Jacqueline Nuñez was sitting on the couch in her Boston home on a lazy Saturday morning, sipping coffee and watching TV when something happened that thrust her into the limelight of the paranormal world.
She was checking trends on Google when her phone blew up with story after story that the house that inspired the movie ‘The Conjuring’ was up for sale.
His first thoughts:
“Oh my God, I need to know where it is, what it is,” she shared Thursday. “When I realized it was only an hour away from me – I need to see this; I need to own this.”
The house, at 1677 Round Top Rd., Burrillville, was then owned by Cory and Jenn Heinzen, who arranged tours during the day and rented it out at night to people posing as paranormal investigators.
Without disclosing his interest, Nuñez booked the first available tour two days later, on a Monday afternoon.
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Nuñez’s first visit to the ‘Conjuring’ house
This Monday. Nuñez, a real estate developer was working on a construction site in East Boston. “I cut early,” she said.
“I remember walking onto the court just in awe of it,” she said. On 8.5 acres of mostly open land, with ancient stone walls, a footbridge crossing a stream and woods, it was exactly what she was looking for – any paranormal presence was just a bonus.
She always kept quiet about her motives during the tour. “I just walked up to Cory, introduced myself, told him how much I loved the house.”
But she knew she had to own it.
“That kind of ticked all the boxes for me,” she said. “At five o’clock I came home and wrote up an offer.
It took some negotiation. The Heinzens had asked for $1.2 million, and Nuñez was to go up “substantially” on his original offer; they closed Thursday at $1.525 million.
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Is Nuñez afraid to live in “The ‘Conjuring'” house?
Nuñez won’t quite be living in the house, she said as she showed visitors Thursday shortly after all the paperwork was signed and it became hers.
“It was one of the conditions of the sale: whoever bought it couldn’t live here all year round,” she said.
She will keep her home in Boston but will spend many days in the Burrillville house, sleeping there for about a week a month.
But she doesn’t plan to be “alone” there.
“I expect paranormal phenomena to happen to me,” she said. “I expect to be surprised. I expect to be afraid to experience something, but I don’t expect a malevolent experience.”
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It wouldn’t be his first paranormal experience. It happened about six years ago when converting a building she owned in Boston into condos. “I had a physical experience with an entity in a house once: they physically touched my arms and hands.”
“I’m more afraid of the living than the dead,” she said, nodding at the frequent intruders who beset the former owners of the house. (Cory Heinzen said that was one of his motivations for selling.)
“I know it’s going to be a problem at certain times of the year,” she said.
Who is Jacqueline Nuñez?
Nuñez, 58, owns WonderGroup, a Boston-based real estate development company.
She was born in Kansas and “raised” in Indiana and Oklahoma.
She was a college volleyball player and has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.
She came to the University of Rhode Island as an assistant women’s volleyball coach and earned a master’s degree from URI.
The desire to pursue a career in law brought her to Boston, where she earned a law degree from Northeastern University.
The desire not to be a lawyer pushed her to perfect herself.
She said she’s been interested in the paranormal for as long as she can remember, likely an outgrowth of a love of horror movies.
A horror movie fan with an interest in the paranormal probably couldn’t own a better home than the one that inspired one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
“What I love about this house: it allows people to connect with people who have evolved,” she said. “It’s so beautiful and so peaceful.”
Nuñez has plans for the ‘Conjuring’ house
At first, little will change from how the Heinzens ran the house. All overnight stay reservations in 2022 will be honored, Nuñez said. She plans to restart daytime visits.
For the next year, after she’s had time to learn the trade and “learn the house,” she hopes to add offerings to the paranormal community, though she’s not ready to go into the details just yet. “I want to do things that will appeal to the community.”
An experiment she is considering: “mini-surveys,” where people with no experience with the paranormal could set aside a few hours, rather than an entire night, and be assisted by an experienced paranormal investigator.
Although she is a real estate developer, Nuñez said there are no condos or other developments planned. His purchase of the property was for personal reasons and to keep the house open to the paranormal community.
“That’s my intention at the moment. I definitely have to pay the bills for all of this. For the foreseeable future, I’m going to grow it as a business,” she said. “It’s me. That’s what it’s about.”