The American gothic horror timeline created by twins Chad and Carey W Hayes can be as confusing as it is scary, and with the upcoming Nun II movie and Conjuring TV series, we’re here to help parse the paranormal pictures with our guide on how to watch The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in order with a full chronological timeline and release date line-up.


Taking place over five decades, from the '40s to the '80s, the storied world is rich with lore and references to other entries, and you can miss out on a lot of these details if you haven’t seen some of the films that take place before the events of the mainline Conjuring films.

It’s not quite as simple going about watching it in chronological order, as they weren’t released as such, much like the Star Wars movies.

To make things even more complicated, the Conjuring universe has expanded to take place in different countries with different characters, all with varying titles such as the Annabelle and Nun films.

You can also watch the films in order of release date, and we’ll give our recommendation for what we think is the best way to watch The Conjuring films, including the Annabelle movies and The Nun timeline.

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Warning: spoilers for all The Conjuring movies follow

How to watch The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in chronological order

This option gives you the chronological order to watch the movies. You kick off things with The Nun, which is set in 1952, through to The Conjuring 2, set in 1977.

Director Michael Chaves has since argued that The Curse of La Llorona shouldn't be counted as it wasn't made with the franchise team, but we've left it here for a sense of completeness.

  • The Nun (Set in 1952/1971, released in 2018)
  • Annabelle: Creation (Set in 1943/1952/1955/1967, released in 2017)
  • Annabelle (Set in 1967, released in 2014)
  • The Conjuring (Set in 1968/1971, released in 2013)
  • Annabelle Comes Home (Set in 1968/1969 or 1971/1972, released in 2019)
  • The Curse of La Llorona (Set in 1973, released in 2019)
  • The Conjuring 2 (Set in 1976/1977, released in 2016)
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Set in 1980/81, released in 2021)

How to watch The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in release order

This order does what it says on the tin; it follows the order the movies were released. We kick off with our first introduction to Ed and Lorraine Warren and end with a breakaway tale that doesn't feature our main duo.

  • The Conjuring (2013)
  • Annabelle (2014)
  • The Conjuring 2 (2016)
  • Annabelle: Creation (2017)
  • The Nun (2018)
  • The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
  • Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

What's the best order to watch The Conjuring and Annabelle movies?

You can also watch the films in order of release date and we’ll give our recommendation for what we think is the best way to watch The Conjuring films, including the Annabelle movies and The Nun timeline.

We think the first option is best as it adds more depth to the events of the original films, meaning you'll get more out of the story when you finally get to them, but the second is a more natural fit as the ideas developed over time.

Ultimately, it is up to you and you may enjoy things clicking into place as you go through the movies in order of release.

Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed to have a great and spooky time, though we can't say how much sleep you'll get after getting through them all - so it might be worth watching some comedy picks to calm your nerves.

Where to watch The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in the UK

Unfortunately for UK viewers, only The Conjuring 1 and 2 are available to stream on either NOW or Sky Go.

Not all is lost, though, as The Conjuring movies are available to rent and buy on Blu-ray and DVD. The Conjuring 1 and 2 comes as a box set, and if you need to catch up on the Annabelle movies before you head to the cinema, there's also the first Annabelle DVD as well as Annabelle: Creation.

If you would rather have them in the one box set, you can get The Conjuring 7-Film Collection.

Unfortunately, this doesn't include The Curse of La Llorna, so you'll need to pick that up separately if you want to complete your streaming-free collection.

The Nun (1952/1971)

A nun holding a torch with a demonic nun in the background
The Nun is the first in The Conjuring timeline. Universal

First up is The Nun, set in 1952. The story follows Father Burke and Sister Irene who travel together to Romania to investigate a convent after a nun kills herself. When they set off they're unaware it's all linked to demon Valak, but they soon cotton on.

We also learn that Frenchie is Maurice Theriault in the final scene set in 1971. If you're struggling to remember, that's the person who was exorcised in The Conjuring (the first film released).

Again, that slightly complicates things if you watch the Conjuring movies in the chronological order - you'd maybe stop before that scene then hop back. We'd just watch this scene, remember it and carry on.

Annabelle: Creation (1943/1952/1955/1967)

A girl sitting in a wheelchair as a nun speaks to her
Annabelle: Creation.

Annabelle: Creation is the prequel to Annabelle, which was also a prequel to The Conjuring.

The film tells the story of how the demonic doll was created and became possessed. It all began with a car accident in 1943. This is probably the better of the three Annabelle movies.

To make things a little confusing, there's a post-credit scene for this one that teases The Nun, but that's set in 1952 - so you'd need to watch The Nun then come back to Annabelle: Creation just in time for it to pick up the story in 1967.

If you're not wedded to the whole timeline thing then just watch The Nun afterward.

Annabelle (1967)

The first Annabelle film throws you right in at the deep end. The demonic doll causes all sorts of havoc - that's the basic gist of it.

The Conjuring (1968 / 1971)

The first film released in The Conjuring franchise and where it all began. This one is set in the '70s, showing Ed and Lorraine Warren investigating a case where a family has moved into a haunted house. This one is based on a real case (though Annabelle technically is too).

Annabelle Comes Home (1968/1969 or 1971/1972)

The new film, Annabelle Comes Home, starts with the Warrens picking up Annabelle and driving her to their home to leave in their artefacts room where they keep all sorts of creepy things.

It's an extended version of The Conjuring scene (1968), so that's why you recognise it. If you're watching these in chronological order it may seem strange, but stick with it.

The film then moves to 1969 when the Warrens head off on a trip, leaving daughter Judy with a babysitter, Mary Ellen.

The demonic doll gets loose and draws all the other demons out. The artefact room features heavily, providing plenty of Easter eggs (if we can call them that) as there are all the items the Warrens have collected over the years, including the Perron Music Box (it was in The Conjuring).

The Curse of La Llorona (1973)

Next is The Curse of La Llorona. This one is based off the Weeping Woman, a folklore tale. Set in 1973, we see a mother struggling to protect her children. The film will feel a bit odd as there's no obvious connection to the wider Warren story, but Father Perez pops up - he was in Annabelle.

The Conjuring 2 (1976 / 1977)

Back to the Warrens with another 'true story' case with The Conjuring 2. This time it's 1976 and the Warrens investigate the Amityville House case then move to England to look into the Enfield Hauntings in 1977. Both are well-known cases.

The Nun crops up here as well as The Crooked Man, which we mention as he's getting his own film too.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (1980/81)

The Conjuring 3 key art, showing the words 'The Conjuring The Devil Made Me Do It.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It takes us into the '80s, when the Warrens investigated the possession of David Glatzel, 11, back in 1980. We start things there before picking up the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson the year after, in 1981.

Yet again we follow a real-life case of the Warrens, with The Conjuring 3 true story covering the case and Arne Johnson's defence that he was possessed. If you want a spoiler-free overview of the film, here's our The Conjuring 3 review.

Read more: Where is Arne Johnson now? What happened after The Conjuring 3

The Conjuring shorts

More of a bonus entry, but as part of the Annabelle: Creation release in 2017, Warner Bros Pictures ran a contest for fans to create short movies that would then be added into The Conjuring Universe. You can watch the winners entries on YouTube.

Are The Conjuring and Insidious movies connected?

It's a common question, but the answer is no, The Conjuring and Insidious franchises are not linked to each other. The only 'link' is James Wan, who directed both the first two Conjuring movies and the Insidious movies. Fun fact: Patrick Wilson starred in both the first two Insidious movies and The Conjuring movies.

Upcoming Conjuring and Annabelle movies and TV series

If you've made your way through every Conjuring and Annabelle movie and your socks still haven't been scared off silly, you'll be glad to know that The Nun II releases later this year on 8th September 2023.

This sequel to the 2018 film takes place four years later and follows Sister Irene in a boarding school in France where she must face off against Valak once more.

Warner Bros released a new teaser for the film which we have for you to watch just below.

A Conjuring TV series that takes place in the same universe has also been confirmed for the streaming platform, Max.

DC Studios co-chairperson and CEO Peter Safran, who has acted as producer for every Conjuring film, is leading the charge.

James Wan, who directed the first two Conjuring movies and produced others in the series, is also in talks to be part of the project.

...and if you're looking for a TV series, why not binge these?

Check out more of our Film coverage, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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