The Conjuring has dominated box offices since its inception in 2013. The primary franchise features Ed and Lorraine Warren as they hunt specters, witches, and ghouls and fight to save family after family from demonic possessions. The first two Conjuring films are based on files from some of their most terrifying experiences, while the other films in the universe, including Annabelle and The Nun, serve as origin stories for the demonic entities haunting the Warrens.
You can watch all The Conjuring Universe movies in the order that they released in theatres, but a more interesting and perhaps even horrifying viewing experience is to watch them in the order of events that happen. Therefore, read on as I break down the release and chronological orders in which to watch The Conjuring and Annabelle movies.
Best order to watch The Conjuring & Annabelle movies
We believe the chronological choice is preferable, but the release sequence is more natural in light of how the concepts evolved. You begin with The Nun, set in 1952, and go on through The Conjuring 2.
Below is the list of The Conjuring & Annabelle movies in Chronological Order:
- 1952: The Nun
- 1955: Annabelle: Creation
- 1967: Annabelle
- 1971: The Conjuring
- 1972: Annabelle Comes Home
- 1973: The Curse of La Llorona
- 1977: The Conjuring 2
- 1981: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The Conjuring & Annabelle movies in order
1. The Nun (2018)
The Catholic Church summons a nun who is finishing her vowels (her postulancy) to an abbey in Romania. She is called by a Catholic priest who is skilled in demonic procession and dealing with severe unholy situations. They have been called by the Catholic church to examine a nun’s suspected suicide.
According to their research, a dark and nefarious power seems to be fuelling the abbey’s wicked underbelly. The abbey has a shadowy and enigmatic past.
Sister Irene (the nun in her postulancy) and Father Burke (the Catholic priest) learn that an old demon is responsible for the abbey’s terrible powers and nature. This demon assumes the identity of one of the abbey’s nuns. They find that all of the nuns have died (murdered by the raging demon), with the last nun committing suicide to save her soul from being possessed.
The pair’s research continues to elucidate the abbey’s dark origins. The former owner of the abbey, a medieval lord, performed a ceremony that activated a gateway to hell. When the Catholic knights killed the duke, they sealed this gateway with the blood of Christ.
Fast forward to the film’s chronology, and the abbey has been devastated by World War II bombs. This devastation has unintentionally resulted in the splintering and reopening of this previously shut medieval gateway. The nun and priest couple now enter, unaware of the growing horror erupting from the monastery. The two most powerful individuals must go inside and harness their light to overcome the approaching darkness as evil becomes more entrenched and strong.
As they try to close the gateway and rescue the community, the demon manipulates and terrorizes the two. The devil will stop at nothing to possess and abuse the young, innocent, and pure nun. The demon’s objective is to open the gateway and inflict pain on those who try to close it, while also guaranteeing that evil may continue to torture more souls and innocents.
2. Annabelle: Creation (2017)
Mr. Samuel Mullins’ (Anthony LaPaglia) wooden toys and dolls are handmade. He seems to be very content with his wife Esther (Miranda Otto) and daughter, Bee (Samara Lee). That is until Bee is abruptly snatched away from them in a traffic accident.
Several years later, the Mullins offer their former house to Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and a small group of young girls from an orphanage, most notably a wheelchair/crutch-bound girl called Janice (Talitha Bateman). Mrs. Mullins has been bedridden due to a “condition” at this point, and Mr. Mullins seems quiet and withdrawn.
Janice disobeys her mother’s instructions to keep away from one closed bedroom, but something compels her to enter and look around. This is the room of the Mullins’ daughter. She is brought to the doll by what seems to be Bee’s spirit. Strange things begin to occur in the house. Young females are the first to encounter new situations.
Janice’s closest friend Linda (Lulu Wilson) is the first to see what is beginning to happen, chatting briefly with Mr. Mullins about it. Things quickly escalate. Linda persuades Sister Charlotte to recognize the source of all the issues so far – the doll – and confronts Mrs. Mullins. The Mullins seems to comprehend and be aware of what is happening, implying that it has been dealt with before; nevertheless, this is insufficient to rescue them all this time.
3. Annabelle (2014)
Mia and John Gordon live blissfully in Santa Monica, California, and Mia is expecting. John is nearing the end of medical school and has little time to devote to his adoring wife, so he purchases an old and unique doll called Annabelle for her collection.
However, their next-door neighbors are assaulted shortly afterward by two members of a satanic cult who break into their homes and attack them after murdering their neighbors. The police officers rescue Mia and John, and Mia is required to rest until the birth. However, their home is destroyed by fire, and Mia gives birth to a baby girl, Leah, prematurely.
The family relocates to Pasadena, but not before Mia discards the doll Annabelle in the trash. Nevertheless, she discovers the doll in a box when moving her belongings to her new house. Mia has strange occurrences and meets Evelyn, who works at a bookshop. She also learns about a wicked cult that is after Leah’s soul. When John and Mia call Father Perez to assist them with Annabelle, the priest is wounded and taken to the hospital. Who may now be able to rescue Leah’s soul?
4. The Conjuring (2013)
Carolyn and Roger Perron relocate to Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971 with their five daughters Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy, and April. Their dog will not enter the house, and one of the daughters discovers a boarded-up cellar entrance.
The following morning, the dog is discovered dead. Various paranormal activities occur over the next several days. The activity reaches a climax one night while Roger is away in Florida when Carolyn is trapped in the cellar while an elderly woman-like spirit attacks one of her daughters.
Carolyn seeks assistance from renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens conduct an initial investigation and determine that the house may require exorcism, though this cannot be accomplished without additional evidence and authorization from the Catholic Church.
Ed and Lorraine learn through their investigation into the house’s history that it was originally the home of an alleged witch, Bathsheba, who committed herself after cursing everyone who would steal her property. Additionally, they discover many tales of murders and suicides in homes that have subsequently been constructed on the land.
Ed and Lorraine return to the home to collect proof for exorcism permission. One of the daughters sleepwalks into her sister’s room that night, revealing a secret tunnel hidden behind a wardrobe. Lorraine enters the passageway and falls through the floorboards into the basement, where she encounters the ghosts of those possessed by Bathsheba. Each of these women is a mother who Bathsheba exploited to murder her children.
Lorraine and Ed present their proof to the Church to arrange for an exorcism, while the Perron family seeks shelter in a motel. Carolyn, possessed, drives back to the home with two of her children, Christine and April. Lorraine and Ed hurry to the home and see Carolyn attempting to knife her daughter.
Ed chooses to conduct the exorcism himself after subduing Carolyn, even though Carolyn escapes and tries to murder her daughter, April, once again. Lorraine can convince Carolyn not to murder her daughter by reminding her of a memory she had with her family, enabling Ed to finish the exorcism and save Carolyn and her daughter.
5. Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
In 1968, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren decided to bring the Annabelle doll into their house after two nurses, Debbie and Camilla, claimed that the doll often engaged in violent behavior in their apartment. It just so happens that the Annabelle doll attracts demonic spirits to attack the Warren family on their way home, but he lives, and Annabelle is put in a glass case in their artifact room and blessed by Father Gordon to guarantee that the evil is repressed.
Four years later, the Warrens welcome Mary Ellen, who has been entrusted with the responsibility of babysitting their little daughter, Judy, while they work on a case overnight. Judy encounters the ghost of a priest shortly thereafter at school, and it starts to follow her, growing attached.
Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela comes up unannounced to the Warren house, intrigued by the prospect of communicating with the dead after her father’s death. She finally discovers the keys to the artifact room in Warren’s home office and slips inside after searching the whole house.
She begins interacting with unusual and sensitive artifacts in an attempt to discover the best way to reach her deceased father. During her adventure, she unintentionally leaves Annabelle’s glass case unlocked, and the terror starts shortly afterward with the unleashing of Bee Mullins’ haunting soul. Annabelle also unleashes more ghosts throughout the night, including the Ferryman, the Bride, possessed samurai armor, a haunting Feeley Meeley board game, and the Black Shuck.
After a guy called Bob, Mary Ellen’s crush, visits her, he is attacked by the Black Shuck monster and forced to flee into the backyard. The Ferryman ghost then attacks Mary Ellen, and Judy is challenged by Annabelle. Daniela is also imprisoned in the artifact room, where she is tortured by a spirit-possessed monkey toy and an ancient CRT television that supposedly can foresee the future.
6. The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
La Llorona (La Llorona). The Woman Weeping. A terrifying apparition stuck between Heaven and Hell, imprisoned in a destiny sealed by her own will. For centuries, the mere mention of her name has inspired fear across the globe. In her previous existence, she killed her children in a jealous fury, plunging herself into the swirling river after them while she sobbed in agony.
Her tears are now everlasting. They are deadly, and all who hear her midnight death cry are doomed. La Llorona stalks the shadows and preys on youngsters, yearning for a replacement for her own. Her hunger has become more ravenous over the centuries…and her tactics more frightening.
La Llorona stalks the night—and the children—in 1970s Los Angeles. Ignoring the unsettling warnings of a disturbed woman accused of child endangerment, a social worker and her young children are quickly pulled into a terrifying otherworldly realm. Their only chance of surviving La Llorona’s fury may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices on the margins of fear and faith.
Beware of her chilling wail…she will go to any length to draw you into the darkness. Because there is no resolution to her agony. There is no such thing as compassion for her soul.
And there is no way to escape La Llorona’s curse.
7. The Conjuring 2 (2016)
In 1977, the Hodgson family starts to encounter odd events in their Enfield, London, home. Janet, the second oldest of four children, is observed sleepwalking and talking with an entity in the guise of an angry older man in her nightmares. The elderly guy maintains that the home is his. Eventually, the Hodgson brothers and their mother Peggy see paranormal activity unfolding directly in front of their eyes, compelling them to seek shelter with their neighbors.
When the media tries to interview the Hodgsons, Janet is possessed by the ghost of an old man named Bill Wilkins, who lived and died in the home before. Wilkins says throughout the possession that he loves torturing the family and wants to regain his house.
As Janet exhibits further symptoms of demonic possession, the tale reaches the Warrens, who are asked to help the local church in conducting an inquiry to determine whether or not Janet’s possession is real. Lorraine, afraid that her vision of Ed’s death would come true, cautions him against becoming too engaged in the case, but grudgingly agrees to accompany him to London. In Ed’s study, she gets another vision of the demonic nun, in which the demon speaks its name, which Lorraine scribbles in her Bible.
While staying at the Hodgson home, Ed and Lorraine confer with other paranormal investigators about the case’s validity, including Maurice Grosse and Anita Gregory. Additionally, they try to connect with Wilkins’ ghost to persuade him to stop haunting the family. After seeing Janet being possessed, Gregory shows video proof of Janet purposefully destroying the kitchen as though for a practical joke, thereby debunking the haunting.
Ed and Lorraine feel compelled to abandon the family in light of this revelation, but quickly learn that the ghost of Wilkins is just a pawn being used by the demonic nun to torment Janet and break her will. Lorraine then understands that the demonic nun has thwarted her powers, stopping her from understanding the reality of Janet’s captivity.
Ed and Lorraine arrive at the Hodgson home immediately, only to find Janet possessed once again and the rest of the Hodgsons trapped outside. Ed enters the home on his own. A lightning bolt strikes a nearby tree, producing a jagged stump that resembles the item that impaled Ed in Lorraine’s vision. Ed discovers Janet at the window, poised to jump onto the stump and take her own life.
He snatches Janet in time but finds himself clutching a curtain that is being ripped from its rings by his and Janet’s combined weight. Lorraine recalls writing the name of the demon – Valak – in her Bible. She enters the mansion and confronts Valak directly, effectively condemning it to Hell. Janet is liberated from its clutches, and Lorraine rescues her and Ed.
Ed and Lorraine add an item to their collection upon their return to the United States – “The Crooked Man” zoetrope toy held by Peggy’s youngest kid Billy – and display it beside April’s music box and the Annabelle doll.
8. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
In 1981, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren film the exorcism of 8-year-old David Glatzel in Brookfield, Connecticut, in the presence of his family, sister Debbie, her boyfriend Arne Johnson, and Father Gordon. Arne asks the demon to inhabit his body rather than David’s during the exorcism. Ed sees the demon transfer from David’s body to Arne’s as he has a heart attack and is sent to the hospital in a vegetative condition.
Ed awakens in the hospital the next month and tells Lorraine that he saw the devil inhabit Arne’s body. She dispatches the police to the kennel, warning them that a catastrophe is imminent. Arne and Debbie return to their flat, which is situated above Debbie’s kennel. Arne, under the effect of demonic possession, kills his landlord, Bruno Sauls, by stabbing him 22 times.
With the Warrens’ backing, his case becomes the first in the United States to use demonic possession as a defense, triggering an inquiry into David’s initial possession. The Warrens subsequently uncover a demonic curse transmitted through a witch’s totem and encounter Kastner, a former priest who previously dealt with the cult of the Disciples of the Ram. He informs them that some occultists purposefully left the totem, thus inflicting a curse on the Glatzels and resulting in David’s control.
The Warrens go to Danvers, Massachusetts, to investigate the stabbing murder of Katie Lincoln. Detectives discovered a totem at the house of Katie’s missing friend Jessica. Lorraine summons a vision to reenact the murder and learns that Jessica stabbed Katie while under the influence of demonic possession, before leaping to her death from a cliff, allowing police to retrieve her corpse. Lorraine taps the corpse’s hand to assist in locating the occultist. Lorraine goes down a dark tunnel in a vision and sees the occultist trying to make Arne commit suicide but is stopped just in time. Lorraine is threatened by the occultist, and she informs Ed that the link is bidirectional.
The Warrens return to their Connecticut home to continue their investigation. Ed briefly loses consciousness and is later persuaded by the occultist to murder Lorraine but is apprehended by Drew. They subsequently discovered the totem concealed within a vase of black roses in their home.
Drew presents Ed with a book of Stregherian witchcraft he discovered and explains that to lift the curse, the occultist’s altar must be destroyed. When they discover Katie attended nearby Fairfield University, they begin to suspect the area is being targeted by an occultist. Lorraine returns to Kastner for assistance, and he reveals that he had raised a daughter named Isla in violation of the Catholic Church’s requirement of clerical celibacy.
He informs Lorraine that as a result of his research, her interest in the occult grew, and she eventually became an occultist. Lorraine is granted access to the tunnels by Kastner, where she locates the altar and is later discovered by the occultist, who kills him. Ed arrives shortly thereafter and uses a sledgehammer to gain access to the tunnels via a locked drain hole.
He is briefly possessed by the demon and attempts on Lorraine’s life, but she reminds him of their first meeting and their love. Ed reawakens and smashes the altar, thus rescuing himself, Lorraine, and Arne. After failing to complete the curse, the occultist arrives at her broken altar only to be murdered by the demon she summoned.
Ed places the cup from the altar alongside the Valak painting and the Annabelle doll in their room of artifacts. Arne is convicted of manslaughter but only serves five years of his sentence due to his marriage to Debbie while incarcerated. Lorraine is shown a copy of the gazebo where they first kissed by Ed.