The Amityville Horror

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The Amityville Horror was a best-selling 1977 novel by Jay Anson. The novel is also the basis of two movies made in 1979 and 2005.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Synopsis

Both book and film revolve around the Lutz family, who move into the Dutch Colonial home in the village of Amityville, a New York City suburb on the south shore of Long Island, New York village. Thirteen months earlier the house on 112 Ocean Avenue was the scene of a brutal mass murder. The Lutz family, having lived in the house for only 28 days, fled their house with very few belongings, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomenon.

The murders

  • This section contains information that is a part of the public record separate from specific allegations of supernatural events which form the heart of the book and movies.

Main Article: Ronald DeFeo, Jr.

On November 13, 1974, police found that all but one of the members of the family residing at 112 Oceanside Ave., the DeFeo's, had been murdered in the middle of the night. Ronald DeFeo Jr., the only surviving member, claimed that they had been murdered by the mob until he confessed to the murders.

The popular story of ensuing events is that DeFeo’s original claims were that the murders were mob-connected had changed to “hearing voices,” demonic possession, and being handed the murder weapon, a .35 calibre Marlin hunting rifle, by a “pair of black hands”. DeFeo also claimed to have seen shadow figures moving about the house during the murders. He also claimed when killing his parents the weapon made no sound when firing it. However CourtTV's account of the murder case makes no mention of these claims, implying that DeFeo in fact did not contest his confession until the trial [1]. DeFeo's attorney pursued that line of questioning during the trial, only to have it backfire on him when DeFeo testified that he had not heard any voices the night of the murders [2]. He was convicted of second degree murder and is currently serving a life sentence.

Story

  • This section contains allegations of events that support the contention that the house was actually haunted. They are part of a work of literature alleging supernatural events and have not been independently verified by impartial research.
Left to right: 112 Ocean as owned by the DeFeo & Lutz familiy, 112 Ocean in 1978, House in Toms River, New Jersey remodeled to look like 112 Ocean (was used for filming first three Amityville Horror movies), 112 Ocean as remodeled in the 1990s - note the replacement of quarter-moon window as well as the alteration of porch balustrade and the removal of latticework around porch columns.

The house on 112 Ocean Avenue remained empty for 13 months until late 1975, when George and Kathleen Lutz purchased the 2 ½ floor house. George and Kathy were married in July and had their own houses, however they wanted to start a new life with a new home, for a new marriage. Kathy had three children from a previous marriage and a black Labrador named Harry. During their first inspection of the house the realtor told them about the DeFeo murders the previous November and asked if this changed their opinion on wanting to purchase the house. After family discussions, it was agreed that it was not an issue.

They moved in on December 18, 1975. When a friend of George’s learned of the house he insisted George have the house blessed. At the time George was a non-Catholic (at the time he was a non-practising Methodist) and had no experience with what a house blessing entailed. Kathy was a non-practising Catholic at the time and explained the process. George only knew of one Catholic priest, named Father Ray, who was also a close friend, who agreed to do the house blessing.

Being an ecclesiastical judge at the local Catholic establishment, Father Ray was not in the habit of doing house-blessings but since he and George were friends, he was doing it as a favour. Father Ray arrived to do the house blessing on the day the Lutz’s were moving in and as they busily unpacked outside he went in and performed the house blessing. Much later, after fleeing, George and Kathy learned from Father Ray that when blessing a particular room on the second-storey, which would be referred to as the “sewing room” (formerly Marc and John Matthew DeFeo’s bedroom), he discovered an unnatural coldness in this room, and heard an unearthly voice telling him to “Get Out!” Startled by this, Father Ray was subsequently slapped by an unseen force. When leaving the house, Father Ray did not mention this incident to either George or Kathy, more than likely because he did not wish to cause them unnecessary concern. Instead he told them he felt uncomfortable in that room and would prefer it if nobody spent too much time in that room. Because they planned to use the room as a “sewing room” nothing else was mentioned of it, until much later after George and Kathy had fled the house.

The sensations in the house experienced by the Lutz family did not happen at an accelerated pace instantly. Occurrences were subtle and escalated as time went by. The instances of paranormal activity were later described as being “in a three-ringed circus”. Each family member would experience different things as individuals which made such a profound psychological effect that it was difficult to explain them to even other family members that lived in the house, and it was like they “were each living in a different house”.

Some of the experiences in the house for the Lutz family are as follows:

  • George would wake up around 3.15am every morning and then would go out to check the boathouse. Later it would be learned that it was the estimated time of death with the DeFeo murders.
  • Kathy would have vivid nightmares about the murders, and discovered which order the murders occurred and who was shot where. These details were later confirmed when they met with Ronald DeFeo’s defence attorney.
  • Kathy would feel a sensation as if “being embraced” in a loving manner, by an unseen force.
  • Kathy discovered a small hidden crawl space behind shelving in the basement, the walls painted red. This did not show up on the blue prints of the house. The room was referred to as “the red room”. This room had a profound effect on their dog, Harry, who refused to go near it and cowered away as if sensing something negative there.
  • There were cold spots and strange odours of scented perfume and excrement in certain areas of the house where there were no wind drafts or any piping whatsoever to explain a source.
  • The Lutz’s youngest daughter, Missy, developed an imaginary friend named “Jody” who it was later discovered was not so imaginary and who it would be discovered could change form from a little boy to a demonic pig-like creature.
  • George would be awoken by the sound of the front door slamming when there was no door slamming. He would race downstairs to see the dog sleeping soundly at the front door. Nobody else heard these sounds even though it was loud enough to wake the house.
  • George would hear what was described as a “German marching band tuning up” or what also sounded like a clock radio playing not quite on frequency. When he got downstairs the noise would stop.
  • While checking the boathouse one night, George saw a pair of “red eyes” looking at him from Missy’s bedroom window. When he raced upstairs and to her room there was no sign of this mysterious entity. Later it was theorized that it could have been “Jody”.

When it was apparent to the Lutz’s that something was wrong with their house that they could not explain rationally, it was suggested by a friend of George’s, who had had similar experiences in his house, that he and Kathy do a blessing of their own and open all the windows in the rooms and tell whatever was there to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. When taking his advice and walking around the house doing the Lord’s prayer each of the rooms, George and Kathy would hear a chorus of voices telling them “Will you please stop!”

By mid-January of 1976, and after another attempt at a house blessing by George and Kathy, they experienced what would be their final night in the house. To this day, events of this night have not been disclosed fully by any of the Lutz family, as they have described it as too frightening.

After getting in touch with Father Ray, he managed to convince George and Kathy to take some belongings and stay at Kathy’s mother’s house in Deer Park, for the time being until they sorted out what problems were in the house. On January 14, 1976, George and Kathy Lutz, with their three children and their dog, Harry, fled the house on 112 Ocean Avenue, leaving most of their possessions behind.

Criticisms

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The book and the subsequent movies were promoted as being based on a true story, and for a time Anson's word that "There is simply too much independent corroboration of their narrative to support the speculation that [the Lutzes] either imagined or fabricated these events" held. The popular consensus today, however, among researchers of the incident is that "the facts depicted in the books (and the movies to follow) were written entirely as a profit making scheme" [3].

The story started to fall apart when the Lutz's filed suit against Paul Hoffman (a writer working on an account of the hauntings), William Weber (DeFeo's Lawyer), Bernard Burton, Frederick Mars (both clairvoyants who had examined the house), Good Housekeeping, New York Sunday News and the Hearst Corporation (who had published articles related to the hauntings), alleging invasion of privacy, misappropration of names for trade purposes, and mental distress. Hoffman, Weber, and Burton immediately filed a countersuit alleging fraud and breach of contract. Eventually, the claims against the news corporations were dropped for lack of evidence, and the remainder of the case was tried by Brooklyn U.S. District Court judge Jack B. Weinstein. Weinstein dismissed the Lutz's claims, saying "it appears to me that to a large extent the book is a work of fiction, relying in a large part upon the suggestions of Mr. Weber" [4]. Weber had admitted that much of the story was created over "many bottles of wine" with the Lutz's [5].

Numerous discrepencies have emerged over the years, though the Lutz's continued claims that the book was essentially true help keep the legend alive in the public eye.

A recent view of 112 Ocean.

See Also

  • The Amityville Horror (1979 film)
  • The Amityville Horror (2005 film)

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Numerous discrepencies have emerged over the years, though the Lutz's continued claims that the book was essentially true help keep the legend alive in the public eye. . Weber had admitted that much of the story was created over "many bottles of wine" with the Lutz's [5]. The band has been nominated for "Best New Artist" at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Weber" [4]. The video also won the MTV2 award at the 2005 MTV Video Music Award. Weinstein dismissed the Lutz's claims, saying "it appears to me that to a large extent the book is a work of fiction, relying in a large part upon the suggestions of Mr. Their breakout single "Sugar, We're Goin' Down," peaked at #8 on the Billboard "Hot 100" charts, and reached #1 on MTV's TRL where the video was retired.

Weinstein. They signed to Island Records in 2003, and on May 3, 2005, released their major label debut From Under The Cork Tree (Island), which debuted on the Billboard charts at #9, selling over 70,000 copies in its first week. District Court judge Jack B. The band started to achieve notable success with 2003's Take This to Your Grave (Fueled By Ramen), with singles such as "Grand Theft Autumn (Where Is Your Boy?)" and "Saturday," receiving airplay on Fuse and MTVU. Eventually, the claims against the news corporations were dropped for lack of evidence, and the remainder of the case was tried by Brooklyn U.S. While still unnamed, the band asked the audience at a show what their band should be called, and an audience member yelled out "Fall Out Boy," presumably from the superhero Radioactive Man's sidekick, Fallout Boy, on the TV show The Simpsons. At the time, the band was unaware of the cartoon character. Hoffman, Weber, and Burton immediately filed a countersuit alleging fraud and breach of contract. Fall Out Boy is a four-piece pop punk band from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois that formed in 2001.

The story started to fall apart when the Lutz's filed suit against Paul Hoffman (a writer working on an account of the hauntings), William Weber (DeFeo's Lawyer), Bernard Burton, Frederick Mars (both clairvoyants who had examined the house), Good Housekeeping, New York Sunday News and the Hearst Corporation (who had published articles related to the hauntings), alleging invasion of privacy, misappropration of names for trade purposes, and mental distress. Dance, Dance (2005). The popular consensus today, however, among researchers of the incident is that "the facts depicted in the books (and the movies to follow) were written entirely as a profit making scheme" [3]. Sugar, We're Going Down (2005). The book and the subsequent movies were promoted as being based on a true story, and for a time Anson's word that "There is simply too much independent corroboration of their narrative to support the speculation that [the Lutzes] either imagined or fabricated these events" held. Saturday (2004). On January 14, 1976, George and Kathy Lutz, with their three children and their dog, Harry, fled the house on 112 Ocean Avenue, leaving most of their possessions behind. Grand Theft Autumn (Where is Your Boy?) (2003).

After getting in touch with Father Ray, he managed to convince George and Kathy to take some belongings and stay at Kathy’s mother’s house in Deer Park, for the time being until they sorted out what problems were in the house. Dead on Arrival (2003). To this day, events of this night have not been disclosed fully by any of the Lutz family, as they have described it as too frightening. My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue (2004). By mid-January of 1976, and after another attempt at a house blessing by George and Kathy, they experienced what would be their final night in the house. Fall Out Boy's Evening Out With Your Girl (2003). When taking his advice and walking around the house doing the Lord’s prayer each of the rooms, George and Kathy would hear a chorus of voices telling them “Will you please stop!”. Fall Out Boy/Project Rocket split EP 2002.

When it was apparent to the Lutz’s that something was wrong with their house that they could not explain rationally, it was suggested by a friend of George’s, who had had similar experiences in his house, that he and Kathy do a blessing of their own and open all the windows in the rooms and tell whatever was there to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. From Under The Cork Tree (2005) Certification: 2x Platinum. Some of the experiences in the house for the Lutz family are as follows:. Take This to Your Grave: Director's Cut (2005). Each family member would experience different things as individuals which made such a profound psychological effect that it was difficult to explain them to even other family members that lived in the house, and it was like they “were each living in a different house”. Take This to Your Grave (2003). The instances of paranormal activity were later described as being “in a three-ringed circus”. Andy Hurley — drums.

Occurrences were subtle and escalated as time went by. Joe Trohman — guitar. The sensations in the house experienced by the Lutz family did not happen at an accelerated pace instantly. Pete Wentz — bass, vocals. Because they planned to use the room as a “sewing room” nothing else was mentioned of it, until much later after George and Kathy had fled the house. Patrick Stump — guitar, lead vocals. Instead he told them he felt uncomfortable in that room and would prefer it if nobody spent too much time in that room.

When leaving the house, Father Ray did not mention this incident to either George or Kathy, more than likely because he did not wish to cause them unnecessary concern. Much later, after fleeing, George and Kathy learned from Father Ray that when blessing a particular room on the second-storey, which would be referred to as the “sewing room” (formerly Marc and John Matthew DeFeo’s bedroom), he discovered an unnatural coldness in this room, and heard an unearthly voice telling him to “Get Out!” Startled by this, Father Ray was subsequently slapped by an unseen force. Father Ray arrived to do the house blessing on the day the Lutz’s were moving in and as they busily unpacked outside he went in and performed the house blessing. Being an ecclesiastical judge at the local Catholic establishment, Father Ray was not in the habit of doing house-blessings but since he and George were friends, he was doing it as a favour.

George only knew of one Catholic priest, named Father Ray, who was also a close friend, who agreed to do the house blessing. Kathy was a non-practising Catholic at the time and explained the process. At the time George was a non-Catholic (at the time he was a non-practising Methodist) and had no experience with what a house blessing entailed. When a friend of George’s learned of the house he insisted George have the house blessed.

They moved in on December 18, 1975. After family discussions, it was agreed that it was not an issue. During their first inspection of the house the realtor told them about the DeFeo murders the previous November and asked if this changed their opinion on wanting to purchase the house. Kathy had three children from a previous marriage and a black Labrador named Harry.

George and Kathy were married in July and had their own houses, however they wanted to start a new life with a new home, for a new marriage. The house on 112 Ocean Avenue remained empty for 13 months until late 1975, when George and Kathleen Lutz purchased the 2 ½ floor house. He was convicted of second degree murder and is currently serving a life sentence. DeFeo's attorney pursued that line of questioning during the trial, only to have it backfire on him when DeFeo testified that he had not heard any voices the night of the murders [2].

However CourtTV's account of the murder case makes no mention of these claims, implying that DeFeo in fact did not contest his confession until the trial [1]. He also claimed when killing his parents the weapon made no sound when firing it. DeFeo also claimed to have seen shadow figures moving about the house during the murders. The popular story of ensuing events is that DeFeo’s original claims were that the murders were mob-connected had changed to “hearing voices,” demonic possession, and being handed the murder weapon, a .35 calibre Marlin hunting rifle, by a “pair of black hands”.

Ronald DeFeo Jr., the only surviving member, claimed that they had been murdered by the mob until he confessed to the murders. On November 13, 1974, police found that all but one of the members of the family residing at 112 Oceanside Ave., the DeFeo's, had been murdered in the middle of the night. Main Article: Ronald DeFeo, Jr. The Lutz family, having lived in the house for only 28 days, fled their house with very few belongings, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomenon.

Thirteen months earlier the house on 112 Ocean Avenue was the scene of a brutal mass murder. Both book and film revolve around the Lutz family, who move into the Dutch Colonial home in the village of Amityville, a New York City suburb on the south shore of Long Island, New York village. . The novel is also the basis of two movies made in 1979 and 2005.

The Amityville Horror was a best-selling 1977 novel by Jay Anson. The Amityville Horror (2005 film). The Amityville Horror (1979 film). Later it was theorized that it could have been “Jody”.

When he raced upstairs and to her room there was no sign of this mysterious entity. While checking the boathouse one night, George saw a pair of “red eyes” looking at him from Missy’s bedroom window. When he got downstairs the noise would stop. George would hear what was described as a “German marching band tuning up” or what also sounded like a clock radio playing not quite on frequency.

Nobody else heard these sounds even though it was loud enough to wake the house. He would race downstairs to see the dog sleeping soundly at the front door. George would be awoken by the sound of the front door slamming when there was no door slamming. The Lutz’s youngest daughter, Missy, developed an imaginary friend named “Jody” who it was later discovered was not so imaginary and who it would be discovered could change form from a little boy to a demonic pig-like creature.

There were cold spots and strange odours of scented perfume and excrement in certain areas of the house where there were no wind drafts or any piping whatsoever to explain a source. This room had a profound effect on their dog, Harry, who refused to go near it and cowered away as if sensing something negative there. The room was referred to as “the red room”. This did not show up on the blue prints of the house.

Kathy discovered a small hidden crawl space behind shelving in the basement, the walls painted red. Kathy would feel a sensation as if “being embraced” in a loving manner, by an unseen force. These details were later confirmed when they met with Ronald DeFeo’s defence attorney. Kathy would have vivid nightmares about the murders, and discovered which order the murders occurred and who was shot where.

Later it would be learned that it was the estimated time of death with the DeFeo murders. George would wake up around 3.15am every morning and then would go out to check the boathouse. They are part of a work of literature alleging supernatural events and have not been independently verified by impartial research. This section contains allegations of events that support the contention that the house was actually haunted.

This section contains information that is a part of the public record separate from specific allegations of supernatural events which form the heart of the book and movies.

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