After the Defeo family murders and Butch Defeo went to prison one would think the house would have stayed empty for years, right? Well, not exactly. In December of 1975, only weeks after Butch Defeo’s conviction, the Lutz family moved into the house on Ocean Drive. The relator that sold them the home did warn them of the dark history, but the couple decided that a house surely could not be evil though it had an evil person inside it at one point. George, Kathy and her three Daniel, 9, Christopher, 7, and Melissa (Missy), 5 moved in just before Christmas. They were excited, looking forward to making the house their own, and much like the Defeo’s they had high hopes for their lives in Amityville. Unfortunately, the Lutz family would only stay in the home for 28 days before fleeing in terror.
The Lutz family claimed that in their 28 days inside the Amityville House they experienced nothing but true horror. From the first day until their very last on January 14th the family was plagued by terrifying experiences with spirits and demonic presences despite having the house blessed by a Priest on move in day. Some of their experiences included mysterious swarms of flies appearing in the sewing room, levitation, disembodied voices and touches, a strange ooze from the ceiling, along with many doors and windows coming off their fastenings. Perhaps one of the most disturbing accounts came from the youngest in the Lutz with Missy claiming to befriend an “angel” in the form of a pig with red eyes named Jody. George Lutz suffered mood changes as well as constant 3am wake up calls all while never being able to get warm inside the house. Kathy herself was a target of the spirits of the home touching her as well as having a strong desire not to leave the home at all. All family members had stories to tell about their time on Ocean Drive.
After a second failed blessing attempt and a night ‘too terrifying’ to explain the Lutz family fled from the home they’d been so hopeful about. Even when famed Paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren wanted to investigate the Amityville property a year later, George Lutz refused to meet them at the house he still owned. Instead, he met them at a pizza restaurant to exchange the key. Ed and Lorraine claim to have experienced awful things in their investigation, in interviews calling it one of the most haunted places they’d stepped into. They even claim something followed them home. Speaking of, the Lutz would later claim the entities that plagued them at Amityville also followed THEM to their new home. With all of the happenings surrounding this house and family there was really only logical next step.
Write a book. Then another book. Then a movie. And then – you guessed it – another movie. The story took off and it wasn’t long before The Amityville Horror became a staple on every bookshelf. Now, The Lutzs did not work directly with Jay Anson, but they did submit about 45 hours of tape-recorded recollections to him, which he used as the basis for his book. The Amityville Horror was published in 1977 as non-fiction. It has sold more than 11 million copies in the years since. which inspired the 1979 movie. At the time of its release The Amityville Horror movie was the most successful independent movie in history; grossing more than $86 million (in 1979 dollars). There is also a 2005 remake starring Ryan Reynolds that made a bit of money. We don’t suggest that one for any good story telling. We do suggest it if you like shirtless Ryan Reynolds.
Later in the 80’s John G. Jones met with George and Kathy, eventually he would work with them to tell the continuing story of what happened after they left the house in 1976. His first book, Amityville Horror II, was published in 1983 by Warner Books. Within a week it was on the New York Times Bestseller List. Soon after it became an International best-seller. Other highly successful Amityville Horror volumes followed. Now, many were skeptical at this point of the Lutz’s story. To remedy that in June 1979, George and Kathy took a lie detector test concerning the events in the house, and they passed. Even twenty-five years after their time in Amityville, in a documentary on the History Channel, George said, “I believe this has stayed alive for 25 years because it’s a true story. It doesn’t mean that everything that has ever been said about it is true. It’s certainly not a hoax. It’s real easy to call something a hoax. I wish it was. It’s not.”
The plot thickens though. Later owners of the Amityville home report no paranormal activity. There was also interviews with Dr. Kaplan, a well-respected Long Island parapsychologist and the founder of the Parapsychology Institute of America. He spoke with George Lutz as the haunting happened in the 70s. The whole conversation left him high suspicious of George Lutz and the story of Amityville. Before his death, Dr. Kaplan spent many years trying to debunk the experiences claimed by the Lutz family. We tend to agree when he mentions that it is seemingly impossible to have THAT much going on in one house. It’s simply too much!