Ed Warren (September 7, 1926 – August 23, 2006) was a noted demonologist, author, and lecturer. Lorraine Warren (January 31, 1927 – ), his wife, is a professed clairvoyant and a light trance medium who worked closely with her husband.
The Warrens founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952 and later opened the Occult Museum. They are the authors of numerous books about the paranormal and their own private investigations into various hauntings. They claimed to have investigated over 10,000 hauntings during their career. The Warrens were among the very first investigators in the controversial Amityville haunting.
The Warrens were responsible for training several current paranormal investigating demonologists including Dave Considine, Lou Gentile, and their nephew John Zaffis.
The Warrens are well known for their involvement in the Amityville Horror case in which New York couple George and Kathy Lutz claimed that their house was haunted by a violent, demonic presence so intense that it eventually drove them out of their home.
Lorraine Warren told a reporter for The Express-Times newspaper (Easton, Pa.) that the Amityville Horror was not a hoax, saying about the Lutzes, "We know them". Beneath pleasant outward appearances, the Warrens' Web page on Amityville casts them unfavorably in describing the Amityville case's most vociferous critic, the late Stephen Kaplan, coauthor of "The Amityville Horror Conspiracy." The Warrens write: "It’s believed that the hoax rumor began with a man who called himself Dr. Steven Kaplan, although he held no doctorate degree from any university. This fact was exposed on several occasions, yet that never stopped Mr. Kaplan from making these claims. He was the self-proclaimed president of the Parapsychology Society of Long Island and some other related societies, presumably founded by himself." The Warrens failed to note that they, too, had founded their own paranormal organization and saw nothing wrong with it.
The reported events of the haunting are the basis for the 1977 book The Amityville Horror and 1979 and 2005 movies of the same name.
In 1981, Arne Johnson was accused of killing his landlord, Alan Bono. Ed and Lorraine Warren had been called prior to the killing to deal with the alleged demonic possession of Mr. Johnson's fiancee's younger brother. The Warrens subsequently claimed that Mr. Johnson was also possessed. At trial, Mr. Johnson attempted to plead Not Guilty by Reason of Demonic Possession. The case was described in a book, The Devil in Connecticut by Gerald Brittle.
The Warrens claim to have exorcised a "werewolf demon" in 1983. The subject of the case, Bill Ramsay, had bitten several people, believing himself to be a wolf. The events surrounding this case were later described in a 1991 book written by the Warrens: Werewolf: A True Story of Demonic Possession.
The hauntings that allegedly occurred in the home of Pennsylvania residents Jack and Janet Smurl. The manifestations in the Smurl home were reported to include all manner of supernatural phenomena, including strange sounds, foul smells and sightings of apparitions. The Warrens became involved and claimed that the Smurl home was occupied by three spirits and a demon. Both Jack and Janet Smurl would also claim to have been sexually assaulted by the entities in their home.
The Warrens' most famous case, the Amityville Horror, has been thoroughly investigated by other researchers and revealed to have most likely been a complete hoax. Despite such evidence, the Warrens' continued belief in the events surrounding the Amityville case seriously strained their credibility in the eyes of many other paranormal researchers.
Renowned author of the Horror Genre Ray Garton gave an interview with Deja News on April 27, 1999 discussing his experience with Ed and Lorraine Warren while he wrote a reputedly "non-fiction" book titled DARK PLACE: THE STORY OF A TRUE HAUNTING. The book is an account of the alleged haunting of the Snedeker family in Southington, Connecticut. Ray Garton discussed how during the process of developing the book he became increasingly frustrated, as the family could not keep their story straight, when he confronted Ed Warren about his frustrations Ed told him "not to worry", that the family was "crazy" and that "all the people who come to us are crazy. You think sane people would come to us?". Ed Warren also advised Ray to "just make the story up using whatever details [he] could incorporate into the book, and make it scary." Ray Garton was shocked, although he allegedly could not afford the legal fees required to back out of the contract, thus he begrudgingly wrote the book. Ray Garton also accuses Ed and Lorraine Warren of exploiting families for profit (via book and movie contracts) who believe they are victims of the supernatural, but in actuality are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, as well as domestic abuse and mental illness. Ed and Lorraine Warren are also accused of fabricating their findings, as initially they claimed to investigate "ghosts" but after the huge success of The Exorcist (both the book and the movie) almost all their findings immediately changed to cases of "demonic possession".
The New England Society for Psychic was founded in 1952 and the goal at first was to simply investigate hauntings. Then, around 1965 the Warrens went into a home where remained the spirit of a little girl named Cynthia and they listened to the little child coming through a deep-trance medium and she was looking for her mother. Ed thought to himself, “This is horrible, this little child is earth-bound. She's looking for her mother constantly day in and day out. How do I help this child?”
It was no longer just experiencing the hauntings, now the Warrens wanted to help. The question arose as to where to get the knowledge to help anybody in spirit. The Warrens decided the logical course of action was to turn towards the Catholic Church. The results of their interviews and investigations helped form the basis of the N.E.S.P.R. The Warrens believed that the combination of both scientific and spiritual methods were necessary to properly investigate and resolve cases. The N.E.S.P.R. utilizes a variety of individuals as a result, including medical doctors, researchers, police officers, nurses, college student and house wives, all of whom work as volunteers. The N.E.S.P.R. works on a non-profit basis.