When would YOU get the hell out of the house in The Conjuring?

Nearly every haunted house movie begins the same way – a middle-class family invests every penny they have in an old fixer-upper.  There is a married couple, a child (or children,) a cat and/or a dog. There is often (though not always) something a little dysfunctional or unusual about the family. Communication is these families is usually spotty at best. The husband and wife don’t confide in each other. The parents ignore unusual behavior by the kids or the animals, and don’t give credence to anything odd the kids say. The family is full of hope. It’s a brand-new, high-stakes, fresh-start for everyone.

Then bad things start to happen.

Ogre and I just got back from seeing The Conjuring. It’s a great movie in many ways, destined to become a horror classic.

But …

I could not help but ask myself the same question I always do when I see another haunted house movie:

  • When, exactly, would I pack up my shit and get the hell out?

When you’ve see The Conjuring (and I recommend you do if you haven’t) PLEASE come here and tell me when YOU would flee. (Or, at the very least, seek out professional help.)

WARNING: If you click the following (READ THE REST OF THIS PAGE) link, you will see a detailed list of scary events that happen to the Perron family, leading up to the moment when they contact the Warrens.

SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!

movie poster the conjuring

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44 Comments on “When would YOU get the hell out of the house in The Conjuring?”

  1. elsmama says:

    Actually, I probably would have one of my rare bad-vibe moments and never go in to the damn house in the first place.

  2. Patrick says:

    Great idea! Can you believe they actually stayed 10 years?!

  3. craft fear says:

    I’d like to think I’d leave right away, but the more I think about actually buying a house, the more I start thinking I’d be stubborn about it.

    • If you took the dog dying out of the equation, I’d be stubborn too. So much of the early stuff seems relatively harmless and absolutely explainable. Plus, I find paranormal events fascinating. But then there’s the kids – I’d hesitate to have my kids paying the price for my curiosity.

      Aparently, I go back and forth on this 🙂

  4. jokelly65 says:

    having lived in a house that was bad enough LOL, its not that easy to move out sometimes, unless you have a lot of cash to either buy a new place or stay in a hotel you are stuck and trust me friends don’t think a haunting is a good enough reason to crash in their living room for a couple of months LOL

    • Have you written about your experiences somewhere? I’d sure like to hear them.

      I think I have a friend or two that would take me in. I figure you can always get a friend to come witness some of what’s going on if they don’t believe you.

      I’m pretty sure I’d be okay with staying until something happens that makes it crystal clear that the spirit / entity intends to do harm to my kids. In the movie, those smashed family portraits got to me. Now, if it was more like a portrait falling at irregular intervals, I’d be more inclined to think vibration from people passing on the stairs was to blame.

      • jokelly65 says:

        I have not written about them as yet, in fact I rarely talk about it except for close friends and the few friends that were present when some of the things occured, to be honest If it had not happened to me I would probably not believe it LOL.

        I was joking about the friends living room, well more or less, the whole thing occurred when I was stationed in Germany, where its hard to find places on the economy and with a family the base housing list was over a two year wait.

        and German landlords really frown on months long guests LOL.

        just a quick note, it all started with lights that flickered on and off, electricians would show up work on the wiring and light fixtures and breaker boxes the lights would remain on, the last electrician pronounced the problem fixed, walked out the door. the light flickered and went off. he had no sooner shut the door than he remembered leaving a tool and opened the door again, the light in the foyer flashed twice and went off again. LOL he never came back.

        things like cold wind blowing from places it couldnt be coming from, no A/C there, banging sounds, whispered conversations in the halls in the middle of the night, stuff vanishing,

        sometimes seconds after you set it down and several times people would see me or some one else set down, keys, a magazine or what ever and then it was just gone. it got weirder from there.

        which is one reason I rarely talk about it LOL. and sorry that wasnt as quick as I had intended.

        • Oh, I’m so pleased you shared! It sounds like a classic haunting. (And one that I THINK I could cope with, for at least a while.) Terribly unnerving (I’ll bet there were some sleepless nights) but not overtly threatening.

          I think that many of us experience that last symptom you mentioned – things vanishing (or moving to unexpected placed) – all the time, but it’s so easy to discount. I always wonder though. What if it’s the easiest way for a spirit to communicate its presence?

          I’m glad that no real harm came to you and your family. And thank you again for taking the time to write it up here.

  5. Patrick says:

    According to Andrea Perron and her website, “There were many reasons we stayed: a faltering economy and a love of the place, chief among them. Yet, as I reflect back on our time at the farm, I cannot help but believe that we stayed there because we were supposed to stay there. We were supposed to see what we saw, hear what we heard, sense what we sensed in a portal disguised as a farmhouse. We were supposed to tell our secret and share it with the world…not something one should rightfully take to the grave.”

    • It makes a huge difference that the reality of the haunting was far more subtle than the movie portrays it to be. When events unfold slowly and gradually, it’s easier to build up a tolerance. Imagine, though, that – like the movie – all of this stuff happened in the span of a week or two. When would you feel threatened enough to flee then?

  6. angryscholar says:

    Hard to say, but I think it would take something really, incontrovertibly supernatural AND evil to get me out of there. As horror fans this all seems pat to us, but if we encountered this situation ourselves, outside of the theater, I’m willing to bet that many of our first responses would be, “Nah, that’s just a coincidence.”

    And I think that’s what successful haunted house stories do: they feature a slow build up of unsettling (but explainable in non-demonic terms) events that finally reach a point of no return. Whether The Conjuring does this successfully or not is debatable, but on your list of scary events, I’d say the only thing that couldn’t be relatively easily explained away in familiar terms is the very last one, when the mother and daughter are both attacked.

    I’m not saying this is necessarily a healthy attitude, mind. Too many coincidences and it’s not a coincidence anymore. But in Western society, most of us are raised to disbelieve in spiritual forces (of the ghostly or demonic kind, anyway) in our daily lives and to look for (Western) scientific explanations for everything that we experience. This is actually one of the things I’m really interested in in folklore: the interpretation of experiences that some would call supernatural.

    But back to the question, even once I was convinced, I don’t know that getting out would necessarily be my strategy. At that stage I’d probably do what most horror movie protagonists do (and what Carolyn does): get help from an expert. And of course, determining what kind of expert is appropriate would be a further chunk of exposition that would probably turn the horror film into more of a supernatural thriller, or even a supernatural procedural (hours of me sitting in a library–another blogger recently mentioned that they hate this in films, but I love it).

    • Patrick says:

      You make great points, Scholar. I voted for the dog, since they are my children and that would just tear me up inside, but in reality I know I’d stay a while. As someone who devotes so much time to all things paranormal and spooky, I’d be so fascinated by it. With that being said, I didn’t grow up having paranormal experiences, and I’m often jealous of people who did. As an investigator, my experiences now are so mild they don’t even compare. So I know it’s easy to talk big and say I’d camp out and love it. But it would be nice to at least stay long enough to get experience, write a book, be featured on My Ghost Story (Ha! Kidding… maybe), and then move on with life. 🙂

      • angryscholar says:

        Patrick, for reals! I’d try to hang as long as possible (I think). I don’t know, really–that’s what it comes down to. If I saw a demon leering at me in the mirror, say, I’d definitely take some action (after I regained consciousness). I’m not sure if my very first move would be to go to a priest or a shaman or a psychiatrist, but I’d do SOMETHING.

        Short of the leering demon, though, I like to think I’d have a decent tolerance.

    • Much of my … mindset? world-view? is entwined with what you’re saying here. I believe we discount far too many events that are meant to (or, if you prefer to keep God/fate out of it, events that COULD happen to) teach us something or broaden our perceptions. We deliberately close our eyes to spiritual experiences, and shut down the sense of wonder and mystery that is our birthright as human beings. We build our worlds too small because we afraid of looking foolish or gullible.

      Ogre and I have an agreement: if we are ever in a situation where a disembodied voice gasps, “GET OUT!” we’ll take that advice and go.

      I don’t know what a haunting is (demons, spirits, psychic phenomena, psychological manifestation, etc) but I do know that I should heed a targeted warning. So the question becomes, for me, when does an event cross the border between an interesting puzzle and a direct threat? In this case – IF the movie were portraying the situation exactly right, and over a short period of time – I would be freaked out by the falling (smashed) family portraits.

      I adore research montages too 😀

      • angryscholar says:

        Oh boy, if it went down Amityville-style, that’s a whole different can of pants-wetting. Between dad trying to murder us all and the priest getting wheezed at and almost devoured by a swarm of demon-flies, I’d take that to heart pretty quick.

        • jokelly65 says:

          As Eddy Murphy said. ” oh look at the kids playing in the back yard, look at this house… (creepy voice. GET OUT…) to bad we cant stay.”

  7. Haven’t seen it yet but hopefully soon. 🙂 We had to sneak in ‘The Lone Ranger’ before it was removed from nearby theatres. ‘The Conjuring’ is next on the list.

    And as an aside completely unrelated to any of this – I find it nearly impossible to read your blog from the website because the background and font color are blending together. I am seeing a pink/peach background and pale gray letters. The only way I can read it is to hightlight it. Just thought I’d mention that in case anyone else is having the same trouble. Anywho – back to your regularly schedule paranormal shenanigans. 🙂

    • Patrick says:

      I’ve had this problem with a few blogs from my phone recently, and actually I sent a comment that is almost identical to yours. Spooky. 🙂 I happen to be seeing the text beautifully from here on a white background.

      • Wow. Along the left I am seeing what looks like cornstalks through a window that fades away to a peachy/pinky fabric tone.

        • Patrick says:

          I kept getting notifications and links to a new blog I’ve been following, and every time I opened it up it would just be endless scrolling white space… with occasional bullets. 🙂 I had to message her and she changed something. Then I found some cool posts that I’d been missing out on (and apparently many others as well.) I almost just unfollowed her at first due to being very confused. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the heads up. Pamala. It seems the template I use likes to go with the gray font instead of black. I switched the text of this post manually. If you happen to have the time, will you let me know if the black reads better?

      I think you’ll enjoy The Conjuring. Come back after you’ve seen it and let me know what you think.

  8. Thanks for the spoiler alerts. We’re going to see this movie next weekend, and I can’t wait! I’m a big fan of Ed and Lorraine Warren and am looking forward to a good old-fashioned scare. I’ll have to come back and let you know when I’d have left the house after seeing the movie.

  9. I think you’ll love it, Mark. It is chock-full of good old-fashioned scares 🙂

  10. Great Idea for a post, love the poll 🙂 When you sink your life’s savings into a house – it is not easy to leave, and part of you wants to stay and fight. Also, as you probably know, hauntings take place over a longer period of time than is shown in the movies. So there are times in between incidents where the house would feel normal. When we were looking for our home, the real estate agent took us into many homes. We entered one and my wife wigged-out. She had to leave immediately and RAN out the front door, with the homeowners standing there in shock. Later, she said something quite evil was in the upstairs bedroom and she didn’t even want to live NEAR the house. lol.

    • Fascinating!

      I’d like to think my spidey-senses would kick in BEFORE I bought a haunted property, like your wife’s did. (Certainly one with a threatening presence.)

      I would love to live in a house haunted by a gentle spirit and would not call on a confrontational ghost buster to deal with that. I figure, hey, it was his/her place first.

      Demon-like stuff though? Money is not worth my life or my soul. I’m not sure I’d want to fight that. Rather, I’d want to call in a pro and leave.

      Part of me wonders, too, if the behavior of the spirit/entity depends in part on how one reacts to it.

      • The problem with demon entities is they attach to people, not places, so they have to be dealt with. (No running away from yourself)

        Oh and don’t wonder if it depends on how the person(s) react, that is everything. If someone is not sensitive they will never see a ghost because they will never react to it and there is no exchange of energy…. so i’ve been told 😉

  11. […] When would YOU get the hell out of the house in The Conjuring? (theparanormalist.wordpress.com) […]

  12. linktay says:

    I totally trust my dog and his instincts! If he refused to go into the house that would be enough for me to write the place off!

  13. Reblogged this on HORROR BOOM and commented:
    A very valid question! Yeah, I think the birds would do it for me (if not before then). Take the quiz (but beware of MAJOR spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet – and if you haven’t, we highly recommend you do)!

  14. I haven’t seen it yet. Personally, though I’d be ready to hightail it outta there if my animals were acting super weird. I get a little freaked out if my dog or cat starts staring into space. I look around to see what they’re looking at. LOL

  15. Hunter Shea says:

    Knowing me, I’d be a stubborn as and stay. I read that the Perron family was flat broke and had no way of financially being able to get out.

    • Yeah. We talked about that a little here. Patrick is reading the books written by the Perron daughter. It’s clear in real-life things happened more slowly and gradually (of course) than they did in the movie. The Perrons apparently stayed in the house for 10 years.

  16. pilgrim52 says:

    I voted. I think when the pictures started falling off the stairway wall. But I would be awfully suspicious first if my dog wouldn’t go in the house. Second, finding a boarded up doorway ALWAYS spells evil shenanigans and the smell would be a dead giveaway.. No pun intended. LOL

  17. […] When would YOU get the hell out of the house in The Conjuring? (theparanormalist.wordpress.com) […]


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