This beautiful Dutch Colonial in New York will forever be known as the “Amityville Horror House.” Ronald DeFeo Jr. notoriously murdered six family members as they slept here in 1974. George and Kathy Lutz bought the house a year later but, after less than a month, fled with nothing but the shirts on their backs.
The Lutz family’s spine-tingling tales about the angry spirits in their haunted house were turned into a bestselling book by Jay Anson. It was then made into the popular, Oscar-nominated film, The Amityville Horror, starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder.
In this news photo from the ’70s, the police investigate the murder scene. There’s something about that “High Hopes” sign that is so poignant:
No one else who has lived in the house since then has reported any supernatural activity. One man who lived there for a decade says, “Nothing weird ever happened, except for people coming by because of the book and the movie.”
Here’s how the house looked in the 1979 movie:
The address has been changed twice since the murders in an attempt to regain a sense of privacy. (But that has been blown by all of the news reports about it that not only give the new address, but the current owner’s name!)
The house is for sale again. The Lutzes paid $80,000 for it in 1975, which was considered a steal even then. The current asking price: $1.5 million.
The side of the house as it looked in the movie:
Some say the whole thing was just a hoax–elaborate stories made up by the Lutz family. Their attorney told People magazine that they made it up together over a few glasses of wine. There are details that don’t really make sense or hold up under scrutiny (you can read all about it here).
Hoax or not, I’m not sure that even this lovely sunroom could convince me to live in a house where a family was killed. I wouldn’t mind looking around a little, though! It looks beautiful.
Would you want to live in the Amityville Horror house? Does a home’s history make a difference in whether or not you’d buy it–even if it was a “steal”?