*If you haven’t seen Annabelle Comes Home yet, exorcise this page from your browser. This timeline contains spoilers for the latest Conjuring chapter*
Real-life paranormal investigations Ed and Lorraine Warren were either bonafide demon-fighting badasses or a married couple who threw holy water on to several severely mentally ill people throughout their careers, depending on your beliefs in the occult. What no one expected them to be, though, were box office giants. And yet, when director James Wan and writers Chad and Carey W. Hayes fictionalized the couple’s 1972 Rhode Island battle with a ghost-witch in 2013’s The Conjuring—with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in the lead roles—a new horror franchise was born before our eyes. Wilson and Farmiga were pitch-perfect and Wan’s slight, slow-build set-pieces were masterfully spooky, but what arguably most captured fans’ attention was the Warren’s cabinet of past case curiosities that practically screamed for a shared universe, like the MCU with more jump scares. A lot more jump scares. Thus, the Conjuring Universe was born, five more films set so far over the course of 25 years, hopping from Gothic Romania to barren California to rainy England.
If you’re confused about which demon was possessing whose body/doll/Eastern Europe convent and when, we’ve got you covered. Here, in chronological order, is the entire Conjuring Universe, explained.