Exploring the History and Hauntings of the Amityville Horror House

May 31, 2023 (Last updated on: March 23, 2024)
amityville horror house

The Amityville Horror House is one of history’s most well-known horror stories. as the original story goes, Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed his entire family in the infamous building at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, a small village in Long Island, New York, on November 13, 1974.

The Lutz family moved into the Long Island House in December 1975, and their claimed experiences of paranormal activity made the place famous. This article will explore the history and hauntings of the house, from the DeFeo family tragedy to the Lutz family’s claimed experiences, to the impact it has had on pop culture.

The DeFeo Family Tragedy

The true story began on the night of November 13, 1974, when Ronald DeFeo Jr. committed one of the most infamous mass murders of all time. The DeFeo family, who had lived at the address for several years, was all killed in their sleep by Ronald, who later claimed he heard voices telling him to commit the Amityville murders.

The following day, the police found the bodies of Ronald’s father, mother, brothers, and sisters in their beds. All were killed with a .35 caliber rifle. Ronald was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences for second-degree murder.

The infamous Amityville Horror house, a two-story Dutch Colonial architecture style home with distinctive quarter-moon shaped windows in the attic

The Lutz Family Move In

The new owners, a newlywed couple, George and Kathleen Lutz, bought the house two years after the DeFeo murders. George and Kathy had children from previous relationships, and the family moved in December 1975.

It didn’t take long for the family to start experiencing strange occurrences in the house. They claimed that from the first day they moved in, the place felt like it had a strong sense of negativity. The family reported seeing and hearing unexplainable things such as doors slamming, objects flying off shelves, and greenish black slime oozing out of the walls.

One of the most talked-about rooms in the house was a creepy red room that the Lutz family discovered when they first moved in. It was a small, windowless room in the basement that was painted entirely red. The family claimed to use it for storage, but they reported numerous strange activities inside this room, including the feeling of an evil presence and slamming doors.

The Hauntings

According to the parents, George and Kathy Lutz, they experienced supernatural activity almost immediately after moving in. They reported hearing strange noises like inhuman voices and laughter, doors slamming shut, and even objects thrown around the rooms.

The family also saw unexplained phenomena such as ‘shadowy figures’ throughout their home, furniture that seemed to move on its own, a pig-like creature with red eyes standing at the foot of the beds during night-time hours, and a mysterious force that prevented them from entering certain parts of the house.

Additionally, some family members claimed to have seen full-body apparitions of people walking through walls or being levitated off their beds by unseen forces. The Warrens concluded that these hauntings were caused by evil entities attached to “Jodie,” who supposedly caused all these paranormal events to killing herself before possessing one of the children.

Despite all this, even fewer believe in these claims; many claims that the story has been hugely exaggerated for commercial success, much like any other haunted house movie or book series. Furthermore, skeptic organizations like CSICOP (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry) have conducted extensive investigations into the case only to conclude that most alleged supernatural occurrences were more likely everyday events misinterpreted by scared observers.

"Interior shot of the Amityville Horror house, focusing on the antique wooden staircase, its worn steps echoing with the footfall of countless previous inhabitants

Media Attention

The story of the Amityville Horror House received significant media attention, with Walter Cronkite covering the story. The story made national headlines, and the Lutz family’s claims became a sensation. Despite this, investigators and journalists claimed inconsistencies with Lutz’s story.

One of the most significant pieces of evidence suggesting the story was a fabrication is that the Lutz family moved into a new home in California immediately following their abrupt departure from the house. Some people believe that the family’s claims of the house being haunted were nothing more than a publicity stunt to gain more attention for their own family.

The story is also rumored to have been based on the book and film “The Amityville Horror” written by author Jay Anson. The book came out in 1977 and was compatible with numerous other horror books in the 70s.

The Warrens and their Involvement

Paranormal investigator duo Ed and Lorraine Warren, known for investigating other famous hauntings like The Conjuring, also visited the house in January of 1976. They examined the happenings at the Amityville Horror House and claimed that evil spirits possessed the house.

The Warrens gathered a lot of ‘evidence’ during their investigation in the house, including photos revealing unknown people and scratches on the back of George Lutz. The authenticity of Warren’s findings was doubted by many, but it has never stopped them from having full faith in their findings.

An eerie night-time view of the Amityville house, with lights glaring from the distinctive attic windows.

Impact on Pop Culture

The Amityville Haunting has been discussed, debated, and explored in books, movies, and television shows since the original story was documented by Jay Anson in 1977. The first film and most famous adaptation of the tale is 1979’s The Amityville Horror, directed by Stuart Rosenberg, which brought the incident to a much wider audience. Since then, Amityville has been featured in numerous films and television programs such as the remake starring Ryan Reynolds, documentaries like “The Real Story of Amityville” (2009), and even video games such as “Amityville: A Haunted House Adventure” (2014).

Additionally, multiple haunted house attractions have opened worldwide based on the events at 112 Ocean Avenue. It has also inspired music videos like Phish’s ‘Farmhouse’ (2000) and song lyrics from artists like Metallica. Ultimately, the Lutz family’s experience popularized paranormal activity, with their frightening tale quickly becoming an American ghost story classic—one with an undeniable impact on pop culture.

Debunking Claims

Despite its impact, people have still questioned the validity of the Lutz family’s claims, with some speculating that they were either fabricating their stories or experiencing everyday phenomena like creaky floors or drafts. DeFeo’s defense attorney William Weber has gone on record to say that the entire story was a complete fabrication designed to make money.

Other skeptics have argued that Jay Anson’s book “The Amityville Horror” was more fiction than fact and was heavily influenced by reports of other hauntings, such as the Enfield Poltergeist in England in 1977. The fact that there were inconsistencies and contradictions between the various accounts of what happened at 112 Ocean Avenue leads many people to believe it was all based on a good story rather than actual events.

Regardless of which side of the debate one falls on, some aspects within this case remain hard to explain away wholly. For example, the Warrens claimed to have found physical evidence while investigating the house, such as mysterious photos showing unknown people and scratches on George Lutz’s back. Still, these pieces of evidence were never conclusively proven to be paranormal in origin.

The house itself is also an area of contention. However, many believe it remains haunted today due to its infamous past. Others claim that this is simply because so much attention has been focused on it since 1974 that any strange occurrences become exaggerated out of proportion. Whatever truth lies behind The Amityville Horror House will likely remain a mystery for years.

Snapshot of the Amityville house under a gloomy sky, casting a foreboding shadow over its architecture

The Aftermath of the Lutz’s Experience

The Lutz family attempted to move on with their lives after leaving their home at 112 Ocean Avenue, though they received little sympathy from the general public. As news of their story spread, they were subjected to intense media scrutiny and were frequently criticized for fabricating the entire episode. The family could never recover financially from their ordeal and ultimately relocated away from Amityville to escape all the attention.

For many years afterward, all members of the Lutz family maintained that their story was true right up until George Lutz died in 2006 at age 59 due to a heart attack. Even so, debates over their story continue. Skeptics argue that supernatural events are impossible and cite evidence from several investigations suggesting that most of what happened could be attributed to everyday phenomena such as air drafts, creaky floors, and faulty wiring rather than paranormal activity.

Others point out that regardless of whether or not people believe in ghosts or hauntings, the incident has been a source of intrigue since it first began to be reported in 1974 and continues to attract a large number of tourists who flock to Amityville every year, hoping for a glimpse at the infamous house. Regardless of what happened at 112 Ocean Avenue, it remains a mystery in American paranormal folklore that probably will never be entirely explained – but it still makes for good conversation!


Whether you believe in its integrity or not, there is no denying that imagery from inside this infamous dwelling is almost inseparable from our cultural understanding of horror today—carefully chosen shots of the house at 112 Ocean Avenue still feature prominently in everything from movies to television shows to books—and thus will remain part of our collective consciousness for generations to come.

The haunting tale might be fiction or reality. Still, it continues to serve as a reminder that sometimes evil escapes even when confronted with justice and retribution—and that sometimes the truth can blur together with imagination until it resembles something far more mysterious than either one alone.


Was Amityville Horror filmed in the real house?

Filmmaking. The Amityville horror on-location scene was set in a Tom’S River private residence converted to resemble the house at 112 Ocean Avenue when the city officials in Amityville denied film rights. Exterior scenes appeared on Toms River and Point Pleasant Beach.

Is the conjuring based on Amityville?

The tales from Demonologist Ed or Lorraine Warren inspire the Conjuring and Annabelle film. The best horror movie on real stories is “The Amityville Horror of 1979”.

What horror movie is based on Amityville?

The first film is based on the story of the Amityville hauntings. The Amityville Horror (1979) chronicles events of Jay Anson’s novel where they find a new home in Amityville, New York.

What happened to The Amityville Horror House?

A home known as 112 Ocean Avenue still exists, and the building and the address have been updated and renamed so that no visitor can go there. The windows were removed, and the house now appears considerably different from those of the films.