'Ghost Adventures: Curse Of The Harrisville Farmhouse' - Halloween 2019 Special Review
November 01, 2019 12:00 AM ‐ Ghost Adventures • Halloween • Television • Paranormal
This article is more than three years old and was last updated in May 2020.
'Ghost Adventures' lead investigator, Zak Bagans, described the 2019 Halloween special as "one of the most iconic and disturbing cases we've ever done."
Zak was joined by Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley at the infamous Harrisville farmhouse. The property in Rhode Island where the real life ghost story that inspired the first movie in James Wan's Conjuring series took place.
The two-hour special aired on the Travel Channel in the US on Halloween night, but unlike previous years was not live. Instead the show was pre-recorded at the former home of the Perron family, who believed their home was haunted by the ghost of an early 19th century witch named Bathsheba Sherman. She was an alleged child killer who lived on the site and cursed the land.
The family enlisted the help of two of the most famous demonologists of all time, husband-and-wife, Ed and Lorraine Warren, to try to put an end to the haunting.
Although the Perrons' story is very well-known and the paranormal activity at the house was extreme, after the family moved out in 1980, the paranormal activity died down and the hauntings ceased. So, what did Zak and his team encounter during the Halloween special?
The special kicked off with Zak giving us a little history of the house. In true Zak Bagans style he told us how the Perron family were "plagued by a dark sinister entity" that terrorised the farmhouse. Zak explained that the reason he'd brought his team to this location was because Cory Heinzen and wife Jennifer, who bought the house earlier this year, believe that the dark force has been reawakened.
The home in Harrisville, Rohode Islands is nearly 300 years old, it has seen its share of tragedy, bearing witness to the birth of a nation and the war that almost to it apart. Before the Perron family lived through their terrifying experience in the house, the Arnold family resided here for generations.
It's said that during that time they were cursed with many tragedies including the death of Sally Arnold who in 1848 succumbed to typhus along with two of her children, Susanne Arnold hanged herself with a small cord from a wardrobe hook, 11-year-old Prudence Arnold declined 22-year-old William Knowlton's invitation to marry and for this she was nearly decapitated, John Arnold committed suicide by ingesting insecticide, and neighbour Jarvis Smith went on an alcoholic binge and was found dead from exposure in the Arnold barn.
Zak and the gang want to find a cause for all this suffering and question whether there is an ancient force haunting the house, something that they think drives all the death in this area.
Although the paranormal activity died down after the Perron family left the home, the new owners who made headlines after buying the house say that it wasn't long before they started witnessing the same black mass the Perron family saw decades before them.
Before the team even made it into the house, they witnessed this black mass moving within the house. Zak was joined by demonologist brothers Carl and Keith Johnson, and as they approached the house on foot they both saw a shadowy shape moving through the front porch. The dark mass was also caught on camera in some drone footage of the team walking towards the house.
As always the team were tooled up with night vision cameras, EMF meters, spirit boxes and a whole host of other ghost hunting gadgets, but the one investigation tool that seemed to get the team the most activity was the inclusion of their guest for the night.
The team were joined by Andrea Perron, one of the daughters at the centre of the original case. She's written a book entitled 'House Of Darkness House Of Light' about her time in the cursed house. When Andrea joined the investigation, she seemed to stir something up and the activity went up a notch.
Took spice things up a little, Zak also took his infamous Devil's rocking chair along for the show. The haunted artefact is connected to Ed and Lorraine Warren's "Devil in Connecticut" case. The chair was used as part of an exorcism ritual in the early 80s, and is still stained by the holy oil used by Ed. The husband-and-wife team were attempting to free a young boy named David Glatzel from a case of demonic possession.
During the two-hour special, Zak's co-investigator Aaron braved sitting in the chair, despite claims that many who have sat in the haunted chair experience severe back pain. It's said that one victim of the chair even required surgery after sitting in it.
The Halloween special was filmed over two days in August and Zak told the press that after only one day in the house he became ill. Zak said it wasn't like flu or a cold sick, but "it was like the life-was-being-withdrawn-or-sucked-out-of-my-body sick. It was awful. I felt like a couple of badly marionette strings were holding my body up for three weeks." At various points during the investigation he reported feelings of dizziness, anxiety and agitation, along with difficulty breathing and kidney pain.
The episode didn't go down without a bit of controversy. The previous owner of the house, who Cory and Jennifer Heinzen bought the house from has complained after the show claimed that she too experienced paranormal activity in the house, so much in fact that she reported it to the police.
Lt. Albert Carlo from Burrillville Police featured in the show and spoke about how the previous owner made several emergency calls to 911 as a result of the haunting. But the previous owner in question, Norma Sutcliffe, has now filed a complaint with the Burrillville Police Department disputing these claims.
She told the local press, "this is a disgrace and I am angry about an appearance of a police officer claiming things that are absolute lies." Norma goes as far as to say that the stories of the house's dark history and haunting is nothing more than an urban legend. She said, "there was never any murders, suicides or drowning on the property."
Apparently the story of the sinister Bathsheba character didn't emerge until the 1970s, when it seemingly sprung up from nowhere. J'aime Rubio has researched the case and says, "no one in town had ever heard of any questionable events regarding Bathsheba, but all of a sudden, stories were spreading like wildfire in this small community. Older folks who respected history became agitated by the false accusations, while the younger more superstitious ones wondered about the possibilities of this spine-chilling folklore actually being real."
Although the Halloween episode wasn't aired here in the UK, several older previously unseen Halloween episodes were aired as part of the Really channel's #13NightsOfFrights event and British fans of the show will be treated to a new series of 'Ghost Adventures' starting on November 7th as part of the channel's new #Freakend schedule, bringing viewers two nights of paranormal entertainment every Thursday and Friday.
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