The Conjuring Universe (2024)

Air yeeting!

The Conjuring Universe is an American media franchise and Shared Universe centered on a series of supernatural horror films purportedly based on the cases of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine WarrenThe Conjuring Universe (2). It is produced chiefly by New Line Cinema and distributed by Warner Bros.

The franchise was launched with The Conjuring, a 2013 film directed by James Wan (of Saw and Insidious fame). The film's commercial and critical success quickly prompted a sequel and a branch into other interrelated horror films, which are spinoffs exploring the villains of the main Conjuring series, forming a shared universe.

This film universe includes:<!—index—>

  • The Conjuring (2013)
  • Annabelle (2014)
  • The Conjuring 2 (2016)
  • Annabelle: Creation (2017)
  • The Nun (2018)
  • Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
  • The Nun II (2023)
  • <!—/index—>The Conjuring: Last Rites (TBA) note

There are also five short fan films that have been declared canonical. They were selected as the winners of the My Annabelle Creation competition in 2017, and were selected from five different countries.

  • The Nurse: Winner of the United States competition. Directed by Julian Terry, it follows a young girl who is hospitalized with bandages wrapped around her eyes. Then someone decides to haunt her. It can be watched hereThe Conjuring Universe (3).
  • The Confession: Winner of the United Kingdom competition. Directed by Liam Banks, it follows a woman who confesses in a church following a terrifying encounter at her house. It can be watched hereThe Conjuring Universe (4).
  • What's Wrong With Mom? (¿Qué Tiene Mamá?): Winner of the Mexico competition. Directed by Raúl Bribiesca, it is about a daughter who is praying for her mother to recover from her Demonic Possession. It can be watched hereThe Conjuring Universe (5).
  • Blund's Lullaby: Winner of the Sweden competition. Directed by Magda Lindblom and Amanda Nilsson, it features the folk character of John Blund, the Scandinavian equivalent of The Sandman, who is said to present colorful umbrellas to good children and black umbrellas to naughty ones. It can be watched hereThe Conjuring Universe (6).
  • Innocent Souls (Almas Inocentes): Winner of the Colombia competition. Directed by Alejandro López, it is about a group of teenagers who decide to have a sleepover at an abandoned house. It can be watched hereThe Conjuring Universe (7).

On April 23, 2021, DC Comics announced that it would create a label specializing in horror comics. The inaugural series is an entry to The Conjuring Universe, The Conjuring: The Lover, which launched on June 4, 2021.

The Curse of La Llorona references this franchise, but has been officially declared not to be an entry.

Tropes present across the franchise:

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: All films released so far are set before the dawn of 1990.
    • The Conjuring opens in the year 1968, before moving on to 1971, where the majority of the film takes place. However, a retcon to the timeline has merged the two periods together to 1971.
    • Annabelle briefly starts in 1971, before shifting to 1970. It stays that way until the very end, which goes back to 1971.
    • The Conjuring 2 is entirely set in 1977, although there is an (archive footage) flashback to 1971.
    • Annabelle: Creation starts in 1943, before jumping to 1955, the setting for the majority of the film. After the climax, there are two more jumps: the denouement is set in 1958, while the ending is set in 1970.
    • The Nun mostly takes place in 1952, but includes archive footage from the previous films that takes place in 1971 and 1977. There are also flashbacks to unspecified times during WWII and the Middle Ages.
    • Annabelle Comes Home is set in 1972.
    • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is set in 1981.
    • The Nun II is set in 1956.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: Despite the films claiming to be based on real life, you have to actually believe that there are such things as ghosts and demons. Ed did claim to be a "demonologist" and Lorraine claims to have psychic abilities, but there's no scientific proof that they were ever telling the truth about what they encountered throughout their career. After all, up until the 1970s, they simply claimed to be run of the mill "ghost hunters", but that changed when The Exorcist became a best-selling novel. The Warrens had to one-up this, started calling everything they encountered "demons", and that's how we got The Amityville Horror. Most of the families supposedly affected by demons and ghosts had members severely affected by alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness. The Enfield Poltergeist, which the Warrens were never actually as involved in investigating as The Conjuring 2 claims they were (they were even refused entry into the house by the family), was debunked as being the actions of two bored teenage girls who wanted attention. This is even lampshaded in The Conjuring when asked what the Warrens do. Ed says they are "Demonologists, ghost hunters" and Lorraine adds "Kooks."
  • Based on a True Story: Unlike most horror movies, this isn't used as a marketing ploy. Ed and Lorraine WarrenThe Conjuring Universe (8) were real-life paranormal investigators and the films are based on one of their many cases. The Perrons and the Hodgsons are in fact real. This is to the point that a trailer was released in advance of the first filmThe Conjuring Universe (9) with segments from the real Lorraine Warren and Perron family talking about the events that transpired.
  • Battle Couple: Ed and Lorraine are happily married and fight the forces of darkness as a team.
  • Breakout Villain:
    • Annabelle from The Conjuring only appears a few times and has little relevance to the plot, but is one of the best-remembered parts of the movie. So far, she has gotten three spin-off films of her own.
    • Unlike Annabelle, Valak is the main antagonist of The Conjuring 2, but its appearances are scant (since it being the main villain is a big reveal). Nevertheless, it is possibly the thing that gives the audience the most nightmares after watching the film. What's funny is that it was originally not part of the scriptThe Conjuring Universe (10)! Wan created it as a last-minute addition, so all its scenes were shot during post-production. It now has two solo films of its own.
  • Christianity is Catholic: To a T. In fact, one gets the impression that the only religions in The Conjuring Universe are good ol' Roman Catholicism and a Hollywoodized and severely demonized Satanism. All major characters in the series are portrayed as observant Catholics and their faith is shown to be always correct. The Roman Catholic Church has authority everywhere, even in areas not under their sway, such as London and, as of The Nun, Transylvania.note
  • Creepy Doll: Annabelle might just be the modern Trope Codifier.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Or worse. One of haunted objects in the Warrens' museum is a samurai armor. You can tell that there's an amazing story behind it for a samurai armor to be in there.
  • Fantastic Catholicism: True to the real Warrens, who invoked the trope in their writings.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Bathsheba from The Conjuring is a Satanist, which means that the forces of Darkness, aka Satan itself, is really behind all this. This gets neatly touched upon The Conjuring 2, too, as the film's true Big Bad is Valak, the Great President of Hell and thus Satan's underling according to traditional demonology. Valak is also highly implied to be what Lorraine saw in the first film's flashback that sent her into a long Heroic BSoD.
  • Happily Married:
    • The Warrens are absolutely devoted to each other, with their love for each other forming the emotional heart of the movies they feature in. Even when they argue, their relationship never wavers.
    • Also, the Perrons from The Conjuring and the Forms from Annabelle.
  • Historical Beauty Update:
    • Inverted with Annabelle. The real Annabelle doll is a Raggedy Ann, not the more human-looking and terrifying thing that appears here.
    • Played straight with Ed and Lorraine Warren, who, in real life, weren't anywhere near as good-looking as Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.
  • Jump Scare: Many of the scares. Some of these are actually kind of effective.
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: The Warrens have turned a room in their house into a collection of cursed objects that people are allowed to tour on the condition that you do not touch anything, especially not Annabelle. This aspect is Truth in Television: You really can take tours of this room in the Warren home, complete with the "real" Annabelle.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • A lot of the horror in these movies rely on these as opposed to Jump Scares. To put it in context, The Conjuring was slapped with an R rating despite lacking enough violence or language that usually warrants the rating. James Wan was told by the MPAA that the film got an R rating simply because the atmosphere was too frightening for a PG-13 and there was nothing he could trim to lower it. And then, with The Conjuring 2, it happened all over again.
    • Both Warren-centric movies feature scenes after the climax where the camera slowly zooms in on a particularly sinister object for as long as minutes, leaving viewers anxious for an upcoming Jump Scare... and nothing happens. Played with at the end of Annabelle: Creation, in which the doll is zoomed in upon for nearly a minute until her head is held profile in the frame... and then her head turns for roughly two frames before the film cuts to black.
  • Occult Detective: The Warrens, natch.
  • One-Steve Limit: If including the spin-off films, utterly averted.
    • Series-wide, there is Carolyn Perron from The Conjuring and Charlotte and Carol both from Annabelle: Creation.
    • The Perrons' second daughter, Nancy, shares her name with one of the orphans in Annabelle: Creation.
    • Janet Hodgson from The Conjuring 2 and Janice from Annabelle: Creation. They are the main character of their respective films. Also, Jane(t) is the feminine equivalent of John. John Form is the protagonist's husband from Annabelle, while Johnny Hodgson is Janet's younger brother. The Nun introduces Oana, whose name is the Romanian equivalent of Johanna.
    • Maurice Theriault (one of the Warrens' exorcism patients from The Conjuring, although his role is minor) and Maurice Grosse (a psychologist who assists the Warrens in The Conjuring 2). The former Maurice's role is elevated as of The Nun, however.
    • The Conjuring II features three characters named Peggy: a mother and daughter, and their neighbor.
    • In The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, there are Judy Warren, Ed and Lorraine's daughter, and Judy Glatzel, mother of the possession victim.
  • Origins Episode: Annabelle: Creation and The Nun detail the origins of both villains. The Crooked Man will likely follow.
  • Predecessor Villain: The Nun reveals that the Transylvanian Duke of St. Cârța was this for the franchise, as he was the one to originally summon Valak into the mortal world during the Middle Ages.
  • Religious Horror: It's a given considering the wide use of Fantastic Catholicism, Hollywood Satanism, Demonic Possession (by a ghost, but still), and Hollywood Exorcism.
  • Sequel Escalation: While the first Conjuring attempted to remain faithful to the source material by using a real-life accused witch, Bathsheba Sherman, as the source of the terror, the two sequels concocted over-the-top and completely fictional villains that had nothing to do with the real-life cases that the films were based on. And then there are the spin-offs, which are wholly original films who make no attempt to base their plot from real-life events.
  • Shared Universe: The series started with The Conjuring, then branched out on villains-centric spinoffs set in the same universe.
  • Villain Pedigree: While all evil spirits are dangerous, demons are presented as being far more powerful and dangerous than mere ghosts.
  • Weirdness Magnet:
    • Sister Charlotte has a penchant to run into demon-infested situations, as she has ended up in places haunted by both Valak and Annabelle.
    • Ditto with the Warrens. The difference between them and Charlotte is that the Warrens deliberately seek weirdness, being Occult Detectives and all.
The Conjuring Universe (2024)


In what order should I watch The Conjuring Universe? ›

The Conjuring (2013) Annabelle (2014) The Conjuring 2 (2016) Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Who is the scariest of The Conjuring Universe? ›

1. The Conjuring (2013) The movie that started it all remains the tightest, scariest, and most creative of the bunch. In their cinematic debut, the Warrens investigate a disturbing possession at a remote family home in Rhode Island.

Is The Conjuring 4 confirmed? ›

In October 2022 Conjuring franchise creator James Wan officially confirmed that The Conjuring 4 was on the way. New Line Cinema is currently preparing production for the upcoming new Conjuring movie, and it will be written by The Conjuring 2 and 3 writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick.

How is nun related to Conjuring? ›

The Nun movies are actually prequels to The Conjuring series. While The Nun and its sequel take part in the 1950s, The Conjuring is set in the 1970s. Valak torments a young nun throughout the series, and it's only when Lorraine encounters Valak two decades after that we see the demon defeated.

Where is the real Annabelle doll? ›

Annabelle is an allegedly-haunted Raggedy Ann doll, housed in the now closed occult museum of the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Annabelle was moved there after supposed hauntings in 1970. A character based on the doll is one of the antagonists that appear in The Conjuring Universe.

Is Annabelle based on a true story? ›

According to a clip Spera showed, the real-life Annabelle story began in 1970 when a 28-year-old nurse received the Raggedy Ann doll as a birthday gift from her mom. She put the rag doll on her bed and began to notice it changing positions. A leg would be crossed, or the doll would be lying on its side.

Is Conjuring based on a true story? ›

Is 'The Conjuring' based on a true story? That depends on whether you believe in ghosts. But the movie is based on the Perron family, who moved into the house in 1971, and said they began experiencing paranormal phenomena.

Which Conjuring movie is scarier? ›

Critics Consensus: Scarier than its predecessor, The Nun II makes for an entertaining addition to the Conjuring franchise despite not being the most original horror sequel.

Is Insidious part of The Conjuring? ›

It's a common question, but the answer is no, The Conjuring and Insidious franchises are not linked to each other. The only 'link' is James Wan, who directed both the first two Conjuring movies and the Insidious movies. Fun fact: Patrick Wilson starred in both the first two Insidious movies and The Conjuring movies.

Is Conjuring Universe ending? ›

Summary. The Conjuring 4 has found its director after a long wait, confirming it as the last mainline film in the franchise. Michael Chaves will be directing the upcoming horror sequel, and sources have confirmed that it will be the final installment in The Conjuring Universe.

Is Conjuring 3 based on a true story? ›

Before his incident with his landlord that served as the true story behind The Conjuring 3, Arne Cheyenne Johnson had a spotless record. Living in the sleepy Connecticut town of Brookfield, Johnson was engaged to a woman named Debbie Glatzel, but all was not well with the couple.

Who is Annabelle's demon? ›

In the movie, the demon conduiting the doll is Malthus(The Ram demon). It always had been inhabitating inside the Annabelle doll and is the same demon who possessed Janice(later identified as Annabelle Higgins) in Annabelle:Creation(2017). This demon,Malthus, has been clearly revealed in Annabelle Comes Home(2019).

Why did Valak want the eyes? ›

Valak is after the eyes of Saint Lucy, patron saint of the blind, in order to restore the power that was taken from the demon when it was an angel rejected by God. As it turns out, those eyes are buried in the chapel at the boarding school where Maurice now works as a handyman.

Are Ed and Lorraine Warren still alive? ›

Both Ed and Lorraine Warren were born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ed Warren died in Monroe, Connecticut at the age of 79. Lorraine Warren died on April 19, 2019, at the age of 92.

Do I need to see the first Conjuring? ›

I know you're eager to watch The Conjuring, but if you want to fully understand the story, you'll have to start with its prequel.

How is La Llorona connected to Conjuring? ›

The Curse of La Llorona isn't actually a part of The Conjuring Universe despite its two Annabelle-related cameos, says director Michael Chaves. It only became known as the eighth installment in the hit horror franchise, apparently, because of a presenter's unfortunate misunderstanding at a film festival.

Is Annabelle a real doll? ›

Where is the real Annabelle kept? The doll remains in the museum, behind a locked case with a sign made by Ed Warren that reads “positively do not open.”

Can I watch Conjuring 2 before Conjuring 1? ›

Well Conjuring (Part 1 ) is indubitably a good horror, but if you are looking forward to watch Part 2 without knowing even the bleak of the previous part then you should go ahead as there are no such any interlinking that could make it cumbersome to understand the story.

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