One of the most prominent and atrocious haunting stories of the 20th century must be the tale that took place in Amityville, New York on 112 Ocean Avenue. This horrifying storyline has hit the mainstream public consciousness in form of a best-selling book and prosperous featured film like no other horror story before it. Indeed, most assume the story was authentic and had actually taken place, at least that’s how it was promulgated. Without a doubt, numerous ghastly events took place, but some doubt whether they were really precipitated by a phantom ghost.
The supposed haunted mansion was established in 1924, where the owners happily lived in their three-story Dutch colonial house for many years. They raised a family and ended up leaving the house to their daughter who inevitably ended up moved her family into it. She ended up relinquishing the house in 1960, which was then bought by a couple who lived in the house until 1965, where they divorced and vacated.
In mid-summer 1965, the DeFeo family purchased the residence. This family was considered to be a miserable family where the father, Ronald DeFeo Sr., was known to be a cold-blooded brute. No significant terrorizing events were said to be experienced over the course of nine years except those imposed by the barbarous father figure. However, this abruptly changed when one of the sons, Ronald DeFeo Jr., shot and murdered his mother, father, sisters, and brothers on November 18, 1974.
A year later in winter of 1975, another couple, George and Kathy Lutz, bought the house and moved their three children in having well-known about the horrific history. Not too long after, the Lutz family began experiencing extraordinary phenomena. They recounted windows, and doors being opened and unlocked by themselves, while strange noises were heard. They notified a Catholic priest to exorcise the house but was recalled getting ordered out by a deep, demon-like voice.
As time went by, things became more detrimental, details of blood and muck oozing from the walls, hordes of flies materialized at the windows, and spooky figures exhibited themselves often. Other odd things occurred, they noted one of their children started interacting with a demonic imaginary friend, devilish faces appeared in the fireplaces, and one night Kathy Lutz was shoved off the bed by an unseen force.
The Lutz family ended up sticking it out for several weeks before moving out of the house and running to the media with their story. Upon releasing the story to the public, many became intrigued. In early 1976, two of America’s most notorious supernatural investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren visited the house. They were recorded by a local news team conducting séances at the house and came to the conclusion that the house was indeed haunted with evil spirits
Many investigators were not as persuaded. Dr. Stephen Kaplan who was a director at the Parapsychology Institute of America, which was based in Long Island, New York, had considerable doubts at the haunting story and had uncovered some thought-provoking details about the Lutz family. Unfortunately, Dr. Kaplan’s doubts went ignored, and the couple had already colluded with Jay Anson, an author who had written the book, The Amityville Horror – A True Story. Upon release, the book hit the top seller list, and a movie version of the tale was produced in 1979.
Confirming Dr. Kaplan’s suspicions, there were skeptical motivating factors behind the Amityville haunting. He had clearly found no credible evidence to support claims featured in the book, but it was revealed that the Lutz family returned to the house several weeks after fleeing, to hold a garage sale. Likewise, other investigators observed that George and Kathy Lutz held book and movie rights before they decided to publish their version of the story.
Since the Lutz family’s immediate departure from the Amityville house, three different families have since lived within the building with no record of paranormal experiences. A thorough report by Dr. Stephen Kaplan about the haunting was never taken seriously compared to the amplified interest the original story received but his book, The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, was released several years after his death. A conclusion by many doubters and investigators of the case were led to believe the whole situation was motivated and circled around money. So what was it, were George and Kathy Lutz victims of sinister paranormal activity, or were they deceiving charlatans?