Below is an overview of one of the most famous hauntings in U.S. history, but has yet to be solved to this day.
Amityville Horror dual-pronged historical development
Despite its best-known association with the infamous DeFeao murders of late 1974, Amityville House originally served as a place of confinement for insane or severely ill Native Americans. All occupants of Indian ethic origin were also buried on-site. A subsumed question subsequently arose as to whether these hapless souls' interment on so-called "unconsecrated" ground significantly contributed to the series of subsequent events that developed and lent their former institutional abode much fame and fortune.
How Amityville Horror Story Began in Earnest
During the wee morning hours of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeao fatally shot his father, sister and two brothers. Each victim was discovered face down in their bed, but not one neighbor who lived nearby reported having heard any sounds or screams. Ronald later blamed evil spirits already present before his homicidal spree began for goading him into executing his entire family, rather than just his father, as he originally intended.
Eventually the DeFeaos' family home was put on the market and sold for $80,000 USD to George and Kathy Lutz. Despite the selling Realtor's full disclosure of the property's checkered past, the Lutz's were so enchanted by luxuries like a swimming pool, garage and over 4,000 square feet of adjacent waterfront, that they made an offer on the spot.
The 28 days that immediately followed culminated in a best-selling book and blockbuster movie that were both dubbed "the Amityville Horror."
By most accounts, moving day should have tipped the Lutz's off that something wasn't quite right with their newly acquired primary dwelling place. On the very first day they took possession, their dog tried to run away, jumped a fence and then hung himself. Although their beloved canine buddy survived his self-inflicted ordeal, it proved merely an ominous preview of far worse things to come in very short order.
Hollywood's brightest imaginative minds couldn't have dreamed up a better story than the Lutz's related about keyholes that oozed goo, toilet water mysteriously turning black at random and foul odors suddenly permeating every interior area of their home.
George soon fell ill and lost a large amount of weight. Many skeptics dismissed that entire chain of events as nothing but a septic problem easily remedied by competent plumbing expertise. However, Amityville Horror proponents beg the question as to why George's whole family wasn't affected if the true culprit was just a septic system malfunction.
According to the Lutz's, strange noises soon became audible throughout the house. George claimed that he clearly heard "static" sounds. Upon firsthand investigation, he discovered the noises were probably coming from downstairs. That conclusion was based on finding heavy furniture that had been moved and rolled back floor coverings.
At several friends' behests who claimed to have had personal encounters with apparitional haunts, the Lutz's proceeded to go through their whole house room by room while reciting the Lord's Prayer. As they did so, unworldly noises instantly transformed from static to full blown comprehensible phrases, including one voice that made blood-curdling screams asking, "Will you please stop?!"
As though all those weird goings on were insufficient motivation for the Lutz's to vacate their own premises immediately, various ghostly beings began mustering enough strength to materialize in ethereal physical forms that were often visible. Kathy said she felt embraces by unknown spirit entities that grasped her from behind. All household members further claimed to see eyes glaring at them through windows during the night.
However, further investigation always revealed nothing but strange hoof tracks that appeared simultaneously with odd squealing noises. Additional sightings allegedly included a young boy who stood on the second floor landing and a dark cloak-donned figure. The Lutz's daughter Missy made friends with a female ghost who claimed her name was Jodie. Missy said Jodie was actually a disguised angle capable of altering her shape at will. Missy also added that Jodie had stated Missy would live there forever.
Although accounts about the Lutz's final exit are somewhat ambiguous, George expressed feeling as though the house had literally come to life with groans and flexing walls. Consequently, his family decided to make a swift departure to the home of Kathy's mother one extremely stormy night.
After permanently fleeing from their former primary residence, the Lutz's asked a pair of paranormal investigators, Edward and Lorrain Warren, to pay a visit to their old house. Accompanied by a Duke University professor and the American Society for Psychic Research president, the Warrens visited the house.
Their reported findings included detection of strong clairaudial and clairvoyant impressions transmitted by resident ghosts and seeing air pockets that suddenly appeared to "solidify." Edward also reported having seen several thousand lighted pinpoints in the downstairs cellar, along with shadows that tried to push him out, which "scared the daylights" out of him.
Not one person who was present at the on-site investigative visit denied feeling that the whole place exuded sheer terror. Lorraine Warren later declared that ghostly beings' stronghold was too powerful to be permanently broken. Indeed, such feelings were so potent, rumor has it that the Duke University professor who was with Warrens fainted from sensations of utter fear.
Whether events that allegedly occurred were factual, fictional, or some combination thereof, the Amityville Horror continues to rank among the most sensational and scary ghost stories of present times.