Paranormal Investigator Purchases House that Inspired 'The Conjuring'

Cory and Jennifer Heinzen in front of their newly purchased property.  (Cory Heinzen / Facebook)

Cory and Jennifer Heinzen in front of their newly purchased property. (Cory Heinzen / Facebook)

Updated 7/19/19

Paranormal investigator Cory Heinzen and wife Jennifer recently purchased the isolated farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island responsible for inspiring popular horror movie The Conjuring.

The house, known as the “Old Brook Farm” or “Old Arnold Estate”, was built in 1736 on 200 acres of farmland and owned by the Arnold family for eight generations. A number of tragedies occurred on the property in that time, and it is the ghosts associated with those events who are said to haunt the house.

The Perron family bought the home in 1971. After experiencing a variety of terrifying paranormal phenomena, they were assisted by (in)famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren; these events would form the basis of the movie The Conjuring. The property was then purchased by Norma Sutcliffe in 1983. She, along with her companion Gerry Helfrich, claimed to have also experienced the unexplained during their habitation.

The Heinzens closed on the property June 21st, after seeing it listed for sale online.

“We immediately fell in love with it,” Cory told the Sun Journal. “Eight-and-a-half acres, a river in the back and a pond, it’s so serene down there, never mind the story behind the house, it’s a beautiful home. [Jennifer] honestly was more excited than I was, I think.”

That’s not to say he isn’t excited about the house’s paranormal associations.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the Warrens,” Cory said. “It’s just like a piece of paranormal history, this house.”

Cory, a former Marine, has been a paranormal investigator for about a decade, ever since an experience he had in Fredericksburg while still on active duty. His unit was performing a battlefield study at the historic site in 2002 when they heard the sounds of a phantom battle.

“[We were seeing] what we would have done differently, basically learning from past experiences,” he said. “At about 2 o’clock in the morning, we heard gunfire and screaming and cannon fire, but nobody saw anything. The next morning when the tour guide came out, ‘Oh, yeah, it happens quite often.'”

Despite owning the house for less than a month, the couple claims to have already experienced paranormal activity.

“We had doors opening, footsteps and knocks,” Cory said. “I’ve had a hard time staying there by myself. I don’t have the feeling of anything evil, [but] it’s very busy. You can tell there’s a lot of things going on in the house.”

Previous owner Norma Sutcliffe sued Warner Bros. following The Conjuring, having said that "Ever since the movie came out, we’ve been harrassed, trespassed, stalked, and beseiged. [Trespassers] come at all times of the day."

The Heinzens don’t seem concerned about the risk of trespassers, and plan on making the property open to the public.

“This whole journey has been both scary—for many reasons other than paranormal—and exciting all at once,” Jennifer said. “I love that we have the opportunity to share the home with others.”

They hope to have renovations complete and the property available to investigators and visitors later this year.

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