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'Haunting in Connecticut' claims to be “based on a true story”. At least some of the movie is meant to be true, but what is its origin story?

The real story behind ‘Haunting in Connecticut’

2009’s Haunting in Connecticut came with that tagline that amplifies any ghost story: “based on a true story”. The idea that the totally terrifying Haunting in Connecticut could be steeped in reality definitely got our hearts pumping. 

While yes, it’s still a movie, and the phrase “based on” allows quite a bit of artistic license, as soon as Ed & Lorraine Warren got tied into Haunting in Connecticut, we were already declaring the movie to be steeped in the truth. 

The Warrens were among the first to investigate the Amityville Horror, they possess the actual Annabelle doll, and the entire Conjuring franchise is based on their paranormal investigations. Since we know at least some of Haunting in Connecticut is meant to be true, exactly what is its origin story?

The Snedeker family move into a funeral home

While we’re vehemently against victim-blaming, let’s all think for a moment about moving your spouse and four children into a former funeral parlor: a sketchy proposition at the very least. 

Then, you’re raped, sodomized, and haunted, and you don’t move out for two years? How could this possibly make sense? It’s easy to disregard Haunting in Connecticut just from those facts alone, but the circumstances that brought the family to this point explain their choices a little better.

As the Haunting in Connecticut movie portrays, the Snedekers moved to Southington, CT in 1986 because their son had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and they needed to be closer to the hospital where he was being treated. With four children and serious medical bills, the family was struggling financially, so finding an affordable rental property that could accommodate all of them seemed like a blessing.

It wasn’t until they were actually moving into the rental that they realized the property’s former purpose. While moving items into the basement, they found embalming tables and tools!

We’re going to assume the family was in a super tight spot at this point, because they didn’t run out the door screaming. Instead, they moved their three sons’ bedroom into the embalming station. That’s right: upon discovering that bodies were embalmed in the basement of their house, they converted it into a bedroom. That decision is just one of many that spawned disbelief in the Haunting in Connecticut origin story.

And so it begins . . .

The haunting experience that is the cornerstone of Haunting in Connecticut began with the mother, Carmen Snedeker, noticing items missing. The children would see strange people in their home, and the eldest son had a drastic personality shift, eventually attacking his cousin and getting diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The family’s experience in the house escalated: Carmen and her husband Allen reported being repeatedly raped and sodomized by demons inhabiting the house. They saw ghosts and the house would randomly smell like rotting flesh. 

After months in this hellhole, the Snedekers called in paranormal investigators Ed & Lorraine Warren, who only elevated the Haunting in Connecticut tale to new heights.

Ed & Lorraine Warren

The Warrens are a controversial pair of self-taught paranormal investigators. Ed was the demonologist, lecturer and author, while Lorraine was the clairvoyant and medium. The pair, now deceased, founded the New England Society for Psychic Research and claimed to have investigated over 10,000 cases.

The Warrens joined the Haunting in Connecticut saga when they investigated the Snedeker’s funeral parlor home by moving in for weeks to get the full demonic experience. The investigators declared that the morticians that worked there practiced necromancy and had infused the home with a deep evil. The Warrens performed an exorcism of the property and eventually declared it safe for the family to return.

The debunking of the Snedekers’ story

We won’t judge if you choose to skip this part and revel in the fact that the Snedekers have never wavered from their claims of a true haunting. We know a story like Haunting in Connecticut is only made better by being based on truth. However, if you can’t sleep at night for fear of demons raping you in your bed, feel free to continue.

The owners of the real home upon which Haunting in Connecticut is based have refuted the story from the start. They claim there’s no record of the home ever being a funeral parlor and that no one else who ever lived there was plagued by evil spirits. Of course, their opinion can also be chalked up to pure marketing so they don’t have trouble finding renters.

The most compromising dissent of the Snedekers’ story comes from author Ray Garton, who wrote In a Dark Place with Ed & Lorraine Warren, chronicling the Snedekers’ experiences. 

In speaking of his experience writing the book that became Haunting in Connecticut, Garton has claimed, “I found that the accounts of the individual Snedekers didn’t quite mesh. They couldn’t keep their stories straight. I went to Ed with this problem. ‘Oh, they’re crazy,’ he said . . . . ‘You’ve got some of the story – just use what works and make the rest up . . . . Just make it up and make it scary.'”

Whether or not you choose to believe the Snedekers about their Haunting in Connecticut, it surely makes for a terrifyingly entertaining yarn.

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