The new owner of the infamous Rhode Island house is relaunching day tours, as well as introducing evening investigations.
BOSTON MAGAZINE – If you saw The Conjuring, you would think the spirits allegedly living in the home were the film is set are evil. Jacqueline Nuñez is ready to prove you wrong. Nuñez, owner of the Boston-based real estate development firm WonderGroup, now counts the home that inspired the horror film among her assets. She purchased the infamous Rhode Island home for $1.525 million last month, according to The Providence Journal, paying more than $300,000 above the asking price for the three-bedroom home.
“This was a very personal purchase for me,” Nuñez says. “I’ve been a real estate developer for years and so many people know me in that role. I can imagine how surprised people must’ve been.”
But Nuñez isn’t looking to transform the fourteen-room 1836 Cape and the 8.5 acre lot it sits on into another development project. Instead, she hopes to use it to educate people about the spiritual world. Nunez shies away from the term “haunted house” when describing her new purchase, preferring to say it has experienced paranormal phenomena or activities. She likens the spirits allegedly occupying the home to a campfire: They can be dangerous if not handled correctly, but otherwise can be useful.
“Warner Brothers has done a tremendous job terrifying us through The Conjuring movies, but the energy in this place it is not inherently evil,” she says. “For me, it’s right up my alley in terms of my beliefs as our consciousness surviving death. I think (the house) gives us an opportunity to explore and learn and hopefully have some meaningful connections with the spirits that are there.”
Horror fanatics near and far may recognize the home for more than just its cinematic notoriety. The previous owners ran day tours of the infamous abode, and opened it up to paranormal experts for overnight visits. And they wanted the new owner to be someone who would continue that practice.
Nuñez has some new ideas in store for the place, which will surely delight aspiring ghost hunters. In addition to restarting day tours of the house (which were paused while the home was on the market) and releasing more openings for nighttime ghost hunts, Nunez is also going to launch “mini-investigations” for people who want to come to the house after dark, but perhaps not spend the whole night there. These five-hour slots will run from around 7 p.m. to midnight and pair experienced paranormal investigators with people curious to see the otherworldly origins behind the things that go bump in the night. “I thought it’d be nice for people who are curious and not investigators themselves,” she says.
Nuñez herself experienced this sort of paranormal activity when she stayed in the house for several days after purchasing it, during which time she was joined by a ghost hunting team. At one point, they heard loud footsteps coming up the steps, which triggered the ghost hunter’s spirit testing devices. “When whoever it was got to the top of steps, the instruments and devices when nuts,” Nuñez says. “It was like ‘whoa’ for me. It was exciting because I haven’t experienced it much.”
Nuñez won’t be making the home her primary residence; the previous owners felt the same energy and thought it could drain people, so they stipulated the next buyer couldn’t live there full time. Instead, Nuñez says she will likely spend about a week a month there while maintaining her business in Boston. She, along with a rotating staff, will then take on the tours for a week at a time. “It doesn’t frighten me,” she says. “But I’m also still building in Boston and have other things I’m doing.”
For more information on The Conjuring House, visit theconjuringhouse.com.
By Erin Kayata