Potential buyers of the Harrisville, R.I., home were required to interview with the sellers to make sure they met their requirements
WALL STREET JOURNAL – The sale of a Rhode Island home that dates to around 1736 and was the site of mysterious events loosely chronicled in the 2013 supernatural horror film, “The Conjuring,” is set to close on May 26. The purchase price was around $1.525 million, says real-estate agent Benjamin Kean, of Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty, who listed the house with fellow agent Ben Gugliemi.
Andrea Perron, 63, who lived in the house from 1971 to 1980, says her family experienced harrowing encounters in the home. At a 1974 séance, Miss Perron says she saw her mother, Carolyn Perron, now 82, levitating in a chair and then being thrown 20 feet. She says her mother hit her head on the floor so hard that she thought she was killed, an event that Miss Perron says deeply traumatized her. Miss Perron says her mother recovered an hour later and has no memory of the event.
Keith Johnson, a paranormal investigator who visited the home with his twin brother, Carl, during this period, says that the Perrons described one sister being slapped by an unseen entity, a scythe flying off the barn wall and nearly decapitating the mother, and the children seeing apparitions they thought were really people until they vanished. The Perrons later brought in famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren to further assist. Their work with the family was fictionalized in the 2013 film.
Miss Perron says of the home’s new buyer, Jacqueline Nuñez, 58, a real-estate developer who lives in Boston, “I believe the house chose Jacqueline the same way it chose us. It wants her light.”
The house is located about 40 minutes from Providence in the small town of Harrisville, on 8.5 acres in a grassy clearing. Built of dark, weathered clapboards, the house conveys the aura of a home brooding over its own hauntings. Inside are wall stencils, hand-dipped candles, bundles of dried herbs, and an unfinished wooden staircase leading to a vast, stone-walled cellar.
Sellers Jenn and Cory Heinzen, ages 41 and 43 respectively, purchased the home in 2019 for $439,000. The couple, who are paranormal investigators, received more than 10 offers when they listed the three-bedroom, roughly 3,100-square-foot home in September 2021 for $1.2 million, including an anonymous cash offer significantly over asking, which they declined. “We got a lot of ridiculous bids, but the people refused to be interviewed,” says Ms. Heinzen.
As part of the sale, the Heinzens insisted on interviewing potential buyers to ensure that they met the couple’s requirements. Those included continuing to use the house as a business in which visitors stay overnight and conduct investigations into the home’s paranormal activities. The Heinzens also required the buyer to honor the existing overnight bookings throughout 2022, and insisted the buyer not actually live in the house—for what the Heinzens claim is the buyer’s protection.
The Heinzens say the private living quarters they created in the barn while the house was being paranormally investigated turned out to be too confining, More importantly, Mrs. Heinzen says, “I didn’t expect that living here would be so emotional. Constantly being in a location that is full of energy takes a toll.”
Ms. Nuñez, who was represented by buyers’ agents Ricardo Rodriguez and Bethany Eddy of Coldwell Banker Realty in Providence, says “This is a very personal purchase for me. When it hit the market, I thought ‘This is a property that enables people to speak to the dead.’ ”
Ms. Nuñez doesn’t feel the home contains a demon, as it does in the movie depiction. Instead, she says the house is “uniquely an amplifier for our energy, attitudes and beliefs. If your end goal is to be terrified, it can deliver. Or if you go there to connect with a loved one, it can deliver that, too.”
By Erica Mailman