"The Conjuring" subjects Ed and Lorraine Warren are full of B.S., according to Gerald Brittle -- an author who chronicled their real-life investigation of the famous Perron haunting in his 1980 book "The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren."
Brittle's accusation of the Warren's "deceit" comes buried in a 355-page amended lawsuit filed Wednesday in Virginia federal court. According to The Hollywood Reporter, which obtained the lengthy complaint, Brittle believed their accounts of their work to be true while writing "The Demonologist," but doesn't buy it anymore.
"Lorraine and Ed Warrens claims of what happened in their Perron Farmhouse Case File, which the Defendants freely and publicly admit their 'The Conjuring' movie was based on, does not at all jive with the real historical facts," Brittle's attorney Patrick C. Henry II wrote. "This is a pattern of deceit that is part of a scheme that the Warrens have perpetuated for years ... There are no historical facts of a witch ever existing at the Perron farmhouse, a witch hanging herself, possession, Satanic worship or child sacrifice."
It's an important detail in Brittle's strategy to score $900 million in damages from the studio behind director James Wan's movies starring Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren and Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren, a husband-wife team of religious paranormal investigators. Ed is now deceased, but Lorraine is still alive and has endorsed the alleged true story that the 2013 box office hit "The Conjuring" is based on.
THR reported that when Brittle's attorney sent Warner Bros. a cease and desist letter before the release of "The Conjuring 2," the studio responded that the movie is based on "historical facts," not Brittle's book, which the lawsuit alleges studio executives told screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes to avoid reading.
"To the extent the Defendants' movies are not based on 'historical facts' they cannot claim they are protected by the 'fair use' doctrine exemption to copyright," Brittle's lawyer argued in the lawsuit over copyright infringement, common law trespass to chattels, statutory business conspiracy, conversion and tortious interference with contract.
The complaint cites a no "competing work" agreement Brittle made with the Warrens in 1978, when the parties allegedly agreed they would not participate in works about the "same subject" covered in "The Demonologist, including their "lives and experiences as paranormal investigators."
Basically, Brittle is arguing that Warner Bros. needed to secure the rights from him, not Lorraine Warren, and that they can't say the film is based on historical facts if the Warrens lied about their experience.
Warner Bros. told TooFab the studio has not yet been served with the lawsuit and has no comment on the matter.
Two years before "The Conjuring" hit theaters, James Wan took to Twitter to declare, "I watch/read a lot of scary stories. But, 'The Demonologist,' true life account of Ed & Lorraine Warren, is the scariest book I've read."
Farmiga, the actress who played Lorraine, once said, "My research relied heavily on 'The Demonologist.' It scared the daylights out of me. Profoundly." Both quotes are on the Amazon product page for the book, which now may face a credibility problem in wake of the author admitting he no longer believes the Warrens' stories as "historical fact."
While the Perron family sticks by the terrifying events depicted in "The Conjuring" in a number of interviews available online, Brittle is not the first writer to call B.S. on the Warrens. Ray Garton, a horror writer who was hired to the couple to write "In a Dark Place" -- the alleged true story behind horror movie "A Haunting in Connecticut" -- told website Damned Connecticut in a 2009 interview that they encouraged him to make stuff up.
"I went to Connecticut and spent time with the Warrens and [haunted family] the Snedekers," Garton said. "When I found that the Snedekers couldn't keep their individual stories straight, I went to Ed Warren and explained the problem. 'They're crazy,' he said. 'All the people who come to us are crazy, that's why they come to us. Just use what you can and make the rest up. You write scary books, right? Well, make it up and make it scary. That's why we hired you.'"
"To the best of my knowledge, the Catholic church has absolutely nothing to do with the Warrens in any official way and there are questions about the legitimacy of the priests who work with them," Garton added. "Since writing the book, I've learned a lot that leaves no doubt in my mind about the fraudulence of the Warrens and the Snedekers -- not that I had much doubt, anyway. I've talked to other writers who've been hired to write books for the Warrens -- always horror writers, like myself -- and their experiences with the Warrens have been almost identical to my own."
Lorraine Warren has not yet responded to TooFab's request for comment.