Several books and movies have been made focusing on the gruesome and terrifying murders at a home in Amityville, and the consequent hauntings.
The story of the Amityville Horror has become very popular, but is it fact or fiction?
This article will examine the story of the Amityville horror hoax…
How The Story Started
In 1974 in a house in Amityville, New York, Ronald Defeo Junior murdered his parents and siblings. Later that night, Ronald – also known as “Butch” – went into a nearby bar and announced that someone had murdered his parents.
Police responded to the call and found the dead bodies of Butch’s parents and four siblings, each shot with a rifle.
The main question presented by defense attorney William Weber at the trial centered not on Butch’s guilt, but rather his sanity.
Butch was found guilty of all six murders and sentenced to 25 years in prison for each one. To this day, he is still imprisoned.
The Lutz family moved into the house in 1975, fully aware of the murders that had taken place. To be on the safe side, the Lutz’s called upon a priest to bless the home.
Father Pecararo claims to have been driven out of the house by an enraged voice.
Kathy and George Lutz, along with their three children, claimed to have experienced several paranormal events, including hearing voices, cold spots, objects that moved themselves, and being physically attacked by the spirits in the house.
They also report having seen a demonically possessed boy, a lion sculpture that came to life and attacked Mr. Lutz, and finding cloven hoof prints in the snowy yard.
A month after moving into the house, the family vacated the premises due to the hauntings.
Mr. Lutz had contacted the publisher, Prentice-Hall, and shared his story. A short while later, the book The Amityville Horror was written by Jay Anson and published.
It was publicized as being non-fiction despite the fact that the author had not so much as visited the house.
Finding The Truth
Several authorities in different areas have investigated the Amityville house to test the truth of the Lutz’s claims.
The first team to examine the house was Dr. Osis and Mr. Tanous, both of whom were employed at the time by the American Society for Psychical Research.
The deduced that the stories the Lutz’s claimed were true were, in fact false, based primarily on a sample of Butch’s handwriting found in the home.
The handwriting itself was not proof, however, the fact that they had found it on a contract to reap the profits from a movie and book deal was.
In the books and movies, the priest called to bless the house is Father Mancuso. His name was not changed to protect his identity.
Rather, Father Pecoraro denies having seen anything paranormal in the home, and some reports say he did not enter the house and instead spoke with the family on the phone.
Father Mancuso is entirely fictitious.
Another damaging piece of evidence is the fact that there was no snow at the time the Lutz’s claimed to have found cloven hoof prints in their yard. Without snow, it is extremely difficult to find snowy prints.
As well, a parapsychologist was called to inspect the home. Dr. Kaplan was skeptical when he began his study, and had read The Amityville Horror.
He too decided that the hauntings were a hoax.
The Amityville Police Department also participated in exposing the truth.
The Lutz family retracted some of their previous statements about what happened in the home, which resulted in the story losing much of its credibility.
The final straw in determining the truth is a meeting Mr. Lutz had during his stay in the home. He had contact with William Weber, the defense attorney in Butch’s trial.
They agreed to share the story of the Amityville home to mutual advantage – the story they presented was based on parts of The Exorcist, which had been released a couple years earlier and was immensely popular.
They claimed Butch had been possessed by demons who caused him to murder his family. These are the same demons the Lutz’s would claim to be haunted by.
In the end, the story of the Amityville Horror is a hoax. The paranormal scenarios offered in the books and movies present a variety of physical evidence for the events that happened, however upon closer inspection none of these claims hold true…
But then again, that’s just one opinion…
Please leave your opinions in the comment section below.