Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Conjuring Debunked? The Andrea Perron Hoax (2nd edition)

This is not usually the type of article I would normally write. However, its intention is an attempt to demonstrate the extent of how Hollywood and the mainstream media shapes our way of thinking and perception of reality. For me the most captivating part of the supernatural movie The Conjuring was the publicity, with the increasingly familiar term, "Based on a true story" applied to its description, with the emphasis on the word `based'.  By now it has almost become a cliché when anything emerges from Hollywood. As a serious researcher, the temptation to investigate further was too difficult to resist as our natural instinct can often be overpowering.  Having a 2.1 BA (Hons) Film with Media Studies may also have contributed, since I wrote a dissertation on the evolution of film and Hollywood.  So many people have been captivated by the publicity for The Conjuring, that they have forgotten to ask the most basic, yet crucial questions. If anything has been proven from the movie, it is a demonstration that the masses can be so easily deceived, and somebody somewhere is bound to be observing this behavior, perhaps in relation to Neuro-linguistic programming. The same mass hysteria emerged when Dan Brown's controversial book The Di Vinci Code was released. Again, people failed to ask the most obvious questions, such as the narrow time lapse between the book and the movie. While publicists may have intended for this to happen, it obscures its intended purpose. It planted a seed and as a result many believed the The Di Vinci Code to be true, or at least they formed their own narrative as being `based' on a true story. It is this sense of control that I find particularly frightening. When someone once asked what frightened me the most, I answered, `people'.


I am not a sceptic, as I do believe in the paranormal. However, while approaching The Conjuring with an open mind, hoping it might be true, the one thing that was missing is "Evidence".  Any serious paranormal investigator records all their findings as evidence and to verify in their own minds what they actually witnessed and to cross reference throughout their entire work. A true investigator accumulates and documents their findings and although the Warrens keep a museum of relics and souvenirs with stories attached, apparently it seems they keep no documented audio/video records that presents credible physical evidence. To do otherwise eliminates the term `investigator' from their vocation. What happened to the actual recordings the Warrens made during their investigation of the old Arnold farm in Harrisville? Despite the movie itself exhibiting this so overtly, nobody raises this most crucial question and no recorded evidence seems to exist.

Furthermore, Andrea Perron falsely claims that the 1885 photo shows the alleged witch, Bathsheba Sherman. This is a untrue, since there is no indication or evidence that she appears in the old photo, and if she does, she would be a very old woman, given the year. However, one figure shows a girl wearing a what appears to be a protective surgical mask?

Despite the absence of any recorded evidence in the Perron house, which a clear indication of fabrication, another striking absence adds weight to the Perron story being a hoax. There is no historical record of Bathsheba Sherman other than her grave. There is no historical record of any `trial' having taken place. In other words she exists in name only and is only the Eleanor Rigby in a Hollywood script.

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