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The Haunting of the Perron Family

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  • The Haunting of the Perron Family

    The Haunting of the Perron Family

    Their chilling account reads like a supernatural thriller. But the real-life horrors the Perron family claim they experienced are more terrifying than anything produced on screen.

    In the winter of 1970, Roger and Carolyn Perron and their five children moved into a quaint, two-story home located in the seemingly quiet countryside of Harrisville, Rhode Island. Called the Old Arnold Estate, the farmhouse wasted no time in unleashing its terror upon its new inhabitants.

    Though the entire family was subjected to paranormal encounters, Carolyn seemed to receive the most ghostly attention. She describes one of her earliest incidents in The Providence Journal, saying she awoke to a woman in a gray dress, her head hanging off to the side, as a voice moaned, “Get out. Get out. I’ll drive you out with death and gloom.”Levitating beds, floating household objects, and strange noises in the night persisted. But the worst of the haunting came when an evil entity tormented Carolyn from within

    The Perron Family

    The Perron family pose outside their home (via

    Her name was Bathsheba Thayer. She was born in Rhode Island in 1812 and lived in the surrounding countryside of Harrisville with her husband Judson Sherman. Records indicate that Bathsheba gave birth to four children, three of whom died very young. While the infant mortality rate remained high throughout the 19th century, these particular deaths fueled rumors that Bathsheba practiced dark arts—and even sacrificed her baby daughter to the Devil.

    None of the accusations can be proven. Journalist J’aime Rubio provides a finely researched counter-narrative to Thayer’s life on her blog. Nevertheless, the account clearly had an impact on the Perrons, who were convinced that Bathsheba’s spirit haunted their home.

    At first, the ghost used physical force to urge Carolyn to leave—a pinch here, a slap there. But the torture grew worse. Soon it taunted Carolyn with fire and stabbed her with what Carolyn describes as a needle. When Carolyn and her family still didn’t leave, the spirit possessed Carolyn from within.

    Enter the Warrens. Lorraine and Ed Warren were paranormal investigators best known for their involvement with the Amityville Horror and the possessed Annabelle doll. Upon their arrival at the Perron home, Lorraine instantly sensed the darkness emanating from Carolyn. In an attempt to free the family from their haunting, the Warrens set about spiritually cleansing the household.
    Lorraine and Ed Warren  ghost hunters

    The family’s frightful ordeal inspired the 2013 horror movie, The Conjuring, directed by Saw’s James Wan. Lorraine Warren served as a consultant to the director and screenwriters. The film pays particular attention to Carolyn’s possession and the cleansing conducted by Ed and Lorraine.

    In reality, however, the Warrens did not solve the Perron family’s spectral problems—in fact, the paranormal researchers only seemed to further aggravate the dark forces at work. The Perrons remained bound to their house of horrors for years due to financial constraints. Finally, in 1980, they were able to sell the property.

    The Perrons fled to Georgia—far from the darkness of the Arnold Estate. Paranormal forces reportedly followed the family southward, though their present-day encounters are far less extreme than those experienced in the Rhode Island farmhouse.

    Andrea, the eldest of the Perron children, has since penned a three-volume series called House of Darkness House of Light that chronicles her family’s chilling experiences.