The Conjuring Universe Explained with Timeline: From The Nun to The Conjuring 2

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In a still from The Conjuring universe

The Conjuring Universe is truly one of the most spine chilling series of movies ever filmed. And while some movies work better than others, the fascination for these demons and the supposedly “true” lore behind these incidents is what keeps us hooked throughout. It all started off with The Conjuring which was released in 2013 and garnered high praise from both critics and audience due to its contained and well thought out scares and atmosphere. Its timeline is spread across various years in the 20th century and each movie gives us either an origin story or a real life paranormal tale. Lets dive into the timelines of each film and dissect the horror universe of The Conjuring. 

The Nun (Timeline: 1952)

In a still from The Nun

Released in 2018,The Nun is the first movie in the chronological order of The Conjuring universe. The Nun has quickly become one of the most iconic characters in the conjuring universe after her terrifying introduction in The Conjuring 2. The Nun follows the origins of Valak, the demon nun. The film is set in 1952 and a duke wants to open portals of hell to let the demons into reality. But soon after, the church finds out about this and they banish all the activities and build another church on the top of it instead.

Yet things aren’t fine for long as Valak starts appearing in the church to haunt the nuns and kill them so that she can escape into the realm with their bodies. But the nuns are adamant on having Valak stay in the church, because they sure can’t defeat her. So with this the nuns at the church start sacrificing their lives before Valak can kill them, and they all enter Heaven, thus making it impossible for the nun to escape the Church. So the main church, again sends their priest and a nun to the church that Valak has inhabited, to investigate further.

This creates a spiral of scares for the two of them as they are haunted by the spirits of the dead nuns and Valak herself. After a long series of repetitive scares and inconsequential moments, we arrive at the solution that Valak can only be defeated by a Vial of Christ’s blood. So in the final showdown when Valak catches a hold of Sister Irene, she tries to drown her inside a pool of water. But Irene drinks the blood underwater and spits it on Valak, which results in her getting obliterated and sucked into the pool of water. 

Annabelle: Creation (Timeline: 1955)

In a still from Annabelle: Creation

Released in 2017, Annabelle: Creation is the second movie wherein we look at another origin story of the doll, Annabelle. We are first introduced to Anabelle in The Conjuring (First One) and watching her in that movie truly sent some horrific chills down my spine. This movie actually revolves around a dollmaker whose daughter accidentally passed away in a car accident.

The Dollmaker, Samuel and his wife Esther eagerly want to see their daughter again and hence they visited and prayed to anyone who could let them see their daughter again. This causes them to see glimpses of her  and at first they are very happy and content that they finally get to see their daughter moving in the house again. But soon they realize that the entity that is in their house only has the shape and form of their daughter Annabelle. After many years Samuel welcomes a sister and some orphans after the closing of their home, to provide them shelter and refuge.

And while he specifically makes it clear that no-one is to visit their late daughter Annabelle’s room, Janice, a disabled orphan goes inside and releases the spirit in the house which starts terrorizing everyone. Both Samuel and Esther die gruesome deaths, and the spirit of Annabelle finds its way inside Janice and when both, the sister and Linda survive, Janice escapes the house with the spirit still inside her. She starts calling herself Annabelle and when adopted by a couple, she kills them years later with her boyfriend which marks the beginning of Annabelle (First one).

Annabelle (Timeline: 1967)

In a still from Annabelle

Released in 2014, Annabelle is the prequel to The Conjuring where we see how the doll actually came into the house of Warrens. The entire story is a direct continuation of Annabelle: Creations which released after this movie. Annabelle: Creation ends with Janice murdering her foster parents. However this information is new in the movie and the couple, Mia and John who are expecting a baby, are woken up at night to see their neighbors getting murdered by Janice and her Boyfriend.

As it turns out, they had joined a satanic cult and hence they went back to kill their parents. John goes to check on them and he returns with blood smeared all over him, which was not his. Janice and her boyfriend come to Mia’s house and the whole thing escalates into a bloody fight, with Mia even getting stabbed. However they get lucky as Police steps in on time and shoots the man. Janice commits suicide with the Annabelle doll which was gifted to Mia. Then Mia starts seeing visions of Annabelle in her house, both as a child and as an adult.

They keep freaking her out and try to take her daughter. They consult a father about it who later on gets possessed by the doll. Annabelle ends on a sacrifice by Mia’s regret fied neighbor. And the doll is then later on taken by an old woman who purchases the doll as a gift for her daughter. 

The Conjuring (Timeline: 1971)

In a still from The Conjuring

Released in 2013, The Conjuring, in my opinion, the best movie in the entire franchise as it not only raised higher standards for modern day horror movies, but it also utilized the mystery and the lore perfectly. There were so many well thought out scares and scenes scattered all over the movie which weren’t genre defining in any way but they absolutely nailed the spine chilling aspect nonetheless. This is the movie where we are first introduced to Ed and Lorraine Warren, the two paranormal detectives who have had a history of being associated with cases like Amityville and in this movie, the haunting of Perron family. In a secluded home in the midst of a forest, the Perron family with their five daughters and a dog. There are red flags about the house all over the place, beginning with their pet dogs reluctance to go inside the home.

Soon the entire family starts noticing strange activities throughout the house, and its most prominent with the mother and her daughters. The daughters are affected first because of their childlike fragility. As the Warrens explain in one of their lectures, The Conjuring begins with Infestation. This Infestation takes place as the daughters start experiencing a force which torments then during the nights. Little by little, the dark entity in the house is trying to make its way inside the souls of the daughter, by inhibiting fear inside them.

As we move forward we discover that the previous woman who used to live in this house has a dark oast as she sacrificed her daughter to some dark magic and then succumbed to death herself by hanging herself outside the house. So, the main purpose of this evil spirit was to possess the mothers in the house so that they will kill their daughters, just like the previous woman did. At the same time, Lorraine’s daughter also starts see visions of Annabelle in her house due to her mothers connection with Bathsheba. Fortunately, by the end, the Warrens successfully perform the exorcism and get rid of the demon’s possession of Carolyn. 

Annabelle Comes Home (Timeline: 1972)

In a still from Annabelle Comes Home

Released in 2019, Annabelle Comes Home follows the story of the house of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Judy, the daughter of Warrens has had some experience in exorcism and it shows throughout the movie. Like many Conjuring universe movies, this one doesn’t follow a single demon or ghost, hut rather multiple entities in different shape and forms which have real lore behind them. Judy is accompanied by Marry Ellen and Daniella as her parents aren’t at home and have gone off to another investigation.

Daniella has a gut wrenching past of her father’s death in a car accident and how she believed that she caused it because she was driving the car. Occupied by this guilt, she thinks that the artifact room in the Warren house would help her meet her father again and so she barges inside and touches each and every artifact possible. This gives Annabelle power over them again as she comes out of the case and starts to let loose all the spirits inside the artifact room. There are many entities in this movie ranging from the Nun in a white gown to a ferryman whose scares are signified by coins.

These ghosts, especially the White Bride, try to gain a hold over Daniella and possess her, thus causing the spirit to linger inside her. But the spirit leaves Daniella due to the archival footage of an exorcism by the Warrens. The movie takes a lot of turns, even Judy herself is on the verge of getting possessed, but her experience in Exorcism and her observance of her parents allow her to successfully banish all the demons and finally put Annabelle back in the cage. Even Daniella finally meets her father with his entity coming inside Lorraine and they both have a satisfying conclusion with his father saying that his death wasn’t Daniella’s fault. 

The Curse of La Llorona (Timeline: 1973)

In a still from The Curse of La Llorona

Released in 2019, The Curse of La Llorona wasn’t officially connected to The Conjuring universe but the movie had a lot of instances where the connections were heavily implied, and the production only denied it for some profit and franchise safety issues. Looking into this movie, this has a setting which is completely different and apart from any of the other Conjuring movies or ghosts and it is surrounded on the real folktale of the Weeping Woman. From the first scene alone, we discover how the weeping woman drowns and kills both her sons and then commits suicide herself.

The main lore behind the story of The Weeping Woman is that after the horrific incident which occured in the year 1673, she never got over the death of her sons and startes killing other children because of her guilt and regret. Years later, Anna, an investigator, hears about the case of the missing sons of Patricia and when she goes to Patricia’s house in order to investigate, she finds the sons locked behind a door with marks. Ignoring their pleads to let them stay inside, Anna takes them out. But unfortunately, La Llorona gets a hold over them and they are found drowned and dead.

Patricia hates Anna for what she did and prays that La Llorona would take Anna’s sons instead. This causes La Llorona to come after her and her sons and tries to drown them in multiple occasions. She goes to Father Perez who says that this is related to a case he worked before, the case of Annabelle, thus forming a major connection in The Conjuring universe. In the end La Llorona is destroyed by Patricia coming to her senses and saving Anna, and her Son showing the witch the necklace. Anna ultimately stabs La Llorona and destroys the spirit for good. 

The Conjuring 2 (Timeline: 1977)

In a still from The Conjuring 2

Released in 2016, The Conjuring 2 was the highly awaited sequel of the massively popular The Conjuring and we move a few years ahead into the scare of the Hodgson Family. The Warrens have just solved the Amityville case and a few months later they hear that the Hodgson family is facing the same kinds of scares. Janet, the daughter of Peggy Hodgson is possessed by the previous owner of the house Bill Wilkins. He died in the house and while possessing Janet, he states that he likes terrifying the family.

At the same time, Lorraine also starts getting visions of the death of her husband Ed, by a terrifying demon nun Valak, but this name is not known by the Warrens. There is also an entire plotline, that all of these incidents might be fake just to garner attention. Valak starts terrifying Lorraine and her daughter and they both start seeing Valak in their visions. Later on just as they are about to leave the Hodgsons, Lorraine discovers the true intentions of Bill Wilkins, who was just an old man visiting the house to see his family.

But he has been possessed by Valak in order to haunt the family and consume the soul of Janet. In an absolutely nail biting final sequence, Lorraine banishes Valak back to hell by reciting her name and establishing dominance over her. This leads to Janet getting saved. The Conjuring 2 introduced us to an eerie entity, the crooked man, whose toy finds its way in the museum of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

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Phew, this was long, and now that ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It‘ It is about to be released, we can’t wait to see what the next flagship offering has in store for us. Thanks for reading!