Since Cory and Jennifer Heinzen moved into their new home nearly two months ago, they’ve seen bright flashes of light in a room without electricity, heard a creepy girl’s voice coming from nowhere, and listened to unexplained footsteps and knocks. It’s so frightening that Cory says he doesn’t like staying in the nearly 200-year-old Rhode Island farmhouse alone.
But the couple have no plans to flee the real-life inspiration for the 2013 horror movie “The Conjuring.” Instead, the pair of paranormal investigators plan to eventually open the haunted house to the public as an Airbnb. In the meantime, they’ve set up 24/7 cameras to document and investigate any supernatural events.
“It’s very nerve-wracking,” says Cory, 40, a retired Marine who served in Afghanistan twice. He sees random bursts of light in a room that has no light fixtures. “We’re hearing voices, doors are opening and closing, we’re seeing shadow figures.”
The Heinzens purchased the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in late June for $439,000, according to realtor.com® data. The roughly 3,100-square-foot home sits on 8.5 acres in Harrisville, just over a half-hour northwest of Providence. It was built in 1836.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually investigate one of the most haunted places in the world,” Cory says. He saw the listing come up on a paranormal Facebook group and pounced on it. “How many chances do you have to own a piece of paranormal history?”
The house burst onto the spooky scene in 1973. The family who lived there, Carolyn and Roger Perron and their five daughters, called in famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren to investigate some terrifying occurrences in the home.
Those happenings, captured in the movie, included clocks stopping at 3:07 in the morning and the family discovering their dog, which had refused to come inside, dead in the backyard. The Perrons eventually left the house in 1980.
“It’s magical,” daughter Andrea Perron said of the home in an NBC interview. “It’s a portal cleverly disguised as a farmhouse. It’s multiple dimensions, interacting simultaneously.”
Cory claims he’s recorded one of the spooky occurrences: a voice asking for Mr. Roger (presumably Roger Perron).
But his scariest moment in the home had nothing to do with the supernatural. As he and his wife were moving into the house, four or five strangers rushed inside with some of the couple’s friends. The Heinzens explained it was a private residence, but the looky-loos gave them a hard time. A language barrier didn’t help. But the strangers left before the police needed to be called.
Trespassers were such a problem after the movie was released, that the home’s previous owners wound up suing Warner Bros. in 2015. The suit alleged Norma Sutcliffe and Gerald Helfrich, who bought the farmhouse in 1987, dealt with “threats of physical violence and harm, sleepless nights, and worry that one day, one of the many trespassers will commit an act of destruction, violence, or harm.”
For now, the Heinzens are more focused on investigating the supernatural rather than worrying about fans of the movie who may not respect their private property. Two members of their paranormal investigation team are also staying in the house to document any otherworldly occurrences.