Real Haunted Places: The Amityville Horror
Everyone is familiar with "The Amityville Horror"
But what a lot of people don't realize is that the movie was based on the book which in turn was based on a family's 28 day experience living at 112 Ocean Avenue Amytiville, NY 11701.
That's a real address, to a real house, that the Lutz family vacated after only 28 days ownership, back in 1975.
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Photo: The Amityville Horror on DVD/BluRay at Amazon.
How it all began.
To understand the Lutz family's experiences, we first have to go back to November, 1974.
Early evening, Ronald "Butch" DeFeo entered a local bar and said that he believed his family had been shot. Police were summoned and found that, indeed DeFeo's 6 family members were all shot and killed.
All 6 were face-down in their beds. All 6 were shot with a .35 Marlin Rifle. There was no sign of a struggle, and no obvious signs of sedatives given to prevent resistance.
Ronald DeFeo would eventually be tried and convicted, and is serving 6 sentences of 25 years to life in prison. He is currently in prison at Green Haven Correctional, and all appeals to the parole board have been denied.
About a year later, the Lutz family moves in to that same house.
The Lutz family would purchase the house at the bargain price of $80,000. They moved in on December 19, 1975. The Lutz family consisted of George and Kathy Lutz, plus three children from Kathy's previous marriage, Daniel (age 9) Christopher (age 7), and Missy (age 5).
The hauntings begin
The book itself was admitted to be "mostly true" meaning that the writer did embellish somewhat, however the Lutzes stand by their official account of the horrors that occurred in their house.
Some of the odd happenings include swarms of flies around the house, despite the cold weather, and finding a small hidden room known at the bottom of the stairs. This room would be known as "the Red Room" because of its color. Strange smells of both perfume and excrement coming from the house.
Mr. Lutz would continually wake at 3:15 AM and go to check the boat house in the back yard. 3:15 is the approximate time of the original DeFeo murders. Slime would also ooze from the walls and even up the stairs.
The youngest daughter, Missy, began talking to an imaginary friend named Jodie, which was described as a demonic pig with red glowing eyes. Later, they would state they saw cloven hoofprints (like a pigs) in the fresh snow around the house.
The Lutzes attempted multiple blessings of the house the attempt to rid it of the evil spirits, but to no avail. After a short 4 weeks, they would leave and never return.
Photo: Doug Kerr
The Lutzes stand by their story. In June of 1979, both Kathy and George Lutz took a lie detector test and passed.
There certainly are many discrepancies with the book and known facts. The original author did admit to some embellishment.
In a History Channel interview, George Lutz has said "I believe this has stayed alive for 25 years because it's a true story. It doesn't mean that everything that has ever been said about it is true. It's certainly not a hoax. It's real easy to call something a hoax. I wish it was. It's not."