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Who, or What, Is the Ferryman in Annabelle Comes Home?

Ferryman in Annabelle Comes Home

The second trailer for Annabelle Comes Home teases the sheer number of evil spirits awakened when the creepy doll is placed inside the artifact room of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Second only to Annabelle in the new footage is the Ferryman, a frightening new addition to the Conjuring universe.

Inspired by Greek mythology, the Ferryman looks to play a prominent role in the upcoming sequel. But who, or what, is this fabled guide of the souls of the dead?

The Ferryman Wants His Coins

A major part of the film appears to survey the breadth of the Conjuring universe's lore. The trailer reveals the Ferryman isn't necessarily a malevolent spirit housed in the Warrens' vault. Instead, he's a purely supernatural force. Like his mythological namesake, he guides souls into the afterlife, requiring as payment two coins places on the eyes of the dead. He's depicted in a sketch as a tall, skeletal figure clad in a tattered cloak, with two coins in place of eyes.

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The Ferryman himself makes a surprise appearance in the new footage, spooking Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) with one of his coins and a jump scare. It's possible the collection of distinctive coins is what draws, or connects, the Ferryman to the Warren house.

Lady, Styx Isn't Only a Band

In Greek mythology, it's Charon who ferries the souls of the dead across the River Styx into Hades. He plays a role in several stories in which heroes must enter the underworld. Charon was traditionally depicted as a haggard man with an unkempt beard, but in modern appearances he's typically portrayed as a skeletal figure, akin to the Grim Reaper. That appears to be the case in Annabelle Comes Home, which reveals a glimpse of something resembling a mummified corpse.

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During a visit to the set of Annabelle Comes Home, PopSugar learned the Ferryman stands more than seven feet tall, and wears "a huge, voluminous cloak of gauzy blacks and browns."

"[Director] Gary Dauberman and I were just sort of talking about ideas and he said, 'I have this Ferryman. It'd be great if he was in a cloak but not really a cloak,'" said costume designer Leah Butler. "So I got inspired by him and who he is... in the River Styx, there's a lot of marshland and mud so kind of is an inspiration with all this muddiness and kind of very from the earth and organic sort of feel to it."

It's difficult to know what role the Ferryman plays in Annabelle Comes Home, or whether he's an evil presence unleashed by the doll. He may not even be "evil" at all. But he definitely has a horrifying design that makes him among the creepier elements of the Conjuring universe.

Opening June 26, writer/director Gary Dauberman's Annabelle Comes Home stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Mckenna Grace and Madison Iseman.

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