I wonder if it’s one of the consequences of success. While writing up some thoughts on The Conjuring diegesis, I got to wondering how accurate the movies’ portrayal of the occult museum of Ed and Lorraine Warren is. The museum set appears in multiple films, and in Annabelle Comes Home it serves up a smorgasbord of horror. Some of these artifacts, such as Annabelle, really do hold places of infamy in the establishment and some are clearly used in the cinematic version to set up spinoffs to keep the franchise alive forever. Curiosity drove me to the open web—website owners of spaces of reputation now distrust this “open web,” what with its money grubbing and lack of peer review—to peruse some actual photos. That’s how I learned the museum is permanently closed. The reason given: zoning issues. (I presume they don’t refer to the Twilight Zone issues.)
That The Conjuring franchise has proven remarkably successful hardly requires footnoting. With The Conjuring 3 due out next year, a total of eight films will have been produced over seven years, currently and it currently stands as the second most profitable horror franchise in history. For anyone wondering why I wrote Holy Horror, such numbers may help explain. Now what of these zoning issues? I wonder if it’s not the number of visitors drawn by the films that have created a problem. (Those with questions aren’t purchasing Holy Horror, that’s for sure!) Since the Warrens have now both passed away, the New England Society of Psychic Research runs the museum and is seeking a new place for it. (We have space in my garage, just sayin’.) And hey, Gettysburg isn’t too long a drive from here!
Success, I suspect, does come with its price tag. People are drawn to those who’ve captured the interest of the big screen, and what with everyone dying death is a growth industry. I suspect part of horror’s appeal is just that. We all have to face it some day and while many run from it screaming some use this opportunity to prepare. But I’ve also got to wonder if it can maintain its level of fear. I recently watched the current iteration of It and found little that was even frightening about it. But then again, clowns have never bothered me that much. The bullies are the scariest thing in the film and Washington DC’s full of them. Talk about success and its consequences.