The infamous Amityville property is located at 112 Ocean Avenue and became the ideal property for George and Kathleen Lutz who were looking for a fresh beginning after marrying in 1975. Both had previously owned separate homes. They moved into the property on December 19, 1975 and even had the furniture from the previous occupants thrown in for an additional $400.00. Kathy’s three children from a previous marriage also moved in, Daniel 9, Christopher 7 and Melissa 5 as well as the dog who was named Harry. What they did not know was the horrific events that took place at the property prior to it sitting empty for 13 months. A friend of George Lutz had discovered the horrors that had taken place and insisted that George had the house blessed.
So what happened that was so horrific? The house had previously been owned by the DeFeo family, the DeFeo family consisted of Ronald DeFeo, Sr 43, Louise DeFeo, 42 and four children: Ronald DeFeo Jr. 23, Dawn 18, Allison 13, Marc 12 and John Matthew 9. On November 13, 1974, Henry’s Bar in Amityville was visited by a distraught Ronald DeFeo Jr. He told the bar’s occupants that his mother and father had been shot, and when a small group of people attended the property, they saw that the six family members had indeed been slain. They were all found lifeless in their beds and had been shot with Marlin 336c rifle at 3 a.m.
Ronald DeFeo Jr. was known as “Butch” locally and was transported to the local police station for his own safety. He told police that the shootings had been carried out by a mob hit man. However, further questioning revealed a number of inconsistencies with his story. It soon transpired that it was Ronald DeFeo Jr. himself who had carried out the killings and had changed his blood-stained clothes and disposed of them before visiting Henry’s Bar.
DeFeo’s trial began on October 14, 1975 and William Weber, his defence lawyer, mounted a defence of insanity. He said that the reason DeFeo had killed his family due to hearing what he believed were his family’s voices plotting against him. This was supported by Dr. Daniel Schwartz the psychiatrist for the defence. The prosecution psychiatrist, Dr. Harold Zolan, said that although DeFeo had been a long-time user of heroin and LSD, he was well aware of his actions. DeFeo was sentenced to 25 years to life on six counts of second-degree murder.
Police officers and medical examiners had been puzzled by the killing. Questions arose as to why the gunshots did not wake up the other family members, and despite the lack of sedatives, there appeared to be no struggle from the family members. Neighbours had only heard the dog barking, not the gunshots. No suppressor was used when the killings took place.
Following the revelations, George Lutz instructed a Catholic priest, Father Ralph J. Pecorano, to perform a blessing on the property on December 18, 1975. It is reported that he started to flick the holy water a voice was heard saying, “get out!” Following this, Father Ralph J. Pecorano had developed a fever and blisters on his hands that emulated stigmata. It was from here that the Lutz family would discover the real horror stories of the house and started to experience the real Amityville horror.
The oddities would continue for the Lutz family. George Lutz wold wake up each morning at 3.15 a.m. and go and check the boathouse, the same time that the DeFeo killings took place. Kathy Lutz would have detailed dreams about the murders and the order they occurred, while the children began sleeping on their stomachs, the same way the DeFeo family had been found when the murders were discovered.
George Lutz also discovered a hidden room in the Amityville house that was not included in the blueprints of the property. The walls of the room were painted red and the dog, Harry, would cower when he was near it. The youngest family member, Melissa, had also acquired an imaginary friend called “Jodie,” the disturbing factor being that it was a pig-like creature with red eyes.
George and Kathy Lutz attempted a further two blessings on the house, both agitating the presence further. The family finally admitted defeat on January 14, 1976 when they left the house minus their possessions. A mover attended the next day to acquire the Lutz’s possessions, with no paranormal activity experienced.
The Lutz’s experiences led to the writing of “The Amityville Horror: A True Story” by Jay Anson in 1977. The story was then continued by John G. Jones with “The Amityville Horror Part II” and a series of others. A number of movies would also be made. The original “The Amityville Horror” was made in 1979 with a number of sequels occurring through the 1980s and 1990s. All the sequels were works of fiction rather than being based on the real Amityville horror.
Amityville horror true story.
The Amityville Horror is a name that resonates with every horror movie fan. One of the most popular horror media franchises of all time, Amityville has captured the imagination of generations of fans in countries around the world. The fact that it is based on a true story makes it far scarier than a normal horror movie.
The world first came to know about the Amityville Horror through a book of the same name written by Jay Anson in 1977. The book discussed in detail the paranormal occurrences experienced by the Lutz family at a haunted house in Amityville, which is where Ronald DeFeo, the previous occupant of the house, had shot six of his family members dead. The book was a success and attracted significant mainstream attention, which turned Amityville into a horror media franchise.
The Amityville Horror was released in 1979. Based on Jay Anson’s book, the movie portrayed the supernatural events experienced by the Lutz family in a realistic manner. The movie starts with a couple – George and Kathy Lutz – who purchase a home on 112, Ocean Avenue in Amityville. They ask Father Delaney to bless their new home, but he is not able to do so despite trying. He encounters a room full of flies, suffers from a strange stomach sickness, and develops blisters on his hand. As he tries to warn the Lutz Family, his life takes a turn for the bizarre, and he turns blind and eventually breaks down.
The Lutz Family, in the mean time, begins experiencing a number of strange events. George wakes up at 3:15 AM every day, a black, bubbling substance comes up in the toilet, and Kathy has nightmares about the killings that took place in the house previously. After a point, the family cannot tolerate it anymore and decide to leave the house one night. The film ends with the message that the family never reclaimed their house and possessions and they live in another state now.
What made the movie different from other run-of-the-mill horror movies was the element of realism. Firstly, the pumpkin head appearance of the house, with two quarter round windows, is in itself creepy. Many of the shots in the first 30 minutes of the movie were framed with windows and doors, giving you the feeling that the family was being stalked by an unseen external force. A move that did the trick for sure.
The scene where the priest tries to bless the house is one of the best in the movie. The strange giggling sound, the swarm of flies, and the harsh voice that tells the priest to get out make it an iconic scene. Many other scenes including the appearance of hoof marks, Kathy’s nightmares, and the nun’s reaction to the malevolent presence in the house are intense, grippingly suspenseful, and feel terrifyingly real.
The Scariest Element in the Movie
Though the plot unfolds like that of any other normal horror movie, the real horror lies in the fact that the movie is based on a true story. The event portrayed in the movie actually happened, which is scary to even think about.
For instance, Jay Anson’s book states that the real George Lutz woke up at 3:15 every day, which was the time of the DeFeo murders. The house was inexplicably plagued by swarms of flies during the whole time the family lived there. They witnessed, at different times, the image of an enormous pig like creature with glowing red eyes. The story goes on and on and on, which makes you wonder how the Lutzes managed to live for 28 days in that Godforsaken house.
Even the DeFeo murders have their own shade of mystery, which is even creepier to think about. Though Ronald DeFeo Jr. has been charged with murdering his entire family and is in a maximum security prison now, there are plenty of unanswered questions about the killings.
The dead bodies of the family members showed absolutely no signs of struggle, which is strange. The post mortem report shows that they were not sedated. So, the sound of a gunshot should have woken them, but somehow it did not. Moreover, the neighbors also claimed at the time that they did not hear any gunshots. Till now, no one has a convincing account as to what really happened on that night in the Amityville house.
The Aftermath of the Movie
The Amityville Horror was a huge commercial success and went on to become one of the most successful independent movies of all time. The success of the book and the movie prompted a series of sequels. In 1979, paranormal researcher Hans Holzer wrote a book named Murder in Amityville and in 1982, John G. Jones wrote The Amityville Horror Part II, as a prequel and sequel to the original book respectively. A number of other books have also been written on the same subject.
Similarly, the tremendous success of the movie resulted in an inevitable sequel – Amityville II: The Possession. The movie, however, was not well received by critics and viewers. That did not, however, stop Hollywood from profiting from the Amityville legacy. Six more films followed, most of which were direct-to-video movies.
In 2005, the Amityville Horror was officially remade with Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. While it failed to achieve critical acclaim, the movie was a box office success. Eight more films followed, most of which had limited theatrical release. Currently, a movie named Amityville: The Awakening is set to release next year, which will be the 17th installment in the Amityville franchise.
The Legacy Lives On
Even after nine books and 17 movies, the legacy of Amityville Horror continues to live on. The original movie is still rated as one of the best horror movies of all time by horror movies fans and the house where the killings took place garnered so much mainstream attention that they had to completely remodel the house and change its appearance in order to sell it. In conclusion, the Amityville Horror is a classic that is not to be missed by any true horror movie fan.