Lorraine Warren, Paranormal Investigator And Inspiration Behind 'The Conjuring' Series, Has Died

Real-life ghost hunter Lorraine Warren, who, with her late husband Ed, inspired The Conjuring series, has died at 92. The Warrens made a name for themselves investigating several famous hauntings, most notably the Amityville Horror case. In 2013, Vera Farmiga portrayed Lorraine in James Wan's hit horror film The Conjuring, which would go on to inspire both sequels and an entire cinematic universe. While the veracity of Lorraine's psychic abilities are dubious at best, her intentions were likely pure, and her legacy will continue to live on – much like the ghost stories she helped popularize.

Born in 1927, Lorraine Warren devoted her life to studying the paranormal, a task she tackled with the help of her alleged psychic abilities. In 1942, when Lorraine was 16, she met 16-year-old Ed Warren at the The Colonial Theatre in Bridegport, Connecticut, where Ed worked as an usher. "Lorraine and her mother used to come every Wednesday night," Ed said later. "I'd see Lorraine coming in and we started talking, and we became friends. I was 16 at the time and she was 16, one night I walked her home and asked her for a date." The two married about a year later.

It was as if the pair were made for each other. Ed professed to have grown up in a haunted house, and Lorraine claimed to be a clairvoyant and a light trance medium. The two would eventually use their knowledge of the paranormal to become amateur, and then professional, paranormal investigators. The duo would go on to investigate the Amityville Horror case, several cases of demonic possession, and the haunting of the Perron family home in  Harrisville, Rhode Island – the latter of which would inspire James Wan's The Conjuring.

The Conjuring presents a fictionalized version of the Warrens and their story, but helped spread their notoriety to an even wider audience. The Warrens real-life investigations into Annabelle the doll and the Enfield Poltergeist would go on to inspire the Annabelle films, and The Conjuring 2, respectively.

While it seems the Warrens had the absolute best intentions when it came to their investigations, they faced heavy criticism for their highly unscientific approach. Per a 1997 piece in the Connecticut Post, writers Steve Novella and Perry DeAngelis investigated the Warrens and concluded that the couple were "pleasant people, but their claims of demons and ghosts to be at best, as tellers of meaningless ghost stories, and at worst, dangerous frauds."

Whether you believed them or not, the Warrens left an indelible impact on the world of paranormal investigation. Ed Warren died in 2006. Lorraine Warren's death was announced via Warren family member Chris McKinnell on Facebook. McKinnell wrote:

Last night my grandmother, Lorraine Warren, quietly and peacefully left us to join her beloved Ed. She was happy and laughing until the very end. She was my angel and my hero, and she will be deeply missed. Please join us in celebrating her life and honoring her beautiful soul. Remember to treasure those you love while you can. Thank you and God bless you all.

Lorraine Warren's son-in-law Tony Spera also confirmed the passing, telling Patch:

"It is with deep sadness that I must announce that Lorraine Warren has passed away. She died peacefully in her sleep at home last night. The family requests that you respect their privacy at this time. Lorraine touched many lives and was loved by so many. She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will Rogers, she never met a person she didn't like. She was an avid animal lover and contributed to many animal charities and rescues. She was wonderful and giving to her entire family. May God Bless her."

Below, watch an interview with Lorraine Warren and James Wan regarding The Conjuring.

And in the following interview, Vera Farmiga talks about what it was like to first meet Lorraine Warren, and what ultimately helped her decide to play Lorraine in the Conjuring franchise.