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An Amityville Primer


The Horror...the horror...
The front of 112 Ocean Avenue, prior to the murders (from Geraldine DeFeo's personal photo collection)
The front of 112 Ocean Avenue, prior to the murders (from Geraldine DeFeo's personal photo collection)
Photo courtesy Ric Osuna, The Amityville Murders

On Dec. 18, 1975, more than a year after the DeFeo murders, a young married couple named George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house on 112 Ocean Avenue with their young children -- nine-year-old Daniel, 7-year-old Christopher and 5-year-old Missy. Within 28 days, the Lutz family had abandoned the house, claiming that it was haunted.

Their first odd "encounter" occurred when they asked priest and friend of the family, Father Ralph Pecoraro, to bless the house while they were moving in. As the priest explored the home, he heard a strong, masculine voice shouting, "Get out!" Following the visit, he found that his car began acting strangely -- the hood flew open and smashed his windshield, the right door opened unexpectedly, the wipers moved without being turned on, and, finally, the car stalled out.

Later, similar paranormal events supposedly occurred in the home, including windows and doors unexpectedly opening and slamming on their hinges, toilet bowls turning pitch black, crucifixes spinning upside down, swarms of flies appearing in the sewing room for no apparent reason, and the oozing and dripping of green slime from the ceiling and door openings. Mr. Lutz also found a secret room in the basement that did not appear on any blueprints. The room was painted red and gave off a smell of blood or rotten eggs.

Lutz claimed to see a face in the wall, which he later recognized as Ronald "Butch" DeFeo's. While in the house, Mrs. Lutz claimed that she could feel invisible hands groping at her and said that she awoke one morning to find herself covered in welts, as if she had been burned with a hot poker. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lutz claimed to see drastic personality changes in each other and their children after having been in the house. Additionally, the Lutz family reported seeing many different apparitions throughout the house including a white hooded figure with a gunshot wound who haunted the living room, and a giant pig with glowing red eyes who would appear at the windows and peer inside. (Missy Lutz would tell her family that this was her friend, "Jodie.")