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Horror film draws unwanted visitors to Conn. house


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#1 VaGhostKid

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:54 PM

A Hollywood horror film that depicts the alleged haunting of a former funeral parlor in central Connecticut is turning into a nightmare for the home's current owners and their neighbors.

The movie, "A Haunting in Connecticut," doesn't open until Friday, but curious fans are already making a beeline for the Southington home that inspired the movie.

"It's just been really, really stressful," said Susan Trotta-Smith, who bought the home 10 years ago with her husband. "It's been a total change from a very quiet house in a very quiet neighborhood to looking out the window and seeing cars stopping all the time. It's been very, very stressful, and sometimes worrisome."

The family has never seen anything unusual inside their five-bedroom, two-family white wood-frame house and does not believe the property was haunted.

"It's got beautiful woodwork, and there is a nice warm feeling to the house," Trotta-Smith said. "Because it was a funeral home , the upstairs apartment is much more spacious. It's like two full houses , and it has a beautiful yard, too."

The movie, starring Virginia Madsen and Kyle Gallner and released by Lionsgate, is loosely based on stories that revolved around the house in the 1980s.

The residents at the time, the Snedeker family , claimed their son would hear strange noises in his basement bedroom, which once held casket displays and was near the old embalming room. He also claimed to see shadows on the wall of people who were not there. A niece visiting the home said she felt hands on her body as she tried to sleep, and her covers levitated.

The family brought in Ed and Lorraine Warren , self-described paranormal researchers, who became famous for documenting the alleged " Amityville Horror " haunting of a home on Long Island.

Lorraine Warren says she felt an evil presence in the Southington home and experienced the haunting herself when she spent a night there.

"In the master bedroom, there was a trap door where the coffins were brought up," she said. "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."

Warren, whose husband died in 2006, has nothing to do with the movie. She said the house was "cleared" of the evil presence after a seance in 1988. A book and a television documentary followed.

The current owners, who rent out part of the home to another family, have removed the street number from the house and posted "no trespassing" signs. Trotta-Smith says they are concerned about the four children who live there.

"Most people are respectful. They stay on the road. They might take a picture," Trotta-Smith said. "But we have had a few problems with people kind of rudely coming up to the door and scaring our kids, telling them the house is haunted."

Police have added extra patrols to the neighborhood.

"There are creatures looming in the night but not inside the house," Southington police Sgt. Lowell DePalma said. "They happen to be people who are trespassing on the property, looking in windows and that kind of stuff. People are going to be disappointed. There are no ghosts."

Alison Taylor , 37, drove from her home in East Hartford with her camera after seeing a show about the haunting on the Discovery Channel and hearing about the new movie.

"I'm very intrigued," she said. "I figured since it was close, I could come. A lot of people are so skeptical, but I'm not. I'm sure some things are made up to make the movie look better, but I think it's great."

Katherine Altemus, who lives across the street, shoos curious onlookers away. She believes the ghost stories were a hoax.

"It's disgraceful," she said. "None of the haunting took place, and now it's ruining the lives of that wonderful young family that lives there."

Calls to the Snedeker family were returned by the film production company , who said they would attempt to arrange an interview.

Film producer Andrew Trapani said he believed the mother, Carmen Snedeker, was very credible, and believes the film does a good job depicting what her family went through. The movie was filmed in Teulon, Manitoba.

He said the names of the family and town in the film were fictionalized, in part to try and keep unwanted attention away from the real home. The Snedekers and Southington are identified on the film's Web site.

"We certainly didn't set out to upset anyone or have anyone show up at their home," he said. "I think in this case, this particular supernatural haunting had a much larger following than even I had anticipated."

Trotta-Smith said she's working with the police but has no plans to put up a fence. She said she just wants a normal life in the house, but she's not sure that will be possible if the movie becomes a big hit.

"I'm a little worried about this Halloween because I imagine that's when they will release the DVD and get everyone worked up again."

#2 Mystic Hippy

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:06 PM

I recently watched the DSC documentary and the only impression I got was "pure bogus". Sorry to see the current residents are having a difficult time, but it will probably pass soon when the novelty wears off or yet another haunting movie comes out.
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#3 jenjen

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:18 AM

From the trailer I've seen, it's a pretty spooky movie. I feel bad for the family though that they've been thrust into a fishbowl existence. They'll just have to ride out this novelty phase for now.

#4 kats_god

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:44 PM

I think thats just wrong for people to mess with the new home owners. If they are having issue with the house thats one thing but if not leave them be.
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#5 Atropa belladonna

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 05:27 PM

He said the names of the family and town in the film were fictionalized, in part to try and keep unwanted attention away from the real home. The Snedekers and Southington are identified on the film's Web site.


I guess the film makers weren't trying to hard to keep unwanted attention away from the family now living in the home.
Why did they even bother to "fictionalize" any of it, if they were just going to post it on there web site anyway.
There should be some liability.

Its disgusting, I hope the gawkrs get over it soon. Let the family have there privacy back.

I was actually looking forward to that film coming to DVD, now I will be boycotting it due to the !@^%$ this family is going through because of the unwanted attention.

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#6 mooboo

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:23 PM

I think thats just wrong for people to mess with the new home owners. If they are having issue with the house thats one thing but if not leave them be.


My family owned a home in Amittyville for many years.Ours was on one of the canals because,my uncles
all had boats .
I can tell you,that to this day,people still go look at the house.They are polite about it,but once the place
has a reputation,its too late.

Ghost interest is so big today,the film makers had to know this would happen ,so they don't have a conscisnce
about any of that .

Sad but true.

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Miss"We were just just picknicking friends"Knowledge speaks ,but wisdom listens~Jimi Hendrix

#7 maryann fox

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:28 PM

i was born and raised in connecticut. I finally moved out in 2002. at the time of the "alleged" haunting i was living about 4 towns over from Southington. at the time of the "alleged" haunting there was nothing in the news nothing through the grapevine NOTHING. trust me if there was a haunting i woulda been there. i believe the snedeker family believes something happened in the house. especially being an ex-funeral home. i just think between the stress of a child sick with cancer, and taking on a new house, and dealing with other family members it's easy to fall victim to power of suggestion.

#8 bedmit

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:07 PM

Its disgusting, I hope the gawkrs get over it soon. Let the family have there privacy back.

I was actually looking forward to that film coming to DVD, now I will be boycotting it due to the !@^%$ this family is going through because of the unwanted attention.



I understand where you are coming from, but I think it won't do any good to boycott the DVD. The movie is entertainment, the gawkers are often caught as tresspassers and will face their dues. I personally will see the movie once released on DVD, but I find it disturbing that this family has to deal with all this and I DO blame the production company for not taking better precautions for the family's safety and well-being.

It's like hearing the reports of Amityville all over again - there, they even had to change the address to keep creeps away (and I do consider those who invade privacy to be creeps).
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#9 aprilmoonflower

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 06:03 PM

sounds like the "Blair Witch" of this decade.
:D

#10 Silvertongue

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:56 PM

i was born and raised in connecticut. I finally moved out in 2002. at the time of the "alleged" haunting i was living about 4 towns over from Southington. at the time of the "alleged" haunting there was nothing in the news nothing through the grapevine NOTHING. trust me if there was a haunting i woulda been there. i believe the snedeker family believes something happened in the house. especially being an ex-funeral home. i just think between the stress of a child sick with cancer, and taking on a new house, and dealing with other family members it's easy to fall victim to power of suggestion.


I appreciate your theory, maryann. :) It reminds me a lot of the Amityville Horror. I think the Lutzes were probably not initially told that there was a mass murder in the house they bought and once they found out, the power of suggestion took over. Your theory fits that mould and is a sound one. I can imagine if anything had really happened, people would know. Even if it wasn't something broadcast on the news, if it's in a small town, people tend to know and then tell.

In a way, though, it doesn't surprise me that people are disrespecting others' property and lives. That seems to be a common thing these days.

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