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There’s Something About The Warrens, Horror Ultimate Edition Trivial Pursuit, And More!
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The Bite #125
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There’s Something About The Warrens, Horror Ultimate Edition Trivial Pursuit, And More!

September 9, 2020

In this Issue:


HORROR HISTORY

There’s Something About The Warrens

By Ariel Fisher and Jonathan Barkan

Over the past seven years, Ed and Lorraine Warren have become the most popular couple in Horror. From The Conjuring and its hotly anticipated third installment through the various offshoots in between, they’ve become a gateway into the genre while keeping fans on the edge of their seats. And while Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga have painted the Warrens in a warm hue, the truth about these very real figures isn’t quite as charming.

Ed, a self-professed demonologist, and Lorraine who claimed to be clairvoyant and medium, founded the New England Society for Psychic Research (NESPR) in 1952. Over the years, they claimed to have worked on over 10,000 cases, including a couple you may be more familiar with as The Amityville Horror (1979) and The Haunting In Connecticut (2009). Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t actually charge for their services as investigators; they made their living from licensing their stories for film and television, writing books, giving lectures, and offering tours of their small museum of supernatural artifacts next to their home.

But beneath the veil of mystery surrounding the Warrens lay misinformation, exaggeration, and sensationalism, all merely peppered with the truth. The Warrens had many detractors, all claiming they were fakes out to take advantage of people in need. In the end, the truth is far from what the movies would have you believe.

2013 saw the release of The Conjuring, the inaugural film in what would become an unlikely but financially successful cinematic universe. In it, the Warrens were sought out by Carolyn Perron, the matriarch of the Perron clan, after a series of unsettling supernatural occurrences in their Rhode Island home. The film follows the Warrens as they identify the malevolent spirits tormenting the Perron family, and cleanse the home and its inhabitants. In reality, Roger Perron, the father, and his five daughters found the Warrens and enlisted their help with their paranormal problem.

While the film may have a shockingly expedient ending, the real story is anything but. After not only failing to exorcise the (alleged) demons but in fact making matters worse, Roger demanded that the Warrens leave and never return. In all, the Perrons endured nearly a decade of terror before being financially secure enough to move.

In The Conjuring 2 (2017), the Warrens travel to London to confront one of England’s most notorious hauntings: the Enfield Poltergeist. The original case followed 11-year-old Janet Hodgson and her family as they went through a year-and-a-half of supernatural events beginning in 1977. Dozens of interviews were conducted, books were written, documentaries were made, and a TV miniseries aired in 2015. But each tells its own version of the events. And while Wan’s dramatization is without a doubt the most famous, it is by no means the most accurate … at least according to others.

In the film, the Warrens are portrayed as being an integral part of the investigation and are solely responsible for the case’s resolution. In reality, they were just two of several paranormal researchers who investigated the strange occurrences. The main investigator throughout was Maurice Grosse, a member of the Society for Psychical Research who claims to have witnessed over 2,000 different supernatural events. He was joined for over a year by British author Guy Lyon Playfair, who wrote a book on his experiences. According to Playfair, the Warrens were in attendance for a single day in the summer of 1978, months before the investigations came to a close. Furthermore, Playfair alleges that Ed Warren was more interested in the financial possibilities of the case than helping the distraught family.

Hollywood loves stories that are “Based on True Events”. And while we may enjoy Farmiga and Wilson’s portrayals of the Warrens, it’s important to take this notion of “fact” with a hefty grain of fictional salt.


Partners-in-crime, Ariel Fisher and Jonathan Barkan are two horror fans who met on a horror set, fell in love on a different horror set, and recently got married … though, not on a horror set.


IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Image Of The Week #125 - Walk the Walk by John Kenn - The Bite

Where The Scary Things Are

Artist and filmmaker John Kenn Mortensen likes to bring monsters to life. This piece, Walk The Walk, is making us think of Where The Wild Things Are, but if it was made of actual nightmare fuel.


TINY BITES

HALLOWEEN DECOR, WEREWOLF MOVIES AND MORE

Some folks gathered this Labor Day weekend to watch a horror movie in an abandoned asylum.

O Magazine is back with more horror love in this list of the 20 best werewolf movies to watch on Halloween.

We got a teaser trailer for Mike Flanagan’s upcoming The Haunting Of Bly Manor, and it’s full of every terrifying doll you’ve ever had nightmares about.

Meanwhile, Flanagan chatted with Mick Garris about the delicate art of adaptation, Stephen King, and Bly Manor in a panel at the Fantasia Film Festival.

If you’re in the area, it’s a great opportunity to (safely) visit these sites from iconic horror movies this spooky season.

Target has some horrifying Halloween decorations this year that will definitely encourage folks to keep their distance.

Summer Of ‘84’s Rich Sommer has big plans this Halloween that include a mega marathon of ‘80s horror films, complete with a Letterboxd list to keep track.

The Music Box Theatre in Chicago has some special plans this October with their Horrors at the Drive-In series featuring nightly horror movies all month.

Scare Package segment director and Knives Out star Noah Segan talked about the importance of a good death scene in horror.

Cinema Blend looks at 5 Marvel comics that should get the horror movie treatment next following The New Mutants.

Get your October reading list ready with these 10 terrifying novels

… or add to your literary plans with these horror novels about terrifying twins.

Time Out made a list of 6 classic Hong Kong horror movies you definitely need to check out.


THINGS WE LOVE

Things We Love #125 - Horror Ultimate Edition Trivial Pursuit - The Bite

Horror Trivia Fans Rejoice

🚨THIS IS NOT A DRILL.🚨 Trivial Pursuit has released a gorgeous full version of their quick-play horror edition, and we’re desperate to get our hands on a copy.


HEY, THAT’S US! – SHUDDER IN THE NEWS

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Channel Zero’s Nick Antosca Looks Back at the Show That’s Still Giving Us Excellent Nightmares


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