It was made famous by the 2013 film “The Conjuring,” which was based on the haunting of the Perron family, who lived in the home nearly 50 years ago. Suddenly, the quiet old place in a dark corner of Harrisville was drawing hordes of horror film buffs and ghost hunters, who wanted to see the property for themselves.
The unwanted public attention from the movie drove the previous longtime owners to file a lawsuit against Warner Bros. in 2015 and then sell the property in the summer of 2019.
Cory and Jennifer Heinzen, paranormal investigators from Maine, bought the house for $439,000, with the intention of opening it up for visits by paranormal researchers. Early last year, they began offering overnight stays, at $125 a person, for the curious to explore the 3,100-square-foot house, its barn, and land.
The Heinzens still love the house, but it’s time to for them to let it go, said their Realtor Benjamin Kean. The Heinzens are “hands-on” with the business, and still traveling back and forth to their other home in Maine, he said.
“They built something special there as a business, and they are at the point where they can pivot, or they would have to hire a full-time staff to continue it the way it is,” Kean said.
In a Facebook Live post Thursday afternoon, the couple explained that they didn’t anticipate how overwhelming it would be to own a famous haunted house.
“We’re paranormal investigators. We’re not business people,” Cory Heinzen said.
They have visitors at night, every night, tours in the daytime, and in the wee hours, some people still try to trespass on the property. The Heinzens say the house became more work than they anticipated — and there’s no stopping the flood of interest.
“I know we feel like we were the perfect buyers for it, but I don’t know if we’re perfect for a business like this,” Jen Heinzen said. “It’s too big for us.”
The bookings through 2022 will be honored, they said. And, the family hopes the new owners will follow in their footsteps.
“We just wanted you guys to know it wasn’t an easy decision for us and it wasn’t made without putting a lot of thought into it,” Jen Heinzen said. “I will be very picky about who comes into this house. If we can’t find the right buyer, we won’t sell.”
The house will appeal to those who appreciate the paranormal — and investors who can take over the paranormal business that the couple has built, Kean said. “They are hoping the next person can hit the ground running,” Kean said.
“We’re all hoping it’s someone who is dedicated and open minded as they are, someone who is going to respect the bones of that house and keep it open to what’s going on,” Kean said, “because it’s very important that people can go there and do their own investigations and do their own research.”