I am a firm believer that when you do something, you do it right. Therefore, when I took on the task of sharing the true history of the Old Brook Farm or Old Arnold Estate in Burrillville (Harrisville), Rhode Island, I did extensive research to make sure I was telling the facts, not fiction. Like many of you, I had watched "The Conjuring," and was taken aback when I saw that the filmmakers were trying to claim the story was based on true events. I knew better. Hollywood is notorious for stretching the truth to make a movie more entertaining, but in this case, they didn't just stretch the truth, they threw the truth out the window and "conjured" up their own fantasy instead.
After the movie came out, everyone jumped on the bandwagon writing articles about the history of the property, 99% of which were all erroneously reported. Only a few decent writers, such as Kent Spottswood, Shannon Bradley Byers and myself came out with our own thoroughly researched investigation on the property's history as well as Bathsheba Sherman's true story, which deflated all the claims that the Perron and the Warren family have tried to claim for the past 40 odd years in regards to the history of the home.
The 2019 Halloween Special that aired on Halloween night on the Travel Channel would prove to be just like all the other other Ghost Adventures episodes, full of incorrect information and flat out lies, not to mention really bad acting. The sad part of it all is that Ghost Adventures had every capability and opportunity to research and share the true facts about the estate to stand apart from other programs and paranormal investigators, to prove once and for all on a national platform that the folklore doesn't fit the facts. But then it wouldn't be as interesting to the world now would it? So they didn't share the truth, but instead they went along with all the others pushing the same false history.
Ghost Adventures wasn't the only television program pushing the B.S. story line about the house that night either. The program that aired just before that episode was "Most Terrifying Places" where of course, the #1 spot on their list was the Harrisville Farmhouse in Rhode Island. In that program two people were interviewed, Dan Rivera and of course, Tony Spera (Ed and Lorraine Warren's son-in-law) who should really know better!
What I find almost comical is that in both television programs, "Ghost Adventures Halloween Special: The Curse of the Harrisville Farmhouse" and "Most Terrifying Places," they all use the same regurgitated story, over and over. If they had done a quick search on Google it isn't difficult to find my blog which I published over 5 years ago, stating factual documentation that completely debunks all these stories. Not to mention, my book where I have gone even more in-depth on Bathsheba's story as well as debunking the other deaths that have been erroneously tied to the property. Personally, I am getting tired of these paranormal shows continuing to jump on this "Conjuring" bandwagon and perpetuating false stories that have no basis in fact.
With the Ghost Adventures episode they open up their show with a list of people who allegedly died on the property. Let me make this very clear, there is a record that Sally Eddy died with her two children from Typhus at the home, and I am sure other relatives in the Arnold family had natural deaths that did occur at the home.
But there were no murders, suicides, drownings, none! That makes a huge difference.
For the record, Susan Arnold did not kill herself on the property at all. This is a lie.
Susan Arnold lived in another house in town, she did not live at the Arnold Estate on Round Top Road. Did she kill herself? Yes, but again, not at the property.
Did John Arnold kill himself there?
No. He died at his house near Tarkiln which is a good 15 minute drive from the farmhouse. Did he kill himself? Yes, but again, it was not on this property.
Was Prudence Arnold murdered by William Knowlton at the property as told by Lorraine Warren?
No. Prudence was killed at a house in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, again, not the Arnold Estate.
What about Jarvis Smith?
He did die on the property but on the outskirts of the Arnold's land, after being exposed to the elements while extremely drunk. His death was considered to be from natural causes, not foul play or suicide.
And lastly, poor Bathsheba Sherman, who just cannot get a break!
Did Bathsheba Sherman work on the Arnold property?
Did Bathsheba live on the property?
Was she ever accused of or rumored to have killed an child or infant during her lifetime?
Was she ever accused of or rumored to have been a witch, or descended of witches?
Did she kill herself?
Did someone make up a completely false narrative surrounding Bathsheba Sherman to create some sort of scary ghost story to attach to the old Arnold Estate?
Yes. But the question remains, whose wild imagination concocted this terrible and slanderous story?
Although I believe Lorraine Warren used her "celebrity" status back in the 1970's and 1980's to bring attention to this story, I am still unsure if she actually made this story up on her own, or with the help of others. No matter who started this horrific story, I have to place some blame on Andrea Perron for continuing to allow Bathsheba's name to be continuously slandered over and over. She could have stepped up to the plate and corrected people, but she didn't. The odd thing though is when I mentioned on my original blog "The Real Bathsheba Sherman: True History Vs. Conjured Fiction" back in 2014, of all the terrible things Andrea had written about Bathsheba in her book, "House of Darkness, House of Light, " she emailed me and backpedaled, blaming Lorraine Warren for causing all the slander against Bathsheba.
An excerpt of her email she sent me via my website on Tuesday, July 5, 2016:
"The Conjuring" and the Warren files did a huge disservice to Bathsheba's memory and I had no control over how she was represented and vilified in the film but I will always defend her because I do not believe she was guilty of what she has been accused of by Lorraine Warren...and I never did. "House of Darkness House of Light" is a chronicle of the events which occurred during the decade my family spent in the house and it includes the tales we were told by the locals at the time, including the town historian. I would be happy to address the discrepancies in the story with you personally at any time, as I respect the effort you have made to clarity the actual history -- fact vs. fiction -- but what happened in that house to our family is a fact which cannot be denied...."-- (email web form submission to www.jaimerubiowriter.com)
From: Andrea Perron
Comparing the email in 2016 to her stance today, you would never know that Andrea would want to defend Bathsheba by the looks of her interview on Ghost Adventures, because she continued to push the same old stories once again, and I saw it with my own eyes. Andrea wasn't the only one on my radar that night. Bill Brock, another self-proclaimed paranormal investigator, was interviewed by Zak and he along with the new owners gave their "experiences" since having stayed at the house.
Let's make this clear. As soon as this house hit the market the people who ultimately purchased the home were like flies on manure trying to get at it. It is obvious that they were not interested in the historical value of the property nor were they interested in it being a good home for their family. Did you notice the furnishings in the home? It doesn't even look like it is being currently lived in. It looks like it was staged with old furniture, decor and even old dolls and a Ouija board.
I attempted to reach out to the new owners back when they first "moved" into the home last summer, and I told them straight out that I had hoped they were really interested in preserving the true history of the home, not exploiting it. I also very generously gave them a copy of my chapter in my book, "Stories of the Forgotten: Infamous, Famous & Unremembered," which went in-depth into the history of the home as well as my debunking of the Bathsheba Sherman folklore, so that if they hadn't been privy to the facts before, they couldn't say that they didn't know about it now. I was hoping they would accept the truth about the home and want to correct the false stories, so that the true history of the home could be preserved and shared.
I had truly hoped for my correspondence to be well received. I did mention that I would continue to do my part to expose the truth even if others continued to push the false history of the home. As a historical journalist that is what I do. I have something that most people seem to be lacking; integrity.
Well, Mr. Bill Brock, the one I mentioned earlier, got a hold of the letter I sent the owners and he wrote the expletive ("FUCK OFF!") on my letter, took a photo of it and sent it to me on Facebook, immediately blocking me afterwards so I couldn't respond to him. It was quite surprising to say the least since I don't know the guy to begin with, and it just seemed odd to me that he'd go out of his way to find me on social media to send me that. The only thing I figure is that maybe he felt I was throwing a wrench in his little effort to make some money off of the property's false history, and since I am shining a spotlight on the truth, I stood in his way? What else could it be? Why get mad at someone for sending you the truth about the property?
So, I guess once the owners found out what Mr. Brock did, in order to perform some sort of damage control, the owner wrote to me and apologized for his friends' actions. Not sure how sincere that was, but I was happy to accept his apology. Again, I won't hold it against the owner for what Mr. Brock did, but I am disappointed that the Heinzen's actions moving forward proved what I suspected that they'd do from the very beginning; exploit the home's history by jumping on the "Conjuring" bandwagon with Andrea Perron and the other paranormal investigators who were chomping at the bit to film there. Actions speak louder than words.
Going back to the show, they interviewed a police officer from Harrisville/Burrillville, who insinuated that the former owners (Norma Sutcliffe) had made many 911 calls for "mysterious illnesses" which was utterly ridiculous, not to mention a violation of his ethics as a officer of the law who is supposed to serve and protect, which also means protect their citizens personal information. For one, the former owners did not make many 911 calls, and the few that were made were for serious health matters which had nothing to do with ghosts or curses. The police officer should be ashamed of himself for perpetuating such nonsense. I have since contacted the Burrillville Police Department about the matter and I suggested that the officer owes Norma Sutcliffe a public apology, and that he needs to stick to his day job, not moonlighting on paranormal shows.
The program was a train-wreck in my opinion, with talk of demons moving hangers in the closet, to jumping to conclusions about alternate dimensions and other nonsense. Look, I believe in a spirit realm and I have even experienced real paranormal events in my lifetime, but people who actually experience things on a regular basis just don't get scared that easy. I know from experience. The show seemed like some sort of comedy gone wrong. I felt like I was watching children playing with flashlights in the dark scaring each other because of noises and shadows that the other was hearing or seeing. It was really difficult to keep watching.
In the end, thousands of gullible people who worship Zak Bagans and his team were satisfied with his television performance, while all the rest of us shook our heads at the whole thing. What upset me the most was the fact that no one at any point in time wanted to take the moment in front of a national audience and say "wait a minute, the stories about the Arnold's, the story about Bathsheba, all of that was wrong. It's false. Let's get that straightened out for the record." But that was not done.
Whether the Perron family had any sort of paranormal experiences when they lived in the home is not for me to argue either way. This has always been about my defending the real history of the home and debunking the folklore surrounding it. One thing is clear, there was never any sort of rumors about Bathsheba Sherman or any sort of dark stories about the Arnold's until the the 1970's. If you don't believe me, do some research for yourself.
So in ending, all the "history" that Zak tried to claim about the home is all untrue. The Arnold family was not cursed. The farmhouse is not cursed. Bathsheba Sherman didn't have any ties to that house either, no matter what Andrea Perron tries to claim. I wish people would wise up and see the truth about this story. There is an innocent old woman laying in her grave, a grave that has been vandalized over and over by ignorant people who believe all the false ghost stories, people who blindly believed she was an evil witch who murdered babies. This poor woman has been slandered in death so viciously and she has had no one to speak for her for all these years, until now. And for as long as there is air in my lungs I promise you that I will be defending Bathsheba Sherman and her real life, and I will do all I can to expose those who continue to push the false narrative that has been spread like a disease.
You see, I believe we owe the dead nothing but the truth, so making big bucks to be a sell-out like Ghost Adventures does, just doesn't interest me. Instead, I would rather set the record straight even if I don't make a dime from my research, because I actually care about sharing the truth with the world.
For more information on the story of old Arnold Estate and Bathsheba Sherman please check out my blog where you can read the chapter from my book "Stories of the Forgotten: Infamous, Famous & Unremembered," for FREE here: BATHSHEBA SHERMAN'S VINDICATION
(Copyright - 2019 - J'aime Rubio, www.jaimerubiowriter.com)