I'm sure all you horror fans out there have gone to see The Conjuring 2 already. If you haven't then beware, the article ahead does carry some spoilers for the film as well as the 2015 miniseries The Enfield Haunting that is based of of the same events. In this article we'll explore the differences between the two films, which one was more terrifying? and which was more true?
"The Conjuring 2" was certainly successful in scaring the pants off of us, The Nun and the crooked man were both terrifying demonic aspects that have been inspiring our nightmares since the films release. However, were these apparitions ever reported as part of the case? As far as I have been able to tell, No, not at all. The crooked man rhyme is very real, however it's original inspiration is up for debate. Originally recorded sometime in the 1840's the rhyme has held up through history gaining several different "origins" but there is no evidence that the rhyme or a crooked man music box had any presence at the Hodgson's home. As for the Nun.
She was actually made up entirely for the movie as a way to link the Amityville case with the Enfield case for the Warrens. In truth the two cases were not connected and the Warren's never reported facing a demon that took on the visage of a nun. However, the film did have many accurate points. Like Janet relating to investigators that she was being possesed by one Bill Wilkins and that he had died of a brain hemorrhage in a chair downstairs. There are actual reports of her levitating and teleporting that were dramatized for the film. Another thing that "The Conjuring 2" got right was that Maurice Grosse played a major role in the investigation. But how accurate is the films portrayal of the Warrens involvement?
"The Enfield Haunting" miniseries released last year stars Timothy Spall as Maurice. In this adaptation Maurice becomes deeply involved with the Hodgson family. The series reveals much more about Grosse's motivations behind becoming an investigator and the loss of his young daughter. Another investigator shown playing a pivotal role in the mini series is Guy Playfair. According to the real Guy the Warrens weren't a very large part of the case at all. You can read more about Guy Playfair's perspective and some of the facts surrounding the case here
The miniseries supports this claim, so much so in fact that the Warrens aren't even in the series. There are parallels though, the interview with Janet for example.
where she holds the water in her mouth and talks about being possessed by the spirit of the old Bill Wilkins is almost identical except for the presence of the Warrens.
In the series Maurice Grosse develops an almost fatherly bond with young Janet while he tries to save her from her possession. This iteration of the story focuses much more on the activity that was reported and the poltergeist activity than on demonic figures scaring the bejeebus out of us. Here's the first look trailer for the series if you haven't seen it
Overall both films are very well done. "The Conjuring 2" is pure heart-pounding, scare your pants off, demonic gold just like the first one. "The Enfield Haunting" on the other hand is more subtle, it builds suspense slowly and has some really nice payoffs that send a chill down your spine or make you jump, however, the real value of the miniseries format is that it allows for much more character development. We grow to care about Maurice Grosse and about the Hodgson family. By the end we know the terror these characters went through and the valuable connections both new and rediscovered that were made with each other much more intimately than we could ever hope to in a single film. While the two adaptations are both very good and very different it is clear which one tells the events more accurately, so if you want the real story of the Hodgsons (or at least as close to real as Hollywood is willing to get) check out "The Enfield Haunting" now streaming on Hulu. If somehow you've made it through this article but haven't seen "The Conjuring 2" get off your computer and get down to the closest theater to get the **** scared right out of you.