The Amityville Horror : Unravelling the Real Story Behind America’s Most Infamous Haunted House

The Amityville Horror

Introduction to The Amityville Horror

The tale of The Amityville Horror is one that has gripped the imaginations of horror fans and history buffs alike for decades. It all began on a chilly night in November 1974 when the DeFeo family tragedy struck the quiet suburb of Amityville, New York. Ronald DeFeo Jr. brutally murdered his parents and four siblings at 112 Ocean Avenue, a crime that would later inspire one of the most famous haunted house stories in American history.

In 1977, Jay Anson published “The Amityville Horror: A True Story,” a book that claimed to recount the paranormal experiences of the Lutz family, who moved into the DeFeo house shortly after the murders. The book’s chilling accounts of ghostly encounters and demonic presences quickly captivated readers and set the stage for an enduring horror legend.

The Incident in Detail

The harrowing events surrounding The Amityville Horror began during the early hours of November 13, 1974, when 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo Jr. carried out a chilling massacre. Armed with a .35 caliber Marlin rifle, Ronald crept through his family’s home at 112 Ocean Avenue, systematically shooting his parents, Ronald DeFeo Sr. and Louise DeFeo, along with his siblings: Dawn, Allison, Marc, and John Matthew. Each victim was found lying face-down in their respective beds, and it was later determined that the murders took place without any of the family members waking up, a fact that continues to baffle investigators.

Ronald DeFeo Jr. initially attempted to cover up his involvement by claiming the killings were the work of a mob hitman. However, his story quickly unraveled, and he confessed to the slayings, expressing a vague explanation involving voices that compelled him to kill his family. This confession would later play a significant role in the defense’s claims during his trial, which argued that Ronald was insane at the time of the murders.

Following the gruesome murders, the house remained vacant for a brief period until the Lutz family—George, Kathy, and their three children—moved in just over a year later, in December 1975. The Lutzes were initially unconcerned by the property’s dark history, but they soon claimed to experience a series of terrifying paranormal events. These included inexplicable cold spots, foul odors, mysterious green slime oozing from the walls, and disturbing apparitions. Their ordeal supposedly came to a head when a priest who visited to bless the house warned them to “get out,” leading the family to flee the home after just 28 days.

The Lutz family’s experiences, though widely publicized and dramatized in Jay Anson’s book, have been met with skepticism. Some critics argue that the events were fabricated for financial gain, while others believe they may have experienced genuine supernatural activity. Regardless of one’s stance, the tale of The Amityville Horror remains a gripping chapter in the annals of American hauntings.

The Making of a Horror Classic

The popularity of “The Amityville Horror” book soon caught the attention of Hollywood. In 1979, the story was adapted into a film directed by Stuart Rosenberg. The film’s success cemented the Amityville Horror’s place in popular culture, spawning numerous sequels, remakes, and adaptations over the years.

The making of both the book and the film involved a combination of real-life events, creative storytelling, and a keen sense of what makes a horror narrative compelling. Jay Anson’s book presented the Lutz family’s experiences as factual, adding an element of authenticity that intrigued readers and viewers. The film, with its eerie atmosphere and suspenseful storytelling, further amplified the terror associated with 112 Ocean Avenue.

Haunted House or Hoax?

One of the most controversial aspects of The Amityville Horror is whether the events described in the book and film actually occurred. The Lutz family claimed to have experienced a series of terrifying paranormal phenomena during their 28-day stay in the house, including ghostly apparitions, strange noises, and inexplicable temperature changes.

However, many skeptics have questioned the veracity of these claims. Some investigators argue that the Lutzes fabricated their story for financial gain, while others suggest that the events were exaggerated or misinterpreted. Despite the controversies, The Amityville Horror continues to be a subject of fascination and debate, leaving the question of its authenticity open to interpretation.


The Legacy of The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror has left an indelible mark on the horror genre, influencing countless films, books, and television shows. The original 1979 film was followed by several sequels, including “Amityville II: The Possession” (1982), “Amityville 3-D” (1983), and a 2005 remake starring Ryan Reynolds. Each adaptation and continuation of the story has added to the house’s mystique and its place in horror lore.

Beyond its impact on entertainment, The Amityville Horror has become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring ghost hunters, paranormal researchers, and enthusiasts to explore the mysteries surrounding 112 Ocean Avenue. The house itself has become a symbol of haunted house stories, representing the thin line between reality and fiction in the world of supernatural tales.

Visiting Amityville: A Guide

For those intrigued by the story and looking to visit the infamous Amityville house, it’s essential to know that the current residents highly value their privacy. While the house at 112 Ocean Avenue still stands, it has undergone several renovations and changes over the years. The address was even changed to discourage unwanted visitors.

If you’re planning a pilgrimage to Amityville, consider exploring the town’s other historical sites and attractions. The Amityville Historical Society offers insights into the area’s rich history, and the scenic waterfront provides a peaceful contrast to the dark lore of the haunted house.


The Amityville Horror remains one of the most enduring and captivating tales in American horror history. Whether you believe in the supernatural events described by the Lutz family or view them as a cleverly crafted hoax, there’s no denying the story’s impact on popular culture. As long as there are those who seek out the eerie and unexplained, the legend of The Amityville Horror will continue to haunt our collective imagination.


Where is the Amityville Horror house?

The Amityville Horror house, located at 112 Ocean Avenue, is in Amityville, New York, a small village on Long Island.

Is the house from Amityville Horror still standing?

Yes, the house at 112 Ocean Avenue is still standing, although it has undergone several renovations and changes over the years.

Is the Amityville Horror house for sale?

As of the last updates, the Amityville Horror house is not currently for sale. It has changed hands several times since the Lutz family lived there.

Is The Amityville Horror a true story?

The Amityville Horror is based on the real-life murders of the DeFeo family and the subsequent claims of paranormal activity by the Lutz family. However, the authenticity of the Lutzes’ supernatural experiences has been widely debated and remains a topic of controversy.

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