We just love when a movie is “based upon true events.” This one is all about Carmen Snedeker and her family, though Ray Garton, the author of In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting has publicly distanced himself from the veracity of his book.
In this film, the Campbells as they move into a former mortuary so that their son, who is fighting cancer, has a place closer to the hospital. Before you know it, the house is attacking all of them.
Sara Campbell (Virginia Madsen, Candyman) and her recovering alcoholic husband Peter are struggling to care for their son Matthew, who is battling cancer. They rent a house closer to the hospital that is unbelievably cheap, but that’s because it was once a mortuary. Soon, Matthew has visions of an old man carving symbols into corpses and discovers the door to the mortuary.
As he’s getting chemo, Matthew meets Reverend Nicholas Popescu (Elias Koteas, forever Casey Jones from the Ninja Turtles movie, but he’s also in Crash) and tells him all about the visions. The movie doubles down on the mortuary by showing seances that were also conducted in the house. A man named Ramsey Aickman ran these seances, but one led to everyone dying except for a boy named Jonah, who disappeared. It also seems that Aickman may have been a necromancer. As we’re searching for a new home, you better believe I’m going to do the paranormal research while my wife looks into the easy stuff like the house’s foundation and electrical system.
This is another movie touched by the hands of Earl and Lorraine Warren. They are the ones that claimed that the Snedeker house was “a former funeral home where morticians regularly practiced necromancy and that there were powerful supernatural forces at work that were cured by an exorcism.” There is the claim that the aforementioned author Ray Garton was employed by the Warrens to write the story, instructed by Earl, “You’ve got some of the story — just use what works and make the rest up… Just make it up and make it scary.”
The film was followed by a sequel, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, which is amazing in that it contains two states geographically equidistant from one another, and another film, The Amityville Murders: A Haunting on Long Island.