The Story Behind The Amityville Horror

At 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island, New York, there lived the DeFeo family. The DeFeo family consisted of the parents, Ronald DeFeo Sr, Louise Defeo, and five children: Ronald Jr, Dawn, Allison, Marc, and John Matthew. Ronald Defeo Jr was the oldest at 23.



On the thirteenth of November, 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr killed his parents and all of his siblings. He shot each of his parents twice and each of his siblings once. He then entered a local bar and said, “You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!” He told the police, as the sole survivor of his family, that a mafia hitman was responsible for the murders. They took him into protective custody and interviewed him. There were a number of inconsistencies in his story. One such inconsistency was that alleged mafia hitman on whom he blamed the murders was out of state at the time. The alleged murderer had an alibi. The day after that, Ronald DeFeo Jr. confessed to killing his entire family. To this day, his motive for doing so is unknown.


Afterward, George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house on 112 Ocean Avenue where the gruesome murders occurred, with their three children in tow. After exactly four weeks, the Lutz family left the house, saying that strange, paranormal phenomena had been harassing them.


Some of the phenomena began at the very beginning. A friend of George Lutz suggested that he have a Catholic priest bless the house before they moved in, because of the murders that had occurred there. It is rumored that, while blessing the house, the priest heard a deep voice telling him “Get out!”. The priest who experienced this would later go on to develop blisters on his hands, mimicking the “stigmata” wounds experienced by certain Catholic saints.


Other paranormal phenomena experienced by the Lutz family included broken objects around the house. Even after leaving, they were assaulted by a bizarre greenish-black slime while staying at a relative’s home. Speculation about the cause of the phenomena includes bad energy residual from the murders, the presence of a nearby native burial ground, and demonic possession. Ronald DeFeo Jr continuously changed his story over the years and never said exactly why he killed his parents, in some cases going back to claiming innocence. We may never know.


Years later, the murders at the residence, and the subsequent media attention, made it into an inspiration for one of the most iconic of 70s horror movies: the Amityville Horror. Thanks to the bizarre events at 112 Ocean Avenue, the image of a haunted house plagued by demons and evil is still found on posters and horror movie t shirts to this day.


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