Haunts & Jaunts: The Amityville Horror

   Some stigmatized houses are more famous than others. Some become a fabric of folklore and speculation. The Amityville House is one such… a story of brick,wood and mortar, and a family experiencing literal hell on earth during their short tenure within its walls. Fact or fiction? That’s your discretion. However, this WAS one stigmatized house. And it continues to sell!

   On Nov. 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo methodically murdered his parents and and four siblings in a home on 112 Ocean Ave. in a suburban neighborhood in Amityville, N.Y. The South Shore home, off of Long Island, was a large Dutch Colonial style three-story waterfront home, with quarter round windows,  a distinct gambrel roof, white lattice and white shutters and a swimming pool. The five bedroom, three-and-a-half bath dwelling had been home for the Defeo family for nine years before Ronald DeFeo, 23 years old, suddenly snapped one night, and with gun in hand, took not only the lives of his parents, but also brothers and sisters, ages 9 – 18, still wearing their pajamas. Each was found shot while they slept, lying on their stomachs in their bed. At Defeos trial, he stated he killed his family because ‘”voices in the home” had convinced him to do so. And so the saga began—The  Amityville Horror! He was convicted of second-degree murder in November, 1975.

   The house remained empty for 13 months after the murders. In December of 1975 George and Kathleen Lutz, with three children from Kathleen’s previous marriage, purchased the home for a bargain price of $80,000 (considering the area) and moved in. They were not without information about the house. During the first inspection, the real estate agent revealed about the Defeo murders. It was no problem for the Lutzs. They loved the house!  However, it soon became one. A few of the experiences of the Lutz family:

  Voices; George waking up religiously at 3:15 a.m. (the estimated time of DeFeos killings); swarms of flies, even in the winter; trickles of red running from the door lock keyholes; being embraced by unseen forces; nightmares about the murders; cold spots and odors; sightings of a red eyed pig outside; the front door slamming; the sound of a marching band; welts and levitation; cloven hoof prints in the snow; green slime oozing on the stairs and walls.

    On Jan. 14, 1976, the Lutzs bolted from the home, leaving all of their possessions behind. They had enough! A good story? A tale for the ages? The textbook perfect stigmatized property? Let’s take a look….