Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

R.I.P. Lorraine Warren, author and paranormal investigator

Illustration for article titled R.I.P. Lorraine Warren, author and paranormal investigator
Photo: Gregg DeGuire (Getty Images)

Lorraine Warren, the chronicler of supernatural and psychic phenomena whose work inspired The Conjuring franchise, has died. Her son-in-law, Tony Spera, confirmed the news to Patch. She was 92.


“It is with deep sadness that I must announce that Lorraine Warren has passed away,” Spera said in a statement. “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.”

Though the validity of the supernatural claims made by Lorraine and her late husband, Ed Warren, is undoubtedly dubious, the pair’s influence on horror culture has been immense. As founders of the New England Society For Psychic Research, the pair investigated a number of high-profile hauntings, including the Lindley Street poltergeist, the West Point ghost, and the Amityville horrors, the latter of which spawned 17 films. Their work investigating the Perron farmhouse set the stage for 2013's The Conjuring, in which Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga play the couple, and their involvement in the case of the Enfield poltergeist was explored in the film’s sequel. They also laid claim to the Annabelle doll that was the basis for two recent films and another that’s set to open soon. All told, Lorraine and Ed wrote 10 books together and lectured across the world.

Lorraine, who claimed to be clairvoyant and a light trance medium in addition to a devout Christian, was born in Bridgeport in 1927. She claims her spiritual sensitivities developed in Catholic school, where she was punished for remarking on the auras of her teachers. In a 2014 Patch interview, Spera said that Lorraine wishes to be remembered for “perhaps making a difference in people’s lives. In helping to resolve their problems, and in some cases brought families closer to their faith.”

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.