The Conjuring Universe consists at the moment of 7 films that are in a certain way connected to each other. In this article your can read in which order the events of the different films took place and what happened so far.
It all started with Ed and Lorraine Warren. Ed was an official demonologist acknowledged by the church and Lorraine was a medium, and they have dealt with lots of different hauntings. Whether you (chose to) believe hauntings, ghosts and demons are real or not, Ed and Lorraine were definitely real people. Ed is played by Patrick Wilson and Lorraine by Vera Farmiga and together they form the heart of the franchise. Their faith, hope and love are paramount and is a big essential part of the success of the franchise.
Although the franchise started out with The Conjuring in 2013 which introduces Ed and Lorraine it was not their first case. Then followed Annabelle in 2014 about the creepy doll we already saw in The Conjuring. Up next is The Conjuring 2 in 2016 that takes Ed and Lorraine to England. In Annabelle Creation in 2017 we see how Annabelle came to be haunted. Then we take a little detour in The Nun in 2018 and go to Romania where we meet demon Valak that showed itself in The Conjuring 2. Another detour is taken to LA in The Curse of La Llorona in 2019. That same year Annabelle isn’t done playing in Annabelle Comes Home.
Now, let’s put these films in chronological order, shall we, and let’s see what happened in each installment.
The Nun (2018)
The Nun is set in 1952 in Romania.
The demonic Nun was introduced in The Conjuring 2 as the hidden demonic entity in the house of the Hodgson family. Lorraine successfully sent the demon Valak back to hell and no we are going to discover more of the demon’s origin.
In 1952 a nun commits suicide at the Saint Cartha’s monastery in Romania. The Vatican sends Father Burke a Miracle Hunter and Sister Irene a novice to investigate. They get help from a local called Maurice “Frenchie” Theriault. They discover that in the Dark Ages the demon Valak was summoned by the Duke, but was stopped by the Crusaders. With a relic that contains the blood of Christ they managed to close the portal. The castle became a monastery but during the Second World War, bombings made the portal vulnerable and Valak plagued the nuns and killed them wanting to possess them. Sister Victoria committed suicide so that Valak couldn’t possess her and escape.
Now Valak tries to possess Sister Irene in order to escape its prison, but Frenchie prevents this from happening, but gets hurt real bad in the process. Sister Irene does manage to close the portal and sends Valak back to hell.
Years later Maurice has become a case of the Warrens trying to free him from his possession. Ed and Lorraine show this footage in 1971 at a college class that Carolyn Perron attends to ask for their help.
Annabelle Creation (2017)
Annabelle Creation is set in 1943 and 1955 in a small town in America.
Annabelle was introduced in The Conjuring as a case Ed and Lorraine were working on. A possessed doll, or rather an object to which a demon has attached itself. Now we will learn how Annabelle was made and how a demon came to attach itself to the doll.
We start first in 1943 when Samuel Mullins a doll maker lives a happy life with his wife Esther and his little girl Annabelle. While he had made a special doll just for Annabelle, the girl was hit by a car and died. Stricken with grief they did anything to get their little girl back. But a demon tricked them and was permitted to live inside the doll. Annabelle/the demon attacked them, leaving Esther disfigured for life. Horrified they called in the help of a priest and locked the doll in a sacred closet.
Twelve years later in 1955 Samuel opened his house to some orphan girls and their caretaker and nun Sister Charlotte. Linda and Janice are the best of friends like sisters and because Janice suffers from polio she becomes more isolated from the rest, making her the most vulnerable victim for Annabelle. Annabelle lures Janice to open the closet and manages to possess her. While Linda does everything she can to help Janice, it’s too late. The possessed Janice murders Esther and Samuel, but the girls and Charlotte manage to escape. But so does Janice/Annabelle. She ended up in another orphanage and was taken in by Pete and Sharon Higgins and she called herself Annabelle.
On a picture in Sister Charlotte’s room she is shown with a couple of other nuns and Valak. Also really curious is that Janice is pushed in her wheelchair by someone, we never get to see, towards the barn where demon Annabelle is lying in wait to possess her. Does this mean that Annabelle got help from fellow demon Valak who already had escaped the monastery?
Annabelle is set in 1967 and takes place in Santa Monica.
Annabelle was introduced in The Conjuring and now we know where the demon came from after watching Annabelle Creation. But we don’t know what happened before the two nurses came into its possession.
In 1967 John and Mia Form are expecting a baby. Mia collects antique dolls and as a surprise John gets her the doll Annabelle. When the neighbors Pete and Sharon Higgins are murdered, the two killers, a man and a woman turn on Mia and John. The woman seems to be after the doll and when she is killed, she dies with the doll in her arms. This woman proves to be Annabelle the adopted daughter of Pete and Sharon, who is actually Janice but possessed by the demon. She joined a cult and killed her parents. After she died, the demon had to find a new body and has set his eyes on Mia, or rather her unborn baby.
When John and Mia move to Santa Monica they can’t shake the hauntings, but their neighbor Evelyn sacrifices herself in order to keep Mia and the baby safe. Mia throws the doll in the trash, where it later is found in an antique store where the mother of one of the nurses bought it as a gift for her daughter.
Read the full review of Annabelle, here.
The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring is set in 1971 and takes place in Harrisville, Rhode Island.
The film starts in 1968 when Ed and Lorraine visit two nurses Debbie and Camilla at their home who are haunted by a doll called Annabelle. First the two women called in the help of a medium who told them that the doll was possessed by a girl named Annabelle Higgins, but in fact a demon has attached itself to it. Ed and Lorraine take the doll home and lock her up in a blessed cabinet in their basement full of possessed objects.
A couple of years later in 1971 Ed and Lorraine are called upon by Carolyn Perron whose family suffers from hauntings. An evil entity the ghost witch Bathsheba Sherman, who scarified her baby to the devil and committed suicide, once lived there. Now she haunts the premises and wants to possess the mother so she can make her kill her children, in which she succeeded before. Now she wants to possess Carolyn.
Ed and Lorraine mange to perform an exorcism and save the Perron family. They also take home a music box that has a spirit attached to it, the spirit of a boy named Rory.
Read the full review of The Conjuring, here.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Annabelle Comes Home is set somewhere after The Conjuring and takes place at the home of the Warrens.
Something is a bit off with the timeline, and it is somewhat unclear in what year this takes place. After they have visited Debbie and Camille in 1968 they take home Annabelle and put her in a special cabinet in the basement. There we also see Rory’s little music box taken from the home of the Perron family. So the events in this film have to take place somewhere after 1971.
When Ed and Lorraine are investigating a case, their daughter Judy stays home with her babysitter Mary Ellen whose friend Danielle also comes by. While it is forbidden to enter the basement which is locked anyway, Danielle finds the key and sneaks into the basement touching everything, also accidentally freeing Annabelle who frees more demons like The Ferryman, The Bride, Black Shuck and a magical tv, because she acts like a beacon. So the girls have to lock up Annabelle again before she can possess anyone or hurt anyone.
Lorraine senses something is wrong, like she did in The Conjuring when Annabelle haunted Judy, and they arrive just in time to help the girls and Bob, love interest of Mary Ellen, and put Annabelle back safely into her cabinet.
The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
The Curse of La Llorona is set in 1973 in LA.
Although not directly connected with the Conjuring or Annabelle films, it does take place in The Conjuring Universe and has one character that connects this film with Annabelle; Father Perez. He was called in by Mia and John to help them with the possessed doll. Now he is asked by Anna Tate-Garcia to help her battle La Llorona.
Anna is a widow with two children, Chris and Sam. She is a social worker and has to help a woman who has locked her boys in a closet to protect them from La Llorona who kidnaps children to drown them. The legend says that La Llorona the Weeping Woman was once a woman who drowned her kids, felt guilty, wept and searched for them ever since, wanting to replace them with other children. Once you have seen La Llorona she has marked you and she will come for you.
Anna doesn’t believe this fairytale until her own children fall victim to La Llorona. She is send to a Curandero Rafael Olvera by Father Perez. He uses Mexican pagan rituals and catholic rituals to fight the evil entity. Together they manage to defeat La Llorona and Anna and her children are save again.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
The Conjuring 2 is set in 1977 and takes place in London.
Ed and Lorraine are called to London to help investigate a so-called haunting. But previously, in 1976, Lorraine had a vision while they were investigating the case of the Amityville House owned by the Lutz family. She saw Ed die by the hands of a terrible entity. That entity later is haunting their house, and Ed paints this demonic entity that poses itself as a nun.
Peggy Hodgson lives with her two daughters and two sons in Enfield London, when a ghost possesses Janet the second eldest daughter. While the media thinks it’s a hoax Ed and Lorraine are called in to investigate if there is indeed a ghost. At first they think that a former resident Bill Wilkins is haunting them, but it proves to be Valak. Lorraine knows her visions are about to come true but manages to save Ed and send Valak back to hell. But we still don’t know how Valak has escaped from the monastery.
In this film we also get to meet the Crooked Man a very scary but elusive entity that resides in a zoetrope that belongs to the youngest son Billy, which they take home to put in their safe basement.
This is the list so far. There are a lot of gaps to fill, so hopefully this franchise will get much bigger. When new films are added to this amazingly scary universe, it will be added to this list.
Note: reviews of all these films are coming soon to BigHorrorGuide.