The old Hallahan Funeral Home was the inspiration for the movie "The Haunting In Connecticut"
The Hallahan Funeral Home was located at a Colonial Revival house in Southington, Connecticut. The house was built in 1916, but did not become the Hallahan Funeral Home until 1936. In the mid-1980s, the Hallahan Funeral Home moved to Plantsville, Connecticut and later became known as the Bergin-Hallahan Funeral Home. The original house sat vacant for a couple of years. The new owners intended to convert it into a real-estate office, but due to zoning issues they were forced to convert it into a duplex. The first family to rent out the newly converted duplex were the Snedekers from upstate New York. Their oldest son, Philip, was suffering from Hodgkin's disease and had been receiving treatment at the University of Connecticut medical center. To keep from having to make the long commutes back and forth from New York to Connecticut, Allen and Carmen Snedeker decided to temporarily move to Connecticut. The family apparently settled on renting the house in Southington due to it being very affordable for its size and location. The Snedekers moved in on June 30, 1986 and took up residence in the downstairs apartment of the property. The Snedekers did not know that the house was originally a funeral home until after they moved in and found items from the mortuary trade; including a blood drainage pit, a box of coffin handles, and a casket lift. Philip made his new bedroom in the basement, next to the original mortuary room. The Snedekers slowly began to notice personality changes in him. Philip began writing disturbing things and dressing differently. The boy also made claims to his parents of having heard disembodied voices and seeing apparitions within the house; including a man dressed in a gray, pinstriped suit and perhaps most unsettling, a small boy that was dressed in Superman pajamas. His parents dismissed these claims initially as being hallucinations brought on by his cancer medications, as they reportedly did not witness any unexplained activity themselves. That would soon change.
According to their accounts, once Philip was removed from the home, the rest of the family apparently began experiencing supernatural phenomena as well, both in the house and away from the property. The experiences included unexplained sounds, foul odors, and sudden drops in temperature. Carmen and a female niece named Tammy, who was staying with the family, reported being touched by unseen hands, including an incident where Carmen felt one hand clamp over her mouth while another yanked her hair. Later claims included violent attacks on the family members, including being raped and sodomized by demonic forces. In 1988, Carmen called Connecticut demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren to come and investigate their house. The Warrens had previously made names for themselves after investigating the highly publicized "Amityville Horror" case. The Warrens came to the aid of the family and moved into the home for a period of nine weeks. They brought with them their nephew, John Zaffis, and grandson, Chris McKinnell, who were described as "psychic researchers" to aid in their investigation. Towards the end of the nine-week investigation, the Warrens came to the conclusion that the Snedeker family was not being terrorized by ghosts as originally believed, but rather demonic forces. Armed with these findings, the family reportedly then turned to the Catholic Church to have an exorcism performed on the house, in hopes of driving the alleged demonic forces away. The Warrens and the Snedekers believed the exorcism to be a success, as the disturbances soon stopped. The Snedekers moved back to New York not too long after the exorcism. To date, none of the following occupants have made any public claims of supernatural or unusual activity occurring on the property since. Some sources have reported rumors that a former employee (or employees) of the Hallahan Funeral Home engaged in acts of necrophilia in the years prior and that those acts may have attributed to the events that followed. However, there appears to be no published accounts of such a crime ever occurring in the news from the time period and no arrests ever appear to have been made. While this does not mean that the event never happened, it does make it nearly impossible to verify.
The "Southington Funeral Home Case" was later documented in 1992 in the book "In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting" by Ray Garton. In 2002, the Discover Channel aired a docudrama titled "A Haunting in Connecticut". The TV movie told a dramatized version of the Snedeker family's reported encounters inside the home. Actors were used to portray the family, whose names were changed to the Parker family for the adaptation. Surprisingly, the actual house on Meriden Avenue was used for exterior shots, as was the general neighborhood and nearby St. Thomas Cemetery, which were seen in both aerial and ground film footage. The interior scenes were apparently filmed elsewhere and reportedly varied greatly from the actual interior of the home. In 2009, the story was used again for the major motion picture "The Haunting in Connecticut", starring Virginia Madsen and Elias Koteas. Even though the film was based on the Snedeker's accounts, it was heavily fictionalized and several characters and events were either changed or fabricated completely. The film was shot on location in Manitoba, Canada rather than in Connecticut.
The house at 208 Meridan Avenue in Southington continues to funtion as a private residence today. Unfortunately, it cannot be visited today because the current owners wish for people to leave them alone and respect their privacy. They have reported no hauntings for as long as they have lived there, except for being haunted by the countless amateur ghost hunters who won't leave them alone. The local Southington police have stepped up patrols in the area to keep trespassers away.
Monday: 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday: 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday: 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday: 09:00 - 17:00
Friday: 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday: 09:00 - 12:00
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