Real Talk: Amityville
The True Story Behind The Amityville Horror
The DeFeo family moved to Amityville, Long Island, New York in 1965. Ronald and Louise DeFeo were second generation Italian Americans looking to make a life for themselves. Altogether they had five children: Ronald Jr. (Butch), Dawn, Allison, Marc, and John Matthew (oldest to youngest).
At about 3:00am November 13, 1974 the DeFeo family was brutally murdered. The exact details of the murders remain a mystery today since all family members were found shot dead lying face down in their beds. The parents were shot twice each, while the children were shot only once. Basically people are unsure how a whole family could be murdered by rifle without any sign of struggle. Some theories involve multiple murderers or some sort of conspiracy between family members, but again it remains a mystery.
Initially Ronald “Butch” Jr. was taken into custody for his own safety, but soon after he confessed to murdering his whole family. His motives also remain unclear to this day, particularly because he continues to change his story. The peaceful town of Amityville was shaken to the core and a once quiet town became a name infamously known across the United States.
A year after the DeFeo murder the Lutz family, George and Kathy and their three children, moved into that same home in Amityville. The house having been the scene of a tragic crime was being sold for a bargain price. The Lutz family shortly began experiencing strange things in the home that led to them literally fleeing in the middle of the night only 28 days after they moved in.
There are a lot of theories behind what went down during those 28 days. The Lutz’ continued to their deaths insisting that the home in Amityville was haunted. The famous paranormal investigator couple (we saw them in The Conjuring) Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the Amityville home and sensed a great evil presence. Another medium believed the home had been built on a Native American burial ground, although nearly everyone finds that theory total bunk.
Other theories are that the Lutz’ made the whole thing up for money, although problems with that theory are that a) they really didn’t get that much out of the whole deal, and b) they left literally all of their belongings in that home when they fled. It’s a totally reasonable theory, but it does have flaws.
Personally, I like to believe the “homes aren’t haunted, people are haunted” theory. The Lutz’ were Catholic. This isn’t to bash on their religion, but Catholics have a strong belief in demons and possessions and exorcisms. It’s a lot easier to see/feel something when you believe in it. I think a handful of weird things probably did happen, which led the Lutz family to believe that their home really was haunted in some way.
Even the Lutz’ admitted that both the books and the movies way over-exaggerated their story, even including facts and details that were completely new to the Lutz’. But George and Kathy took to their graves that that home in Amityville was haunted.