Amityville Horror: Where Do You Stand?

Did Something Supernatural Happen in Amityville?

  • No, it's a Hoax all the way and the Lutz family lied through their teeth

    Votes: 40 47.1%
  • No, but the Lutz family convinced themselves & the Warrens it was real over the years

    Votes: 24 28.2%
  • Yes, but it wasn't at all to the level of the book, just a minor haunting

    Votes: 19 22.4%
  • Yes, and it was exactly what was in the book

    Votes: 2 2.4%
  • Yes, but only the psychic impressions of the case were real - no material haunting

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    85
@Endlessly Amazed I'm not a firearms expert by any stretch of the imagination, but that recent podcast that @sherbetbizarre linked to earlier indicated that the gun itself is a particularly loud type.

The dog (named Shaggy, which I don't recall hearing before - I wonder if it was in honor of the Scooby Doo character?) was taken outside and tied in an outer shed during the murders (I think it is on the boat dock). It was outside and was heard barking. It was also the detail that led to DeFeo being convicted; a juror was interviewed and they believed that DeFeo taking the dog and tying it up outside was proof of his premeditation, as Shaggy didn't like DeFeo. According to Ric Osuna (who is a questionable source), he interviewed people who claimed to have heard shots but never reported it to the police due to not wanting to get involved.

@SimonBurchell That is my understanding too - the autopsy showed no drug in their system, at least for the living DeFeos - Butch DeFeo was admittedly high on drugs and alcohol that night, though I don't know if he had a tox-screen. I also didn't know that he insisted on a physical after he was charged that showed lots of minor injuries to the body, head and face. He's claimed that police beat the confession out of him, but he also claimed that he got into an altercation with his Dad as well.

Thanks, @MrRING. I actually don't know much about the Amityville horror, even though I am an American. I had assumed (yes, I know, assumptions...) that the dog was inside the house. Unless new evidence comes up, I think that this case will never be solved to most people's satisfaction because there are too many misassumptions mixed up with the facts, and all are distorted by the people involved to support their own goals.

Unless the victims were drugged, it seems weird to me that they all were shot individually and separately. Unless they were all wearing ear protectors which blocked the gunshot noises, and the protectors were removed after their deaths. And then carried away by ghosts, poltergeists, demons, aliens, the Mob, men in black, etc.
 
I haven't studied either case in very great detail, but are there parallels with the White House Farm Murders (the Jeremy Bamber case), where a whole family were murdered more or less in their beds and it's uncertain as to why or how nobody seemed to react?
Yes - but not for that reason - the father definitely died in a struggle with the killer.

The link is the guilty parties - Bamber and DeFeo - both blamed the murders on their dead sisters. Bamber apparently staged it to look like she committed suicide, while DeFeo says he shot his sister in a struggle, while she attempted to kill him.

Interestingly DeFeo only came up with this scenario in the mid-80's, and I've always wondered if he heard the Bamber case and simply copied it. He had blamed his sister before, but now he had a whole story mapped out, including a phone call saying "come home, your sister is going crazy" which is the same phone call Bamber claimed to have received before making his way to the farm.

I know he claimed that, but I believe that the autopsies found no trace of drugs in the victims.
This is correct.
 
Yes - but not for that reason - the father definitely died in a struggle with the killer.

The link is the guilty parties - Bamber and DeFeo - both blamed the murders on their dead sisters. Bamber apparently staged it to look like she committed suicide, while DeFeo says he shot his sister in a struggle, while she attempted to kill him.

Interestingly DeFeo only came up with this scenario in the mid-80's, and I've always wondered if he heard the Bamber case and simply copied it. He had blamed his sister before, but now he had a whole story mapped out, including a phone call saying "come home, your sister is going crazy" which is the same phone call Bamber claimed to have received before making his way to the farm.


This is correct.

I still reckon Bamber was innocent but that's a debate for another thread.
 
…a whole family were murdered more or less in their beds and it's uncertain as to why or how nobody seemed to react?

I think the mother was beside her bed and the dad downstairs, but the sister and children were killed in their beds.

Bamber used a .22LR Anschutz semi-auto rifle fitted with a sound moderator (in tabloidese, a “silencer”). IIRC, it was this exact model of rifle:


lf he used it with subsonic ammo (as in the above video), the sound would have been almost undetectable, even in an adjacent room. lt’s notoriously difficult to describe sound levels, but l liken the sound of my own moderated .22 to that of a hardback book being “snapped” shut.

Endlessly Amazed said:
Could any type of silencer be used on the gun which would greatly decrease the sound while also allowing some GSR to be deposited on the victim? Even a home made silencer, which could be replaced after each shot?

The rifle that DeFeo used was a lever-action Marlin 336C in .35 Remington. That’s a medium-powered, short-range deer-stalking calibre, which fires a heavy bullet at about Mach 2:



Marlin_336W.png


The design doesn’t lend itself to having a moderator fitted (there’s a prominent foresight, and the magazine tube under the barrel would make it awkward.) Any permanent or semi-permanent fitting of a commercial moderator would leave obvious marks on the barrel, e.g. a screw thread, or scratches on the blueing.

It would be possible to attach a home-made mod to the barrel - Duct tape? Simply holding it on with one hand? - but the power of the cartridge, plus the supersonic crack! inevitably produced when the bullet exited the muzzle into free air, would make a “hillbilly silencer” very ineffective. Better than nothing, but one would most definitely hear it, inside and probably outside the house. (By “home-made mod”, l mean something that a “non-gun person” would come up with, e.g. the classic “holding a pillow over the muzzle”, or a large pop bottle containing some sort of sound-deadening material.)

Moderators reduce, but definitely don’t eliminate, the amount of residue expelled from the firearm.

As to acoustics, l’m clueless. My guess would be that the insistent, rhythmic, bass-heavy barking of a dog might be more disturbing to neighbours than the intermittent high-pitched crack! of a rifle.

Thanks for the richly-undeserved compliment, BTW, but l’m not an expert in anything!

maximus otter
 
Butch DeFeo told many versions of the murder night, but in one of them, just before the killings he watched the 1969 WWII film Castle Keep on TV during a latenight showing... I've not seen it, but I wonder if a viewing might reveal anything in relation to the killer's state of mind
 
Butch DeFeo told many versions of the murder night, but in one of them, just before the killings he watched the 1969 WWII film Castle Keep on TV during a latenight showing... I've not seen it, but I wonder if a viewing might reveal anything in relation to the killer's state of mind

The plot.

Frankly, from reading the above, it seems as though one could take away anything one wanted from a viewing of it. lt certainly doesn’t entice me towards seeking it out.

maximus otter
 
Thanks! I did not know this. I may have my own home blurred out, to prevent either zombies from my former employer finding and killing me, or Fellow Fortean Travelers from gatecrashing and staying with me for long stretches. :)
Zombies and Fortean gatecrashers???? sure it's not just to hide the curtains. I have been told the English have been known to have had duels (and even wars) due to slight remarks made over one's curtains. :p
 
MO - you are the resident firearms expert, so if you could be gracious enough to explain, I'd be grateful:
1. Could any type of silencer be used on the gun which would greatly decrease the sound while also allowing some GSR to be deposited on the victim? Even a home made silencer, which could be replaced after each shot?
2. To what extent could the house construction reduce the gunshot noise enough so the neighbors would not hear it, but still allow the dog barking from inside the house to be heard by the neighbors? Would the different sound frequencies between a dog bark and a gun shot be affected by the wall construction? I know this sounds farfetched, but...

Signed,
YAFF (Your American Favorite Fan)

Just finished the podcast, interesting and frustrating too!

Interesting that family patriarch Ronald DeFeo was convinced he had ESP and would pray to the Catholic statuary in the front yard while wearing his underwear.

I think it is strange that for some people the idea that sister Dawn was the real mastermind of the killings is a reasonable way to look at the case. It is apparently Ric Osuna's POV and he is convinced of that storyline.

Nobody has found an explanation of how they all died on their backs, but were killed with an exceptionally loud gun.

The mob ties of the family are pretty interesting too.
clb.jpg
 
This Facebook video has the Channel 5 original news story of the March 1976 commentary along with commentary by reporter who was there Marvin Scott, who is skeptical overall thugh he did feel a cold draft on his neck. Caution for those with a weak stomach: much 70's fashion on display
https://www.facebook.com/pix11news/videos/marvin-remembers-amityville-horror/347887189306608/
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR: The murders of six members of one family shocked the nation and put the quiet residential Long Island town of Amityville on the map. The family that later moved into that house claimed it was possessed. In 1976, Marvin Scott spent the night inside the "Amityville Horror" house. He shares his story of that night now. Please leave your questions in the comments.
 
Butch DeFeo told many versions of the murder night, but in one of them, just before the killings he watched the 1969 WWII film Castle Keep on TV during a latenight showing... I've not seen it, but I wonder if a viewing might reveal anything in relation to the killer's state of mind
This came up at the trial. It's a slightly surrealistic movie which ends in an epic shoot out!
 
Like what others have said, how can this many people be shot with no one resisting ?

I don’t know if true or not, but it was said some of the wounds could have been survivable with immediate medical help, but death happened from bleeding out.

Did some of Ron’s friends shot also ?
 
My initial gut reaction is load of old bobbins - BUT, and it's a big but, I also don't think that is nearly nuanced enough.

On the "rational" side there are interesting questions like what would the situation be if this happened in a different country? What parts are universal and what are culture-specific? An examination of the post event exploitation (from the killer onwards) would be interesting too.

On the "less rational" side I wonder what there is now, feeding off the frenzy, digging its way into shared mental space. As in Jung's collective unconscious. Think tulpa.

It worries me that demons (for want of a better word) may not need more than a single event to fasten on to, to grow and become enormous.
 
My initial gut reaction is load of old bobbins - BUT, and it's a big but, I also don't think that is nearly nuanced enough.

On the "rational" side there are interesting questions like what would the situation be if this happened in a different country? What parts are universal and what are culture-specific? An examination of the post event exploitation (from the killer onwards) would be interesting too.

On the "less rational" side I wonder what there is now, feeding off the frenzy, digging its way into shared mental space. As in Jung's collective unconscious. Think tulpa.

It worries me that demons (for want of a better word) may not need more than a single event to fasten on to, to grow and become enormous.
Yes, it seems some entities are attracted by fear, so once the fear starts they just keep going. I think that's why some poltergeist cases just explode into major disruption, and others never go much further than the occasional object moving inexplicably.
 
Yes, it seems some entities are attracted by fear, so once the fear starts they just keep going. I think that's why some poltergeist cases just explode into major disruption, and others never go much further than the occasional object moving inexplicably.
When I was little my great aunt and uncle moved into a old farm house that they soon decided was haunted. There was a bit of limited poltergeist activity (with multiple witnesses) but it never grew into anything major as their attitude was 'he' (they'd decided it was the former occupier objecting to their modernisations) 'can't do anything to harm us, his main weapon is fear so don't give into it'. So I grew up with the notion that ghosts were a bit unnerving but nothing to fear.

Now the thing is and why I'm responding to your post was to observe that not all the rest of the relatives were able to take that attitude. The 'born again believers' were far more scared and there was increased activity around their visits. You'd imagine that being 'saved' and protected from 'evil' so to speak they'd be the least afraid. Incidently my aunt and uncle were also of that same faith but they were far more down to earth with it.
 
Watched a new documentary on the Amityville case, 2 hours long.
It was extremely interesting and delved into the case details from the very beginning, with Ronald DeFeo murdering his family, saying that 'voices in his head ordered him to do it'.
Kathy and George Lutz both passed lie detector tests and insisted to their dying days that the Amityville house was horribly haunted.
But the one thing that stood out to me is that the house has been sold many times, with one owner denying any haunting episodes, then actually saying that 'George Lutz is responsible for the evil happenings in the house', which makes her denials questionable.
I still go past an old building I lived in for 10 years which was definitely strange, and am always looking to see new residents outside, I want to speak with them to see if they have had any experiences, but I have yet to catch anyone out there.
 
I still reckon Bamber was innocent but that's a debate for another thread.
Does a thread exist on the Bamber case..? I don’t live a million miles away from Tolleshunt D’Arcy and have walked past White house farm a few times.

There is a certain similarity with the DeFeo murders, without the new owners / tenants saying that White House farm is crawling with Ghosts though.

I don’t know too much about the Bamber case so can’t really comment, but I did watch a you tube video a few years ago, in which a retired policeman who was there on the ground that night state, that while the police were waiting outside the farm assessing the situation with Bamber present, shots were heard from within, and there was definite movement at the windows.

Bamber of course, still protests his innocence to this day (unsurprisingly)
 
It may have been discussed on this thread before, but did the Amityville case kick off the whole US haunted house=demons thing, or was the case just a symptom of that belief? I remember the whole Amityville pig-demon thing scared the living daylights out of me when I was in my early teens.
 
It may have been discussed on this thread before, but did the Amityville case kick off the whole US haunted house=demons thing, or was the case just a symptom of that belief? I remember the whole Amityville pig-demon thing scared the living daylights out of me when I was in my early teens.
I'm still petrified when I re-watch 'The Amityville Horror', and when I originally saw it, I was living in a truly haunted building, which made it even more frightening. I remember after seeing it, I woke up every morning at 3:15 a.m. for some horrible reason.
And yes, I think it was the start of the haunted house movies.
Although 'The Haunting' was years earlier, and a real gem. But then it wasn't a true story.
 
I'm still petrified when I re-watch 'The Amityville Horror', and when I originally saw it, I was living in a truly haunted building, which made it even more frightening. I remember after seeing it, I woke up every morning at 3:15 a.m. for some horrible reason.
And yes, I think it was the start of the haunted house movies.
Although 'The Haunting' was years earlier, and a real gem. But then it wasn't a true story.
The Haunting was by far the best haunted house film Hollywood ever produced Ronnie -at least I can’t think of a better one.

Not to be confused with the ridiculous 1998/1999 remake of course lol
 
The Haunting was by far the best haunted house film Hollywood ever produced Ronnie -at least I can’t think of a better one.

Not to be confused with the ridiculous 1998/1999 remake of course lol
Oh that remake was so drippy, why did they bother! LOL!
And 'The Haunting' original movie was filmed in England!
 
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I still very desperately want to see the Amityville House up close, it's on my list.
It's not that far from where we live, but the NYC traffic, costs to get into the City, and the price of gas put a damper on it.
But I must see it, to find out if something is there.
 
You might want to check with the local fuzz or housing association.
Many houses with notoriety attached are owned by people fed up with crowds of gawkers, looking for something to ... happen.
Of course, one person doing a slow drive-by might get away with it.
 
I still very desperately want to see the Amityville House up close, it's on my list.
It's not that far from where we live, but the NYC traffic, costs to get into the City, and the price of gas put a damper on it.
But I must see it, to find out if something is there.
I honestly don't remember if I ever passed by the place, but I have been in the area, and I can confidently say it won't be worth a special trip. Maybe plan a drive-by on your way to a vacation on eastern Long Island, so you can fit in some equally disappointing Montauk Project sightseeing. :)

Seriously, you'll only get to see it from the side and at a bit of a distance unless you go down the cul de sac/shared driveway that the house faces, which is basically saying "I came here to bother people." Do NOT stop to point, gawk, knock on the door, etc. unless you'd like to get to know the fine men and women of the Amityville Police Department.
 
You might want to check with the local fuzz or housing association.
Many houses with notoriety attached are owned by people fed up with crowds of gawkers, looking for something to ... happen.
Of course, one person doing a slow drive-by might get away with it.
I can certainly walk down the road and stop in front, to see what I can pick up.
 
I honestly don't remember if I ever passed by the place, but I have been in the area, and I can confidently say it won't be worth a special trip. Maybe plan a drive-by on your way to a vacation on eastern Long Island, so you can fit in some equally disappointing Montauk Project sightseeing. :)

Seriously, you'll only get to see it from the side and at a bit of a distance unless you go down the cul de sac/shared driveway that the house faces, which is basically saying "I came here to bother people." Do NOT stop to point, gawk, knock on the door, etc. unless you'd like to get to know the fine men and women of the Amityville Police Department.
LOL - Anyone can walk down a street.
And being that house actually goes up for sale from time to time, it might be worth a trip when there's open house!
Then I could actually step inside and get a closer look at what's there. :)
 
LOL - Anyone can walk down a street.
And being that house actually goes up for sale from time to time, it might be worth a trip when there's open house!
Then I could actually step inside and get a closer look at what's there. :)
Very good point re: open house!

Otherwise, however, since the dead-end "street" it's on (labeled "Ocean Ave.", like the actual street it comes off of) seems to be a shared driveway, and therefore almost certainly private property, I doubt you could use the "anyone" argument - unless you can play dumb really well.

Amityville.JPG
 
That is simply someone's driveway next door, it is not Ocean Avenue.
And Ocean Avenue is quite a lengthy street, definitely walkable.
 
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