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Haunted Hoaxes

Updated on June 13, 2011

Today I'm going to talk about hoaxes surrounding hauntings or fake hauntings if you will.

You might wonder why someone would do such a thing, well, there are a number of explanations but I'll concentrate on the most obvious ones. Those being money and those that have money or some other compensation or reward offered.

I just got through reading the entire story about the Amityville Horror. I remember seeing the movie when I was a kid and being absolutely terrified by what I saw.

For those of you unfamiliar with the entire case. Butch Defeo(Ronald Defeo Jr) son of Ronald Defeo Sr and Louise murdered his entire family on November 14th 1974. The two story colonial house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville New York became the scene of a bloody massacre carried out by Butch Defeo. He had become increasingly violent and temperamental over time. His father Ronald Sr was also prone to fits of rage and violence. On this night Butch killed his entire family in cold blood including his two brothers and two sisters then disposed of the evidence, went to work as if nothing happened and lied to police that the slayings might have been perpetrated by the mafia and even pointed to someone he knew as the gunman. He killed his family with a shotgun, calmly showered, dressed, shaved and left to dispose of evidence and go to work at his grandfathers Buick dealership where his father also worked.

It wasn't long before the police gathered all the evidence and figured out Butch was responsible for the murders, broke him down until he told the truth and he was charged. He was found guilty and charged with second degree murder even though his defense attorney tried to get him off on an insanity plea. He was sentenced to 25 years to life and is still in prison today for the horrific crimes he committed.

Most people are only vaguely aware of what transpired before the horror came into being.

Not long after the trial ended the Lutz's(George and Kathy Lutz) moved into the house, a house they thought would be their dream home. A mere 28 days after moving in they left in the middle of the night claiming the house was haunted by demonic spirits. And for most this is where it ends. A book was written then came the movie and a few more movies after the first that still can be rented at your local blockbuster and probably a few other movie stores.

What most people don't know is the whole story. The story after the book and the movie.

It turns out the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by George Lutz and William Weber, Butch Defeo's lawyer, over a few glasses of wine.

George Lutz wanted out of the mortgage he could no longer afford and Mr. Weber wanted a new trial for his client Butch Defeo. Saying the house was possessed with demonic spirits could give him the defense he needed. The devil made his client commit murder.

No one ever questioned these so called claims or the findings of Ed and Lorraine Warren, two of America's most famed demonologists.

However, one person did question it because George Lutz had originally called him for the story to begin with. That person was Stephen Kaplan. Mr. Kaplan spent a great deal of time investigating the house and the claims. He died an untimely death a few years later.

The Lutz's when all was said and done made a great deal of money on this hoax. They had a book deal, a movie deal and were on a number of talk shows relaying their horrific experiences at the hands of the Amityville Horror House which was said to be haunted by angry Indian spirits and demons.

My biggest question is, why weren't the Defeo''s haunted by these so called spirits if there actually were spirits there?

It is still believed by many that the house could indeed be haunted. Perhaps it was and still is. But why did it suddenly end if it were?

There have been many, many stories since then of allegedly haunted houses. No one knows for sure if the reports are true or not or just another attempt at fame by claiming the house is haunted by unearthly presences and those presences are most likely demons or angry ghosts that haven't passed on.

I'm a firm believer that ghosts and spirits do exist but they don't exist in every single case where the claim is being made. Many of those claims are bogus. What motivates people to make certain claims only the person making the claim can say.

It is clear that in cases where the hauntings are not real but in fact just a hoax the real motivation is monetary. Perhaps the person(s) believe they will be paid or get some kind of notoriety out of it that might lead to monetary gain. Whatever the reason it's pretty much about money.

There is another reason why a house might appear to be haunted when in fact it is not. I'm not referring to a very old house that creeks. I'm referring to a house that someone wants for whatever reason. That reason could be any.

Someone or a group of people want a house. Perhaps they think they can make a profit on it or it's in a prime location.

They decide they want this house but they don't want to pay what it's worth or what the owner wants for it or perhaps the owner has refused to sell it. In a case such as this they must figure out a way to get it. If the owner has refused to sell, how do they legally get it? They can't just snatch it away and run the owner off of it like they did over a hundred years ago to the Indians so they have to have a plan. A plan that will work.

What better plan than making it seem like a house is haunted? Most people don't want to live in a house with spirits running rampant that's why they call paranormal groups to rid the house of the ghosts. And people certainly don't want to live in a house demons. Demons are very scary to most especially those that believe in them and to christians.

In fact I believe in demons and I can first hand I want no part of them and most people feel the same way. So if it appears their house has suddenly taken on a new personality, one they want no part of, this is not only scary they want rid of it but if riddance can't be accomplished or they are too embarrassed and feel that people will ridicule or ostracise them for what's happening, the most obvious solution is to leave.

If someone wants the property they won't give up easily. If the person doesn't run from the house screaming in terror they will simply up the ante to get them out until they do leave. When that happens they can get the property for a lick and promise. In other words, for practically nothing.

However, if the homeowner refuses to leave then at some point they must stop or risk getting caught.

I'm not really familiar with hauntings so I can't say how, when and in what order they will occur. I can't say how a new homeowner will experience it and how soon after moving into a new house but I can say by common sense that it probably won't occur a few months later.

MOst of the hauntings I've read about occurred right after the new homeowners moved in. This doesn't mean they are haunted, it could still mean someone wants the person out.

With all the computerized sound effects, audio and video it isn't out of the realm of possibility that making it seem as if something strange is occurring in a house is out of the ordinary today. Almost everything is computerized and what can be accomplished with these magical little creatures is amazing.

I'm by no means suggesting that if alleged paranormal activity is occurring that it should be ignored. Quite the opposite. It should be investigated.

First, a good and thorough background check of the house should be done. Age of the house should be taken into account. Could it just be creaking because the house is old?

Whatever you find remain calm unless what is occurring is too frightening to do so and in that instance I recommend leaving at once.

If the paranormal activity isn't frightening but rather annoying you probably want to seek the advice of a paranormal investigator. Before you jump head first into a cleansing think about whether this is actually a good idea. If the haunting isn't frightening and you feel you can live with the ghost you might want to consider living with the situation. If not then by all means seek guidance and a cleansing from a reputable team.

Whatever you choose do your homework. And Good Luck!


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    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Carolina lady! sassy Amityville's a good one to write about. The only thing still unresolved in my mind about it is the pic the newspaper people got when they were in the house later on. Have you seen that? If not mistaken it's one of the boys murdered and in the pic he's got those freakish shining eyes. I don't know if that was hoaxed by the pic takers or not? It's amazing the lengths some will go and their methods with the houses. I sometime's wonder if a lot of hotel or tourist attractions aren't played up like with the spooks and such to attract business. At any rate, liked your hub here a lot sassy.


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