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The Haunting in Connecticut

Promotional film poster
Directed by Peter Cornwell
Produced by Scott Niemeyer
Norm Waitt
Steve Whitney
Paul Brooks
Daniel Farrands
Phyllis Laing
Wendy Rhoads
Andrew Trapani
Written by Adam Simon
Tim Metcalfe
Starring Virginia Madsen
Kyle Gallner
Elias Koteas
Amanda Crew
Martin Donovan
Sophi Knight
Ty Wood
Erik J. Berg
John Bluethner
D.W. Brown
John B. Lowe
Studio Gold Circle Films
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date(s) March 27, 2009 (2009-03-27)
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $76,501,870
Followed by The Haunting in Georgia

The Haunting in Connecticut is a 2009 psychological supernatural horror film based on the allegedly true story of a paranormal event in Connecticut.



Set in 1987, the story centers on Matthew Campbell, who is being treated for Hodgkins lymphoma in a hospital in Upstate Connecticut[1]. After seeing the effect the long commute has on Matt, his family rents a nearby house, which they learn was previously a funeral home. They discover a mortuary room in the basement and the family begins experiencing violent and supernatural events that the parents initially blame on stress and hallucinations from Matt's treatment[1]. Matt also experiences visions from the perspective of a young man named Jonah. Matt contacts a minister he met at the hospital for assistance with his paranormal experiences. The minister informs Matt that the visions and supernatural encounters are likely a result of the previous occupant's occult activities (including séances and necromancy)[1]. The Jonah character is discovered to be the ghost of a psychic medium involved in the previous owner's activities and presently bound to control the "spirits" within the house.

The film comes to its climax when Matt learns the source of the haunting and tries to rid the house of the undesired spirits[1].

True story claims

Promotional material for the movie claims that it is based on the "true story" of paranormal activities experienced by the Snedeker family in the 1980s.[2] The Snedekers moved into a house in Southington, Connecticut, and would later claim that it was plagued by some manner of demonic presence. Carmen Snedeker described the demons: "One of the demons was very thin, with very high cheekbones, long black hair and pitch black eyes. Another had white hair and eyes, wore a pinstriped tuxedo, and his feet were constantly in motion. Also one had a very big smile that on each side touched his eyes, and he was very short."[3] The house was examined by Ed and Lorraine Warren. The story follows that mortuary equipment was discovered in the basement, and Lorraine Warren would later state, "In the master bedroom, there was a trap door where the coffins were brought up, and during the night, you would hear that chain hoist, as if a coffin were being brought up. But when Ed went to check, there was nobody down there." Lorraine Warren has told the Associated Press that the house was cleared of any presence after an exorcism conducted in 1988. The story was also covered in an episode of the A Haunting TV-series, called "A Haunting in Connecticut".[4]

Personal accounts

Since its inception many statements have been leveled with the book (the basis for the movie's story) In a Dark Place. The book's author, Ray Garton, remarked on the statements of the family members: "I never met the son, who was said to be ill, although I was allowed to talk to him on the phone once, supervised by Carmen [his mother]. When the boy began to talk about drugs and told me that he didn’t hear and see strange things in the house once he began taking medication, Carmen ended the conversation."[5]

Skeptic Joe Nickell investigated the alleged haunting and reported that "the Snedeker's landlady found the whole story ridiculous. She noted that nobody before or since had experienced anything unusual in the house, and that the Snedeker family stayed in the house for more than two years before finally deciding to leave." [6]

DVD release

Rentrak reported that the DVD release of The Haunting in Connecticut was #1 in DVD sales for the week ending July 19, 2009 [7]. The extended version DVD includes a commentary with Director Peter Cornwell, co-writer Adam Simon, producer Andrew Trapani, and editor Tom Elkins, a second commentary with the director and actors Virginia Madsen and Kyle Gallner, deleted scenes with optional director commentary, featurettes ("Two Dead Boys: Making of The Haunting in Connecticut", "The Fear is Real: Re-Investigating the Haunting", "Memento Mori: The History of Post Mortem Photography", "Anatomy of a Haunting"), and a digital copy of the movie on a second disc[8].

Horror film "The Haunting in Connecticut" has debuted straight to number one on the DVD and Blu-ray charts with 1.5 million units sold.[9]

All Headline News, July 23rd, 2009

Critical reception

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes rated the film as "rotten", with a 19% positive rating based on 94 reviews.[10] Metacritic found the film had received "Generally unfavourable reviews", scoring 33 out of 100 based on 23 critic reviews[11]. While the film was mainly criticized for its use of horror cliches and "jump" scare tactics,[12] certain aspects of the film were praised by many critics. Particular credit went to the acting: primarily the performances of Gallner and Madsen.[13]

Box office

In the United States, the film had the second highest gross sales (behind Monsters vs Aliens) on its opening weekend, averaging $8,420 at 2,732 theatres, for a gross of $55,389,516.[14] The film made a total of $76,501,870 in the worldwide box office; surpassing expectations of box office analysts.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d IMDB Plot Synopsis
  2. ^ The Haunting In Connecticut official website
  3. ^ Coffey, Chip (January 9, 2006). "Demons from the Dark". Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  4. ^ ""Discovery Channel: TV Listings: A Haunting in Connecticut"". 
  5. ^ "Ray Garton, Author of Ravenous and Bestial". Horror Bound. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  6. ^ Demons in Connecticut Committee for Skeptical Inquiry article by Joe Nickell
  7. ^ MSN Moneycentral report
  8. ^ Fangoria review
  9. ^ AHN article
  10. ^ aggregated critic score
  11. ^ aggregated critic score
  12. ^,25782 AV Club review
  13. ^ Roger Moore, The Charlotte Observer
  14. ^ "March 27–29, 2009 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  15. ^ Statistics on gross income of film

External links

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