Now, as anyone whose ever watched me play a horror game can tell you
I'm a pretty big scaredy cat
but here's the thing
I'll get startled for a moment, but it's pretty rare that horror movies stick with me
and keep me from getting sleep at night
because 99% of the time, i could just rationalize that it's a movie
Sure, great white sharks
or genetically mutated great white sharks
or prehistoric super great white sharks are scary in the moment
but their movies are works of complete fiction.
And while you certainly got some slasher movies based on real life serial killers
I deal with psychotic people all the time
My job is on the internet after all.
Ba doom *shing*
No, what's really un-nerving to me
Is that little voice in the back of your head
That says "supernatural phenomena might actually be true"
Which is why The Conjuring movies tend to be so terrifying
because not only are these films well-shot, psychological horror pieces,
but because they claim to be retellings of real events
If you're not familiar, The Conjuring universe includes: two main series titles about haunted houses and demonic possessions,
Two Annabelle movies about a doll that's haunted because, I mean, just look at the thing
and now The Nun, which is about a demonic nun whose eyes seem to indicate an advanced case of jaundice.
While the truth about the Annabelle movie should be taken with a grain of salt,
and The Nun should be taken with like a Kilo of salt,
The Conjuring and its sequel are actually pretty interesting.
You see Ed and Lorraine Warren, the main characters, are the real names of the real ghost hunters who claim
these are real cases where these things really happened.
And that got me thinking about two things:
Number one: that I don't have nearly enough Holy Water in my house,
And number two: just how true are these ghost stories
I mean, these movies are creepy as all get-out, and you're telling me they're real?
How worried do I actually need to be?
Are they real in so far as Ed and Lorraine claimed these to be true stories?
or are they actually supported by real evidence? Are they "true" stories or are they true "stories"?
So today not only do I want to explore how real The Conjuring gets,
but also how true a story needs to be for it to claim that it's based on a true story
So turn off the lights and don't turn around to see that shadow crawling up behind you.
Because today, we're looking for the scariest thing of all this halloween:
*old film camera rolling*
*Modulated MatPat voice*: New England, 1970's
The Perrin family moves into a non-descript farm house
only to start experiencing strange noises and smells.
Carolyn, the mother, reports that she's being attacked by some sort of female demon.
Enter Ed and Lorraine Warren: ghost hunters,
Who determined the evil presence to be a witch named Bathsheba.
An old crone who once lived in the house,
sacrificed her week-old child to the devil,
then killed herself in 1863.
Carolyn becomes possessed by Bathsheba, the Warrens perform an exorcism
and the spirit is driven out.
Post-ExorcismMatPat: This is the story of the first conjuring, but how much of that is real?
Well for starters, Ed and Lorraine Warren were really the top demonologists and medium duo of the era.
Can't really imagine how many people were actively competing with them for that title...
But regardless, they had a laundry list of famous paranormal investigations under their belts,
including ones that inspired movies not in The Conjuring franchise like The Amityville Horror and A Haunting in Connecticut.
One of those cases was indeed a spirit named Bathsheba haunting the Perrin family
whose names weren't changed for the film.
In interviews Andrea Perrin, the oldest child, did say that the movie captured the essence of what they were going through.
She's been upfront about witnessing her mother's exorcism and has gone on record to say
"I thought I was going to pass out."
"My mother began to speak a language not of this world in a voice not her own."
"Her chair levitated and she was thrown across the room."
"Whoever the spirit was, she perceived herself to be a mistress of the house and she resented the competition my mother posed for that position."
The father, Roger, had similar things to say:
Now, of course. Those are just interviews.
It's easy enough for people to lie.
The Bathsheba bit, on the other hand, gives us something to work with.
According to Andrea Perrin:
This is where fact and fiction get tough to distinguish
I did some more digging and in the area where the Perrin family lived there definitely was a woman named Bathsheba
Sherman who lived there in the mid 19th century
but it doesn't appear that she lived in the same house as the parents and there's
Definitely no hard evidence that she was a witch
It appears that three out of her four children died young
But this was also a time when agitated babies were prescribed gin and opium to help them calm down
So suffice it to say that losing a few kids in the 1800s wasn't exactly proof of witchcraft
Apparently the rumors of Bathsheba's witchcraft started when an infant mysteriously died in her care killed by a
large sewing needle that was impaled into the base of the skull
but there are no records of any charges against Bathsheba that actually stuck it's
Unclear how seriously people took these rumors considering she was buried in the town cemetery next to the graves of her children
Which doesn't seem like something a Christian community would do for someone who was thought to be a Satanist
That said for Lorraine Warren to walk into the house and come up with the name
Bathsheba is interesting and awfully specific until you consider that the Warrens were brought on to the case in the first place by a local
Paranormal group meaning that they very well could have been fed the local legend before meeting the parents
so overall the people the place in the details of the haunting appear to be real even if the actual
Ghosts in witches might not be you would expect the sequels and spin-offs of the conjuring to have much less basis in real events
But that doesn't seem to be the case. The conjuring 2 is based off the Enfield poltergeist case in England in the 1970s
Which again the Warren's investigated in this one Janet Hodgson the second oldest of four children
Finds herself possessed by the spirit of an elderly man, Bill Wilkins, who states that he wants to reclaim his home
Jannetty, you all right?
*Voice of Bill Wilkins* My name is Bill Wilkins
and I'm 72 years old.
And unlike in the first conjuring that isn't just a scene from the movie
but real life. The BBC made a documentary about the alleged haunting and
Investigators have lots of audio of 11 year old Janet Hodgson sounding more like a hundred year old coal miner who smokes like a chimney
Is anybody there?
it takes a while but listen long enough and she eventually
Identifies herself as an old man named Bill Wilkins who died of a brain hemorrhage in a very specific chair in the house
This is a nice story made up by the kid, right?
until you consider that Bill Wilkin's son Terry listened to the recordings and identified the voice as
Sounding very much, like his father's and that the cause and place of the death were correct
And if that wasn't creepy enough the events that caused the Warrens to get involved in the first place are pretty irrefutable.
In both the movie and in real life
a police woman gets called to the Hodgson home in the 70s and says that she saw chairs sliding across the floor
Going so far as to sign an official affidavit to say as much. Most of the time these ghost stories
It's the family who has something to gain by lying
It's hard to say how a third party police officer called in to investigate
would benefit from doing something like that. Over a period of the next 18 months more than 30 people
including neighbors, psychic researchers, and journalists said that they saw heavy furniture moving on its own accord and
objects being thrown across the room. Now if you'll excuse me
I'm just gonna turn all the lights on in the house and grab myself a crucifix or five. And
that's gonna be a big heaping helping a nope. No, no, no, no no. When it comes to Annabelle and Annabelle creation
these movies are based on a real spooky doll that the Warrens investigated before the events of the conjuring movies.
According to the demonologist,
a book that chronicled cases taken by Ed and Lorraine Warren, the Annabelle doll had been a gift but began to move on its own,
leave written notes and move objects around the room.
The doll itself is even under glass at the Warrens occult Museum in Connecticut's still haunts to this very day
Multiple visitors who've broken the warning of "don't touch the glass" and taunted the doll have had horrific traffic
accidents happen to them as they drive home. But don't worry that draught you feel going up your spine isn't from the doll,
it's from the cold hard rejection the local news guy gets when he asks his co-anchor to go see the doll with him.
Maybe next time you can go to the museum with me and we can, ah
No, absolutely not.
There isn't enough money in the world
That is one cold shoulder.
Now it's pretty clear that the one thing all these movies have in common. Is that the way that their stories resolve themselves isn't quite reality.
The parents apparently continue to live in their farmhouse with spirits in the basement for over a decade
Janet's possession by Bill Wilkins was investigated countless times with the ultimate conclusion being that the whole Enfield poltergeist
was a combination of some simple furniture pranks and girls talented in ventriloquism
Real-life doesn't wrap up into neat little packages the way the movies do.
But the facts of the cases the people involved and the events described even if they were hoaxes are all mostly what happened.
So at this point, here's my question. Is that enough to call these true stories?
I mean we have explicit laws in place that outright prevent false advertising
Is there a threshold for how much truth has to be in a work of fiction before you can call it true or at the
very least based on a true story?
Well, let's consider a couple of cases another horror movie "The Strangers" also claimed to be inspired by true events
The story is about three masked home intruders who show up at a house and proceeded to torture the family there for no reason.
And what was the truth behind that one?
That the screenwriter once got a knock on his door from some stranger's who were committing robberies in the neighborhood
And then there's the opening text from the Blair Witch Project and Fargo.
Two movies that flat out state that the events that you're about to see are either real or recreations of what really happened.
So what were the true stories behind both of those two films?
Nothing, nada, zip, bupkis. Both of those stories were entirely made up.
The movies said they were real and they totally got away with it
Although it should be mentioned that tons of people were fooled into thinking that the Blair Witch Project was completely true
Ahh, the 90s when people assumed that what they saw on the Internet was real. Oh wait, they still do that today.
So how movie is able to get away with this? Well, most advertising statutes in the U.S.
are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission
But most of those rules are predicated on ensuring that products don't make misleading health claims or
misrepresent what the consumer is gonna
Movies don't apply to either of those. Even if they did the Federal Trade Commission doesn't do that great of a job of enforcing these statues.
Like say when Apple was advertising their iPhone 3G as twice as fast, half the price
but neither of those things were true. When people sued for the ads being misleading
Apple's response was shocked that consumers would actually believe their claims.
Quote "Plaintiff's claims are barred by the fact that the alleged
deceptive statements were such that no reasonable person in Plaintiff's position could have reasonably relied on or
misunderstood Apple's statements as claims of fact"
There was no way I could have misconstrued those giant words in all caps as being factual statements about your new product
In an episode about poltergeists and hauntings. I swear the scariest thing in it is corporate greed
So anyway movies can say they're true, completely lie, and be ignored by the law
But here's the twist... movies that are only partially true are actually much more vulnerable to lawsuits
This is mostly because fictional characters and their fictional families can't sue you
but the real people you portray in your film just might.
For example in the Denzel Washington biopic, "The Hurricane"
in which a championship boxing contender is wrongfully convicted of murder
Hurricane Carter, fights another boxer named Joey Giardello
In the movie, Hurricane Carter beats up Giardello, but loses the fight because the judges were prejudiced against him because he was black
This didn't sit very well with the real Joey Giardello who was still alive and litigious when the movie came out in 1999.
He sued the makers of the movie for portraying him as
incompetent and damaging his legacy, with the judge from the fight calling the film's depiction of Giardello as ludicrous
he reached a settlement with the producers out of court and
lo and behold the DVD commentary includes the director outright saying that Giardello was no doubt a great fighter.
Even the Conjuring franchise has gotten into some hot legal water not because of how true the movies were or weren't but because the author of the demonologist
Gerald Brittle owned the rights to the Warren stories. He sued Warner Brothers for nearly a billion dollars
citing copyright infringement.
So how did WB get out of the lawsuit? By claiming fair use of the plots given that they were based on historical fact
In other words Warner Brothers legal case rested on the stories of ghosts, possessions and haunted dolls to be so true
They could not legally be
copyrighted and best of all they won. (How Shocking)
Which tells us two pretty shocking things first that legally you're in a better position to make up total BS and
Then call it the truth in your marketing
then you are to just base your story on true events and run the risk of someone suing you and 2. in the eyes
of the criminal justice system
ghosts, witches and demonic possessions are all in the realm of historical fact.
But hey, that's just a theory,
a spooky theory and
Make sure you subscribe for more scary theories about ghosts goblins
Disturbing YouTube videos and worst of all the depravity businesses will go to you... FOR MONEY
Speaking of subscribing remember when did you know movies was the show on the channel?
Well Shane who's the producer of that series is off on his own channel now normal boots along with a lot of my other friends
in the Creator space
So if you love that series or if you just want to revisit some of the classic episodes or if you're looking for a quality
Retro gaming channel. It's still going on over there
So make sure you head on over and subscribe tell him bill wilkins has sent ya and happy early Halloween
I'll try to fit in one more scary theory before the month's out
Check out our friends at NormalBoots! ► https://bit.ly/2BYmXhI DHMIS Unmasked! Wakey Wakey Trailer ► https://bit.ly/2yv68bO Controlling Robots with your MIND! ► https://bit.ly/2Jfm6KZ
SUBSCRIBE for More Film Theories! ► http://bit.ly/1dI8VBH
The Conjuring, like many horror movies, claims to be based on "true events". I wanted to know, how TRUE are these movies? I talking names and dates - REAL sources. Theorists, today were are going to see if these ghost stories have ANY TRUTH to them at all!
Need Royalty Free Music for your Content? Try Epidemic Sound. Get Your 30 Day Free Trial Now ► http://share.epidemicsound.com/FilmTheorists
MORE FILM THEORIES The HORRIFIC Story of Salad Fingers ►► https://bit.ly/2zRiMTi ENDING The Salad Fingers Mystery ► https://bit.ly/2PbkV1w HOW MANY Calories is Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? ► https://bit.ly/2rZaIM9 Don't Hug Me I'm Scared DECODED! ► https://bit.ly/2yahO2o The HIDDEN LORE of DHMIS! ► https://bit.ly/2E0jYbc
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter: @MatPatGT Facebook: facebook.com/GameTheorists Instagram: instagram.com/matpatgt