Flooding causes real-life nightmare for horror movie house owners

Published: Oct. 21, 2016 at 1:38 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2016 at 10:38 PM EDT
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Still image from "The Conjuring" trailer.
Still image from "The Conjuring" trailer.

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Flooding along the Black River basin in Pender County put homes underwater and blocked off major roads for days. Now that the evacuation has been lifted, homeowners are finally able to assess the damage.

Ann Miller owns a recognizable home, used in The Conjuring and 12 other movies. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, water filled the first floor of the home, surrounding it by up to six feet in the yard.

"Devastating, it really is," Miller said, "Everything kind of hit me hard."

Miller said she followed the mandatory evacuation and left her two sons, Russell and Randy Willoughby, in charge of keeping the home safe.

"I wish that I did this, I wish I'd done that. But you can't do it all, when you're told to get out you've got to get out," Miller explained.

Three feet of water filled the home, and over six feet surrounded it. Miller's sons said there were fish swimming in their hallway, and a neighbor's pig swam to seek refuge on their porch.

"He'd been treading water for a couple of days," Russell Willoughby said, "A 450 pound pig doesn't go where you want him to!"

The water has receded completely, but has warped the floors and the moisture has ruined parts of the ceiling. Since Hurricane Matthew hit, they've had no running water or electricity, and have had to begin cleaning out the home since.

"Stuff you want to keep but you have to throw away," Willoughby said.

Through the flooding they've remained positive, and are preparing for a long clean-up. The family said it's just part of living so close to the Black River.

"It's happened before it'll happen again, and we'll be here for it," Willoughby said.

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