Why Did The Warren Occult Museum Close?

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A museum sign at Ed and Lorraine Warren's Museum

They’re some of the most famous—and controversial—paranormal investigators in history. Ed and Lorraine Warren have been the subject of countless books, TV shows, and even a series of Hollywood movies.

At one point, you could get an up-close look at some of the evil, haunted, and otherwise macabre items the couple collected over decades of work.

Unfortunately, the Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum is now as dead as some of Warren’s most fearsome paranormal foes. Why did it happen?

Let’s do a little investigating of our own!

Who Are Ed and Lorraine Warren? 

Ed and Lorraine Warren were two of America’s best-known paranormal investigators, each offering unique skills. The couple married in 1945 and began their investigations shortly after that.

Ed was a self-educated demonologist, while Lorraine considered herself a medium with the ability to sense and interact with paranormal phenomena.

The two later founded the New England Society for Psychic Research and conducted some of the most infamous paranormal investigations in history.

Several inquiries became big-name Hollywood films, including “Annabelle,” telling the story of a haunted doll, and “The Conjuring,” where a demonic presence terrorizes a family.

The two also investigated the “Amityville Horror” house, which they also determined was haunted. The Warrens continued to speak and conduct investigations well into the 21st century.  

About the Warren Occult Museum 

The Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum was near the town of Monroe, Conn., in the southwestern portion of the state. The Warrens opened it in the 1950s to showcase their collection of paranormal artifacts and other items.

It operated for nearly seven decades until its permanent closure in 2019. It offered a one-of-a-kind look at some of the most famous artifacts that inspired countless pop culture tributes and references.

What was in the Warren Occult Museum

The spooky inventory of the Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum included hundreds or even thousands of supposedly cursed or haunted items. Here are a few of the most notable.

The Annabelle Doll 

The Annabelle doll was one of the top items that attracted visitors to the Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum. Unlike the frightening version in the film, the actual doll looks like any other Raggedy Ann doll.

The Warrens investigated the doll after people reported that it moved independently and even attacked someone.

Their investigation supposedly determined that an evil force was controlling the item, and they took it back to their museum for further study and safekeeping.  

Ed and Lorraine Warren's son-in-law standing by the Annabelle doll in the Warren Occult Museum
Source: Lisa Nichols / Hearst CT Media

Photos From the Amityville House 

Another of the Warrens’ best-known investigations was at the Amityville home on New York’s Long Island.

After a couple claimed they were driven from their home by violent spirits, the Warrens studied the possible presences in the house and agreed there were ghosts, pushing back on others who argued it was a hoax.

While it later inspired a hit horror film, the museum allowed you to see inside the actual home a one-of-a-kind look at horror history. 

Real Items From Satanic Rituals 

The Warrens acquired many items over their career, some to study and some to take off the hands of terrified owners. These include artifacts from real-life satanic rituals.

The Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum had carved representations of satanic figures and actual human remains Satanists possibly used. 

Other Cursed Items 

From tribal artifacts to items accompanied by demons or other spirits, the museum had more macabre things than you could imagine.

The museum even claimed to have real vampire coffins, a necklace that strangled its wearer (the “pearls of death”), and items from the Perron house, famous from “The Conjuring.”  

Cursed items inside the Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum
Source: Lisa Nichols / Hearst CT Media

Why Did the Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum Close?

The Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum ran into issues in 2018, when a dispute over zoning issues closed its doors.

About a year later, while searching for a new location to relocate the collection, Lorraine Warren died.

Ed passed away in 2006, and without its chief architects and directors, the museum closed permanently. Still, their son-in-law continues to maintain (and add to) the items.

He is working to resolve the zoning issues with an eye toward an eventual reopening.

Keep in Mind: Elvis Presley’s House is a popular tourist spot in Tennessee, but is it worth visiting? We have mixed feelings about it!

Ed and Lorraine Warren's son-in-law standing outside the Warren Occult Museum
Source: Lisa Nichols / Hearst CT Media

Other Spooky Museums to Visit Instead 

If you need to scratch that scary itch, don’t fret. If you’re willing to travel, there are still some very spooky spots filled with paranormal or otherwise creepy treasures.

Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum 

Take a break from the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas for a visit to Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum. It even won USA Today’s Readers Choice Award for best-haunted destination in America!

The museum has more than 30 rooms, with items ranging from Charles Manson’s bone fragments to what it calls the “world’s most haunted object, ” the Dybbuk Box.

It aligns with the historic Wengert Mansion, which reputedly has some of the city’s most profound hauntings. Make sure to leave the kids at home; they admit no one under 14!

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for unique roadside attractions like these spooky museums, then you need to download the Roadside America App!

Source: Trip Advisor

Archive of the Afterlife

The Archive of the Afterlife is a tiny museum in the smaller town of Cameron, W.V., with paranormal, supernatural, or plain old spooky items personally curated by owner Steve Hummel.

They include various haunted things with connections to spirits or other supernatural entities, an actual execution cap from an electric chair, and sod from serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s front lawn.

The museum also offers nighttime ghost hunts and private paranormal investigations.

You can even donate your ghostly items to the Archive’s collection. They assure you items will be “properly taken care of.” It is an exciting location to check out if you liked the Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum.

Museum of Death 

Only a few blocks away from the party on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street lies this decidedly more grim attraction.

The owners launched it in 1995 to, in the museum’s words, “fill the void in death education” in the United States.

On your self-guided tour through the museum’s collection, you can view crime scene photos, antique funeral items, artwork from convicted serial killers, and various other one-of-a-kind death memorabilia. It’s the museum visit of a lifetime—or death, as it may be!

There are Plenty of Spooky Sites to Explore in the US  

There’s no doubt the Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum deserves a special place in the pantheon of the paranormal. But for now, you’ll have to do without a visit to see Annabelle and the rest of the collection.

Still, there are many spooky spots around the country, from the incredible museums mentioned above to many ghost tours. Who knows? You may even discover a new haunting somewhere along the road. 

Do you believe in the paranormal activities exhibited in the Ed and Lorraine Warren Museum?

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