Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

Surviving “The Conjuring”


If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know that I just saw the movie The Conjuring, a horror film about evil spirits who possess an old house and terrorize the unsuspecting family who moves in. Like The Amityville Horror , The Exorcist, and other films in this genre it is “based on a true story.” You can read about it here and here. I sent out a few tweets before the screening describing my feelings of anxiety, and afterwards describing my relief.

I’m the first to admit I’m a wuss when it comes to really scary movies, especially the paranormal kind. Years ago, I was so freaked out by the movie The Ring, I almost left the theater. The only reason I didn’t was because I was trapped on the inside of an aisle, and my friend kept urging me to calm down. I recently saw Paranormal Activity for the first time on an airplane and was clutching my airplane pillow under my airplane blanket. The only reason I agreed to see The Conjuring was because the friend who invited me worked on it. 

I literally spent the entire week mentally preparing. The truth is I’m less skeptical of “another realm or dimension” than I used to be, in part because I have sometimes felt Kaz’s presence around me. Before The Conjuring screening, I discussed this with a couple of friends at the movie theater bar, where we were gathering liquid courage.

The sensations I experienced occurred mostly during the first six months, but still happen on occasion. They were always accompanied by some slight shift in the air, like a light breeze or draft, not enough to move anything except the hairs on my arm. They could have been my imagination, but I found it comforting to think otherwise.

During that period, I actually felt like he was regularly visiting the apartment. We had married shortly before he died, so it felt natural to me that he would still be lingering on some level, perhaps not in a rush to move on. I would feel his presence on the couch while watching television, or standing behind me in the kitchen, or lying next to me in bed. A few times I left the television on with his favorite TV shows so he could “catch up.” I spoke to him, made jokes with him, cried to him. I was never scared. On the contary, I welcomed his presence, and when I began to feel less often, it made me very sad.

One of the friends at the bar said he could totally relate. He sometimes feels his deceased brother this way. Another friend said her deceased parents are definitely still in the house, but she has an “agreement” with them that they’re not to be too disruptive. “Not all spirits are bad,” we all agreed. Still, the woman with the big, old, empty house refused to see The Conjuring.

The movie was very good and quite scary. There were also moments when I laughed, partly because my friends and I kept giving each other “here comes a scary scene” looks, and partly because some of the scenes were so over the top scary, laughing was the only alternative to screaming.

Overall, I would give the film 4 out of 5 stars because it was very well executed. That said, it’s been hard to stop thinking about it since, because the idea of the film is very terrifying indeed. Times like these I’m grateful the “spirit” in my life is a loving one. I’m grateful to own a dog, and grateful to not live in an old, haunted house in New England (no offense, New Englanders).

Do you believe in spirits? Will you see The Conjuring?

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

14 thoughts on “Surviving “The Conjuring”

  1. I loved The Conjuring! It was so scary though and I get a bit funny when I hear a ‘clap clap’ eeek! I believe that spirits can be around. I have never had a negative experience either but after this movie I was way more skitterish!

    • Yeah, I think we’ve been pretty lucky. I would not want to go through one iota of what that family went through. Nights have been challenging since watching it, but I still enjoyed the movie.

  2. I would love to believe in spirits but I need proof. I am not sure about seeing the movie but your review was well done indeed !

  3. Nice thoughts. I have had a couple of significant bereavements in my life but I can’t say that I am able to share your experience. It is an area so many people feel skeptical about but without being overly superstitious or gullible, I do believe there are spirits/’presences’/energies among us. It’s spooky stuff, comforting and unnerving all at once.

    • Agreed. I still am not sure if it was my imagination or not. At the time it felt like the most normal thing, which could also be a sign of how ‘upside down’ grief can make us feel. I once told someone I felt like I was still married, just my husband was invisible. That person didn’t speak to me for a while after. It sounded spooky but it wasn’t to me.

  4. 🙂 I’ve had my share of paranormal experience. All of which where positive and they have solidified what I already suspected. For instance, a solar powered light shining that had no business shining on Valentines ….that had been sitting out on the deck for 4 days with almost a foot of snow on top, with no sun shining what so ever for 4 days previously.

    I’ve come to believe that spirits can manipulate light easier then they can anything physical….as I’ve had alot of experiences (or have had others who have had experiences) that involved a light source flickering, or coming on, or turning off.

    Its for me one of the things I don’t question any longer actually. I have a couple stories on that someday I’d like to share…when I find the right words or inspiration or whatever 😉

    • What a cool experience to have on Valentine’s Day! I tend to agree with you on light. Glad to know I’m not the only one here to have felt things. 🙂 I look forward to reading about your stories soon.

  5. Hey, I nominated you for the versatile blogging award! http://skepticalstringer.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/the-versatile-blogging-award/

  6. When you are a nurse, you get to experience it all…people see a lot toward the end. On the flip side, my dad is in a box, in our garage. Don’t ask, lol. He turns our sun room light on, on command. My husband teases me so much. Though they have turned on when my girls ask papa to do it. Totally freaks me out. When we wake up in the morning, the lights are on. Paging Ghostbusters.

    • Wow, that’s intense! Thanks for sharing with us. I can only imagine what you have experienced as a nurse. My late husband’s last days were interesting in that respect as well.

      My brother keeps his dog in a box in the guest room. Anyone who stays over has “Mia” the Australian Shepherd watching over them. 🙂

  7. I get the heebeejeebees at night when I here any sound. So for me to see a scary movie – unless I have other people in my house with me, will I consider going. Sydnee, well she freaks out too – not a good guard puppy. After Bill passed away i had a few moments when I thought I heard his voice. Sometimes I will look up at the sky and I swear I see him looking down.

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