Lorraine Warren’s (86) job isn’t the easiest to explain, or fathom, for that matter. And the American paranormal investigator and real-life clairvoyant is okay with that. For decades, she worked closely with her late husband, Edward Warren, visiting numerous haunted locations and helping people with her gift.
One of their famous cases led to the book, The Amityville Horror: A True Story. The Jay Anson story went on to inspire many films — from The Amityville Horror (1979) to the more recent, The Amityville Haunting (2011). The latest movie that her experiences have led to is James Wan’s The Conjuring, which releases in India on August 2. Here, she talks about discovering her talent at age seven, and how she deals with non-believers.
When did you first discover that you were clairvoyant?
I was seven years old. I used to go to a private Catholic girl’s school, and I said to one of the nuns that her lights (aura) were brighter than Mother Superior’s. But I was young and innocent (then). I couldn’t talk to my parents; I didn’t want to scare them.
So when did you know for sure?
(It was after an incident at) the Ocean Veterinary House in Henniker, New Hampshire. My husband and I both were artists. We were delivering a painting… and while coming back, I said, There’s a haunted house by this hill. We went up and I knocked on the door. The owner said, “Come on in, come on in.” We went into this room and it was cold. I had my arms on the back of a chair. All of a sudden, I felt a jolt. I was out of my body. It was beautiful. That was the moment I realised. After that, nobody understood me, my family, my husband... nobody.
Have you had trouble convincing non-believers about your job?
I don’t try to. Some people, you can never ever convince. They don’t want to believe and if they don’t want to believe, you are not going to convince them.
What was it about this haunted house (the one that inspired The Conjuring) that sets it apart?
There were children in that house and they were scared. I entered a room and there it was — this horrible, ugly-looking thing glowing in the corner. That’s how we knew this house was haunted. It was terrible, the things that were happening. You sit on the bed, it lifts up and then it drops down.
Can paranormal powers physically harm anyone?
That would be demonic; that is dangerous. Human spirits can’t, but a demon can.
How would you describe your paranormal experiences so far?
You know it’s a ghost. If you’re not afraid, it’s beautiful to experience something of that (paranormal) nature. But if you’re afraid, it’s going snap back in, like a rubber band.
Why did you decide to dedicate your working life to dealing with the paranormal?
Because I think it helps people understand that there is a God and there is someone there to protect them.