If you saw the movie The Conjuring then you may know of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Since the 1950s the couple worked in the paranormal field investigating cases of hauntings, possessions, and other odd occurrences. During their careers the Warrens collected a number of paranormal artifacts and oddities, which they keep in their Connecticut-based Warren's Occult Museum.
About the Museum
Ed and Lorraine Warren enjoyed collecting haunted artifacts, which they stored in the basement of their Monroe, Connecticut house. In 1952 the couple opened the room to the public, calling it Warren's Occult Museum. According to the museum website, it is the oldest and only museum of its kind.
While the museum is currently only viewable via events called Warrentology, many consider it a must-see attraction for anyone fascinated by the paranormal.
Items in the Collection
Many of the artifacts in the museum come directly from cases the New England Society for Psychic Research (NESPR) has worked over the years. Items are both fascinating and diverse, and many give insight into the strange lives the Warrens have led. The passageway to the museum displays paintings by Ed Warren depicting hauntings from many of the cases they investigated in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Satanic, Demonic, and Possessed Items
In the museum, you will find an array of items that people claim are associated with satanic activity. These include:
- A child's tombstone alleged to have been used as an altar for satanic ritual
- A satanic idol someone found in the Connecticut woods
- An array of possessed toys
- Satanic books
- Death curses
- Items from Egypt and Africa that are reportedly cursed
- Demon masks
Items Used in Witchcraft and Voodoo
Some of the items were used in dangerous occult activities, such as witchcraft rituals, voodoo ceremonies, and similar activities. These items include:
- Voodoo dolls
- Shrunken heads
- African fertility dolls
- Masks used to project evil entities
Other Paranormal and Spiritual Items
There are many other items as well. Some are haunted. Some may be used in psychic activities. Others have other spiritual or metaphysical purposes. These items include:
- Animal totems and skins
- Psychic photographs
- A haunted organ that plays by itself
- A mirror that summons spirits
- A shadow doll that reportedly appears in dreams and can stop someone's heart
Annabelle the Doll
Throughout the museum, you will find a number of dolls that purport to have some type of paranormal or demonic energy attached to them. None is more well-known than the benign-looking Raggedy Ann doll that sits locked in a glass case with a warning sign posted above it.
Annabelle is the subject of the movie of the same name, although the doll in the movie has a very different appearance than the real Annabelle.
In 1970, a woman purchased Annabelle from a hobby store as a gift for her daughter, Donna. Soon Donna, who was a college student, and her roommate noticed the doll moving on her own. Sometimes, Annabelle even moved by herself from room to room. She also began writing messages on parchment paper, which Donna claimed she didn't have available in the house.
Scared of the strange things happening with Annabelle, Donna invited a medium to her apartment to perform a seance. According to information gleaned during that seance, Annabelle contained the spirit of Annabelle Higgins, a seven year old girl found dead on the property where Donna's apartment building was later built.
A friend of Donna's named Lou recounted an experience he had in which he awoke at night but couldn't move. Annabelle was in his room, creeping up his leg and attempting to strangle him. Lou blacked out from either fear or lack of oxygen... or both. During another incident, Lou heard a noise in Donna's bedroom and went to investigate. Suddenly, something slashed him across the chest, causing great pain and bleeding. He found seven claw marks - three going vertically and four horizontally. They healed within two days.
The Warrens investigated Annabelle and reached the conclusion that she wasn't possessed by a child spirit, but rather manipulated by a demonic entity.
Annabelle at the Museum
The Warrens took the doll home and had several frightening experiences with her themselves. In spite of multiple attempts to have Catholic priests exorcize the demonic entity from the doll, it appears to have remained.
One story about Annabelle at the museum occurred when a group came through on a tour Ed Warren was giving. As Ed stood talking about Annabelle, a young man started to make fun of the doll. Ed asked the young man to leave. He did, heading home on his motorcycle with his girlfriend. On the ride home, the motorcycle crashed into a tree and the young man was killed instantly. His girlfriend lived and said later that they were laughing about Annabelle when he lost control of his bike.
Today Annabelle remains the museum's most well-known exhibit, encased in glass where visitors can watch her from a careful distance.
Ed and Lorraine Warren
Ed and Lorraine Warren are two of the most well-known names in paranormal circles. They established the New England Society for Psychic Research (NESPR) in the early 1950s. The couple investigated claims of hauntings and demonic activity long before it became a popular media fad. Ed called himself a demonologist while Lorraine is a psychic trance medium.
The couple has been involved in a number of well-known cases including:
- The Amityville Horror
- Annabelle the Doll
- The Perron House (from the movie The Conjuring)
- The Snedecker House (from the movie A Haunting in Connecticut)
Ed passed away in 2006 and Lorraine continues to live and work cases in the home the couple shared. She collaborated with the Paranormal Research Society on many of their cases on the television show Paranormal State. She also still runs the group she founded in 1952 with Ed, NESPR.
While haunted items are fascinating, they may also contain energy that has the potential to be dangerous. This is certainly true with the artifacts at the Warren's Occult Museum. However, if you get the opportunity to go and approach the items with respect, you'll walk away with an interesting and unusual experience.