Stranger than fiction: Canadian film aims to tell true story of Perrons’ Burrillville haunting

A photo of the Perron family is shown in Bathsheba: Search for Evil.

BURRILLVILLE – A new documentary based on interviews with members of a now famous family and their experience in a 300-year-old farmhouse will air next week on a Canadian cable channel.

Bathsheba: Search For Evil made by Cream Productions and Blue Ant Media in Toronto tells the story of the Perron family, who lived in the house that inspired the 2013 hit horror film The Conjuring for nearly a decade. The Warner Brothers film was loosely based on notes from paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were called to the Round Top Road house in the 1970s, after the start of the Perrons’ strange experience.

Andrea Perron, the oldest of five daughters who lived in the house, known as the Arnold Estate, with parents Roger and Carolyn Perron, announced on Thursday, Sept. 7 that she worked closely on the film over the past four months.

“My father and my sisters joined me in the effort, each contributing an interview for the project,” Perron said in a post on social media. “The truth is stranger than fiction.”

Perron was interviewed for an article on the film published in Global News and describes The Conjuring as “95 percent fiction and about five percent hard truth.”

“To say that The Conjuring, in terms of context and content, was ‘incomplete’ based on their case files is an understatement,” Perron says in the piece. “I’m working diligently now to bring the true story to light in other ways.”

The announcement comes just as the house, a three bedroom, single family home built in 1693 and situated on an 8.5 acre lot on Round Top Road, has attracted a new buyer. Current owners Jennifer and Cory Heinzen listed the property for $1.2 million last month.

The most misleading element in the fictional horror blockbuster, Perron says, is the tale of Bathsheba Sherman, a woman blamed for the alleged hauntings. Sherman was said to have lived at the home in the popular movie, the first in what was to become The Conjuring Universe.

In reality, Sherman lived on the Sherman Farm, a large estate about a mile from the Arnold Estate, a truth often cited by local historians.

“The entity haunting and taunting my mother had a broken neck and was likely Mrs. Arnold, found hanging in the barn in 1797 at the age of 93,” Perron says. “Bathsheba wasn’t even born until 1812 and died in 1885 from paralysis due to a stroke.”

Perron’s book House of Darkness House of Light also tells the tale, and this week, she told Global News that her father threw the Warrens out of the house after a seance.

“They only came back one more time to make sure my mother had survived the aftermath of the incident,” Perron said. “When they returned to check and see if my mother survived, she refused them entry into the farmhouse.That was how our relationship ended at the time and that was in 1974. We lived there for six more years. Numerous events happened in the house over time — incidents they knew nothing about.”

The film will air Monday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. on Canadian station T + E. An air date for U.S. showing has yet to be announced.

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