Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren operated for decades as the preeminent voices in the believer community, and their strange career of ghost-hunting and demon-busting is on display in their very own Occult Museum.
Open since 1952 when the Warrens founded the New England Society for Psychic Research, the ever expanding collection of knick-knacks and artifacts that had been touched by evil is kept in the basement of their own home. The Warrens were popular lecturers in their day when they were not delving into such high profile cases of demonic mischief as the Amityville haunting, the murderer who claimed demonic possession as his defense, and the exorcism of the witch Bathsheba (a case which was most recently portrayed in the film, “The Conjuring,” which also featured a version of the museum). Throughout these cases the Warrens collected trinkets and totems they claim were defiled by evil, locking them in the museum to keep them safe from the public.
The eccentric collection contains everything from an alleged vampire’s coffin to a child’s tombstone which was said have been used as a satanic altar. Death curses, demon masks, and psychic photographs line the walls of the museum accented by a Halloween store’s bounty of plastic props (assumedly for mood). However, the most prevalent item seems to be cursed dolls. In addition a number of nameless toys, the museum’s centerpiece is the Raggedy Ann doll by the name of Annabelle, which was said to have killed a man. Annabelle sits in her own glass case, backlit by a haunting red light. Looking at the Warrens’ collection one might begin to think that Hell has a thing for dolls.
Unfortunately, Ed Warren passed away in 2006, but the museum is still tended to by Lorraine Warren and their son. Whether or not one believes in the paranormal, the Warrens’ Occult Museum may be one of the preeminent chronicles of modern culture’s obsession with the supernatural. Of course it could also be just a spooky collection of stuff in an elderly woman’s basement.
Update March 2018: The museum is currently closed while they look for a new location due to zoning issues.
Update June 2019: Lorraine Warren died April 18, 2019, and the status of the museum is uncertain.
Know Before You Go
You cannot tour in person. There are special events and you can purchase or rent a video tour of the collection.