Summary Amityville horror

The supposedly true story of Amityville horror has now emerged as a scam. US writer Jay Anson (1922-1980) claimed in his 1978 million-dollar bestseller "The Amityville Horror" that it was "one of the most terrifying true cases of haunted and possessed demons". The book has been filmed several times, including "The Amityville Horror" from 1979. In a press release dated July 27, 1979, DeFeo's attorney Webber admitted: "We made up this horror story with many bottles of wine that George drank. We have really played with each other."

Background: The Murders of Ronald DeFeo

In 1974 the 23 year old Ronald (Joseph "Butch") DeFeo Jr. (born September 26, 1951) shot his parents and four younger siblings in the house on Amityville Ocean Avenue. DeFeo is serving a life sentence.

On the morning of November 13, 1974, 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo ran into a bar, screaming hysterically. Sobbing, he reported that someone had broken into his home at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville and murdered six members of his family: "You have to help me! I think my mother and father were shot!" The police found his mother, father, two sisters and two brothers shot dead in their beds. DeFeo's claim that a burglar committed the series of murders was ignored. Ronald was arrested and charged with murder.

The charges were based on the fact that Ronald killed his family in order to get $200,000 in life insurance and the sizeable sum of family wealth. His defense lawyer William Weber pleaded insanity, which has been confirmed by several psychiatrists. DeFeo claimed that the devil forced him to do this. He was possessed by demons. The jury found him guilty and Ronald DeFeo was sentenced to six life sentences.

After his conviction, the DeFeo family's property in Amityville, Long Island, was put up for sale. It was an imposing, three-story house that was built in 1928 in the Dutch colonial style and, together with the garage, boathouse and swimming pool, represented considerable property. You could have gotten a lot more for the property, but the brokers offered it for only $80,000, given the sad events. But the house was empty for almost a year.

The Lutz family moves in

On December 18, 1975, the Lutz family moved into the suburban house from nearby Syosset. George Lutz was 28 years old, had completed his military service and had recently married. In December 1975 he ran a land surveying company. For his wife Catherine ("Kathy") it was the second marriage. Kathy was a housewife and looked after the two little sons and the four-year-old daughter.

Alleged phenomena

It all supposedly started with an unbearable foul smell that ran through the whole house. The bathroom fixtures and Kathy's bedroom mirror were covered in black slime that couldn't be removed with harsh detergents. Then the flies came - hundreds of them flocked to a bedroom on the second floor.

Once the massive entrance door was found torn open, it was only hung on a hinge. Despite the blazing fire in the living room fireplace, George felt icy cold. Then the 1.20 meter high ceramic lion moved through the house without human intervention. One day the family found hoof marks in the snow outside the house that led to the garage and ended in front of the garage door. The gate itself had been torn out of the metal frame by force. The family realized that it was not the house of their dreams, but their nightmares. Then invisible arms began to wrap around Kathy Lutz, trying to take possession of her body. It was as if she was going to die. Others also felt the effects of "horror".

A friend of the priest had a mysterious debilitating infection and his rectory filled with a terrible smell that drove everyone away.

Georges heard the invisible ghosts of Amityville in the form of marching music or the trampling of boots and the blowing of the horns. Although it sounded like at least 50 musicians were playing, never a single one was seen. Still, he found the furniture pushed against the wall as if to make room for the marching column.

Another manifestation of the sadistic powers was terribly painful, red streaks on Kathy's body, as if they had been hit with a glowing poker. The published interviews also talk about levitation (levitation), strong personality changes and the appearance of demons.

A local resident reports: "They are said to have seen pig eyes in the windows. Pigs in the swimming pool. There were rumors that a door cracked off its hinges". Another said: "It was said that blood dripped from doors and windows in some rooms and things like that in the creepy fairy tales for children".

Brian Innes wrote in his book "The Great Book of Ghosts": "According to your report, the trouble started with a foul stench that pervaded the house, black slime in the bathroom and myriads (= thousands) of flies in one of the bedrooms. The heavy one The front door had been pried open and hung only on a hinge, traces of split hoofs could be seen in the snow outside, and the garage door was almost torn off, "with a force that far exceeds that of a human being." Kathy Lutz said that she had become invisible Poor felt from which she could not free herself and red streaks appeared on her body. George reported that he had heard an invisible wind orchestra marching through the house in a heavy march. Later he saw him floating in the air over the bed several times and also observed an appearance, which he once described as a gigantic, white figure with a hood, then again as horned demons with half shot away em face. And when the little daughter pointed to the window one night, George and Kathy saw "two fiery red eyes. No face, just the little evil eyes of a pig", and Kathy shouted: "It was there all the time. I wanted to kill it!"

Contradictions in the press

After 28 days of horror, the family left the house in Amityville forever on January 14, 1976.

George Lutz reported for the first time in the "Long Island Press" on January 17, 1976 about his alleged experiences in the haunted house of Amityville. But there was still nothing in the report of flying objects, moving sofas, and lamenting sounds, like Jay Anson's book, published two years later. Anson's book is said to have been based on numerous interviews with the Lutz family.

In 1977 George Lutz gave an interview to journalist Paul Hoffmann for the April issue of the household magazine "Good Housekeeping". His report clearly contradicted the first newspaper report.

The report begins with the blessing of the house by a Roman Catholic priest. When the priest leaves, he warns the Lutz family about one of the bedrooms: "Never let anyone sleep there. Keep the door locked. Stay as little as possible in this room." Jay Anson's book states that a week after the blessing - and after a series of incidents - the priest advises not to use the room. An aunt Kathy's is also affected by the haunted house. In "Good Housekeeping" she is described as a "peaceful former nun". When she comes to visit, however, it is quite unusual, is aggressive and criticizes George for hours.

According to the book by Janson, the aunt only stayed in the house for a short time: she quickly inspected the house, but refused to enter some rooms. After only half an hour she leaves the house. There was another incident with the "old woman". In the "Good Housekeeper" George reports how he woke up at night on Saturday evening, January 19, 1976 and "felt the compulsion to flee the house". He wanted to wake his wife, shouted at her and shook her, but she didn't wake up. Then, as he looked at her, she turned his sleeping wife "into an old woman". Her hair became "old and dirty", drooling and wrinkles appeared on her face. "It took several hours for her to be herself again." In Jay Anson's book, this scene happened on Wednesday, January 7th. George didn't wake up to flee the house. He is in bed, unable to fall asleep and has a desire to visit a nearby pub to have a beer. When he turns to Kathy, he notices that she hovers about 30 centimeters above the bed. He pulls her down on the bed and Kathy wakes up. And now, when she is awake, she turns into an old woman of 90 years. According to Anson's book, the condition lasted only a few minutes - not several hours!

The book writes that this levitation was the second of a total of three levitations. The first was on January 4, when Kathy was said to hover 60 centimeters above the bed. Another levitation took place on January 15th after the family left home and lived with Kathy's mother. This time both Kathy and George were levitating at the same time. These levitations are not mentioned at all in "Good Housekeeping". There, however, an incident is reported from the night of January 11th, when George woke up and saw Kathy slide over the bed as if she were floating.

There was also allegedly a series of hauntings by a being, which is sometimes described as a "gigantic figure [with a hood] in white", sometimes as a "demon with horns", the face of which is half shot away. And yet there is no reference to such haunches in the "Good Housekeeping". For this it is reported that Kathy saw "eyes at the window", which she described as "red and pearl-shaped". In the book, this scene is the culmination of a dramatic event. In Anson's book, this scene happened in a bedroom on the second floor. The family's little daughter pointed to one of the windows where George and Kathy recognized "two sparkling red eyes". "No face, just a pig's shitty little eyes" peeked in. Kathy ran to the window and screamed "in a scary voice".

She hit the window with a chair and they heard "the animal squeak in pain - and the eyes were gone". The squeak could be heard in the house for a while. But George didn't go out to check on the pig. He consoled his wife, who sobbed: "It was here all the time. I wanted to kill it. I wanted to kill it!"

But as they told in the sequel "The Amityville Horror: Part 2", the evil persecuted her into her new house and "embraced her hostile".

From the start, the public believed that the Lutz family was exaggerating. The police were not called to investigate any frightening events and the city artisans said they knew nothing about damage to the property.

No parapsychological phenomena

Dr. Stephen Kaplan, director of the Parapsychology Insitute of America, spent months studying reports and interviews about the Amityville incidents and came to the conclusion: "We found no evidence to support the claim that the house was haunted. What we did find, however, was a hopelessly over-indebted couple in a house who couldn't afford it. We think the whole story is pure invention. " Jerry Solfvin of the Psychical Research Foundation wrote that the case "was not interesting for us because the reports were limited to subjective reactions from the Lutz family and were not ... characteristic of such cases." Malvin Harris, who investigated the case, said: "There are a number of facts that clearly demonstrate that the Amityville story is nothing more than an imaginary product."

When George Lutz and his family moved to Amityville, Kathy's sons were run away, George's company was in trouble, and George was having trouble with the tax office. But instead of cutting back, the family bought a house - Amityville. With that, they took over.

Shortly after moving in, George neglected his exterior, stopped going to the office, and lay awake for nights. Anson writes: "At night he lay awake and brooded: a second marriage and three children; a new house with a huge mortgage. The taxes in Amityville were three times as high as in Deer Park. Did he really need this new racing boat? How should he? Paying everything? The construction business on Long Island was lousy ..." George blamed all his problems, bad mood and indolence on the house. He began to identify more and more with the murderer Ronald DeFeo. After moving out of Amityville, he became more and more involved in fantasies. But when he met the writer Jay Anson, he knew how to turn it into a business ...

Investigators Rick Moran and Peter Jordan went to Amityville and spoke to the people mentioned in the book by Jay Anson. When asked, the police said that the house had never been searched while the Lutz family lived there. In contrast, the book describes how a Sergant Cammaroto took a tour and even inspected a "secret room" in the basement. The priest Mancuso (actually Pecorara), who is constantly mentioned in the book, denied that he had ever entered the house. So the story of his blessing for the house (and the ghost voice that threw him out) can only be a hoax. The pastor mentioned in the book also rejected the story of the nauseating smell that allegedly pervaded the parish ("The Devil's Smell"). And the artisans in the area knew nothing of the psychological damage that they are said to have repaired. It was rather the financial ruin that the family fled from the house than ghosts and demons. The Lutz family's answers to the revelations sounded like excuses. They never got involved in a juxtaposition with critics and eventually admitted that their original reports only reflected what they themselves felt and felt.

Ronald DeFeo's defender William Weber lured the Lutz family into the public for the first time. At the trial, DeFeo spoke of an inner voice that forced him to commit the murders. Weber hoped to restart the trial by showing that there was a force in the house that could affect the behavior of the residents. Weber arranged a television interview with the Lutz family. Although Weber's involvement initially indicated a purely professional interest, he admitted to having blown up the rumors about Amityville as a sensation. In a press release on July 27, 1979, he said, "We came up with this horror story about many bottles of wine that George drank. We really played with each other."

The Amityville house today

In 2016 the house in Amityville on Long Island with five rooms, three bathrooms and a boathouse was for sale for $ 850,000. The buyer remained anonymous.

The previous owner paid $ 950,000 for the house, built in 1927, in 2010. The house has around 460 square meters of living space and around 1,000 square meters of land.

The house has since been remodeled and the address changed to 108 to prevent tourists from visiting. Subsequent residents of the house never had any phenomena.

Al Capone is probably one of the best-known personalities who lived in Amityville.

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