The Amityville House

The Amityville house.

The Amityville house.

This unassuming house in the town of Amityville on Long Island provides few clues to the casual observer of the horrors that took place within.  On November 13th, 1974, Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. murdered his parents and four siblings with a hunting rifle while they slept.  DeFeo's guilt is not in question, but many investigators still wonder at the details of the case--such as how he was able to murder all six family members with an unsilenced .35 Marlin rifle without them noticing, despite toxicology results showing that none of them had been drugged.  DeFeo later claimed that he heard voices that directed him to commit the murder.

Just over a year later, on December 18th, 1975, the Lutz family moved into the house.  They lasted just 28 days before moving out.  During that time, the family claimed to experience a series of terrifying supernatural events that led to them fleeing the house.  

The eerie events began immediately.  As they were unpacking, a priest came to bless the home.  As he sprinkled holy water around the dwelling, he heard a deep voice utter, "Get out," from behind him while blessing the room of Ronald DeFeo Jr.'s murdered parents.  The priest quickly left, but not before advising the Lutz family to avoid that particular room.  

Disturbing phenomena followed quickly after their arrival.  The family swore they experienced strange sensations from their first night in the house, and soon after they say their personalities began to change--arguments ensued, and George Lutz's grooming habits grew lax as his wife Kathy's health declined.

They said foul odors permeated different locations in the house, mysterious black stains appeared around toilets and ceramic fixtures, a green gelatinous substance appeared throughout the house, and Kathy claimed to have been touched by an unseen force. At one point, hundreds of flies were said to have appeared in the sewing room, despite it being the middle of winter. George also said that he awoke one night to see that Kathy had transformed into an old hag, and the very next night she levitated off of the bed. The family reportedly made numerous attempts to contact the priest that had blessed their house, only to discover that the phones would mysteriously stop working.

Left to their own devices, the Lutz family opted to take matters into their own hands, and decided to try to exorcise the house themselves.  The attempt culminated in a chorus of voices asking them to stop, and their worst night in the house--an evening of banging and loud wrappings, furniture seemingly moving itself, and the Lutz children being terrorized by the frightening presence. The Lutz family had had enough, and fled the house with just the few belongings they could grab.

The anomalous events led to an investigation by famed paranormal investigators and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens led a team of reporters, investigators, and parapsychologists into the Amityville house, although the Lutz family themselves refused to enter the home. Ed claimed to have been physically pushed to the floor during the investigation while using religious provocation in the basement, while Lorraine said that she was overwhelmed by a demonic presence. She also claimed to have experienced a psychic impression of the DeFeo family lying on the floor covered in white sheets.

The veracity of events in the Amityville house have been a matter of debate for decades, with skeptics saying that the Lutz family's precarious financial situation could have been a motive to create such a story--an idea reinforced by subsequent book and movie deals. Furthermore, the Lutz's former attorney, William Weber, claimed that he, George, and Kathy had invented the whole thing "over many bottles of wine."  However, George and Kathy both passed a lie detector test in an attempt to prove their innocence, and their son, Daniel, says that he continues to have nightmares of the house to this day.

In any case, no further phenomena has been reported in the house after the Lutz family occupied it, and it was officially sold to its fifth owner since the Lutzs in February of 2017.  Visitors to the house are actively discouraged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Tobias WaylandComment