Published by Pocket Star on September 13th, 1977
Genres: Demons, Horror, Occult & Supernatural
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The shocking true story of an American dream that turned into a nightmare beyond imagining...
In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their new home on suburban Long Island. George and Kathleen Lutz knew that one year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers, and sisters in the house, but the property - complete with boathouse and swimming pool - and the price had been too good to pass up. Twenty-eight days later, the entire Lutz family fled in terror...
This is the spellbinding, bestselling true story that gripped the nation - the story of a house possessed by spirits, haunted by psychic phenomena too terrible to describe.
The Amityville Horror is said to be a work of non-fiction as it is the story of the Lutz family and the 28 days they spent in what was supposed to be their dream home. The house on 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York already had a bad name when the DeFeo family was murdered there by the oldest son, Ronald “Butch” DeFeo, Jr. in 1974. In his defense he claimed to have heard voices telling him to kill his family but he was instead diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and sentenced to six consecutive life sentences. He remains in prison to this day. There was never anything mentioned about paranormal activity, just a horrifying mass murder. Whether the act of the murders is what caused the issues the Lutz’s experienced is entirely up for debate. When the Lutz’s moved into the house on Ocean Avenue in late 1975, their troubles began immediately. George Lutz constantly suffered from a chill and spent the majority of his time feeding the fire. Kathleen Lutz felt a presence in the kitchen which laid an innocuous hand on her shoulder only to feel that presence again later which squeezed the air out of her so much that she passed out. The two state that their emotions would often get the best of them for no apparent reason which led them both beating their children which had never happened before. But that was only the first few days of their stay.
This is the second read for my scary book month of 2015 and I’m beginning to think the fear part of my brain is broken. Or maybe this just wasn’t that scary? Either way, this is always on the list of classic horror novels and has always been one I’ve wanted to read. But the strange occurrences that happened in the house would have been more terrifying to have actually lived it, to have felt the wrongness of the house, and that’s simply something that couldn’t have been conveyed through the page. The odd things that were actually visible (the strange, tiny red room or the weird ghosty pig) weren’t actually terrifying. Even the green goop that ran down the walls failed to horrify but what did horrify me was when George actually stuck his finger in it and proceeded to taste it. Because that’s what normal people do. Taste random shit running down their walls. For fucks sake.
I did make the mistake of reading this in bed, in the middle of the night, only stopping at a part where a character woke in the middle of the night to find some ghosty child touching her foot trying to wake her up. Suffice it to say I felt little fingers touching my feet all night. Other than freaking myself out by being a dumb dumb and reading it at night, I didn’t find this terrifying. It would have helped, maybe, if Anson had eased up on his use of the exclamation points whenever something ominous happened in order to be taken more seriously. While I’m not completely sold on whether or not this is indeed factual, it was still an entertaining story that makes you wonder about the history of your home and what could have possibly taken place within its walls.
Next up, I’ll be watching the classic movie. I just did this with Psycho (the Hitchcock version, not the one with Aragorn) and enjoyed the hell out of it. I may even have to watch the newer Amityville as well because 1. the trailer actually does look pretty damn terrifying and 2. other, various reasons. *shrugs*