Post by Graveyardbride on Sept 12, 2016 22:13:40 GMT -5
For $850K, The Amityville Horror House Can Be Yours
The house that sparked The Amityville Horror book and multiple movies on the murders that took place there is back on the market. Currently listed for $850,000, the five-bedroom, three-bathroom Long Island home at 108 Ocean Avenue (above) is up for sale through Coldwell Banker Harbor Light owner and broker Jerry O’Neil. “I’m very familiar with the house,” he told the Daily News. “A friend of mine from high school, his family owned it. I spent a lot of time in this house as a kid. It’s a beautiful home.”
The broker added that he does not know what to expect regarding how long it will take to sell the home, which was built in 1927. “Real estate is a very fickle product,” he explained. “Sometimes you’re disappointed, sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised.” O’Neil, whose brother also owned the home on the Amityville River at one point after the murders, had no reservations about accepting the listing and is taking extra steps to make sure only serious buyers get to step foot in the house and take a tour. “Buyers are going to see this only through brokers,” he asserted. The application, which O’Neill’s office will have to approve three to five days before the desired date of viewing, states that anyone interested in seeing the listing must be financially pre-qualified and have proof of “funds.” Last year’s property taxes for the home were $20,856
Caroline D’Antonio, who bought the house in 2010 for $950,000, though at one point it was listed for more than $1 million, is selling it because her husband died last year and she wants to downsize. She has already purchased a condo on a different part of Long Island. The official listing for 108 Ocean Avenue simply describes the home as follows: “Stately center hall colonial on Amityville River,” adding that the house deed includes a “large” boat house, two-car garage and boat slip.
Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. used a high-powered rifle to kill his parents and four siblings 40 years ago – and in the process, gave birth to the ultimate haunted house story.
What transpired in the house after it was purchased by the Lutz family has been told over and over, in everything from best-selling books, blockbuster movies and endless sequels to an animated parody on The Simpsons. People primarily remember the wild tales of slime oozing through walls, flying demon pigs with glow-in-the-dark red eyes, swarms of flies in winter, and all sorts of winds, stenches and noises that could come only from hell.
In the fall of 1974, the 4,000-square-foot Dutch Colonial house at what was then 112 Ocean Avenue, was nothing special. The DeFeo clan had lived in the home nine years and seemed to be the typical suburban family. The patriarch, Ronald DeFeo Sr., 43, made a good living as a car dealer, owned by his father-in-law, and his wife, Louise, 42, and five children: Ronald Jr., 23, known as “Butch”; Dawn, 18; Allison, 13; Marc, 12, and John, 9, lived comfortably.
The DeFeos named their big house on the river “High Hopes,” but all wasn’t rosy inside the dwelling with the weird jack-o-lantern windows on the third floor: the elder DeFeo had a quick temper and he and his eldest son were in constant conflict. By the time he was in his teens, Butch was a chronic troublemaker, a hotheaded high school dropout on drugs. He could not hold a job, even one that his father gave him at the family-owned and operated Buick dealership. A few weeks before the murders, the troubled youth and a buddy had even tried to rob the dealership.
Around 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, Butch burst into a neighborhood watering hole and screamed “Somebody shot my mother and father!” The bartender and a few regulars rushed to the DeFeo home to investigate. The only sign of life was the family sheepdog, Shaggy, barking wildly. They found the elder DeFeos lying dead in their bed. The four younger DeFeo children had also been shot in their beds. There were no signs of a struggle.
Sympathies were initially with the distraught young man who had lost his family. But within two days, he was led away in handcuffs. During a 20-hour interrogation, he confessed, describing how he walked through the house, methodically shooting each of his victims. No motive was offered, but prosecutors suggested Butch wanted to get his hands on the family money. DeFeo, however, insisted: “The voices in the house made me do it.”
On Nov. 19, 1975, following a seven-week trial in which DeFeo’s attorneys attempted to prove their client was insane, a jury found him guilty of killing his family. He was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for each of the six counts of murder and would serve then consecutively, ensuring he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
Then things got really strange. Throughout the trial, the house remained unoccupied. But in December 1975, George Lutz, 30, his wife, Kathleen, and three children from her previous marriage, set superstition aside and moved into the scene of a bloody family massacre, taking the precaution of having a priest drive out any residual evil with a blessing. But this didn’t help. The story goes that as the priest prepared for his ritual, he heard a voice utter, “Get out!” Then it was one weird thing after another, until the prospect of staying in the house became terrifying and the family fled. They had lived in their new home for just 28 days.
It didn’t take long for the family’s story to catch the eye of a publisher, who introduced Lutz to Jay Anson, a documentary film writer in search of a topic for his first book. In October 1977, The Amityville Horror: A True Story hit bookstores. Though it was classified as a novel, Anson nevertheless insisted he approached the story as a reporter would. “These are the facts. This is what happened to the family,” he said in an interview. “This is what happened to the priest. You make up your own mind as a reader.” The book became a bestseller, soon there was a movie, and the story turned into a kind of literary zombie. It just wouldn’t die. There were lawsuits over the truthfulness of the account; a dozen books, some purporting to tell what really happened regarding both the murders and the haunting; and several movie sequels.
Among the latest films is a 2013 documentary, My Amityville Horror, by one of the sons, Daniel Lutz, who says the month in the house ruined his life. Also in 2013, a 13-year-old boy in Brazil, reportedly obsessed with the decades-old Amityville, shot his parents, grandparents and great-aunt before turning the gun on himself.
From behind bars, DeFeo changed his story dozens of times – putting the gun in the hands of the mob, his sister, an accomplice or strangers – and altered details of the night of the murders. He was turned down for parole when he initially became eligible in 1999, and has been denied several times since. He is currently incarcerated at Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, N.Y. He will be eligible for parole again in July 2017.
Over the decades, the infamous Long Island street house has attracted hordes of gawkers, ghost-hunters, thrill-seekers, psychics, experts in the paranormal, movie buffs and horror fans. But unlike other scenes of mass murder – which are sometimes torn down or transformed into tourist attractions – the house on Ocean Avenue remains a private residence, a haunted house-turned happy home. When the murders took place, the house was worth $75,000 and listed as 112 Ocean Avenue. Finally, an owner petitioned for a change of address and the number was changed to 108. The oddly-shaped, eye-like windows were also removed and replaced with conventional windows. To this day, many living in Amityville deny the house is haunted and insist the Lutz family’s allegations were an elaborate hoax.
Sources: Nicholas Parco, The New York Daily News, June 3, 2016; Mara Bovsin, The New York Daily News, November 2, 2014; and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
See also See also “Christopher Lutz Wants to Put an End to the Amityville Horror’”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/586/amityville-horror-christopher-lutz
“Things You May not Know about ‘The Amityville Horror’ House”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/7148/amityville-horror-case