Some have claimed that the real Janet Hodgson is a gifted ventriloquist or has the power to manipulate voices, and she admitted to faking some events. She revealed that around two percent of the haunting was phony during an interview with The Telegraph.
James Wan was offered a "life-altering" amount of money in order to direct The Fate of the Furious (2017). However, he turned that opportunity down to direct The Conjuring 2 (2016) instead. "I feel rejuvenated to tell a scary story one more time," Wan wrote on Instagram.
While promoting the film in June 2016, star Vera Farmiga was still suffering from a swollen lymph node she received during filming, due to the intense screaming she had to perform. Due to technical challenges, she would sometimes do 50 takes in a row, all featuring her screaming.
The ghost boy that Lorraine sees when astral projecting is based on the infamous Amityville photo supposedly taken by Gene Campbell, a professional photographer who was part of the team who worked with paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The opening scene where the Warrens are seen partaking in a séance in the Amityville Horror House, Lorraine is seen wearing a trenchcoat and a skirt. Inspiration for this costume was taken from what the real Lorraine Warren wore during a séance in real life during the Amityville case. She wore a replica of the outfit right down to the styling of her hair.
Madison Wolfe and Patrick Wilson had previously worked together in another movie. However, Wilson admittedly didn't recognize her when they met again to do the table read for this film, as she was using an English accent.
Unlike the original film, which was filmed with hopes of getting a PG-13 rating (though the studio and filmmakers were ultimately OK with the R that the MPAA assigned), the sequel was both written and directed with the intention that it get an R rating, which is in fact what the MPAA granted it.
The shelf on which Ed places the strobe toy in the Warrens' artifacts den contains a golden upside-down skull, which he moves to the side. This skull is the sacred treasure featured in the film Vice Versa (1988) that causes Judge Reinhold's and Fred Savage's characters to switch bodies.
Loosely based upon the Warrens' investigation of the Enfield poltergeist. That incident drew multiple different teams of investigators, and Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair's investigation was fictionalized as The Enfield Haunting (2015).
The Society of Psychical Research in England researched this case long before the Warrens, and it was determined as "Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis". Grosse and Playfair moved into the house at one point and investigated this case for over a year. The Warrens showed up and stayed for only a couple of days.
References to other movies can be found in the Warrens home. A painting of the house from The Conjuring (2013) is seen in Ed's office. The doll from Annabelle (2014) and the music box from The Conjuring are seen among the collection in their den as well.
The women on the idol poster in the girls' bedroom is actress and model Joanna Lumley. The real Hogdson girls in fact had a poster of her, as can be seen in the photographs that feature over the end credits.
The school featured in the movie is really two schools located next to each other. One is Enfield Grammar School and the other is Chace School for Girls, in Enfield Town Market Place. Enfield Grammar is one of the oldest secondary schools in the UK, founded in 1558.
Internationally, the film opened in 44 markets during its opening weekend and had the best bow ever for a horror film in 26 of them, including Australia, Mexico, Brazil and all of Latin America. Stateside, it had the biggest opening for a horror film in June, beating the record previously held by The Purge (2013).
Two spin-off films have been green lit, similar to the first film's spin-off Annabelle (2014) and it's sequel Annabelle: Creation (2017). The films are set to focus on the origins of two apparitions in the film, the "Demon Nun" and the "Crooked Man," appropriately titled The Nun (2018) and The Crooked Man (TBA) respectively. The popularity of the character and the green lighting of a spin-off involving it prove that James Wan's decision to change the Demon "Valek's" design from its original, more classic Demon horned creature design, to a ghostly nun.
The second film that deals with the Warrens having to help a haunted female named Janet. The made for TV film The Haunted (1991), now considered to be a lost "Conjuring" movie, had a woman named Janet Smurl being tormented by evil spirits. The Warrens also feature in that film, though obviously played by different actors at the time.
Margaret is heard listening to "Don't Give Up On Us Baby" which was sung by David Soul. The song peaked at #1 in the UK for four weeks from January-February 1977. It also peaked at #1 in April 1977 in the U.S. for a single week. He also starred in Starsky and Hutch (1975). A large poster of Soul is displayed on the wall beside Margaret's bed.
EASTER EGG: During the "London Calling" montage which introduces the Enfield haunting, there is a three frame shot of Piccadilly Circus. Onto this has been superimposed a purported poster for Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), which was on release at the time of the film's setting. It is a deliberate addition by the filmmakers, because from the types and age of the buses on view, the actual footage dates from no later than the mid-1960s.
The song accompanying the London impressions at the beginning of the film is "London Calling" by The Clash. "I FOUGHT THE LAW", visible on a wall at the 08:45 minute mark, is the title of another big hit from the same band.
Actors Steve Coulter and Patrick Wilson are frequent James Wan collaborators, Coulter playing fellow medium Carl in the Insidious franchise as well as an unnamed priest in Furious 7 (2015), while Wilson portrayed Josh Lambert in the Insidious franchise.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Even though it features in the opening scene, the demonic entity that takes on the form of a nun has nothing to do with Amityville. According to director James Wan, "Lorraine is just having a psychic premonition about what happens in England."
All scenes featuring the nun were added during reshoots, replacing the original design of a dark demon with horns. This happened because director James Wan wished to expand the story of Lorraine Warren having her faith questioned. Therefore he designed the demon to resemble a holy icon. The original design can be seen at the end of the climax when the demon is defeated.
A cinema about to have a showing of The Conjuring 2 had a poster that said, "WARNING: The film you are about to see is psychologically and emotionally disturbing. People who have attended early screenings of the film have complained about many unusual circumstances that they have experienced after seeing the film." And, to support the theory, added on the poster was, "Due to our concern for your well-being, we have invited Father Perez to be here. He will be available after the film to provide spiritual support and/or conduct a personal blessing should you feel the need. Please do not hesitate to seek help. Ask a representative where you can sign up for a session with our priest."
The name of the demon "VALAK" is shown in the Warren house in three locations, and appears five times. The first is along the kitchen window in colorful cutout letters right behind Ed Warren. The second is along the edge of the wood kitchen counter in raised letters. They're just to the right of Lorraine when she's at the breakfast table with Ed. You see them again when she's standing at the sink. The third location is in the family room where Lorraine and her daughter are sitting. In the bookcase are large wooden letters staggered on two shelves. They also appear on the bracelet Judy is making. They appear both during Lorraine's dream and afterwards.