant and light trance medium, who worked closely with her husband and who could see auras and directly speak with the spirits they encountered. Lorraine’s psychic ability had lain dormant since her attendance at a Catholic school for girls, where she would often see shadows or auras around some of the nuns. When she mentioned it to them, she was punished, so her abilities were suppressed. When she and Ed started investigating together, she became aware that she possessed "special powers" and at that point started developing them.
Ed was an art student at school, so he put his training to good use and sold his paintings to make ends meet while they were on the road. He began painting the reputedly haunted houses they investigated, sometimes traded them to the home owners in exchange for access to them. During the 1970s, the Warrens lectured at various universities, where they became identified as professional demonologists and paranormal investigators. Between them, they’ve investigated over 10,000 cases during the course of their careers, which have taken them across the world. They’ve authored nine books about their own private investigations and experiences. They’ve also appeared on numerous TV shows, including Discovery channel’s The Haunting and Scariest Places on Earth, and served as consultants on various movies, including the original 1979 Amityville Horror and its 2005 remake, as well as other TV movies.
Unfortunately, Ed died in 2006. In March 2001, at 2 a.m. he suffered a stroke and collapsed onto the floor after letting the cat in, losing his speech as a result. Poor health kept Ed housebound, but five years later, aged 79, Ed died quietly at home, attended by Lorraine, his wife for 61 years.
Annabelle the Doll and The Warrens
The Warrens’ connection to Annabelle the Doll came as a result of the escalated activity surrounding the doll, when Father Cooke decided to contact them after reviewing the evidence.
Ed and Lorraine Warren took an immediate interest in the case after speaking with Donna, Angie, and Lou about their experiences. After their investigation, they concluded that the doll itself was not, in fact, possessed but was being manipulated by a demon. They explained that spirits do not actually possess inanimate objects, such as toys or houses, they possess people. An inhuman spirit can attach itself to objects or places, so in the case of Annabelle was creating the illusion of her being "alive" in order to stay attached to the doll and seek a human host to possess.
In the case of Annabelle, the inhuman demonic spirit was essentially in the "infestation" stage of possession, at first moving the doll around the apartment by means of teleportation to arouse the occupants’ curiosity in the hopes that it would gain recognition. Then, predictably, bringing a medium into the apartment to communicate with it gave the inhuman spirit the chance to fabricate a moving story during the séance that would prey on the girls’ emotions by pretending to be a harmless, lost young girl. Once permission was granted for it to stay, under the guise of Annabelle the girl, it was also given free reign of the apartment. It would then be able to deliberately cause negative phenomenon to occur, arousing fear through the strange movements and behavioural patterns of the doll, the materialization of disturbing handwritten notes, the symbolic blood manifesting on the doll, and ultimately the attack on Lou leaving behind the bestial scratch marks on his body. The next stage of infestation would have been complete human possession. Had these experiences continued unabated for several more weeks, the spirit would have completely possessed one of them and harmed one or all of the occupants in the apartment.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Ed and Lorraine Warren deemed it necessary to have a recitation of an exorcism blessing conducted by Father Cooke to cleanse the apartment. The rite is a seven page document that, rather than specifically expelling evil entities from a dwelling, the emphasis is instead directed towards infusing the home with positive energies and the power of God.
Although Father Cooke was uncomfortable with the role of exorcist, he agreed to perform the rite nevertheless. Afterwards, the Warrens felt confident that the entity would no longer reside in the apartment, allowing Donna, Angie and Lou to continue with their lives fear-free. As an extra precaution against the same thing happening again, Donna requested that the Warrens took the big rag doll along with them when they left.
This wasn’t the end of the inhuman spirit’s manipulation, however, as they would soon find out. After leaving the apartment, Ed placed Annabelle the doll in the back seat of his car, agreeing that he would not take the interstate in case the spirit still resided with the doll.
His caution was well-founded when a series of potentially fatal events occurred on the way back to their home. The brakes and steering would suddenly fail when approaching curves in the road, the engine would mysteriously cut out or stall, and their car repeatedly verged on collision. Ed doused the doll with holy water and made the sign of the cross over it. The disturbances stopped immediately, allowing the Warrens to safely drive home.
At their home, Ed sat Annabelle in a chair next to his desk. In the beginning, the doll levitated a number of times, then appeared to fall completely inert. During the ensuing weeks, however, it began showing up in various rooms of the house, exactly as it had before. When the Warrens were away, the doll was locked in the outer office building; they would often return to find it sitting comfortably upstairs in Ed’s easy chair when they opened the main front door. The doll also displayed a distinct hatred for clergymen who visited the house.
In one instance, Father Jason Bradford, a Catholic exorcist, came into the house. Upon seeing the doll seated in the chair, he picked it up and said, "You’re just a ragdoll, Annabelle, you can’t hurt anyone.” And he tossed it back onto the chair. Ed admonished him that it would be a mistake to say anything like that.
An hour later, the priest was about to leave. Lorraine warned him to be careful driving and to call her when he arrived home. Several hours later, Father Jason called Lorraine and explained that his brakes had failed as he was entering a busy intersection. He was involved in a near-fatal accident, which destroyed his vehicle but he managed to escape relatively unharmed. This was one of many such events that occurred over the next few years.
Annabelle the Doll – Part 3
In Where Is Annabelle the Doll Now?, is answered, along with a few facts about her you probably didn’t know.[divider top=”no”]