life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Amityville Horror

112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, NY.

Repeat that address to any Long Islander of a certain age, and we immediately know what you are talking about.

It was the Amityville Horror, the scene of a vicious murder and a famous haunting.

On November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his parents and four siblings.  The DeFeo family had lived in the house on Ocean Avenue since 1965.

George and Kathy Lutz purchased the house and moved in in December 1975 and lived there for 28 days, claiming they were driven out by paranormal activity in the house. In 1977 they published a book, and in 1979 that book became a movie.

Swarms of flies. Glowing red eyes. Greenish-black slime on the stairs. Pig-like demons.   Native American burial grounds. Scary stuff.

Was their tale real, or was it a hoax? I don't think anyone really cared. 

And hordes of curious teenagers came down Ocean Avenue to gawk. A quiet, dead-end street in a quiet suburban town became an impromptu tourist attraction.

It got so bad that the owners remodeled the house, altering its distinctive Dutch Colonial style, and even asked the local government to change the house number.

I never went to gawk.  Nope, not me.  Never.  Absolutely not.

Well, that's not quite true....

The movie was remade in 2005. Jen was 14 at the time, and really into horror movies.  And one day we found ourselves in Amityville.  She asked me to drive down Ocean Avenue.  And she is convinced she knew which house was the "horror house".


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