Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Amityville Horror

This is a big one so hold onto your computer! There are so many facets to this story, it's ridiculous. Let's start with the 1979 movie starring Margot Kidder and James Brolin. George and Kathy Lutz think they have found the perfect home for their family, only to find out that a year earlier, a guy murdered his parents and four brothers and sisters in the house because demonic voices told him to do it. Pretty soon, the Lutz family start having some seriously creepy events happening in their newly acquired home. George starts getting sicker and meaner by the day. He also is obsessed with the fireplace and chopping wood, and develops an unnervingly affection for his ax. Their parish priest comes to bless the house and is told by "the voices" to "GET OUT!!!!". Following this event, the priest becomes violently ill and eventually goes blind. The Lutz family endures all sorts of phenomena in the house... money disappears, the toilets flood with black slime, the door gets ripped off it's hinges, a marching band that only George can hear, their daughter befriends a demonic pig named "Jody", Kathy breaks out in blisters after touching a cross, blood oozes from the walls, a swarm of flies at the wrong time of year, etc. Finally after 28 days, the Lutz family can't take anymore and run for their lives. Although, they did return the next day to have a garage sale. Now here's where it gets tricky. This movie is based on a book by Jay Anson, coauthored by the real George and Kathy Lutz. After buying the house, with a sky high mortgage, that George and Kathy cannot possibly afford, they along with author Jay Anson, concoct an "out of this world" story to justify leaving the house. They use the true story of what happened in the house prior to their purchasing it as the basis for the supposed hauntings. Like I said, there was a guy that actually did kill his whole family in the house, but it wasn't demonic voices driving him that night, it was greed and lots of drugs. Ronald "Butch" DeFeo Jr was an unhappy camper. He fought with his family a lot, mostly with his abusive father. The family had quite a bit of money and Butch needed some cash to fuel his drug habit. Killing his parents would unleash the inheritance, but he would have to share it with the four brothers and sisters... Marc, John, Allison, and Dawn. Ronnie didn't want to share, so he killed them too. All shot with a rifle in the dead of night (pardon the pun). Ronald DeFeo tried to make up a story about how he came home and they were already dead. It didn't work and Butch was put in prison for the rest of his life. Now, there are lots of rumors surrounding the house. It was supposedly built on an indian burial ground, it was also supposed to be the home of a man named John Ketchum who was expelled from Salem for being a witch. There was also a story about how the native americans used the area as an exposure pen for the diseased and insane to be left there to die. All of which are complete bullshit. Butch's lawyer was also in on the game of ghost storytelling, thinking that he might actually be able to convince the jury that Butch was innocent because he was under the influence of demonic possession... it didn't work, but gave rise to one of the best (albeit fake) ghost stories ever told. Kathy Lutz passed away some years ago, and on her death bed she admitted that the story was false and concocted over several bottles of wine. A remake of the 1979 film came out in 2005, using more of the DeFeo story than before. Only this time, "Jody" was the youngest of the DeFeo children. It might have made more sense than a demonic pig, but alas there was no Jody DeFeo. The youngest daughter was named Allison. Ever since the Lutz family left the house, they went on a huge tour promoting the book. Three different families have lived in the house since the now notorious ghost story of the Lutz family. All three families have said that it was a beautiful house with absolutely no supernatural phenomena. In fact, one of the families actually sued Jay Anson, author of "The Amityville Horror" and George and Kathy Lutz, stating that their fictitious story has caused them to have total loss of privacy because of thrill seekers, ghost hunters, and the downright curious. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

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