Talitha Bateman, playing the leading role as Janice, is the older sister of Gabriel Bateman, who starred in Lights Out. Lights Out was the feature film directorial debut of Annabelle Creation's director, David Sandberg.
David F. Sandberg was initially reluctant to direct the film, due to his general dislike of horror sequels. He changed his mind when it was clear he would be making a standalone prequel, with no major obligations to connect it to the larger franchise beyond a few brief references to the other films.
-Edward Warren Miney (September 7, 1926 - August 23, 2006) and Lorraine Rita Warren (née Moran, born January 31, 1927) are a Roman Catholic couple who were highly controversial American paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of hauntings which are the basis for these movies. According to the Warrens, in 1970, two roommates claimed their Raggedy Ann doll was possessed by the spirit of a young girl named Annabelle Higgins. The Warrens took the doll, telling the roommates it was "being manipulated by an inhuman presence", and put it on display at the family's "Occult Museum". The 2014 film Annabelle directed by John R. Leonetti is loosely based on the doll's supposed history, while the opening scene to The Conjuring (2013) is a direct adaptation of the Warrens' alleged experience with the doll.
Lorraine Warren still can't bear to look at this doll. It is ritualistically blessed along with the rest of her Occult Museum artifacts; but is also sealed by prayers in it's cabinet - much like the doll in the film.
The closing sequence of Annabelle: Creation (2017) is the same event that takes place 15 minutes into Annabelle (2014). In Annabelle, the murder is shown through the window of the house next door, whereas in Annabelle: Creation, it is shown in the actual house next door. Annabelle: Creation finishes with a wide shot of the two houses side by side, which is an exact shot from Annabelle.
The doll that "Annabelle", or rather Janice, is clutching near the end bears a very strong resemblance to the "real" Annabelle doll, which was however not used as a likeness for the movie version of the doll. This rag-doll at the end, as opposed to the porcelain doll from the rest of the movie(s), is what the real Annabelle doll looked like. This real doll is still kept on display, at Lorraine Warren's home. It can be seen in various pictures from inside the house, and on some footage of the tours that were, or are, routinely given there.
As we learn near the end of the film, "Bea" is short for Annabelle, the name of the Mullins daughter. The demon then completely takes on the appearance and name of the Mullin's daughter as a way to fool them (and others) into thinking the spirit is nothing more than a lost child. And so when it passes to Janice's body it maintains the same name and cover story.