This famous home is subject to one of the most well-known hauntings and murder stories in American history.
In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into 112 Ocean Avenue, a large Dutch Colonial house in Amityville, a suburban neighborhood located on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Thirteen months before the Lutzes moved in, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had shot and killed six members of his family at the house. After 28 days, the Lutzes left the house, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there.
The house at 112 Ocean Avenue remained empty for 13 months after the DeFeo murders. In December 1975, George and Kathleen Lutz bought the house for what was considered to be a bargain price of $80,000. The six-bedroom house was built in Dutch Colonial style and had a distinctive gambrel roof. It also had a swimming pool and a boathouse, as it was located on a canal. George and Kathy married in July 1975 and each had their own homes, but they wanted to start fresh with a new property. Kathy had three children from a previous marriage: Daniel, 9, Christopher, 7, and Melissa (Missy), 5. They also owned a crossbreed Malamute/Labrador dog named Harry. During their first inspection of the house, the real estate broker told them about the DeFeo murders and asked if this would affect their decision. After discussing the matter, they decided that it was not a problem.
The Lutz family moved in December 19, 1975. Much of the DeFeo family's furniture was still in the house, because it was included for $400 as part of the deal. A friend of George Lutz learned about the history of the house, and insisted on having it blessed. At the time, George was a non-practicing Methodist and had no experience of what this would entail. Kathy was a non-practicing Catholic and explained the process. George knew a Catholic priest named Father Ray who agreed to carry out the house blessing (in Anson's book, real-life priest Father Ralph J. Pecoraro was referred to as Father Mancuso for privacy reasons).
Father Mancuso was a lawyer, judge of the Catholic Court and psychotherapist who lived at the local Sacred Heart Rectory. He arrived to perform the blessing while George and Kathy were unpacking their belongings on the afternoon of December 18, 1975, and went into the building to carry out the rites. When he flicked the first holy water and began to pray, he heard a masculine voice demand that he "get out." When leaving the house, Father Mancuso did not mention this incident to either George or Kathy. On December 24, 1975, Father Mancuso called George Lutz and advised him to stay out of the second floor room where he had heard the mysterious voice, the former bedroom of Marc and John Matthew DeFeo that Kathy planned to use as a sewing room, but the call was cut short by static. Following his visit to the house, Father Mancuso allegedly developed a high fever and blisters on his hands similar to stigmata. At first George and Kathy experienced nothing unusual in the house. Talking about their experiences subsequently, they reported that it was as if they "were each living in a different house."
Strange events would occur in the home from that time on, including (but not limited to), doors and locks flinging open on their own, cloven footprints appearing in the snow, the Lutzes would feel "embraced" by unseen forces, the sounds of demonic marching bands would be heard, the family would have vivid nightmares of the Defeo murders, and a crucifix in the living room would regularly spin upside down and emit a foul odor.
After deciding that something was wrong with their house they could not explain rationally, George and Kathy Lutz carried out a blessing of their own on January 8, 1976. George held a silver crucifix while they both recited the Lord's Prayer and, while in the living room, George allegedly heard a chorus of voices asking them “Will you stop?!”
By mid-January 1976, after another attempt at a house blessing by George and Kathy, they experienced what would turn out to be their final night in the house. The Lutzes declined to give a full account of the events that took place on this occasion, describing them as "too frightening."
After getting in touch with Father Mancuso, the Lutzes decided to take some belongings and stay at Kathy’s mother’s house in nearby Deer Park, New York until they had sorted out the problems with the house. They claimed that the phenomena followed them there, with the final scene of Anson's book describing "greenish-black slime" coming up the staircase towards them. On January 14, 1976 George and Kathy Lutz, with their three children and their dog Harry, left 112 Ocean Avenue, leaving all of their possessions behind.
Shortly thereafter, the home was investigated by ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren, who captured an image of a "demonic ghost boy" that has since become something of a paranormal legend.
The home is the original, though it's been heavily remodeled. Keep in mind this is a private residence, so please, only drive bys, and do not bother those who live in the house and surrounding area.
Attn: The Amityville Horror Home is on private property. Please do not trespass. For informational purposes only.
UPDATE: As of 2016, the Long Island waterfront colonial home that inspired the "Amityville Horror" book, as well as a successful horror film franchise, is back on the market for a cool $850,000. The house comes with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a boat house and a two-car garage.
- Was this helpful? 4