Saturday, August 3, 2013
Photo: I took this pic of an open crypt door at a cemetery near The Conjuring House.
After watching The Conjuring (my movie review, here), I decided to take a trip to Burrillville, Rhode Island (about half an hour away) and see the house it's based on. My intention was to just go for a nice drive with my dog and to get out of the house for awhile. If I could inobtrusively get a glimpse of the house from the road, fine. If not, I'll just drive by and see what there was to see.
I want to make it clear that I do not condone anyone going to the house and loitering around. There's an old couple that lives in there now, and they have a right to their privacy. Having said that, I won't be a hypocrite, and I'll admit that I took a few pictures from the street of the house's front door (that's all of the house you can really see; it's not at all like the one in the film) and of the nearby barn, which I thought looked creepier than the house. I was hoping for a glimpse of the lake in the backyard; the house is in a management area, so there's a real possibility of such a thing. But, alas, no. Anyway, I do not condone or advise for anyone to do what I just said I did, even from the street, and I'll explain why. But before I do, ask yourself: Do you want a crowd of people congregating in the street, gawking at you and your home, and taking pictures of your house and barn? One of the women I met there even told someone she was going to go up to the door and knock on it, or ring the bell.
I advised her not to do so. Not only is it loitering and trespassing, but, also, according to the true story, that's the same front door that the evil spirits banged on relentlessly. This latter part worked.
So I started off from my house with my dog and my directions. Driving up there was very easy. I got a little lost from poor signage, but I found the house in question, no problem, and even drove past it and soon entered Massachusetts. I pulled over beside a large local cemetery (of course), and I let the dog out in some nearby grass away from the cemetery. (People who let their dogs go to the bathroom in a cemetery at all, especially if they don't clean it up, are committing a blasphemy of some sort.) Unfortunately, the dog did #2, so I double-bagged it and then threw that into a Dunkin' Donuts paper bag, so at least it didn't smell, and later I threw it away in a garbage can at a nearby gas station, much to the cashier's dismay. I also entered the cemetery on my own and saw four other people also in it, which is rare. I looked around very quickly for any stones from real-life people mentioned in my research, but I didn't find any. I did not look very thoroughly, to be honest, and later I realized it was a waste of time, anyway, because I was now in a small town in Massachusetts, which people living in a house in a small RI town would not be buried in. Didn't quite think that through. A few pictures of this cemetery follow:
So I turned back around and headed to The Conjuring's house, which is mostly hidden behind some tall, thick trees, not far from a main road (for Burrillville, anyway) without a breakdown lane. I saw six other people come out of an SUV and just stand, mostly out of view from the house, so I stepped out of my car. I noticed the barn, quite a bit away from the house, so a few pictures were taken of that. I did not want to spend time in front of the house, as I felt very strongly that the homeowners would be ready for that, and would be very unamused. But I stepped out when I saw the others, and we talked about where they were from, and how long it took to get to this house. Schenectady, and almost three hours, as I'd mentioned. I took a couple of pictures of the front door through the many trees, had time to realize that the real house looked nothing at all like the movie's house (it's a lot smaller, and not as obviously old), and a woman next to me swore, and that's when I saw the swirling lights of the police car.
I walked slowly back to my car before he even stopped out of his. The cop was very, very stern-looking, a countenance that he must practice in the mirror every day. Nobody is that serious and stern, I swear. But I'll bet that he gets a lot with that look, so that he doesn't have to say anything, or threaten anyone, or anything. In fact, he didn't say a word to any of us, and we all went back to our cars immediately and drove away.
I doubt it was the first time he was at that house (it was about one pm when I got there) and I doubt it'll be his last. In fact, I was surprised not to see a sign of any kind at the house. I'll bet there'll be one there soon. I drove away feeling very sheepish. I mean, I wouldn't be happy if lots of people even drove slowly past my house, never mind actually stop, get out, gawk, and take pictures.
So I feel badly about it all, which is why I won't post pics of the house and barn here. But, like I said, you're not missing much, as there wasn't much to see to begin with. On the way back I stopped at a lake and waterfall, pictured here:
And after I left there, I went sight-seeing for a little while, and drove by two or three local cemeteries on both sides of the narrow road, so that it seemed like I was surrounded by them, which I was. When I saw the open crypt door, I knew I had to turn around and take a picture of that for something I'm writing--a novel that mostly takes place in TB-infested Rhode Island of the 1880s and 1890s, and is told from the third-person limited POV following the doctor of Rhode Island's most famous example of vampire folklore, Mercy Brown (blog entry here).
So I took some pics of that open crypt door, and the very cool rusted-iron Victorian fence that surrounds some of the gravestones, pictured here:
And that's it. That's my story of traveling to The Conjuring's house. Truth be told, the lake, waterfall, crypt and cemeteries were more interesting, and much easier to take pictures of. And I regret not opening that metal door on the inside of the crypt, with the diamond shapes.
What's your favorite recent (or not-so-recent) horror movie? Have you ever visited the real-life place, or researched the real-life subject matter or story, etc. of that horror movie?
And would you have gone inside that crypt's open door?