The Conjuring 3's terrifying waterbed scene was inspired by a true event

7 June 2021, 15:38

By Katie Louise Smith

In the real life case of David Glatzel and Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a creepy bed was believed to be the origin of the possession.

As fans of The Conjuring franchise will know, the stories and characters included in the films are all based on alleged hauntings, events and cases from paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Conjuring 3's storyline is no exception.

The Devil Made Me Do It is based on the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, the first ever US trial to claim demonic possession as a defence. Johnson was allegedly possessed by a demonic spirit that previously occupied 11-year-old David Glatzel's body. The film opens with one of David's exorcisms, and goes on to detail how the alleged ordeal led to Johnson being convicted for the murder of his landlord.

One particular jump scare scene involving a waterbed has already left fans shook – and it turns out there's a creepy story behind that in the real life case too.

READ MORE: The memes about Annabelle 'escaping' the Warren museum are out of control

Conjuring 3: True story that inspired the waterbed scene
Conjuring 3: True story that inspired the waterbed scene. Picture: New Line Cinema

In the film, viewers see David Glatzel (played by Julian Hilliard, who you'll recognise as young Luke Crain from The Haunting of Hill House and Billy from WandaVision) discover a waterbed in the Glatzel family's new house.

He uncovers it and then proceeds to play around on top of it before flopping down and laying on the surface. After a few seconds, a face under the surface of the bed appears right next to David's head and as he slowly tried to climb off the bed, a hand bursts out of the bed, grabs him and tries to pull him in.

The scene itself is absolutely horrifying, but it's even more creepy when you find out it was inspired by something that happened in the Glatzel's story.

In an interview with Insider, director Michael Chaves revealed the backstory behind the scene: "The Glatzel family moved into this house and the previous owner had left a bed there. There was this really strange stain on the bed, and it's believed that was the origin of the possession."

Chaves then said that screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick ran with that idea and decided to alter the story for the big screen, turning the bed into a waterbed. "I thought it was a stroke of genius," Chaves said. "Waterbeds are from such a specific time, so I felt the discovery of that and playfulness, there could be something great there."

Rather than there being a stain on the bed in the film, the stain/mysterious mark appears on the floor and is revealed when Ed Warren pulls back the rug that's been placed over the top.

Reminder: If you ever come across a waterbed in a hotel or a new house... run.