Though it’s only a 40-minute drive from Providence, Rhode Island, arriving at the house on Round Top Road feels like stepping back in time-maybe even multiple lifetimes. Commonly known as the Conjuring House, it inspired the hit 2013 movie The Conjuring, but its history (both architecturally and paranormally) goes back much further.
"It’s a very cool, well-preserved, quintessentially New England house," says Ben Guglielmi, a sales associate with Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty. "It’s on almost nine acres of pastoral fields with forests, trails, and old Rhode Island stone walls."
But, Guglielmi adds, "Those are not the things that make it as unique as it is. This may be the most famous haunted house in America."
An expansive lawn surrounds the house-ideal for a quick escape.
The historic wood-clad house-dating to 1836 and located outside Burrillville, Rhode Island, just south of the Massachusetts border-features three bedrooms and one and a half baths. Aside from its movie associations, the home’s leading amenity may be the wooded eight-and-a-half-acre property itself, which includes a water feature: the Round Top Brook, a seasonally stocked fishing area.
The Conjuring was successful enough when released eight years ago (with over $300 million in box office ticket sales globally) to eventually spawn two sequels, including 2021’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. The responses to the film franchise are perhaps a testament to the vision of the original film’s director, James Wan, as well as performances by lead actors Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Ron Livingston. But viewers may have also been reacting to the fact that this horror story is based on real-life events (or at least real-life anecdotes).
The dining room retains the feel of a rustic 19th-century farmhouse (the portable air conditioner notwithstanding).
This much we know is true: In the early 1970s, Roger and Carolyn Perron move into what was then known as the Arnold Estate with their five daughters. The family remained there until 1980.
Yet soon after their arrival, unexplained phenomena begin to occur, so much so that the Perrons invite Ed and Lorraine Warren, founders of New England’s oldest ghost-hunting group, to visit and diagnose the house. In the movie, the Warrens discover that the site is home to numerous murders and suicides.
(The real-life Warrens had quite a decade, having also gained notoriety after investigating another home with a violent history: a Long Island residence that inspired Hollywood’s The Amityville Horror.)
The living room and kitchen share the same fireplace, with the library just beyond.
Self-described demonologists, Ed and Lorraine agree that the house came with an unexpected tenant: the ghost of Bathsheba Sherman, who had lived on a neighboring farm in the 1800s and was suspected by locals to be a witch after an infant died in her care. (It is also supposed that Bathsheba once lived in the Conjuring House.) Though a court cleared her of any wrongdoing, the townspeople still blamed her for reasons brought to light by the film.
Pay no attention to the block of knives in the corner. They’re strictly for cooking.
Today, the home known as the Conjuring House still evokes the rustic feel of the 19th century-and feels similarly to how the Parrons experienced it in the 1970s-qualities the departing owners preserved in order to turn it into a successful rental.
The marketing photos show a living room with a rustic farmhouse table beside a roaring fire, a cozy den with wall-to-wall bookshelves, and a trio of Raggedy Ann dolls one half expects to come to life. It’s endearingly and knowingly right out of a horror movie.
A library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves is situated just off the living room.
Hollywood associations and dubious anecdotes aside, the home is a period-appropriate restored farmhouse that makes for a quintessential New England weekend getaway-especially this time of year with the region’s display of autumnal colors.
The realty team at Providence-based Mott & Chace had fun marketing the house, working with Blueflash Photography to produce a promotional video that plays like a horror film of its own. (Without giving too much away, there are rocking chairs and a floating bed with musical accompaniment to match.)
The house seems to come with a doll or two, but the outgoing owners don’t recommend holding them.
Lightning strikes over a haunted house? Probably just a coincidence.
"It’s been a blast marketing the house and working with the folks who own it," Guglielmi says. "Honestly the hardest part has been to screen or vet all the interested people, because there’s been so much interest." For any of the film’s fanatics looking for a new home, that may be the biggest horror of all.