Annabelle Comes Home marks the seventh installment of the Conjuring universe and the third Annabelle-specific movie in the franchise. Since the titular doll made her first appearance in 2013’s The Conjuring, there has been some confusion (and minor retconning) regarding the exact nature of her evil. To clarify: Because demons possess people, not objects, Annabelle is a conduit for spirits rather than a demon herself.
Being that conduit is Annabelle’s main purpose in Annabelle Comes Home. As EW’s Darren Franich puts it in his review, “She’s a beacon for fresh IP, filling the Warren home with monstrosities witnessed just long enough to demand their own prequel.” In fact, the whole Conjuring universe is packed to the brim with paranormal personae, ranging from the silly-spooky to the downright terrifying. To make sense of it all, here’s our power ranking of all the franchise’s notable evil spirits and supernatural entities.
13. The Haunted Piano (Annabelle Comes Home): Player pianos exist in real life, so the haunted piano doesn’t have much mysticism to it. The only way it could get less scary would be if it spontaneously broke out into an Adele song.
12. Feeley Meeley (Annabelle Comes Home): See that box there in the bottom right corner? It’s a children’s board game with a premise not as easily mined for scares as, say, a Ouija board.
11. The Black Shuck (Annabelle Comes Home): It’s a hellhound. A werewolf. But it can turn into fog? The rules aren’t clear. It’s just kind of silly, is all.
10. The Samurai (Annabelle Comes Home): Honestly, even when it’s whispering sweet nothings of murder-by-katana into Madison Iseman’s ears, the haunted samurai armor is too cool-looking to be scary.
9/8. Tie — The Bride (Annabelle Comes Home) and La Llorona (The Curse of La Llorona): The Bride and La Llorona are different concepts, sure — the former being, according to Judy Warren (McKenna Grace), a “dress that makes people violent,” and the latter being a soul-stealing spirit in Mexican folklore — but they end up looking rather similar. Hence the tie.
7. The Accordion-Playing Monkey (Annabelle Comes Home): Despite its small role, there are no two ways about it: That monkey is creepy. If it were more than a knickknack, it would be straight-up frightening.
6. Bill Wilkins (The Conjuring 2): It’s not known whether Bill was a sweet old man before he died and was forced by a demon to terrorize the Hodgsons, the lead family in The Conjuring 2. But what is known about him? That when he pops out of a corner to attack you, he might elicit a gasp, or even a jump.
5. The Ferryman (Annabelle Comes Home): Certainly the most developed new ghoul in Annabelle Comes Home, the Ferryman is the being who transports souls to the underworld. The thing is, he’s pretty greedy. He demands a toll in the form of coins placed over the eyes of the deceased, but that’s often not enough — he might just take your soul too.
4. The Crooked Man (The Conjuring 2): Coming in at fourth in our ranking is the Conjuring universe’s terrifying take on the spirit from the eponymous English nursery rhyme “There Was a Crooked Man.” Stilted, lanky, and maniacal, the Crooked Man and his pointed smile are among the best instances of horror imagery in the franchise.
3. Bathsheba (The Conjuring): The antagonist in the first Conjuring movie was a witch from the 19th century who tried to sacrifice her child to Satan, hanged herself from a tree, and cursed all who inhabit her property. She claps, she stabs, she screams, and she’s one of the scariest villains in the series.
2. Annabelle and Her Demon (Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, Annabelle Comes Home): It doesn’t matter whether or not you like the movies in the Conjuring universe, or if you’re a tough-as-nails professional ghostbuster who’s seen it all. This damned doll (pun very much intended) is incredibly unsettling. And the demon that follows it around is scary as hell. No wonder they’ve been able to spin three prequels out of it.
1. Valak the Nun (The Conjuring 2, The Nun): As critically panned as The Nun was, nothing in the Conjuring franchise comes close to the pure nightmare fuel that is Valak. No matter how many times it appears on screen or how long those appearances are, the silhouette of the demon nun will always send a chill down our spine.