The Real Amityville Horror
Amityville is a town in Babylon Township, just outside New York City. In most years it’s quaint. That all changed in 1974.
Ronnie DeFeo – –
Citizens focused on Ocean Avenue in November of 1974. This is when the DeFeo family was found dead inside their home. All but one… 23 year old Ronald DeFeo Jr.
Told people he escaped, running to Henry’s Bar, bursting in and yelling “Help me! My mother and father are shot!”
Ronnie led a men to the house. Finding the family lying peacefully face down in their beds. They arrested Ronnie to ensure his safety from the unknown killer.
He told them it was a mob hit. He father owed money. An assassin named Louis Falini did it.
The police believed it all. Until an investigation and evidence revealed Ronnie was a liar. They questioned him a second time and he cracked. Confessing, “It all started so fast… “I couldn’t stop…” “it was just so fast.”
They asked him why his clothes were clean. He didn’t answer, but the belief… he had the mind to take a bath, redressed and toss the bloody outfit.
Ronnie displayed signs of a methodical and calm killer. Able to take a bath in the Amityville house while the bodies of his family rot in their rooms.
The Trial – –
Lawyer William Weber stood for DeFeo with a plea of insanity.
Ronnie said voices inside the Amityville house talked to him, told him to murder his family. Prosecution argued back, saying Ronnie was sane and drugs made him kill.
That’s when the secrets about the DeFeo family came out…
- Ronald Sr. had a violent temper directed at his wife Louise and Ronnie
- Ronnie was a weak child, but did stand up to his father
- Arguments escalated to violence
The family blamed Ronnie’s temper for all the Defeo’s problems.
They sent him to a psychiatrist, but he rejected help. Ronald and Louise tried to buy him off with money and gifts. This included a $14,000 speedboat (famously parked in the river behind the Amityville house).
Unlimited access to money led Ronnie to drugs. By 17 he was addicted to heroin and his anger grew.
On one random day, Ronnie pointed a loaded rifle at a friend while on a hunting trip. The friend ran and Ronnie chased, cornered the kid, confused and smiling he asked “Why did you run?”
INTERESTING FACT :: Ronnie tried to kill his father
On another random day, he broke up a fight between his parents in the house. Ronnie leveled a shotgun at his father’s face and yelled, “I’m going to kill you… you fat fuck!”
He pulled the trigger but it misfired, hurting no one.
Then weeks before the murders, Ronnie robbed a local Amityville car dealership. When confronted by his parents, he denied it. Ronald Sr didn’t believe him, hounding his son to confess, pushing him hard. Maybe too hard.
Dark History makes scary Ghosts
The murders – –
They say Ronnie was calm, walking from room to room in the Amityville house and firing round after round.
First his parents, twice into each to make sure they were dead. Then his brothers, Mark and John, one shot each. Into his sister’s room and first shooting the youngest Allison, then turning to Dawn.
Dawn was awake. They say he walked over, pressed the barrel against her face and pulled the trigger.
The family dog, Shaggy, survived. Tied up in the back yard, he’d bark at the gunshots and woke the sleepy Amityville residents.
Shaggy’s barking is the only outside evidence from the Amityville house of what happened inside.
An easy verdict for the jury; guilty on all six counts of “second degree murder”.
Ronnie DeFeo is still alive today. Currently held at Sullivan Facility in Fallsburg, NY.
And to this day, mysteries still remain.
Nobody heard the gun – –
The Marlin rifle Ronnie used was loud. The night-time neighborhood was silent and no one heard the shots.
They heard Shaggy barking outside. This would have been much quieter than the blasts ringing out from inside the Amityville home.
Dawn was the only one to move – –
Ronald Sr, Louise, Mark, John, and Allison all discovered lying face down in their beds.
They were sleeping when Ronnie came in. It meant the brothers and sister didn’t wake after ear-splitting rifle blasts coming from the parent’s room. Not far down the second floor hallway.
No evidence of drugging. The bodies not moved. It’s impossible to sleep through such noise inside a quiet house, but they did.
Ghostly? Only if you ignore the theory of 2 murderers!
LITTLE KNOWN :: Dawn may have been an accomplice
During an interview, Ronnie told author Ric Osuna about Dawn. He said she helped him. Evidence supports this because they found gunpowder residue on Dawn’s night shirt. She may have fired a gun, proving Ronnie’s story.
He told Ric that Dawn killed their parents while he killed the brothers and Allison.
But then Ronnie kept talking. He told Ric that Dawn and her friend did all the killing… “Then I killed her… to stop her”. Said he wrested away the gun and shot her in the head. But Dawn’s friend got away.
Ronnie constantly changed his story over the years. Later denying talking to Ric Osuna at all.
Welcome George and Kathy Lutz
Ocean Avenue in Amityville wouldn’t have been the Lutz’s first choice. The ritzy neighborhood was out of their price range. Lucky for them recent events brought down the value of one house.
Only one year after the murders, the Lutz’s moved into the DeFeo’s old Amityville house with their 3 kids. George was hesitant. As a practicing Catholic he brought in a priest.
Father Ray felt something was wrong. Felt uneasy while in the Amityville home in an upstairs bedroom. He told George the room was okay, but “nobody should sleep in it”.
They made it the sewing room.
Living in the Amityville house – –
The first few days were calm. Random cold spots felt but reasoned away as leaks in an old house.
Then the “deadness of sound” happened.
An unnatural quiet inside rooms upstairs in the Amityville house. Complete silence and no sound from the street. George tested it while standing in the sun room. He looked out to Ocean Avenue below, watching car after car drive by with deafening silence.
This is ironic because sounds terrified the family. Late night noises plagued George.
The front door slammed shut in the dead of night. Heavy footsteps climbing up the stairs. George Lutz described a noise sounding like “a band tuning their instruments”, all while his family slept.
George ran downstairs to see just a sleeping dog in his bed.
CREEPY FACT :: Kathy’s old face
Kathy was affected when George noticed her face. She was aging as if lifelong stress over many years happened in minutes. Even Kathy’s shocked mother saw it.
It followed her around in the Amityville house. She felt arms wrap her waist from behind, and smelled perfume, “like what an old lady would wear”.
It escalated quickly and sleep inside the Amityville house became a luxury.
The kids noticed George and Kathy’s depression. That’s when the violence started.
George is going insane – –
George Lutz started having foreign thoughts inside the Amityville house. They play out like movies in his head. He refused talk about it. The images crazy, filled with blood and murder as anger boiled up. Just like Ronnie.
A desperate George consulted a priest who told him to leave the Amityville house for one night to sleep. Instead he sent the kids and Kathy to her mother’s house.
The night was restful because according to George, but “the presence followed my family”.
The return of William Weber – –
The Lutz’s called William Weber, Ronnie DeFeo’s trial attorney.
They wanted the real story. To find out what happened in the Amityville house before the murders. Did Ronnie had violent dreams too?
They loved the house and wanted to stay.
INTERESTING NOTE :: The Hoax
Some believe the Amityville Horror “hoax” started here with George, Kathy and William getting drunk and making up stories.
Weber brought in a man he called “a criminologist”. But Paul Hoffman was actually a journalist for Good Housekeeping Magazine. He would soon publish an article on the ghosts of the Amityville house.
George and Kathy ran with it – –
The Lutz’s didn’t want “fake psychics” claiming their story, or getting it all wrong. They knew the article was popular. Then a publisher brought in author Jay Anson.
They called it “The Amityville Horror”, published on Tuesday September 13, 1977. This was just 3 years after the DeFeo murders. The truth questioned since.
In 1979, they made the first movie just 5 years after the murders. George and Kathy were part of the promotion. To his credit George spoke out against Hollywood’s interpretation and stuck to his family’s experiences inside Amityville house.
But the main question hung over them all. Was it all faked or is the Amityville house actually evil?
The Ghosts of Amityville
From the first moment George lived in the Amityville house he told friends about “strange emotions”. They are the ones to recommend Father Ray.
The priest felt strange in what became the sewing room. Said it was unnaturally cold. While blessing corners, a feeling of unbearable dread as a deep voice said “Get out!” and a slap across his face.
Father Ray ran down the stairs; imparted his final advice of not sleeping in the room and left.
Soon after the priest claimed blisters formed on his hands. But he said it was just anxiety.
Scratching on the walls and footsteps on the second floor –
Kathy heard both after moving in. The media confirmed Ronnie DeFeo heard the same noise just before he killed them.
- Louise DeFeo warned Kathy –
When the ghost embraced Kathy from behind, smelling “cheap perfume”. Not aggressive, but motherly and comforting. She believed it was Louise trying to protect her.
- Music and Marching on the first floor –
Each of the Lutz’s heard different nightly noises. George said, “like musicians tuning and playing songs”. Others heard just the heavy footsteps.
- Flies –
The iconic scene from the movies. It’s true that flies appeared in the house in the winter and mostly in the sewing room. They never attacked Father Ray.
- Bleeding Walls –
Nope. Originated from an innocent story of green stuff found in the playroom. Probably just disgusting kid stuff. The book said green slime pooling on the carpets and the movie transformed it to blood.
- Kathy becomes an ugly old woman –
George woke Kathy one night and she saw revulsion on his face. He told her, “you look like an old woman”. A little upset until running to the bathroom mirror and seeing it, wrinkles and haggard face. Took hours to go away.
- George woke up at 3am each night –
It’s the time Ronnie murdered his family, the natural witching hour. George constantly woke up at 3am with feelings of dread. Sometimes checking on the kids.
- Jodie the Pig makes herself known –
Jodie, according to daughter Missy Lutz, was an angel appearing as a pig. George admitted seeing Jodie outside the living room window at night. Two red eyes staring in.
- The Levitation of Kathy Lutz –
Kathy levitated one night while sleeping next to George. He woke to her floating above the bed and towards the wall. He grabbed and pulled her down, crashing into the bed, she woke to George’s terrified face.
Ed & Lorraine Warren of Conjuring fame
Ed and Lorraine Warren are most known for Amityville. In 1976, just 2 years after the murders the famed demonologists entered the Amityville house with a TV crew.
They were supportive of George and Kathy agreeing something was in the house. They believed the ghost was a demon, or conscious energy, to never walk earth as a human.
Evidence from the Amityville investigation
Listed by the Warren’s in Feb, 1976…
- Ed saw shadows –
They moved along walls inside the cellar. Not used to seeing ghosts, that was Lorraine’s ability. It shocked him. Ed commanded the spirits to leave but felt something lift him off the ground. Dragged himself down and left the cellar.
- Lorraine didn’t want to enter Amityville house –
She dreaded the house long before an investigation was setup. She brought artifacts connected to Padre Pio, the saint of safety which calmed the very religious Lorraine.
- Lorraine felt rushing water –
Coming down from the second floor of the Amityville house, pouring on her and slowing slow her ascent.
- Lorraine knew it was the same furniture –
While standing in Missy’s room. She picked it up and was angry at George for allowing the kids to “sleep in the death beds”.
- An investigator from Duke University –
Witnessed a communication session with Lorraine and the ghosts. He passed out, later finding out it was from heart palpitations.
At 1am that same night, Ed and Lorraine stopped the investigation.
A non-believer named Kaplan – –
After the famed Amityville investigation, a battle of words broke out between the Warrens and Dr Stephen Kaplan. Kaplan was a self-proclaimed authority on the “Hoax of Amityville”.
Ed challenged Kaplan to produce evidence Amityville was a hoax. Kaplan ignored him.
Kaplan later co-authored a book called “The Amityville Horror Conspiracy”.
Many years later during an interview with a Babylon NY radio station, Kaplan admitted to fabricating one of the hoax rumours. He ended the interview with, “I will never go against the Warrens again”.
A ghost photo taken during the Warren’s investigation. They said it’s the youngest DeFeo son, John Matthew.
The other theory, this is one of the investigators named Paul Bartz. You be the judge!
Lorraine Warren says it all
During a Q & A session, a local paranormal investigator stood and asked a question. “Would you return to Amityville?”
Lorraine whispered, “No!”
She dreaded the idea of encountering what was in the house again, vividly remembering her pain.
“The media wanted Ed and I to go back, to do a documentary. I refused, told Ed we could never, not again! I’ll never go back there. That house affected our lives more than any other case. It tried to kill us.”
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