Patrick Wilson was left quivering with fear after meeting the real-life medium who inspired his new film The Conjuring.

The horror film is based on the true story of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who devoted their lives to ridding homes of haunted spirits.

As research for the project, Wilson and his co-star Vera Farmiga drove to Connecticut to meet Warren, now a widow following her husband's 2006 death.

He tells New York Magazine, "It's funny: For someone who has seen some very dark things, she's very wry and very light and very open. Vera and I went there, and it's her, the priest (who conducts masses), her daughter, and her son-in-law, in rural Connecticut, chickens running around in the house. Lorraine would be telling some story about some demonic thing she had witnessed, and in the same breath, turn to tell a rooster to shut up."

The actors were later invited to explore the Warren's Occult Museum, which contains possessed artefacts from some of their most high-profile cases, but the hunk admits he was forced to explore the exhibit alone - since Farmiga was too scared to accompany him on the trip.

He adds, "Vera didn't want to go; I did. I was reading The Demonologist, so I was pretty well-versed on it. I just walked in going, 'Okay. This is what they strongly believe in. Let's see it.' So I saw a lot of strange artefacts and relics, and even though I feel like I had a pretty good handle on myself and my aura, my psyche, I didn't want to touch anything. It just wasn't worth it. For what? For my ego, to say I touched the (allegedly possessed) Annabelle doll? Nah, it's okay."