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Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Amityville Horror -Flashback

The Amityville Horror
This article explains a few things about amityville horror, and if you're interested, then this is worth reading, because you can never tell what you don't know.
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The Amityville Horror - A True Story is a best-selling book by the author Jay Anson, published in September 1977. The book has also formed the basis of a series of films made between 1979 and 2005. The story is said to be based on actual paranormal events, but has led to controversy and lawsuits over its truthfulness.

Plot summary

In December 1975, George and Kathleen Lutz and their 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 book

This section is based on the version of events in Jay Anson's 1977 book The Amityville Horror - A True Story. 112 Ocean Avenue remained empty for thirteen 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 overlooked a river. George and Kathy married in July 1975 and each had their own homes, but they wanted to start afresh 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 of the previous November, and asked if this changed their opinion about wanting to buy it. After discussing the matter, they decided that it was not an issue.
The Lutz family moved in on December 23, 1975. Much of the DeFeo family furniture was still in the house, since it had been included as part of the deal. A friend of George Lutz learned about the past 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 the priest is referred to as Father Mancuso. This was done for reasons of privacy and the now-deceased priest's real name was Father Ralph J. Pecoraro). Father Mancuso was a lawyer, a Judge of the Catholic Court and a 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 23, 1975, and went in to the building to carry out the rites. When he flicked the first holy water and began to pray, he heard a masculine voice say clearly Get out! When leaving the house, Father Mancuso did not mention this incident to either George or Kathy. On December 24, 1975 Father Mancuso telephoned George Lutz and advised him to stay out of the room where he had heard the unearthly voice telling him to get out. This was a room on the second floor that Kathy planned to use as a sewing room, and had formerly been the bedroom of Marc and John Matthew DeFeo. The telephone call was cut dead by static, and following his visit to the house on Ocean Avenue Father Mancuso allegedly developed a high fever and blisters on his hands similar to stigmata.

Atfirst,George and Kathy Lutz 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."

Some of the experiences of the Lutz family at the house have been described as follows:
George would wake up around 3:15 every morning and would go out to check the boathouse. Later he would learn that this was the estimated time of the DeFeo killings. The house was plagued by swarms of flies despite the winter weather. Kathy had vivid nightmares about the murders and discovered the order in which they occurred, and the rooms where they took place. The Lutzes' children also began sleeping on their stomachs, in the same way that the dead bodies in the DeFeo murders had been found. Kathy would feel a sensation as if "being embraced" in a loving manner, by an unseen force. Kathy discovered a small hidden room (around four feet by five feet) behind shelving in the basement. The walls were painted red and the room did not appear in the blueprints of the house. The room came to be known as "The Red Room." This room had a profound effect on their dog Harry, who refused to go near it and cowered as if sensing something negative. There were cold spots and odors of perfume and excrement in areas of the house where no wind drafts or piping would explain the source. The Lutzes' five year old daughter, Missy, developed an imaginary friend named "Jodie," a demonic pig-like creature with glowing red eyes. George would be woken up by the sound of the front door slamming. He would race downstairs to find the dog sleeping soundly at the front door. Nobody else heard the sound although it was loud enough to wake the house. George would hear what was described as a "German marching band tuning up" or what sounded like a clock radio playing not quite on frequency. When he went downstairs the noise would cease. George realized that he bore a strong resemblance to Ronald DeFeo, Jr., and began drinking at The Witches' Brew, the bar where DeFeo was once a regular customer. While checking the boathouse one night, George saw a pair of red eyes looking at him from Missy's bedroom window. When he went upstairs to her room, there was nothing to be found. Later it was suggested that it could have been "Jodie". While in bed, Kathy received red welts on her chest caused by an unseen force and was levitated two feet off the bed. Locks, doors and windows in the house were damaged by an unseen force. Cloven hoofprints attributed to an enormous pig appeared in the snow outside the house on January 1, 1976. Green slime oozed from walls in the hall, and also from the keyhole of the playroom door in the attic. A 12-inch crucifix, hung in a closet by Kathy, revolved until it was upside down and gave off a sour smell. George tripped over a four foot high china lion which was an ornament in the living room, and was left with bite marks on one of his ankles. George saw Kathy transform into an old woman of ninety, "the hair wild, a shocking white, the face a mass of wrinkles and ugly lines, and saliva dripping from the toothless mouth." George and Kathy Lutz surrounded by media coverage of the caseAfter deciding that something was wrong with their house that 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 telling them “Will you stop!”

By mid-January of 1976, and 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 most of their possessions behind. The next day, a mover came in to remove all of the possessions to send to the Lutzes. He reported no paranormal phenomena while inside the house.

The book was written after Tam Mossman, an editor at the publishing house Prentice Hall, introduced George and Kathy Lutz to Jay Anson. The Lutzes did not work directly with Anson, but submitted around 45 hours of tape recorded recollections to him which were used as the basis of the book. Estimates of the sales of the book are around ten million copies from its numerous editions. Anson is said to have based the title of The Amityville Horror on The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft, which was published in 1929.
The story of The Amityville Horror has been continued in a series of books by John G. Jones. These are The Amityville Horror Part II (1982), Amityville - The Final Chapter (1985), Amityville - The Evil Escapes (1988) and Amityville - The Horror Returns (1989).
In 1991, Amityville - The Nightmare Continues by Robin Karl was published.

The Amityville Horror has been the subject of nine films, which are as follows:
The Amityville Horror (1979) Amityville II: The Possession (1982) Amityville 3D (1983) (this film was made in 3-D, and has also been released as Amityville III: The Demon) Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989) (This was made for television by NBC) The Amityville Curse (1990) Amityville 1992: It's About Time (1992) Amityville: A New Generation (1993) Amityville Dollhouse: Evil Never Dies (1996) The Amityville Horror (2005) (remake).

There's no doubt that the topic of amityville horror can be fascinating. If you still have unanswered questions about amityville horror, you may find what you're looking for in the next article.

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