One of the most successful horror movie franchises is The Conjuring. These movies have been scaring us since the day the first movie was released. Recently, a new movie from the franchise came out, titled “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”. Let us get into it.
“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is the eighth installment of The Conjuring universe, and serves as a sequel to The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016). The new movie met with positive response for its production and storytelling. But do you know that like the other movies of this universe, this movie is also based on real life events?
The movie tells the story of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who conducts the exorcism of an 8-year-old boy David. During the process, David’s sister’s boyfriend Arne Johnson tells the devil to summon him instead of a little boy. Like this, the devil gets inside Arne, and he is frequently possessed by the demon.
In the process, Arne kills his girlfriend’s landlord and is arrested, but in his defense, he says that the devil made him do it. The story further continues with Ed and Lorraine Warren trying to end Arne’s suffering and save him.
The story and plot of the movie is taken from the very famous 1981 Trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, also known as “The Devil Made Me Do It” case. It is the first case in the United States where the defendant claims to be possessed by a supernatural entity and denied the personal responsibility of the crime.
So What Was The Actual Story Of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ?
In 1981, Arne Johnson and his girlfriend Debbie Glatzel rented a house and went to clean it up before they moved in. This was the time when Debbie’s younger brother, David saw an old man, who looked like a demonic beast and tried to steal his soul. At first, everyone thought that David was just making excuses to avoid cleaning, but soon the family also started experiencing weird things in the house.
They allegedly heard strange noises from the attic, and David usually gets nightmares and wakes up with unexplained bruises. Due to these things, the family called a Catholic priest to bless the house.
As the days went by, David’s condition started to get even worse and after twelve days, the family summoned the demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren for help. The family told them that they have seen David being beaten and choked by an invisible force, and soon after that, he gets marks on his neck and body.
David also started to growl, hiss, and speak a different language that they have never heard of, and due to this one family member always stays with him every night. The Warrens concluded that David is possessed and while conducting the exorcism, David started to levitate. Lorraine also saw a dark mist next to David and got visions of something bad was going to happen. The Warrens contacted Brookfield police to warn them about the situation.
The eye witnesses say that while controlling David, Arne coerced a demon in him. The demon has also viciously attacked Arne by taking control of his car, but fortunately he wasn’t injured. As the conditions got worse, Debbie and Johnson decided to move out of their parent’s home and began renting a small apartment. Arne also started to show similar behaviors like that of David, which got Debbie worried and she started to believe that Arne was alo possessed.
On 16th February 1981, Arne and Debbie went to their landlord, Bono, who is also Debbie’s employer at the kennel. They were joined by Arne’s sister Wanda and Debbie’s nine-year-old cousin Mary. They all grabbed lunch and were drinking heavily. Back in the kennel, Debbie urged everyone to leave, but Bono refused, because of which he and Arne got into a fight.
While Wanda tried to pull Johnson away, he started to growl like an animal, then took a pocket knife and stabbed Bono several times. Bono died a few hours later and Arne was found nearly 3 km from the site. This was the first unlawful killing in Brookfield.
After Arne was arrested, this news got viral all around dividing the perspectives of different people. Ed and Lorraine Warren were also involved and told how it was true that it was a case of demonic possession. His lawyer Martin Minnella started to get phone calls about the case, and he flew to England to meet the lawyers who were involved in similar cases before.
Although the same reason was presented in the court, the judge rejected this defense as there was no evidence and scientific explanation. As a result, Arne was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 10-20 years in prison, but he only served five years.