Take a look at the true story that inspired that this 1977 supernatural masterpiece
In 1979, a movie titled The Amityville Horror became an instant horror classic. The movie was based on the 1977 novel Amityville Horror by American author Jay Anson, which was purportedly based on a true story. The book tells the story of the Lutz family which moved into a home in Amityville, 13 months after the DeFeo murders. There have been several film adaptations of the book since then.
The debate about the accuracy of the book continues and, despite the lack of evidence to corroborate much of the story, it remains one of the most popular haunting accounts in American folklore. Here's a look at the horrific carnage that prefaced the story of The Amityville Horror.
It all started with the DeFeo family murders which took place on November 13, 1974 in Amityville, New York. The police discovered six bodies that were killed face down in their beds as they slept. Four out of five of the DeFeo children had been executed. Ronald DeFeo, the fifth child who was also called Butch, was the only one who was alive. His father and mother were also killed. All of the victims had been shot with a .35 caliber lever action Marlin 336C rifle.
After a lengthy trial, Butch, who was 23 then, was found guilty of the murders and was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences. However, it is still very unclear as to how one person was able to take the life of six people without any known help.
What's puzzling is why nobody in the house was awakened by the noise of the gunshots. Neighbors also did not report hearing any gunshots being fired that night, and those who were awake at the time of the murders simply heard the family dog barking.
The following year, the Lutz family, George and Kathleen Lutz and their three children, were looking to move to a larger place. George and Kathleen fell in love with the 112 Ocean Avenue house and thought it was quite a steal at $80,000. Little did they know that their happiness would be short-lived, 28 days to be precise. Within days of them moving into the house, the family began to experience strange and uneasy feelings all over the house and at all times. Something must have really spooked them out for them to abandon all their belongings and just leave the house with little more than what they were wearing.
The first thing the family experienced was an unnatural amount of flies that swarmed inside the house as George and Kathleen Lutz were unpacking their belongings.
Kathleen Lutz contacted priest Pecoraro to come and bless their new house. The priest had no prior information on the house and he made his way upstairs to the second floor of the house, to the room where Ronald DeFeo's parents used to stay. When he began sprinkling holy water all about the room, a masculine voice, coming from behind him, demanded he "GET OUT". The priest did not tell the family about the voice but he did gave an ominous warning: "Do not use it the upstairs room as bedroom, and do not let anyone sleep in there.”
There were a lot of cold spots in the rooms and hallways where no wind drafts or piping would explain the source.
This was followed by strange odors all over the house. There were strong smells of either perfume or excreta in different areas of the house. Through the night, the family was subject to loud and uneasy jolting noises.
George Lutz became extremely volatile and would wake up every night at the same time, 3:15 am. He would wake up to the sound of music as well as multiple gunshots. It is believed that the DeFeo family murders took place at about 3:15 am. So it is a strange coincidence that George too had a negative experience around the same time.
There were plenty of other disturbances such as objects flying across the room, green slime oozing out of walls, a 12-inch crucifix turning upside down, a hidden red room in the basement and the glowing eyes of some demonic pig-like creature.
One of the Lutz children began spending all her time in the bedroom playing with her imaginary friend, Jodie, whom she described as a red-eyed pig who could change shape and size at will. Jodie claimed that she could not be seen by anyone if she did not want to.
George claims that one night he woke up to find his wife transformed to a 90-year-old hag and the next night she was seen levitating above the bed. The family tried to contact the priest on several occasions but the phone lines would always be cut.
One night the family decided to take matters into their own hands and, armed with a crucifix, walked around the house reciting the Lord's prayer. A chorus of voices erupted in response, asking them, "Will you stop?"