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The Amityville Horror: A Debatably True Story

In December of 1975, George and Kathleen Lutz bought a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. The house was purchased for what seemed to be a ridiculously low price – $80,000. The six-bedroom house had a boathouse, a swimming pool, a gambrel roof, and it was located on a canal. Overall, it was a deal that was simply too good to pass up, even when George and Kathleen Lutz learned that the previous owners, the DeFeo family, were murdered the previous November.

Amityville house

The infamous Amityville house, as seen today.

The Lutz family moved into the house on December 19th, 1975. It was a quick transition, since they had purchased most of the DeFeos furniture in the deal. When a friend of George Lutz learned of the DeFeo murders, the friend recommended that George have a priest bless the house. George and Kathleen contacted a local practicing priest, Father Ralph J. Pecoraro.

The priest arrived some time later and began his blessing rites. When Father Pecoraro splashed the first holy water and began to pray, he heard a masculine voice command that he get out. Father Pecoraro left the haunted house, without any mention of the incident to the Lutz family. Some days later, Father Pecoraro phoned George Lutz and told him to stay out of the room where he had heard the commanding voice. Before the conversation could continue, static cut into the call and it was dropped. Father Pecoraro developed a high fever and blisters on his hands over the next few days.

Here is an audio recording of Father Pecoraro detailing his experience in 112 Ocean Avenue:


George and Kathy Lutz lived in the house for only 28 days. During their time there, they experienced a variety of paranormal phenomena:

  • Swarms of flies plagued the house, despite winter weather.
  • Unexplainable cold spots and odors of excrement throughout the house.
  • Kathy Lutz felt sensations of being embraced.
  • George Lutz would awake and go out to the boathouse at 3:15 AM every morning. It was later learned that this was the suspected time of the DeFeo murders.
  • The Lutzs five-year-old daughter developed an imaginary friend named Jodie, which is suspected to be a demonic pig-like creature with glowing red eyes.
  • Large cloven hoofprints were seen in the snow on January 1st, 1976.
  • Green slime occasionally oozed from the walls of the house.
  • Kathy Lutz received red welts on her chest from an unseen force stopping on her.
  • A small room was discovered in the basement. Its walls were painted completely red, and the Lutzs dog would cower in fear whenever it approached the room.
  • Kathy had vivid nightmares depicting the murders of the DeFeo family.
  • Doors were heard slamming throughout the house, waking George from his sleep. No other family member heard or awoke to the sounds.

 


 

Amityville cover

Published in 1977, The Amityville Horror: A True Story details the events that plagued the Lutz family.

The Lutz family eventually attempted to bless the house, without the aid of a priest, hoping to quell the angry spirits. During the blessing, George heard a chanting of voices saying, Will you stop? The blessing did very little to negate the paranormal phenomena.

In January, after another attempt to bless the house, George and Kathy fled from the house and never returned. When asked to describe their final night at 112 Ocean Avenue, George and Kathy declined any comment and simply said that the events weretoo frightening.

Jay Anson, the author of The Amityville Horror: A True Story, based the title of his book on The Dunwich Horror, a story by H.P. Lovecraft.