Paranormal

Bathsheba Sherman And The Evil Doll Annabelle: The True Story Behind 'The Conjuring'

The Harrisville, Rhode Island farmhouse had a reputation for being haunted by numerous spirits, most of which were believed to be benevolent. However, there was one malevolent and vengeful spirit named Bathsheba Sherman, who was said to be a witch who had sacrificed her own child as an offering to Satan. This act reportedly brought a curse upon Bathsheba and her children, causing all of them to die when they reached the age of four.

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The story of "The Conjuring" is based on the real-life legend of Bathsheba Sherman, a witch whose spirit is said to have terrorized the Perron family. According to the legend, Bathsheba cursed the house before she died, reportedly by taking her own life using a rope. The tale of Bathsheba Sherman's haunting of the Perron family is a terrifying one.

The Perron Family Haunting

The Perron family experienced the most terrifying years of their lives when they moved into the 14-room Arnol Estate Farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island in the early 1970s. From the moment they arrived until the time they left, the family witnessed numerous paranormal events in the isolated, cursed home.

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The Perron family
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The paranormal activity at the Arnol Estate Farmhouse typically occurred at night, often starting with a loud knock on the door that would wake up everyone in the house. A blue mist was also often seen throughout the house.

At first, the occurrences were minor. Mrs. Carolyn Perron noticed that the broom would disappear or seem to move on its own. She heard sounds of something scraping against the kettle in the kitchen when no one was there and found small piles of dirt on a freshly cleaned kitchen floor.

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The daughters of the Perron family began to see spirits in the house, although most of them were benign. However, there were a few entities that seemed to be angry.

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According to reports, Carolyn Perron researched the history of the Arnol Estate Farmhouse and discovered that it had been in the same family for eight generations. Many members of the family had died in mysterious or tragic ways, including drowning in a nearby creek, being murdered, and hanging themselves in the attic.

The True Story Of Bathsheba Sherman: The Conjuring Witch

American couple Lorraine and Ed Warren were well-known parapsychologists who collected numerous stories throughout their careers. One of their most famous cases is featured in "The Warren File," in which the Warrens were called to the Perron home to investigate the spirits that were said to be inhabiting the house, which had a long history of strange deaths and murders.

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American couple Lorraine and Ed Warren were well-known parapsychologists.
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Lorraine and Ed Warren determined that the most frightening and aggressive spirit in the house was that of the witch Bathsheba Sherman, based on Carolyn Perron's description of seeing a woman with a broken neck. The Warrens also found evidence of needle marks, which was how Bathsheba Sherman was said to have killed her own son.

Bathsheba Thayer Sherman was born in Rhode Island in 1812 and married Judson Sherman in 1844. She managed the household while her husband worked on their farm. It is known that Judson had a son in 1849, but it is possible that he also had three other children who died before the age of 7. According to legend, all of Bathsheba and Judson's children died at the age of 4.

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In the film, it is suggested that Bathsheba was accused of being a witch and that she sacrificed her son to the devil. Before hanging herself, she is said to have cursed anyone who set foot on her land.

However, there is no historical evidence to suggest that Bathsheba Sherman was actually a witch. She did, however, face a lawsuit related to the events depicted in "The Warren File." According to the story, Bathsheba was babysitting for another family when the child died under mysterious circumstances. An examination revealed that the baby had been killed with a sewing needle that had been driven into its head and neck.

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The community was shocked by the incident and accused Bathsheba of having sacrificed the child to the devil. However, there was not enough evidence to prove her guilt and she was acquitted. Interestingly, the Perron family reported being attacked with sewing needles on several occasions.

There are several legends surrounding Bathsheba Sherman's death. Some say that her body was turned to stone upon her death, or that she suffered from a mysterious paralysis that puzzled doctors. Others claim that she took her own life using a rope. However, some sources say that she died at the age of 73 as an elderly woman.

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Bathsheba Sherman's broken headstone can be found at the Harrisville Cemetery. It is inscribed with the date of her death, May 25, 1885, and the fact that she died in her 73rd year of age.
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Exorcism Of Carolyn Perron

The Perron family was eventually able to rid themselves of the spirit of Bathsheba Sherman after Carolyn Perron, who was the primary target of the haunting, underwent an exorcism. It was believed that Bathsheba envied Carolyn and wanted to remain with her husband and daughters.

The House Of "The Conjuring" – What Happens There Today?

The Arnold Estate Farmhouse
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The Arnold Estate Farmhouse continued to be haunted even after the Perron family left, as subsequent families who moved in soon left due to being frightened by the entities that haunted the house. Even a worker who was doing renovations on the home reportedly fled, leaving all of his tools behind and never returning for them.

According to the current owners of the Arnol Estate Farmhouse, strange events still occur at the property. However, they do not believe that there is any malevolent presence in the house. The current owners have even opened the house to fans of "The Conjuring."

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Annabelle: The True Story Behind The Most Chilling Devil Doll

Annabelle, the notorious demonic doll.
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Annabelle, the notorious demonic doll, is not actually part of the history of the Perron family. However, she is featured in the cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren and appears at the beginning of the film "The Conjuring" to introduce the viewer to the world of the Warrens.

According to the story, the possession of the doll known as Annabelle began when Deirdre received a Raggedy Ann doll as a birthday gift from her mother. The doll had red yarn hair and a red triangular nose.

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Deirdre Bernard, a nurse, lived in an apartment with Lara Clifton, who was also a nurse. They never imagined that the seemingly innocent rag doll that Deirdre received as a gift would hide such a dark secret. Soon, they began to experience strange paranormal phenomena, often finding the doll, now named Annabelle, in different places around their home when they returned.

The women's nightmare began with small paranormal occurrences, such as finding the Annabelle doll in different positions than they had left her. She seemed to have a habit of crossing her legs.

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Annabelle then began to move from one place to another, often appearing in Deirdre's bed but also turning up in other parts of the house, such as on a chair or sofa. The doll also left messages written on parchment that said "Help us" and "Help Cal," the latter of whom was a friend of the two women.

After experiencing these paranormal occurrences, the nurses decided to consult with a medium, who was able to contact the spirit inhabiting the doll. The spirit was revealed to be that of Annabelle Higgins, a 7-year-old girl who had died on the property before the apartments were built. The land was previously a field where Annabelle had been very happy.

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Annabelle communicated to the women that all she wanted was to be loved, and asked if she could stay with them and use the doll as a vessel. The nurses, who were compassionate individuals due to their profession, agreed to allow Annabelle to stay with them. As a thank you, Annabelle left them a chocolate boot for Christmas. The nurses were happy to be able to care for the spirit of the young girl.

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Cal often came to the apartment, but he never found Annabelle attractive. Instead, he saw her as a voodoo doll that gave him constant nightmares. One night, when Cal and Lara were alone, they heard a noise as if someone had broken into Deirdre's room around 11 pm.

Cal waited until the noise stopped before opening the door to the room and turning on the light. At first, everything seemed normal, but then he saw Annabelle lying in a corner. As he approached the doll, Cal felt someone behind him and turned around, but no one was there. However, something invisible had clawed his chest, leaving his shirt covered in blood. When he took it off, they saw that the wound had a claw mark.

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The nurses contacted a priest from their church, but due to his lack of knowledge in demonology, he decided to speak to the famous paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. They ruled out the possibility of the girls moving out of the apartment, as it was not easy to get rid of Annabelle or the evil entity inhabiting the doll. In reality, the spirit of Annabelle Higgins had never entered the doll.

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Instead, the entity inhabiting the doll was never human and was a malevolent spirit that used Annabelle's name as a guise. It was a dark entity that controlled Annabelle like a puppet, pretending to be a possessed object. In reality, it was a demon! Although an exorcism in the apartment was enough to free the woman from the demon, it never completely left the doll and remained bonded to it.

On the way home, the Warrens took Annabelle to ensure the safety of the nurses. On the way, their car's brakes failed and they almost had an accident. The holy water helped calm the anger concentrated in the doll's wrist. Edward placed Annabelle in a rocking chair in his office, which levitated during the nights. Lorraine noted that a cat became attached to the doll and constantly brought the Warrens items as gifts.

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The Warrens took Annabelle to ensure the safety of the nurses
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A priest friend of the Warrens came to visit Annabelle, despite the Warrens warning him that it could be dangerous. When the priest saw the doll, he roughly grabbed it and said: "You are just a ragdoll, Annabelle. You can't hurt anyone," and then threw it against the wall.

It was already dawn and the priest was returning to his destination, driving along a lonely road. He was still a little nervous about the altercation with Annabelle and the Warrens' warnings when he saw the rearview mirror and met the eyes of Annabelle. The doll was there to do something terrible to the priest, causing him to lose control of the car and rollover. Fortunately, the priest survived the accident.

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The trouble caused by Annabelle did not end there. Another case involved a boy who visited the Warren museum. His girlfriend claimed that he mocked the demonic doll, which led to a tragic fate for the young man. On their way back from the museum, he was in a fatal motorcycle accident with his girlfriend. She survived, but he did not.

Where Is The Real Annabelle Doll Right Now?

The Annabelle doll is located at the Warren Museum of Occultism in Monroe, Connecticut, United States.
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In addition to Annabelle, Ed and Lorraine Warren are perhaps best known for their investigation of a haunted house in New York in 1975. This investigation inspired the book "The Amityville Horror" and several films of the same name. The couple kept Annabelle under their supervision for the rest of their lives, locking it in a glass box at the Warren Museum of Occultism in Monroe, Connecticut, United States.

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However, Warren's Occult Museum is no longer in operation. Both Ed and Lorraine Warren have passed away, and according to Atlas Obscura, the museum was closed in 2018. The Monroe Sun reported that the Warrens' son-in-law, Tony Spera, was seeking a new home for the museum (it was reportedly closed due to zoning issues), but the paranormal property has yet to reopen. Despite this, a priest still visits Annabelle every week to bless her.

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Lorraine Warren Discusses The Original Annabelle Doll's Sinister History