What really happened in Amityville?
Whether or not the stories of the Amityville Horror are true, they have still been placed in the American mind to terrify the nation
Each year, throngs of visitors emerge upon Long Island in New York to see for themselves any evidence of the Amityville horror that began in 1974. The DeFeo family, consisting of Ronald Sr. and Louise with their sons Mark and John as well as two daughters Dawn and Allison. In November of ’74, the family peacefully slept in their three story colonial house at 112 Ocean Avenue until Ronald murdered his parents and siblings with a high-powered rifle.
While on the surface, the family seemed to be the perfect All-American example, Ronald often fought with Louise and posed a threatening image to his siblings. Upon noticing his behavior, Ronald Sr. and Louise placed their son in psychiatric care, though it was a futile attempt because Ronald, nicknamed “Butch”, refused to work with his counselor. At this point, the family began giving Butch what he wanted in order to keep him more stable. The boiling point was apparently reached on November 14 at approximately 3am when Butch became unhappy with the money his parents were giving him, which was spent on drugs and alcohol. He was awake in his room, thinking about his problems while the rest of the family was asleep. He purposefully stood up, obtained a rifle and entered his parents bedroom.
After the murders and trial of Ronald DeFeo Jr. had passed, a new family moved into the house on December 18, 1975. George and Kathy Lutz purchased the house for $80,000 so they and Kathy’s three children would finally have their dream house. Almost immediately, the family claimed they began hearing strange noises throughout the house. They also insisted that locked doors and windows began to open without explanation. George Lutz, a former Marine, stated to have heard a phantom brass band march through the house. After these incidents, the family contacted the Catholic church. During an attempt to exorcise the house, the priest was told by a disembodied voice to get out.
After the attempted exorcism, the events began to intensify. A creature was seen outside the windows at night, scratching sounds got louder and at one point George Lutz seemed to have been possessed while a green substance oozed from the ceiling and walls. Hooded figure apparitions began appearing with clouds of flies, personality changes, cold chills, telephone disconnections and the youngest child began to communicate with an apparition of a pig. It was also reported that Kathy was levitated off of the bed and often beaten.
After 28 days of living in their new house, the family fled from the house in a rush leaving their possessions behind. After the house was empty in February of ’76, New York Channel 5 took a news team to the location to capture footage of famous demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren conducting an investigation. George Lutz refused to accompany them but did give them a key to the house. Ed Warren began to experience heart palpitations. His wife Lorraine, a clairvoyant, said that she sensed an unearthly presence in the house and that Shinnecock Indians had used the property as an isolated area for sick and insane members of their tribe. However, they didn’t bury their dead at the location because it was possessed by demons.
Skeptics state that the whole thing is simply a fake story by George Lutz to obtain monetary gain from promotion. Lutz’s sons even criticized his story. Skeptics are also quick to point out that during the entire 28 day horror, the police were never called. It’s also believed by some that the Lutz’s returned the day after fleeing the house to conduct a garage sale. After the Lutz family moved out of the house, the next owners, Jim and Barbara Cromarty stated that they had not experienced anything out of the ordinary.
What is fact is that a mass murder did take place in the home and a taped investigation was filmed. Separating fact from fiction can be difficult. Whether or not the stories of the Amityville Horror are true, they have still been placed in the American mind to terrify the nation.
What do I think? Well I think the films sure missed out on a lot of information, that’s for sure! But when don’t they? But, all kidding aside, this is really a hard one. Maybe with first family there was a possession of the son and that energy was left in the house. Maybe it left completely with him. It could have also been a poltergeist, if demonic activity did truly continue throughout George and Kathy Lutz living in the house. I do, however think they DID move in the house for monetary gain, as well, but probably didn’t know what they were getting in to.
To be fair, if the couple really knew what they were doing, they would know that calling the police would do nothing but cause bloodshed—which, to me, actually adds credit to their story. However, returning a few days later and the proceeding owners not experiencing any activity doesn’t leave them with much. It is hard to tell.