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Based on a True Story: A Haunting in Connecticut

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Based on a true story: The Haunting in Connecticut
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To the good people/readers of KR here is what I found involving the Haunting in Connecticut case. At the end I will give my opinion on all of these things that I have watched, and read.

First a little background on why this case peaked my interest.

When I first heard about this case it was through the Discovery Channels A Haunting series. When I first watched it I thought that it was a really interesting encounter with the supernatural. Then when the movie came out, I just thought ďHuh?Ē well this sounds familiar. Not to get too far into the Amityville case (yet anyway), but it had that same feel. Upon learning that the Parker family was actually the Snedeker family, I started to find out more about them. Up until the movie you really had to look, or be somewhat familiar with the case, which I was not. But once the movie was announced it seemed as though there was a plethora of information. From articles to shows, this haunting had infiltrated every outlet there was. So it wasnít hard to find any information for this blog.

Iím sure the majority of you reading this are fairly familiar with the movie if not the case as a whole. With that said I am not going to review the movie (which I thought was pretty good), the Discovery Channels version, or The Fear is Real.
This blog was just intended to show some information, and findings of the case.

Philip Snedeker was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
Here is what the definition of Hodgkinís from the American Cancer Institute (
A cancer of the immune system that is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The two major types of Hodgkin lymphoma are classical Hodgkin lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma. Symptoms include the painless enlargement of lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissue. Other symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats. Also called Hodgkin disease.

The treatment for Hodgkinís follows pretty closely for most forms of cancer. If you want to see all of the possible treatments for Hodgkin check out the link below ( ).

According to the A Hauntingdocudrama Philip was 14, the age stays pretty consistent throughout all my research. I would think that because of his age Philip would have similar treatments for Hodgkinís that an adult would. Iím not a nurse or a doctor so I could be totally wrong about this. But from what I understand is that most patients young or old can receive similar treatments depending on their health, and their doctorís recommendations. The treatment that I found the Snedekerís received for Philip was called Cobalt radiation( , http://swallowingthecamel.blogspot.c...nnecticut.html ,

Here is what I found about Cobalt radiation therapy:
(From Live Strong - )

Cobalt is a nonradioactive metal found in nature from which radioactive isotopes can be produced by linear accelerators (for medical and commercial uses) and nuclear reactors (as a waste by-product). Cobalt-60 is the most common isotope and is widely utilized in medicine for the treatment of brain tumors and other central nervous system disorders.

Cobalt-60 does emit radiation and must be handled with care. The side effects from exposure to this radioisotope depend largely upon the length of exposure and whether the exposure was internal (i.e. ingested or inhaled) or external (i.e. skin contact). These side effects may develop within hours or days of treatment (acute/subacute) or months and years later (delayed/late onset).

Read more:

Side effects include: (also from Live Strong site)
Acute/Subacute Side Effects
Fatigue is the most common side effect of Cobalt-60 radiation and can last weeks to years. Many patients never regain their full energy, although it is not clear that radiation therapy alone is to blame, according to the American Cancer Society.

Cerebral edema, or swelling of brain tissue, occurs in all patients with varying degrees of severity. Some patients experience only a mild headache, while others can experience more significant headache, profound dizziness, nausea, vomiting and even loss of consciousness.

Localized hair loss-if the treated lesion was close to the scalp, skin irritation, scalp numbness/tingling, vision changes and decreased appetite have been reported.

Read more:

And this is what I found incredibly interesting Ė Delayed Side Effects
Delayed/Late Onset Side Effects
Delayed or late onset symptoms can include slowed thinking, poor memory/recall, personality changes and confusion. The development of a new tumor--oncogenesis--is a rare occurrence from the radiation exposure in the brain.

Radiation necrosis, the death of brain tissue in response to radiation treatment, can also create an inflammatory reaction with symptoms of cerebral edema and can trigger seizures and rarely, death, according to the American Cancer Society.

Read more:

The reason I found the delayed side effects interesting is because in both the Discovery Channel, and The Fear is real, Carmen said Philipís (Paul, in A Haunting) personality had changed.

Okay enough of the medical lesson

Carmen and her husband Allen decided it would be best to relocate their family closer to the John Dempsey Hospital at University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington ( It was difficult to find a big enough house to accommodate the Snedeker family, but Carmen happened upon 208 Meriden Avenue Southington, CT. The rent was very inexpensive and the house was large enough to hold her family. So the Snedekerís moved in, on June 30th 1986.

Carmen has repeatedly said that she did not know it was a former funeral home (Hallahan Funeral Home) until they had already moved in. But what I didnít know until recently that the house was actually a duplex (at the time, it isnít any longer). The Snedekerís had rented the downstairs area of the duplex, which had the basement with it. Left in the basement was the coffin lift, a gurney, a blood drainage pit, and a box of coffin handles, and of course the coffin viewing room. Which the boys did sleep in, and eventually it was just Philip who stayed in the room. Carmen has said that she did not see these items due to construction that was going on at the house at the time she looked at it.

Also something that I thought was worth adding was this from Chasing the Frog:
ďDid they really find old pictures of dead people?
Yes. In this website's correspondence with the real life mother, Carmen Reed, she stated, "There were a couple of photos in the home, but there were many toe tags and a head tag. There were other personal items of the deceased.Ē

I do remember Carmen had said that she found toe tags and pictures in the basement, before the boys had moved in, and she got rid of them so not to upset Philip (A Haunting: A haunting in Connecticut, Discovery Channel). Also according to the docudrama Philip really did spin his brother around on the gurney, in the basement, and the blood colored mop water also happened. But Carmen was the one that saw it.

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Carmen Reed showing the
coffin lift in her basement that
leads up to a trap door in
the master bedroom floor.

According to the realtor and several neighbors the Snedekerís were informed that the house was a former funeral home. From CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry,
It is disputed whether the Snedekers knew when they moved in on June 30 that the house had been a funeral home. They maintained they did not; however, some neighbors insisted otherwise, and the previous owners emphatically stated that the Snedekers were informed of the houseís former use prior to their moving in.
Iíve read this similar statement on several sites. The landlords insist that they were informed prior to moving in that the house was a former funeral home.

The Hallahan Funeral Home

The information that I found on the former funeral home was fairly vague. The funeral home has moved from Southington to Plantsville, to (from what I found) Waterbury, CT. It has also changed names several times from Hallahan, to Bergin-Hallahan, now it is Bergin Funeral home. I cannot find any reason for the name change or the move other than a quiet simple answer: More room and Hallahan funeral home merged with Bergin. This is all that I was really able to find. I did not find any information that there may have been suspected necrophilia, Satanism, or any other possible explanation for why the home would have been haunted. In the documentary The Fear is Real, there is a woman who once worked for the funeral home as a make-up artist. She claims that there are people put in place at funeral homes to make sure nothing like what was accused happens. Whether or not this is the case Iím not sure, but I am fairly sure that funeral homes (probably more today) are pretty closely regulated.

When the S#*t hit the fan.

After continuous treatment Philipís cancer eventually went into remission. After this the family began to notice a significant change in his personality. From writings, drawings, and wearing dark clothing, Philip had become very distant from the rest of the family. Philip also had told his parents that he often heard voices, and would see a man in a pin stripe suit (A Haunting). Along with Philipís cancer going into remission Carmenís niece Tammy (and her sister Kim) came to stay with the family while her parents were going through a divorce. Tammy also noticed a change in her cousin. At one point in time Philip attacked her, and was removed from the house. In the Discovery Channel version, Philip was to a juvenile detention center, although some accounts say it was a mental institution. In the Fear is Real Carmen said that she did check her son into a mental Institution. There are some reports that Philip was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Philip had warned his family that after he left the house the spirits would come after them (A Haunting). And so they did. The family began to smell foul odors in the house, there are even reporters of being fondled by unseen hands. Carmen and Allen also claim to have been sodomized by a ďdemonicĒ force. Tammy claims that at one point a rosary that Carmen had given her fell apart, but this varies from A Haunting (lifted off her chest) and The Fear is Real (fell apart in her hand, which is mentioned several times in different reports). There are also coincidence that followed outside the home. Allenís truck went through his office while the keys sat on his desk (A Haunting). Also Carmenís father had died of an acute angina after and attacker broke into his house (Dark Destinations)

Carmen had had enough and called in the professionals

The Warrens

If you read my prelude to this blog then you know my feelings on these two. Well I have to bring them up, especially for this one. The Warrens came into this case after Carmen talked to a co-worker. The co-worker told her that they may be able to help. So along with their nephew John Zaffis, and a grandson(?), the Warrens descended upon the home. For nine weeks the Warrens stayed with the Snedekers and came to the conclusion that what was attacking the family were not ghosts but a demon. Lorraine Warren was the one that convinced the family to go to the press about what was happening to her family. This was done to get the Catholic Church involved (Dark Destinations). Below Iíve provided a clip from the Warrens TV show in which they discuss this case (this is not the complete show, but a clip).

(Clip from EdandLorraineWarren channel on YouTube)

There are conflicting reports that John Zaffis was original brought in as the lead investigator. Ray Garton was told that he was just there to observe the family ďbusinessĒ. So Iím not going to dive too much into Zaffis. Yes he was there, and yes he did say that he saw, heard, and claims to have had things happen to him.

The public eye.

In the late 80ís there probably werenít as many people that could help in these situations, itís not like you can just open up a phone book and find a paranormal investigator. As I stated above Carmen was told about the Warrens via a co-worker. The Warrens were also the ones that encouraged them to go public. Even by today standards this would still be a pretty crazy case. But after the Snedekers went public a back lash came. Many of the neighbors claimed that they had never seen nor heard anything coming from the house.
A neighbor that lived across the street, Mrs. Kathy Altemus, had written down all the goings on that went on in the neighbor hood, and even has a complete journal to back up what she saw and heard. For example: the television program A Current Affair mentioned the sound of clanking chains in the house, presumably from the coffin lift in the basement. But Mrs. Altemusís journal shows that the noise most likely was from a truck that passed by, making a sound like it was ďdragging a chain.Ē (

Among the other neighbors the upstairs tenant was interviewed by the New Britain Herald. She thought the Warrens were ďcon artistsĒ, and ďtaking advantage of the SnedekersĒ (Dark Destinations). She also claimed that ďI havenít experienced anything. I definitely know that no one has been raped up here.Ē (Dark Destinations, CSI, Center for Inquiry, New Britain Herald 1988)
In the below clip is another resident that does not believe any of the Snedekers stories (more recent story).

(Clip from Warrenology channel on YouTube original from CBS WFSB CT Channel 3)

It seems as if the whole town didnít believe them either. In the Fear is Real two friends of the children were interviewed, and they to never heard anything about what was going on until the family had gone public.

Along with going to local newspapers Carmen and Allen (along with the Warrens, and Ray Garton, and Joe Nickell) had gone onto do show with Sally Jesse Raphael (I was raped by a ghost, October 30 1992) Current Affair (1988), and The Maury Povich Show (March 1992). I really wish I was able to find at least clips from one of the shows, but I was unable to weight through the never ending list of both shows. I have provided a clip that I believe was for Current Affair, but I cannot be certain.

(From TEFF666 channel on YouTube)

The Current Affair segment was shot a short time after the exorcism of the house, in September of 1988. The show interviewed the upstairs neighbor who repeated what she had earlier told the Herald.

In The Fear is Real Carmen did say that she cut off contact with the Warrens because she thought that they had exploited her and her family. However she does remain in contact with John Zaffis, and the two, along with Chip Coffey are working on a book together called either Demons from the Dark or Demons in the Dark (Dark Destinations). The book has yet to be released.

In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting, Ray Garton
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Ray Garton is an incredible horror writer who was brought in by the Warrens to write a book on what had gone on at that house. He became involved with the Warrens in 1991, a few years after the events took place. The book was released on October 31st 1992, which coincides with the Sally Jesse Raphael Show. The book is no longer in print, and rather hard and expensive to get a hold of. Amazon has a listed price for the used book for $40.00, and for a new copy, $202.99
Ray Graton has remained adamant that the book is nothing more than a work of fiction. Gartonís story has remained the same in almost every interview that I have read (the best ones that I have found are and

He has stated that he wanted to work with the Warrens ďbecause I used to read of Ed and Lorraine Warrenís exploits in the National Enquirer when I was a kidĒ.
Heís also stated in many interviews that when he asked Ed Warren about what to write about because the Snedekers couldnít keep their stories straight, he was told ďAll the people who come to us are crazy, thatís why they come to us. Just use what you can and make the rest up. You write scary books, right? Well, make it up and make it scary. Thatís why we hired you.Ē

Ray Garton was originally going to be interviewed for The Fear is Real documentary (on both the DVD and Blu-Ray of the movie The Haunting in Connecticut), but declined to be interviewed. Garton claims that he was originally contacted about being interviewed and agreed to do it, until he spoke with the mother of the family that was currently living in the house. The email that she had received from the producer was different than what he had received. To him it was obvious that the producer did not like him, and was in fact out to slam him (Horror world interview). So he backed out.

Carmen and the Warrens have also slammed him pretty hard for what he wrote in the book. Claiming that he never spoke with Carmen or her family, and her family had nothing to do with the book, which he claims that they did. Also Garton claims that Carmen may have been running an illegal interstate lottery scam.

Give a couple of the interviews a read, they are really good, and donít seem to change all that much.

Ray Gartonís book was not the basis for the movie.

The Movie
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After almost 14 years a movie finally came a knocking. Gartonís book was optioned, but that deal fell through.
Just like with most ďBased on a true storyĒ movies Hollywood takes some artistic license. A Haunting in Connecticut is no different. Philip (Matthew in the movie) never found eye lids in the attic, there was no Johnah or sťances that took place, and the house never burned down. But it did make for a pretty good story.

Both the Blu-Ray and the DVD have The Fear is Real: Reinvestigating a Haunting. Carmen, her son Brad, Tammy and Kim, and Allen Snedeker Jr, were all interviewed for the documentary. Along with the family, neighbors, friends, and even the current sheriff were also interviewed. John Zaffis and Lorraine Warren are in the documentary as well. Itís a pretty interesting documentary.

In my opinion

Iíve been banging my head up against a wall trying to figure out how to write this blog without coming off as a cynical bitch (very hard thing to do). If I came off as cynical I do apologize, this was not my intention (well not completely) but there are certain things in this true story that really bother the hell out of me.

When I was younger I read all about the Amityville case, and came to my own conclusion that it was in fact a fraudulent case, which it did turn out to be. The more I read the more I became irrated that someone would make such horrendous stories up, just to make a quick buck. Looking for the light at the end of the tunnel is not always easy, and you donít always get to see what you were hoping would be there. This is the case with A Haunting in Connecticut.

This is just my opinion, The Southington Funeral Case/A Haunting in Connecticut is complete BS!

Phew thatís a huge weight lifted. There are so many things that point to fraudulent.
No one seemed to know that Philip had cancer. Iím not saying that he didnít, and I can understand the neighbors not knowing, some things are easier to deal with when left within the family. Nor can I find any information on whether or not Philip was actually diagnosed with schizophrenia. This is easy enough to explain, HIPPA.

One of the main things that started my head banging was in The Fear is Real, seriously the cross falling off the wall while they were interviewing Carmen, really!? Címon that just seemed like a set up. Oh and now Carmen is a sensitive. Where the hell was that power when all of this supposedly went down.

According to Joe Nickell (CSI, and Center for Inquiry) there has been revealing information that Philip was a drug user (LSD, amongst several others) and Philip was actually caught fondling his cousins, which he confessed to the police.

Again in the Fear is Real the current sheriff pulled the timeline for when the police were called for the incident with Philip and his cousin. There is no such call. Landlord/resident dispute yes, but nothing mentioning domestic violence. Oh and speaking of landlord resident dispute, the landlady actual evicted the Snedekers for nonpayment of rent (Dark Destinations, Center for Inquiry, and CSI) in 1988. Her and her husband both have said that they were never informed of anything like what was described going on.

And then there are the delayed side effects of the Cobalt treatment that Philip received. The one that stood out the most to me was: changes in personality. If in fact Philip was receiving the treatments this could explain a lot, especially after his cancer went into remission.

And finally (Cause I can keep going) the issue with Ray Garton. Honestly I believe Ray Garton. The Warrens are not know for truthful books. Look at Jay Ansonís book The Amityville Horror. It was later put to shame by Ric Osunaís book the Night the DeFeos Died (which is a really good book). And Iím not saying ( ) that Carmen did in fact run an illegal interstate lottery scam, but I think itís odd that someone who supposedly didnít know or talk to the family would make up such a harsh rumor.

I have to be honest I did not go to the Warrenís site or Carmenís, for good reason. By the point in time that I was going to, I had already come to my own conclusion, and frankly I didnít want to. Not going to the Warrenís site, well I donít like them and I think they are con artists, and to quote Ray Garton ďEd and Lorraine used their religion as a weapon.Ē Which I cannot stand! And as for not going to Carmenís website, well IMO sheís no better than the Warrens.

Well those are my thoughts on everything.
I could keep going, but I think it would be like beating a dead horse. Besides I just wanted to show you all what I had found. There are several articles out there that I could not get my hands on (I can afford $.10 a copy, but not really worth it to me). I should mention that the if indeed the family was "haunted", then I think it was the family, not the house. The family claims that things would occur on and off after they left the house. This to me is more believable than the house being haunted.
I do apologize if Iíve burst your bubble, but the last paragraphs are just my opinion.
Below are all the links that I used to in this article, and they themselves are pretty good.

Oh yeah one more thing. Please leave the family alone that now lives at 208 Meridan Ave. They have said that nothing goes on. And people have been tresspassing and trying to do ghost hunting explorations. Letís not make this into another Amityville situation. Along with the Ray Garton interview, they also interviewed Carmen, and a relative
A Haunting: A Haunting in Connecticut
The Fear is Real: Reinvestigating a Haunting

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  1. 's Avatar
    Wow. That was damn thorough
  2. dawnkatdead's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GregMO ROberts
    Wow. That was damn thorough
    LOL!There was a lot more. But I thought that this was enough information. Most people know about this case. Wait till I do the one about The Strangers
  3. Dusty B's Avatar
    What a great read. I was thinking about watching the features on the blu-ray of the movie before i have to mail it off on Monday, but I think you just saved me the trouble. I got far more information through this than I could on there.
  4. grlhorrorfan's Avatar
    Nice job, what a really informative article. I am also interested in the true stories but have not read up as much as you have. I am definitely going to check out the articles and Osuna's book. Thanks for taking the time Kat!
  5. dawnkatdead's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty B
    What a great read. I was thinking about watching the features on the blu-ray of the movie before i have to mail it off on Monday, but I think you just saved me the trouble. I got far more information through this than I could on there.
    Thanks man! It's still a nifty little feature, but it's really hard to swallow. There are so many people that they interviewed expressing they didn't believe what happened. But they do talk about the post mortem photography which was really cool. I can't remember the guys name, but Rue Morgue did an article on him, he does death masks, and things of the like. That was more interesting than The Fear is Real
  6. dawnkatdead's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by grlhorrorfan
    Nice job, what a really informative article. I am also interested in the true stories but have not read up as much as you have. I am definitely going to check out the articles and Osuna's book. Thanks for taking the time Kat!
    For sure, thanks for reading it!I got into "discovering" these things because of that book. Most libraries have it and I'm pretty sure it is still in print, either way probably easier to find than Garton's book. It does kind of bum me out when I dig around only to find that most of these are crap, but does make for a good scary movie.