“The movie, “A Haunting in Connecticut” recently became a major hit in the horror genre, however, the basis for the movie came from a real-life terror that occurred in New England. As with most “based on a real story” movies, the screenwriters took great liberties with the facts. What follows is an account of the real haunting that shook the lives of real people.
The house in question was initially built sometime in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. It was sold and converted to a funeral home in 1936. It served this function for the next fifty years until the Hallahan Furneral Home was moved to Plantsville. The owner then re-converted the structure to a residence and put the property up for rent.
In 1986 the house became occupied. Accounts vary as to the real names of the family that moved in to the old converted funeral home. While some references give the name as “Snedeker” the most commonly available sources say their name was Parker. Ed and Karen relocated their family from upstate New York to be nearer the Cancer Treatment facilities of the University of Connecticut. The oldest son, Paul, was undergoing a new type of treatment for his cancer and the three hour, three hundred mile trip each way was increasingly difficult on him.
It is not known for certain whether the Parkers were told of the home’s morbid past. They did realize the structure’s history when they found the embalming room in the basement hidden behind some lumber stacks. After removing much of the old equipment, the room was given over to Paul and his younger brother Bobby as a bedroom.
It did not take long at all for strange events to begin their intrusion into their lives. While mopping the kitchen floor, Karen had the unnerving experience of the mop water turning blood-red as she tried to clean the floor. Hoping not to frighten her four children, she merely cleaned up the bloody mess. But this was just the beginning.
Soon their youngest daughter, Connie, began telling of the ghostly woman she kept seeing in her bedroom at night. Paul and Bobby were plagued by visions of men in dark suits staring at them. To compound the terror, Paul reported that a sinister looking man with cold, soulless black eyes kept calling his name. Over the next two years these unnatural visitations got worse. More apparitions appeared. Paul told of seeing a man in a grey pinstripe suit and a young boy wandering around in Superman pajamas.
Paul’s mood grew darker from the nightly onslaught of the dark-eyed man whispering and threatening to injure his family or be hurt himself. This went on until Paul attacked a cousin, Theresa, who had moved into the house with Ed and Karen. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital for treatment and warned his parents that, “Now that I’m out of the house, they’ll come after you.” Paul’s warning had been correct.
In no time, Ed and Karen were experiencing troubling events. They heard disembodied voices and unexplainable sounds began to follow them around the house. Rooms would fill with the stench of formaldehyde and both Karen and Theresa felt invisible hands grope their bodies. Karen would often have her hair yanked violently. The traumas grew worse. Various members of the family were horrified at being seemingly raped and sodomized by an unseen presence.
In fear and desperation, the Parkers sought the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren, psychic researchers and demonologists, who were also residents of Connecticut. The Warrens had become famous in part from their work clearing the “Amityville Horror” case. Moving into the home along with their nephew and grandson, the Warrens soon began to experience the same horrors as the Parkers. Within nine weeks, their research pointed towards not ghostly but demonic influence causing the problems.
Armed with their research data, the Warrens petitioned the Catholic Church for the performance of a rare, seldom used exorcism against the demonic forces. To all reports, the procedure was a success and the evil was driven from the home. It was, however, too late for the Parker’s peace of mind. They quickly moved from the home lest they experience a recurrance of the demonic activity. On a happier note, Paul’s cancer was cured and the family began to once more live a normal life.