Commentary

Horror film based on my town

Updated: March 27, 2009, 5:43 PM ET
By Jacquelyn Ford-Cooperman | Special to ESPNRISE.com

Editor's note: ESPNHS is ESPNRISE.com's high school journalism program. Student reporters from across the country cover sports and athletes from their schools.

[+] Enlarge
Jacquelyn Ford-CoopermanThis house inspired the movie "The Haunting in Connecticut."

On March 27, many Southington, Conn., teenagers will flock to Showcase Cinemas. Why the mad dash to the theatre? The movie "The Haunting in Connecticut" opens nationwide and is based on a true story about a haunted house in Southington. But what moviegoers will see differs from the tales told by the townspeople.

The backstory

In 1987, the Snedecker family moved to Southington so their eldest son could receive cancer treatments at the University of Connecticut Medical Center in Farmington. The house they moved into on Meriden Avenue used to be a funeral home owned by the Kelly family. Reports of paranormal activities surfaced shortly after the Snedeckers moved in, and reported exorcisms followed.

According to Southington High School English teacher Mrs. Boorjian, students spoke about the alleged haunting often:

"They would build stories about the house from its past purpose of being a funeral home."

Southington today

Southington is abuzz with excitement for "The Haunting in Connecticut." The Southington Public Library held an early screening Thursday night with a limited number of courtesy tickets. The library is also hosting a paranormal seminar on April 2.

Recently people have been driving by the house, and some even get out of their cars and knock. The house now has a no trespassing sign on the front door.

In addition to the movie, there has been other national media attention surrounding this haunted house. It was featured on the Discovery Channel show "A Haunting in Connecticut" and in the book "In a Dark Place" by Ray Garton. Freshmen Amanda Snow and Meghan Bowes learned about the house from the documentary "A Haunting in Connecticut."

Reaction

"I won't go see the movie because it will be too scary, especially since I live down the street from the actual house," says junior Brittany Porydzy.

Some students are upset that the movie setting looks nothing like the town of Southington. The movie was filmed in Canada.

"On the commercials, the area around the house looks nothing like it really is," said freshman Susan Nelson.

"They make the house look like a mansion in the movie when it really is smaller than that," adds freshman Emily Gerrish with a laugh.

Although Emily and Susan feel the same way as Brittany, other students are ecstatic to see the movie.

Jacquelyn Ford-Cooperman is a freshman at Southington High School.
Check out the ESPNHS archive.