The Snedeker House – The Haunting in Connecticut House
Among paranormal historians, there are certain haunted house cases that are classic and legendary in their activity. Amityville out on Long Island is top of the mark when it comes to infamous haunted house cases. The Smurl Haunting in West Pittston, Pennsylvania showed that when a family is haunted, nobody is off limits. The Entity House in Culver City out in West Los Angeles was so active that the photographs documenting the activity still cannot be replicated today. Hard to believe at times, but there are haunted house cases popping up more and more in the paranormal community even today. The Bothell Hell House outside Seattle, WA breaks about every rule in the book, while The Screaming House of Union, Missouri literally screams at its unlucky inhabitants. The origins of such haunts are all wholly unique and terrifying in their own chilling and sometimes violent capacities.
One such house that should be considered among the legendary haunted ranks is the Snedeker House of Southington, Connecticut. The town of Southington itself is that of perfect Connecticut small-town charm, but in 1986 the town was thrown into a frenzy of media chaos when a family reported their new home as being haunted. With details scarce and emerging at the time, media pundits and paranormal investigators alike were unaware, but the claims from the Snedeker’s would later be referred to in paranormal lore as, “The Haunting In Connecticut.”
Where is the Haunting in Connecticut House?
The House that the film The Haunting in Connecticut is based on is located at 208 Meriden Avenue, Southington, CT 06489.
The Snedeker’s Story of The Haunting in Connecticut
In 1986, the Snedekers were a family that struggled in a lot of ways. The father Allen was a former stone mason who was suspected of having struggles with alcoholism. His wife and mother of the children, Carmen, was a waitress in between jobs and finances definitely became a sensitive situation. This financial hardship was further complicated for them when their eldest son Phillip was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is a rare and sometimes deadly cancer that attacks the body’s immune system with intensity. The Snedekers looked to get Phillip into a cancer treatment hospital as soon as possible and they found one located outside Southington. Packing up what belongings they had, they moved to Southington in search of a new home to live while Phillip was to endure a series of cancer treatments. Looking for something with size, as they had four children plus two nieces that eventually moved in with them, the family found a duplex-style, multi-story home to rent. From the outside, it was two floors, on a quiet street with plenty of room for everyone and at least near the hospital. The price range being amazingly affordable the Snedekers jumped at renting the home. Little did they know that this picturesque Connecticut home was also formerly the town’s funeral home. The Hallahan Funeral Home to be exact.
Moving into their new home, and funeral home, the Snedekers and their children each took off to choose their new bedrooms. Phillip of all places chose the basement. Teenage angst, seclusion due to illness, or just morbid curiosity itself, Phillip nonetheless marked out this area as his new domain. Upon moving his furnishings downstairs into the basement, the family soon discovered a hidden collection of antiquated mortuary equipment. This discovery was not solely limited to the basement as the massive home also had some leftover furnishings in different parts of it as well such as bedroom dresser drawers. Inside the drawers, the Snedekers found a few photographs of what can only be described as pictures pertaining to people being prepared for funeral burial. Another room was a former coffin room that still held plenty of coffin pieces in there to give anyone a sure fright. The biggest shock also came on an extended bit of the property where some headstones were found indicating that bodies were buried on the actual property itself. A quick check with the town’s assessor of real estate property confirmed that the home was indeed the former Hallahan Funeral Home. The idea of living inside of what was once a funeral home did bring about some initial concerns for the Snedekers, however, given their financial commitment to the home as well as Phillip’s future cancer treatments to consider, they decided to stand firm in their new rental.
Signs of Paranormal Activity
The very first sign of paranormal activity inside the house was a series of bizarre sounds that would occur day and night. Mysterious wrappings along with scratching sounds seemed to emanate from every part of the home without explanation or reason. Inside the home was a dumbwaiter of sorts where the chain pulleys would rattle and move on their own without anything loaded into them. Carmen’s young children initially clamored that they were seeing ghosts walking through the home and were so scared that they wanted to leave. She took everything therein as overactive imaginations from her children, but she had an eerie feeling about the place herself. The children often told about the lights flickering on and off and their father Allen got upset about the misuse of electricity and removed light bulbs from rooms.
The dumbwaiter was used for loading and delivering bodies down to the basement area where the mortuary was located and was now Phillip’s new bedroom. Mysterious sounds continued and sudden fluctuations in temperature occurred. One room would seem to be ice cold in the middle of July, while the room adjacent would be normal room temperature. The piercing coldness would then disappear as quickly as it had emerged in a room, all without any logical explanation. Then these mysterious activities gradually increased to become more physical.
Carmen was taking a shower one evening and the shower curtain began to cling to her body. While science can prove this could be a natural phenomenon, Carmen claimed that the shower curtain began to mysteriously rise as it clung to her. She claimed the shower curtain wrapped itself around her face and neck choking her. Blinded with shampoo in her face, her muffled cries for help were eventually heard by her niece Tammy who was staying with them and she pulled and unwrapped the curtain from around her aunt’s throat. Neither could explain what happened.
Little did Carmen realize that the attacks were just beginning for her as she began to be repeatedly assaulted by an unseen force. The assaults would happen at random times when she was completely alone and afraid to reveal these attacks to her husband Allen. Carmen would later reveal that the entity abusing her would become very forceful and slap at her face.
Carmen’s niece Tammy also claims to have been assaulted. Tammy had later described a quilt from her bed levitating off her all the way up to the ceiling. Tammy also claims that she would see a black shadowy face manifest during these terrifying times along with an unexplained whispering. She would cling to her Catholic faith and often would try to utilize her Rosary beads only to have this same force try and viciously rip the Rosary from her grip.
Apparitions inside the home became making themselves known in physical sense appearing as a taller woman with long black hair, pale skin, and piercing black eyes. Another was in the form of a man with whitish-colored hair and often seen in a pinstripe tuxedo. Phillip kept up with his radiation treatments at the University of Connecticut Hospital where he frequented and was noted as having a bizarre change in personality habits and would lash out uncharacteristically at staff. The terror inside the home mounted more and more, where even mopping the floor turned into a nightmare. Carmen one afternoon had taken to mopping the kitchen floor and without any explanation at all, the mopwater turned into blood. The dark red blood now inexplicably staining the floor, accompanied by the stench of a freshly decaying dead body was too much for Carmen and her family. They needed help and needed it fast.
Ed and Lorraine Warren Investigate the Snedeker House
Entering into the situation were local state residents and paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren from The Conjuring fame. It was Carmen Snedeker who called them to investigate their rapidly terrifying situation. While on the phone with Lorraine, Carmen told of gripping her Rosary beads which were coming apart at their very seams by an unseen force.
The Warrens arrived at the Southington home by the next morning with a Catholic priest in tow. A general blessing of the home was conducted by the priest which seemed to have zero effect on cleansing any paranormal entities from the home. Getting into the heart of the matter the Warrens found from local research that the home was built in the 1920s and became a funeral home. One of the funeral workers was supposedly convicted of committing necrophilia in the morgue of the home under the conditions of some Satanic ritual.
The Warrens theorized, as has a large part of the paranormal community, that such heinous Satanic acts can lead to paranormal activity and welcome entities into a place. Accompanying the Warrens during the many days and nights they investigated the house was their nephew, John Zaffis, a future paranormal specialist. Zaffis would later become popular as a collector of haunted objects, he himself experienced the same terror that was affecting the Snedekers firsthand.
One of the more bizarre occurrences one evening was when Zaffis was spending the night in the home, he found himself undergoing phantomania. In paranormal circles, phantomania is a form of sleep paralysis that is rooted in supernatural origin and can cause great mental and emotional anguish. As he was struggling with his own bout of phantomania, Carmen was in another room undergoing the same supernatural attack. Zaffis would later comment on the situation by saying that the terrifying visions accompanying the phantomania were simultaneously occurring in both him and Carmen at the same time.
As word began to spread about the haunting, Lorraine Warren later recalled that a pair of scientific instructors came to debunk the home as being haunted. During the early midnight hours of their first investigation, this pair of scientists ended up fleeing in the middle of the night and were so rattled by it that they actually moved to another state completely after experiencing it firsthand.
The Warrens Seek an Exorcism of the Snedeker House
With the initial blessing of the home unsuccessful, the Warrens then contacted the Bishop of Hartford, voicing their concerns that much more Catholic help was needed. In response, the Bishop directed that two priests go to the home to not only bless it again but also hold a sacred Catholic Mass inside the home as well. During the ceremonial Mass, Ed Warren suffered a mild heart attack and believed that this was somehow caused by one of the many demonic entities in the home that held him responsible for the Catholic priests being present.
The Mass itself had whatever was haunting the home very angry but also wounded. Both priests along with the Warrens compelled the Bishop to send in a Catholic exorcist to drive out the evil forces. Without much supernatural interference from the assumed demons in the home, the exorcism seemed to be successful in the sense that the dark and brooding atmosphere inside it immediately felt “lighter.” Lorraine Warren would later comment on the situation by saying that during the actual crescendo of the exorcism itself, a rather large and thick tree mysteriously snapped in half and fell across the yard. Warren claimed that the weather that day was actually quite clear and rather ordinary, but some paranormal theorists claim that whatever was possibly haunting the Snedeker house, actually passed through the tree and snapped it in half.
New owners and a film franchise
After word began to circulate, the national media picked up that the Snedeker home was haunted and the Warrens were at the center of its cleansing. Tabloids and talk magazines alike blasted to the world the horrors that were inside the Snedeker home. The Snedekers eventually moved from the home and it was purchased by a pair of private citizens. The new owners of the home claim that they have not experienced anything supernatural or paranormal since purchasing it. They do however state that sometimes people will take pictures of the house from the street, but nothing sinister has ever come of it.
The story of the Snedekers eventually had Hollywood come calling to tell the story of The Haunting in Connecticut. The hauntings inside the home and even Hollywood’s story are loosely based on true-life occurrences. As for the Snedekers themselves, they have seemingly faded into post-haunting obscurity. Carmen has been known to give rare talks on the haunting that she and her family experienced. She believes that any other family going through a similar situation knows that there is hope.
The film, The Haunting in Connecticut was one of the first to feature Ed and Lorraine Warren in 2009, who helped write the script. Eventually, The Conjuring movie would launch in 2013 followed by Annabelle in 2014, and then The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case, which covered the Enfield haunting in England. The Conjuring universe would continue to expand from there, mixing paranormal activity, great storytelling, and Hollywood intrigue for paranormal fans around the world.