It was around 6:30pm on November 13, 1964 when a 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo Jr. walked into Henry’s Bar in Amityville, Long Island frantically shouting, “You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!” When Ronald arrived at 112 Ocean Avenue with a small group from the bar, they found both his mother and father lying in bed. Both had been fatally shot. As they searched the house further, they found the dead bodies of Ronald’s four siblings: Dawn (18), Allison (13), Marc (12), and John Matthew (9). They too were found in their beds, the cause of death being gunshot wounds. Ronald DeFeo Jr. initially placed the blame on a mob hit man. However, as the police continued to question him, the real killer became apparent. Ronald eventually confessed to slaying his entire family, and he offered little explanation, only stating “Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast.” One year later, Ronald was found guilty of six counts of second-degree murder and given six concurrent sentences of 25 years to life. But that’s not where the story ends…
The village of Amityville is tiny town located on the southern edge of Long Island, New York along the Great South Bay. Known at the time as Huntington West Neck South, the area was first settled in 1653 and was primarily used as a source of salt marsh hay. In 1846, the town was renamed to Amityville. Over time, the town became known for its quaint hotels and large homes which lined the bay, an idyllic place to raise a family. The DeFeo family murder was the biggest thing ever to hit the small village. That is until the George Lutz moved his family into the same house at 112 Ocean Avenue.
On December 19, 1975 George and Kathy Lutz along with their three children: Daniel (9), Christopher (7), and Melissa (5) moved into the notorious home. Arriving at the home, they found that most of the DeFeo furniture was still in the house, sitting just as it had been on the night of the murder. When George learned the history of the home, he insisted on having it blessed, despite the fact that he and his wife were non-practicing Christians. The couple located a Catholic priest who agreed to bless the house. As the Lutzes unpacked their belongings, the priest went about the house anointing everything in holy water. Just as he started blessing the home, he claimed to hear a disembodied voice say “get out.” And as the priest left, he warned the Lutzes to be wary of the second floor room where he heard the voice. Not long after his visit, the priest became severely ill, breaking out in strange, unexplained blisters on his hands and feet.
Aside from the weird voice, the first few days in the home were uneventful for the Lutzes. The first indication that something was amiss came a few weeks later when a swarm of flies suddenly appeared in the house. Soon afterwards, George Lutz found himself waking up at 3:15 in the morning every day. He later found out that this was the same time that the DeFeo murders occurred. Kathy Lutz began experiencing vivid nightmares about the DeFeo murders.
Soon the entire family was experiencing paranormal activity. Youngest daughter Melissa became friends with an imaginary pig-like creature named Jodi, whom George believed he had seen with the child on at least one occasion. Then George found the “Red Room”, a room hidden inside a closet that George claimed stunk of rotten flesh and excrement. Terrified, George decided to bless the house himself. Holding on to a crucifix, George walked from room to room reciting the Lord’s Prayer, all the while disembodied voices supposedly screamed for him to stop. On January 14, 1976 the Lutzes finally moved out of the home.
The home has changed hands several times since the Lutz family moved out. However, it has still remained a destination for the curious, never being able to shake the “haunted” reputation. To try to escape the notoriety and avoid ghost-hunters, in 1977 the address was changed from 112 to 108 Ocean Avenue. Then in 1987 the iconic half-moon windows on the top level were replaced with square ones. In 2010, the new owners purchased the home for $1.15 million So far, there has been no word of new paranormal activity.