Is The Conjuring 2 Based On A True Story?

Is The Conjuring 2 based on a true story?

What Is the Conjuring 2 About?

If you’re a fan of horror, you’ve probably already heard of the ultra-popular movie franchise The Conjuring. The original film took the paranormal community by storm as fans of the movie started to delve a little deeper into the reportedly true story that inspired it.

When The Conjuring 2 was released, more and more paranormal enthusiasts began asking themselves if the seemingly made-for-Hollywood plot of the movie was real or just a horror story to scare the wits out of unsuspecting movie goers.

So, what is The Conjuring 2 all about? And is it really based on a true story?

The plot

The plot of the movie centres around paranormal investigators (and husband-wife duo) Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) and Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson). The couple is called to North London at the plight of the Hodgson family. The family consists of a single mother, Peggy Hodgson, and her four children who have been dealing with increasingly disturbing paranormal events in their Enfield house.

We won’t go into too much detail about what happens when the Warrens arrive at the haunted house, since we don’t want to spoil the entire movie for those of you who haven’t seen it yet. However, knowing the basic premise of the movie is important to understanding the events that inspired the film.

Was it based on a real story?

The Conjuring 2 is based on one of the most famous poltergeist events in history – the Enfield Poltergeist case. We’ll start off by saying that the historical events of this case are very real and were even documented and broadcast in the media at the time, with the story spreading like wildfire.

Still, it’s important to note that there are plenty of sceptics (and even some believers) who have questioned the ‘strange happenings’ that the Hodgson family claimed to have experienced during their time in the haunted council home.

The Enfield Poltergeist Story

The story behind the Enfield Poltergeist starts in the small and unassuming home located at 284 Green Street in Enfield, London. One fateful August day in 1977, Peggy Hodgson and her children – Margaret, Johnny, Janet, and Billy – claimed to have experienced some strange incidents that originated in the children’s bedroom.

According to the kids, they had all witnessed their beds moving and watched as a chest of drawers began to shift on its own. When the children told their mother what they had seen, Peggy brushed it off as childish pranks. That is until the paranormal activity began to escalate…

Calling in for backup

As the supernatural activity continued, Peggy realised that the disturbances were more than just harmless fun. Years later, in a documentary about the case titled Interview with a Poltergeist, Peggy recalled: “It started in a back bedroom, the chest of drawers moved, and you could hear shuffling.”

Some of the most terrifying occurrences that the family experienced included:

  • Disembodied or strange voices
  • Loud, unexplained noises
  • Furniture being thrown across the room
  • Toys moving on their own

Perhaps the most frightening thing of all is when Peggy reported that her daughter, Janet Hodgson, started levitating. In fact, they even snapped a picture of this alleged event, which became one of the most infamous pictures in paranormal history.

Of course, there is no spirit to be seen in this picture (probably because they didn’t have a high-quality ghost camera on hand). Some sceptics have said that the picture really just looks as if Janet had jumped in the air right before the picture was taken.

Nevertheless, Peggy became desperate for help and finally, when she was at her wit’s end, she called the police.

Unfortunately, the police had no explanation for what was going on inside the home and couldn’t offer any assistance to the family. However, it was reported that one of the responding officers actually witnessed furniture moving around the home with no explanation, adding credibility to Peggy’s story.

Paranormal investigators

When the police failed to help, Peggy contacted the Society for Psychical Research (SCR), which is when paranormal investigators Graham Morris, Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair came onto the scene.

Upon their investigation of Peggy’s haunted house, they documented over 2,000 individual incidents of paranormal activity within the home. Now, with reports coming from multiple outside witnesses, the Enfield haunting gained even more notoriety. In fact, 284 Green Street became known as one of the most haunted places in the UK at the time.

Bill Wilkins

One of the most puzzling elements of the Enfield Poltergeist case was the emergence of a mysterious voice that identified itself as ‘Bill’. The voice claimed to be the spirit of Bill Wilkins, who claimed to have died from a haemorrhage inside the Enfield home.

It was this information that stumped investigators and sceptics alike. Janet Hodgson, who was the first of the family to have heard this voice, was able to provide detailed accounts of Bill’s life. And, to prove that it was the spirit of the real Bill Wilkins, she relayed this information to his son, who confirmed all of these details as true.

Ed and Lorraine Warren

Despite the Warrens being invited to the Hodgson home in The Conjuring 2, this isn’t exactly true. In reality, the Warrens caught wind of the case and arrived at the home to offer Janet and her family the help they desperately needed.

Unlike the film, the Warrens actually played a very limited role in the case. After spending a day at the home, the Warrens left. However, they later claimed that they believed that the hauntings were authentic and that they were convinced that something supernatural was going on in the home.

The disappearance of the Enfield Poltergeist

After around 18 months of blood-curdling, horrifying activity in the Hodgson house, the poltergeist activity finally stopped as abruptly as it began. Since there wasn’t any explanation for the onset (or the ending) of the activity, the Enfield Poltergeist case remains unsolved to this day. Still, this hasn’t stopped sceptics from trying to debunk what happened inside the unassuming London home.


Why is the Enfield Poltergeist so controversial?

With a lot of the evidence seeming easily faked and the entire story of the supposed ‘poltergeist activity’ based on the word of young children, many sceptics believe that the entire case was a hoax. It has also been reiterated by non-believers that so-called hauntings were much easier to fabricate without the interference of modern-day social media and internet sleuths.

Is the original Conjuring movie also based on the Enfield Poltergeist?

The original Conjuring movie that started the franchise wasn’t based on the Enfield haunting. Instead, it was based on the story of the Perron family and their haunting experiences in their Rhode Island farmhouse.

Final Thoughts

The Enfield Poltergeist remains one of the most mystifying and well-known cases in paranormal history. With unexplained happenings, sceptical investigations, and the mysterious voice of Bill, it continues to intrigue paranormal enthusiasts to this day.

Although The Conjuring 2 isn’t necessarily the most accurate retelling of this story, we can’t help but admit that it’s still one heck of a fun ride for the audience!


Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!