While The Conjuring 3 creeps its way towards production, there's no telling which real life case investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren the story will focus on. Screenwriter David Leslie Johnson (The Conjuring 2, the upcoming Nightmare on Elm Street remake) is currently working on the screenplay, but no word on the third entry's synopsis has been revealed. That said, given the 50-odd years that the Warrens have spent investigating paranormal cases, there is plenty from which the Conjuring's creative team can choose.
In the first Conjuring movie, real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively) help a family of seven in Harrisville, Rhode Island rid their home of a vengeful demonic witch, while also introducing to audiences the infamous doll Annabelle (which received its very own spinoff, thus creating the expanded Conjuring Universe). In The Conjuring 2, the Warrens help yet another family rid their home of a demonic presence (this time in the UK), while also introducing the demonic nun Valak (see: The Nun spinoff).
Now, with The Conjuring 3, James Wan (who directed the first two movies, and may only return as producer on the third) is interested in unexplored territory. Afraid that the Conjuring movies will repeat themselves, he wants to avoid the familiar haunted house setting and explore cases the Warrens investigated that subvert the franchise's status quo. And, though this is certainly a restrictive approach, some limitations could do wonders in keeping the franchise fresh and unexpected (not unlike a solid jump scare).
Luckily, the Warrens have investigated some wildly abnormal cases outside the confines of a haunted house. They've treaded through cemeteries, funeral homes, and even courtrooms featured on national news. However, their strangest case doesn't include ghosts at all, but a werewolf. So, even though the plot of The Conjuring 3 has already been fleshed out behind closed doors, here is a list of real-life cases from the Warrens that may well show up on screens when The Conjuring 3 is released in or around 2020.
The White Lady
One creepy setting that The Conjuring 3 might tackle is Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut. The Warrens haven't just investigated this roughly 400-year-old cemetery, but wrote a book about it called Graveyard: True Hauntings from an Old New England Cemetery. It's a hotspot for paranormal enthusiasts (heavily guarded by police at night as a result), and even though cemeteries are naturally creepy settings, Union Cemetery has the added benefit (or curse) of having its own supernatural mascot known as the White Lady.
Though it's unclear what the precise origins are of the White Lady, rumors have been circulating for years that the spirit of a local woman dressed in a white gown (or wedding dress) haunts the cemetery, going so far as to stand in the middle of the road, causing drivers to either swerve out of the way or fall under the impression that they've struck someone. She's been spotted by everyone from random passersby to the Warrens themselves.
Not unlike the first two Conjuring movies, this story would require some creative embellishments in order to craft threatening lore around the White Lady, given that no one has ever been on record being physically harmed by her presence. That said, there is plenty here that aligns with the series' aesthetic (a spirit who may or may not have killed a member of her family, the addition of a demonic presence [an apparition referred to as "red eyes" that has been documented there], and religious undertones with the cemetery's Baptist church, which could also potentially serve as a connective thread with The Nun and Valak).
What's more is that there are rumors that the White Lady also haunts Stepney Cemetery in Monroe, where Ed Warren is buried. So, assuming the Conjuring series (not including its spinoffs) wants to end as a trilogy, this could serve as a kind of bookend to Ed's fascination with the spirit - even allowing audiences get a peek at a modern-day Lorraine, who is now well into her 90s.
"The Devil Made Me Do It"
In The Conjuring 2, audiences were given a taste of the media backlash the Warrens faced during the height of their popularity when they're publicly criticized on live television. The first Conjuring also hinted at this, when the couple tells a lecture audience that they've been described as "kooks" and "whackos." So, if James Wan wants to heighten this angle for The Conjuring 3, while also featuring one of the Warrens' most controversial cases ever, the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson might be his best bet.
While this story begins as a traditional haunted house story, it evolves into something much stranger. In 1980, 11-year-old David Glatzel was reportedly being possessed by 40 different demons, prompting an investigation by the Warrens, as well as the Catholic Church. However, after the boy was reportedly exorcised of his demon infestation, his older sister's fiancé Arne Cheyenne Johnson stabbed and killed his landlord - only to blame his actions on a demonic possession. The idea was that whatever demons had been exorcised from David Glatzel's body had settled into Arne, which ultimately led to his murder trial becoming the very first US-based court case in which demonic possession was used to prove a defendant's innocence. In fact, it became known as the "Devil Made Me Do It" case.
The Warrens remained attached to the case (not only telling the police a day after the murder that Arne was possessed, but also testifying in his defense), which ultimately prompted worldwide media chaos. And, though this sort of courtroom horror drama would certainly deviate drastically from the classic haunted house foundation, it'd offer a unique and complicated view into the lives of these renowned ghost hunters.
Page 2 of 2: The Story The Conjuring 3 Is Rumored To Adapt
- Annabelle Comes Home (2019) release date: Jun 26, 2019