I’m a horror fan, and despite the fact that I commune with spirits quite often who would never wish me harm, for some reason I am drawn to those horror movies where there is an evil presence that seeks to do us harm. Of this genre of horror, there is one movie that many horror fans would call quintessential; The Amityville Horror.
For the uninitiated, the Amityville Horror was a harrowing film that came out in 1979 that starred Superman’s Lois Lane herself, Margot Kidder as well as James Brolin. The film told the story of the Lutz family who moved into their sunny Long Island home and soon found that there was something lurking that intended them harm.
Anyone who understands spirits knows that, while there is negative energy out there, it seldom interacts with people, so the story of the Lutz family as told in the movie is very interesting. At this point, you’re probably thinking, well that’s okay, it’s fiction told to sell tickets, right? Well, like anything, there’s more to this story.
As it turns out, the Amityville Horror is based on a book by Jay Anson that was published two years before the film’s release. Its author actually named the book “The Amityville Horror: A True Story” and based the events of the book off of the alleged experiences of the real Lutz family.
Just like the movie, the real story began with the murder of the house’s previous residents, the DeFeo family. This family was murdered by their son Ronald Jr., who subsequently went away for life for the crime.
When the Lutz family moved in, they claimed that they started experiencing haunting phenomena that eventually led to them fleeing the property permanently.
The phenomena that they were said to have experienced were:
- Spectral emanations that sounded like a marching band tuning up
- Demonic hoofprints in the snow outside of their home
- Glowing red eyes outside of their windows at night
- Green ectoplasm that manifested on the walls and on the ceilings
- Several family members having their sleep disturbed by nightmares about the DeFeo murders
- The discovery of a “Red Room” that frightened the family dog and propagated a sense of dread
- A local clergyman having entered the house was instantly repulsed, which resulted in boils and sores appearing on his hands
- George Lutz, the father of the Lutz family, who also bore a strong resemblance to the younger DeFeo, started going to the same watering hole as the killer
- A crucifix that was hung in the household flipped upside down and started to emit a noxious odor
All of these phenomena boggle the mind and disturbed the family greatly until their departure in 1976. Eventually, the family met with Jay Anson and told him their story.
While harrowing, anyone who has dealt with spiritual phenomena might tell you that the events described sound a bit strange; and as a matter of fact, in recent years, the Lutz family’s story has started to unravel a bit.
Firstly, the demonic hoofprint that showed up outside the house of the Lutz family couldn’t have happened; that year, during the time that they claimed, there wasn’t enough snow in the area to leave hoofprints.
Secondly, despite the family’s claims to the contrary, the Lutz’s never actually contacted the police department about the so-called phenomena. The most damning evidence of the untruthfulness of the Amityville story is that Butch DeFeo’s lawyer has gone on record and admitted to fabricating the whole story in conjunction with the Lutzes.
Despite this, the Lutzes have maintained that they were indeed haunted in the late 70s at their new house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville. In fact, in the same year of the movie’s release, George and Kathy Lutz sat down and took a polygraph test that questioned them about their haunting experiences. In the opinion of the polygraph administrator, the Lutzes were indeed not lying.
In any situation, the story is definitely compelling. As a horror buff, hearing about the Amityville Horror has always sent a shiver down my spine, but as a spiritual medium, I’ve always had my doubts about its authenticity.
That being said, I’d be silly if I thought my own experiences span the entire width and breadth of the paranormal, so maybe what happened in that small Long Island town could have happened.
What do you think?