Based on real life events in 1986, “The Haunting in Connecticut” tells the story of a family who uncovers a dark history in their new home, after experiencing some unexplained events.
It’s not everyday you discover sinister entities lurking within your new home. However, that is the plot behind the 2009 horror flick, The Haunting in Connecticut. Based on a true story, the movie showcases the Campbell family, as they get more than they bargained for in their new home in Connecticut.
The Haunting in Connecticut grossed $77.5 million in box office sales, achieving moderate success. However, it was met with mixed reviews, with film critic Roger Ebert giving the movie two stars, yet saying it “is a technically proficient horror movie and well-acted.”
Following the cancer diagnosis of their son, Matt (Kyle Gallner), the story of The Haunting in Connecticut follows the Campbell family, as they are forced to relocate to upstate Connecticut for his treatments. Matt’s mom, Sara (Virginia Madsen), makes the decision after being sick of driving eight hours to his hospital, and Matt has recently been selected for experimental treatment for his cancer.
Sara finds their future home during one of their hospital visits, when she spots a man putting a “For Rent” sign in front of the large estate. The man sees her and begs her to move in, promising that the first month would be for free. She asks him what the catch is, and he lets up that the estate used to be a funeral home, thus scaring most home-buyers. She decides to take him off on his offer and hide the truth of the home’s history from the family.
Once the family arrives in The Haunting in Connecticut, the parents let Matt, his brother Billy (Ty Wood) and cousins Wendy and Mary (Amanda Crew, Sophi Knight) pick their bedrooms. Matt chooses his bedroom to be in the basement, where there is a mysterious door that won’t open.
Upon the first night, Matt starts having hallucinations and visions of a terrifying older man and dead bodies, with symbols adorning the corpses. This worries Matt, since one of the conditions of trial by his doctor was that if he started to report “seeing things,” he should drop the treatment.
In The Haunting in Connecticut, Matt decides to keep the visions from his family for now. However, he befriends Rev. Nicholas Popescu (Elias Koteas) while at his treatments. He learns that Popescu also has cancer, and he confides in him about what he is seeing at his house. Popescu tells him to inquire what the spirit wants.
Matt’s behavior is starting to worry his family, growing paler and more aloof from his visions. After his parents confront his doctor about him, his doctor said it’s just his attitude during the healing process, to which his father (Martin Dovovan) responds, “Attitude? His own family is afraid of him.”
The audience of The Haunting in Connecticut then learns, after Matt and Wendy do some digging and find some old photographs, that there was a young boy named Jonah (Erik Berg) who lived at the house and was working for the mortician of the funeral home, Ramsey Aickman. They discover that Jonah was a medium and Aickman would use him for necromancy, a form of dark magic to communicate with the dead.
Instead of burying the bodies of those in the funeral home, Aickman would keep the corpses, carve elaborate spells into their skins and clip off their eyelids. Matt and Wendy find a photo of Jonah during a seance, where there is ectoplasm coming from his mouth.
Popescu decides to come and cleanse the house, after Matt tells him more about what is happening. He tells Sara that the house is possessed, leading him to use an iron cross over the walls to draw out the negative spirits. He determines it is Jonah that is causing all the dark energy and affecting Matt. He finds some of Jonah’s old bones and removes him from the property.
However, as we move further into the story of The Haunting in Connecticut, the spirit of Jonah immediately becomes a greater focal point, and comes before Popescu and tells him that he was protecting Matt and his family from the darker spirits within the house.
With Jonah’s spirit now out of the house and away from Matt, Matt wakes up with symbols carved into his entire body, and his family takes him to the hospital. At the hospital, he encounters the spirit of Jonah and he, along with Popescu, begins to have a vision of Jonah’s death.
During a seance, a bright light flashes and everyone is burned. Aickman, who is seriously injured and dying, tells Jonah to flee the house, fearing that a dark spirit will target him. Jonah uses the dumwaiter to escape, but ends up getting trapped in the crematory, where a dark spirit cremates him alive.
After this vision, Matt escapes the hospital with the intent on burning down the house. Popescu, who also had the vision, heads to the house to warn the family and get them out of the house.
Matt arrives at the house and breaks in with an axe, destroying the walls that have bodies from the funeral home hidden within them. Once he makes sure everyone is out of the house, Jonah takes over Matt’s body and lights the room on fire. Police show up to the house to find the whole thing engulfed in flames.
His parents desperately scream for Matt and try to get him out of the house, which is deteriorating in the flames. Firefighters try to resuscitate his dying body. As he begins to slip away, he sees himself in the graveyard with Jonah, and they start to head off together. Matt then hears his mother’s voice, prompting him to turn back.
Matt wakes up in his own body, no longer with Jonah’s spirit inside. We also learn that Matt’s cancer is also gone.The family in The Haunting in Connecticut is no longer haunted by the spirits within Aickman’s funeral home, and peacefully live out the rest of their lives.
“They say that God works in mysterious ways,” Sara says. “They just don’t always tell you how mysterious those ways might be.”
If you like good ghost stories, and are intrigued by this overview, then consider giving The Haunting in Connecticut a try!
Watch the official trailer for “The Haunting in Connecticut!”