A seemingly idyllic five-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits at 108 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, Long Island. Built in 1927, it occupies 5,000 square-feet and has been sold for $850,000.
Previous owner Caroline D’Antonio bought the house six years ago for close to a million but she decided to resell as her husband died last year and she now wants to downsize.
Although behind the landscaped gardens, the picturesque harbor and the spacious rooms stands a home steeped in a history of horror. From brutal mass slayings to demons within the walls – the reports on this home have all been of the most sinister kind.
Here’s a brief history of the Amityville Horror House (which they may have left out of the sales brochure)…
1974 – The DeFeo Family Massacre
Before the address was permanently changed to number 108 Ocean Drive – the home was previously known as 112 Ocean Drive.
On the night of November 13th, 1974, Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. shot his parents, two brothers and two sisters with a .35 caliber rifle, all whilst they slept peacefully in their own beds.
Above is the DeFeo children (back row, left to right): John (age 9), Allison (age 13), Marc (age 12). (Front row): Dawn (age 18) , Ronald “Butch” Jr. Their parents Ronald (age 44) and Louise (age 42) are not pictured.
At around 6.30pm, Butch then burst into Henry’s Bar in Amityville and screamed: “You’ve got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!” When police entered the home, they discovered the bodies of the DeFeo family, all of whom had suffered fatal gunshot wounds – two each for the parents and one each for the children.
Butch was immediately arrested and after a long interrogation he finally confessed to the murders telling officers: “Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast.”
After the killings, Butch’s defense attorney tried to gain an insanity plea and helped Butch testify that he heard voices telling him to murder his family. Little did they know that this fabrication of the truth would result in one of the most well known murder stories ever told – The Amityville Horror.
Controversy Surrounding The Murders
All six victims had also been found face down and lying on their stomachs in their beds with no signs of a struggle.
Many speculated that the murders could not have been possible without a silencer on the gun and no sedatives found in the blood of the victims. Neighbors reported there were no sounds of gunfire – only the family dog, Shaggy, barking wildly throughout the night.
How had Butch been able to move from room to room, shooting each victim without stirring the others?
An appointed psychiatrist for the prosecution reported that Butch was an abuser of heroin and LSD, he had antisocial personality disorder and was aware of his actions at the time of the crime. Although Butch’s motive was never discovered.
He is currently serving a life sentence at Greenhaven correctional Facility in the town of Greenhaven, New York – all his appeals and requests for parole have been denied.
The Haunting of the Lutz Family
Little more than a year after the DeFeo family murders, George and Kathleen Lutz bought the house for a bargain at $80,000 for them and their three children. Much of the DeFeo family’s furniture was still in the house and had also been included as part of the deal.
A friend of George Lutz told the family about the history of the house and insisted they have it blessed. On the day they moved in Father Mancuso, a local priest, arrived to bless the house but when he flicked the holy water he heard a masculine voice demand “Get out!” and he fled from the house.
During the time they lived in the house the following incidents occurred: George woke at around 3am every morning and would sleepwalk to the boathouse – it is estimated this was the same time of day the DeFeo murders took place. The house was constantly plagued with a swarm of flies.
Their five-year-old daughter, Missy, had made an imaginary friend called Jodie. Then on one day, George even witnessed the imaginary friend “stood behind Missy” and in the living room a crucifix revolved on the wall until it was completely upside down.
Daniel Lutz, the eldest son, who featured in a recent documentary “My Amityville Horror”, revealed the entire family witnessed the garage door outside slam up and slam down, and the family dog who was chained up outside had hung himself by jumping over the fence.
On January 14th, 1976 George and Kathy Lutz fled with their three children and their dog Harry, leaving all their possessions behind.
What will be next for the Amityville Horror House? Time will tell.