Among the many interesting people I interviewed in my 22 years as host of a radio talk show were Ed and Lorraine Warren, sometimes referred to as the “grandparents of paranormal investigation”.
Their story is featured in a new two-hour documentary, “Devil’s Road: The True Story of Ed and Lorraine Warren”, on The Travel Channel, part of its “Shock Docs” series.
The Warrens appeared on my show in November of 1979, a few years after their examination of what became known as “The Amityville Horror” left them believing the house was occupied by malevolent spirits linked to its history. In 1974 six people were murdered in the house.
The Warrens were in their 50s when I met them. I can best describe them as regular, down-to-earth individuals who countenanced skeptics, as devout Roman Catholics who warned people to steer clear of occult activity. They emphasized they always sought natural explanations for strange events they investigated.
It was the Amityville case on the south shore of Long Island, N.Y., that brought them fame. The Warrens were portrayed by actors Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in the 2013 movie “The Conjuring”. Lorraine also made a cameo appearance in the film.
The Warrens believed there are three types of ghosts. Human spirits, they said, sometimes don’t accept their own deaths and cross over to a spiritual plane. Poltergeists are inhuman spirits sometimes drawn to the emotionally-troubled. Finally, Ed Warren explained, there are demonic spirits that can be called up by engaging in satanic rituals or seances. He also warned against Ouija boards.
So I have mixed emotions about the fact my son Eric participates in paranormal investigations. In fact he tells of one of his experiences about 20 minutes into this recent episode of the podcast “Real Ghost Stories Online”.
The Warrens produced a half dozen books. Ed Warren died in 2006. Lorraine was 92 when she died last year.