Spookier Than Fiction!
I read the book by Jay Anson in 1979 aged 16 and it spooked me out and l watched the film in 1981 aged 18 and that really freaked me out …. but, was there a Curse … really?
But was it just a creepy film made from a creepy book specifically to draw the crowds in and turn a quick buck or was there something more to it, a deeper plot, a more devious and mysteriously hideousness to it all?
When people talk of the Amityville Horror, they will either think of the book, some may talk of the film series from 1979, others yet may talk of the films that followed afterwards over the years, but what happened before, what incited the original book?
Jay Anson’s original book was entitled The Amityville Horror – A True Story … the film inspired viewers with the promotion of ‘based on true events’…
… not many people know of the original basis of the book, or what these true events were … they think of George and Kathy Lutz who moved into 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville with their family in 1975, and yet what of the DeFeo family in 1974, especially November of that year when Ronald ‘Butch’ DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family in their beds. He was arrested and tried for the murders and found guilty on the 21st November 1975.
The Lutz’s believed they were moving into their dream house, and yet that dream fast turned into a maddening nightmare … of course these days and even after they ran terrified from their house, they were oft accused of elaborating the whole thing as a hoax although George and Kathy categorically denied it to be anything but the truth. Ronald Defeo Jr said during his trial that he awoke every morning at 3.15 am and heard demonic voices in his head and they were the guilty party behind his slaying of his family.
His family; his Father Ronald Sr and wife Louise were shot twice, whilst the four children Dawn, Allison, Marc and John Matthew were shot once. All of the slain were found in bed lying on their stomachs, and it is believed that the massacre only took 15 minutes from start to completion. All victims were in exactly the same position in bed as if they had all been specifically arranged the same way. There was no sign of a struggle, no sign of any sedatives to knock the victims out or keep them quiet and yet Ronald had managed to go through the house in a sweep killing them all within 15 minutes.
The neighbours heard nothing just the family dog barking.
There was talk and rumour that a second killer may have been involved and yet no proof has ever been revealed supporting that theory.
Ronald DeFeo reported the murders himself – first under the premise that he suspected the house had been broken into, however he changed the story many times before eventually confessing to the killing spree himself ..“Once l started, l just couldn’t stop. It went so fast.”
During his trial he said he heard voices telling him to do it, it was further suggested that Defeo had a dissociative disorder meaning that it may have felt that he was outside his body watching himself kill his family, but unable to stop himself. However the prosecution argued that DeFeo actually had anti-social personality disorder and that he had no remorse nor concern for what was right or wrong. He was found guilty of six counts of second degree murder and sentenced to six consecutive life sentences.
Today he is 66 years of age.
Facts of the films 1979/2005
James Brolin 1979 – George Lutz – agreed to do the movie only because he believed there was something to the story.
Ryan Reynolds 2005 – George Lutz maintained that during the filming he like many other cast and crew members and both real and 1979 George Lutz’s continually awoke at 3.15 am, just like Ronald DeFeo Jr claimed and the reputed time of the 1974 murders.
Before the 2005 remake, a body washed up on the shore of the set.
Investigations into the house itself that were conducted on a paranormal level reported sightings of a ghost belonging to one of the original DeFeo family members.
Cast and crew of both films said that there was a heavy sense of dark doom and foreboding within the house and the filming.
Today 112 Ocean Avenue as a number doesn’t exist it is in fact 108 Ocean avenue. It has been bought and sold frequently over the decades, for many reasons, one being that house owners became frequently tired of tourists flocking to see the house for its darker history. Four families have owned the house , none of which have reported any strange ‘going ons’. In 2016 the house sold for $605,000 which was reputed to be way under value.
So what do you think?