Would You Want to Live in the “Amityville Horror” House?

by hookedonhouses on May 25, 2010

Amityville Horror House exterior

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.

Jay Anson's Amityville Horror bookIn this news photo from the ’70s, the police investigate the murder scene. There’s something about that “High Hopes” sign that is so poignant:

Amityville Horror House-file photo

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:

front of house in 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!)

Amityville Horror house sideThe 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:

Amityville Horror house in movie-side

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).

Amityville Horror House-sun roomHoax 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.

(More photos and information on Newsday and the listing. Thanks to all the readers who sent me the links!)

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”?

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Tracie ~ My Petite Maison May 25, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I don’t think I’d want to live there either, even with the light and airy sun room. Was that a face in that news photo? I remember having to read that book for a class in junior high and it scared, scared, scared me to bits. Still remember there was something about a pig with red eyes. Yes, I’ll definitely pass on this house… this was as good as a scary movie tonight… don’t think I’ll go downstairs alone!
.-= Tracie ~ My Petite Maison´s last blog ..White Wednesday… A dream find =-.

Amanda May 26, 2010 at 12:44 am

Hmm. I wouldn’t live here, but it’s not because of the “paranormal activity” that the Lutzes experienced. Admittedly I’m too creeped out to actually go read about it right now, but that’s neither here nor there. I wouldn’t live there because I can’t be in a place without thinking about the history- I just can’t do it. My house was built in 1926 and I am constantly wondering about the people who must have lived here first, as well as those since then (and especially about the crackheads that left it in the condition it was in when I found it- yeesh). I would be utterly incapable of not thinking about the family who was murdered on a daily basis.

I would love to visit as it looks gorgeous- provided it was during daylight hours. :-)
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..The bathroom- today =-.

Kim May 26, 2010 at 2:01 am

No thanks! I would never want to live in a house that has bad history to it. This reminds of me of the show “A Haunting” where people share real stories about hauntings they endured while living in their homes. They hired actors to come in and recreate the stories.

Cindy May 26, 2010 at 2:58 am

I wouldn’t have a problem living there because of it’s history, although I would feel sad for the people. I just don’t believe in ghost stories, don’t watch those movies and TV shows or read those kinds of books. Now, the fact that it is a Colonial….uh, no, I could never move in there.

linda@LimeintheCoconut May 26, 2010 at 3:12 am

Um. No.
.-= linda@LimeintheCoconut´s last blog ..Summer moves in with ego in Florida… =-.

Tricia Rose May 26, 2010 at 3:56 am

I’d have to feel the atmosphere. It’s a bit like falling in love – oh wait, not sure I want to continue this analogy…
.-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..The Daily Basics =-.

Lisa May 26, 2010 at 4:43 am

Well, living on Long Island I have driven past the house, morbid curiosity I suppose! But when you live on LI and you get your drivers license, you see the sights. The Amityville Horror House, Marty Tanklefs house, Joey Buttofucos auto body shop, the Grey Gardens House. I do have to say the Amityville Horror house is lovely, on the water…but yes, CREEPY!

Michelle May 26, 2010 at 7:00 am

Honestly, I don’t think I could live there. It is a gorgeous home though!
~Michelle
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..Sick and Tired =-.

Cori Heffernn May 26, 2010 at 7:23 am

This is fairly close to where I live. If they have an open house I’m there! It really is beautiful isn’t it though? The boathouse gives me the shivers.

Susan S May 26, 2010 at 7:34 am

The home is architecturally stunning as is the property and although I do not believe that houses are haunted, I’m not so sure the thought of the murders wouldn’t “color” my thoughts at times.

Jennifer May 26, 2010 at 7:37 am

no problem living there….

Christine May 26, 2010 at 7:44 am

I would probably live there. The house is beautiful! The house definitely has gruesome past, but I’d give it go. Now… anybody have $1.5 million I could borrow? :)
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Post It Note Tuesday =-.

Kat in Texas May 26, 2010 at 8:03 am

I think it’s a gorgeous home and would live there in a minute, since I don’t believe in haunted houses. I might, however, get tired of people driving by all the time. Great renovation and the views of the river are lovely.

Kara May 26, 2010 at 8:05 am

Sure ~ it’s a beautiful house! People die in homes everywhere. Grant it, this home was the scene of a horrific murder, but I don’t believe in ghosts. Demons… sure, but they are everywhere and not the same.

Probably the hardest part would be like what Amanda said. There would be a certain sadness or grieving for the family that was murdered there. I too am always thinking of or curious about the people who lived in homes I’ve been in. What kind of people were they? … were they happy? down on their luck? honest hardworkers? Or grumpy and miserable? Have giggling children? Most of the homes, you don’t know those answers, but in this home, you know of the pain and sadness.

Our Nifty Notebook May 26, 2010 at 8:16 am

Yikes! I couldn’t live in a house where people were murdered. When we were looking for a house, we went to one and it was really nice, but I had this creepy feeling. I could tell it was an older person’s home by the items in it. I asked my realtor if the husband died there and he said that the man is in a nursing home and that’s why the wife is moving. I don’t know what it was about the house, but it was creepy. He also told me in MO that they have to legally disclose in someone has died in the house. Apparently they don’t have to in all states?
.-= Our Nifty Notebook´s last blog ..Wordful Wednesday: Happy Birthday, Dave! =-.

Pat May 26, 2010 at 8:16 am

OK, first of all….did they replace those beautiful attic windows with plain old square ones? It was probably an attempt to change a symbol of the old house, but not a very good attempt! I also like the old railing on the roof top deck.
I think this house is beautiful. Would I live there? Probably not. Some things require more thought then the price…like peace of mind!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Hello there… =-.

Kelli May 26, 2010 at 8:18 am

I think the house is so pretty, and living on the water would be cool. At first, I’m sure I would be a little freaked out about the murders that occurred. I’m so morbid, though, that I’d read everything I could about it so I’d know exactly what rooms it happened in. Just mentally preparing myself. But after it was redecorated and we’d lived in it a while, I’m sure it would be okay. Evidently it isn’t haunted!
.-= Kelli´s last blog ..Tuesday Truth #13 – Fantasy world =-.

hip hip gin gin May 26, 2010 at 8:21 am

No way, not in a million years. I seriously think that when something horrific like that happens in a house they should just knock it down and start over. It’s not that I necessarily believe in ghosts or things being haunted, but there would just be this overwhelming feeling of something horrible happened here. A creepy, raise the hair on the back of your neck factor. Ugh, shudder, no.
.-= hip hip gin gin´s last blog ..Imperial Correspondence =-.

rue May 26, 2010 at 8:33 am

All the people saying they would live there because they don’t believe in ghosts haven’t lived in a house with one. Rich and I didn’t either. Notice I said didn’t?

There’s a reason we don’t want to be in the attic of our house, besides it being to far away from the kids. Try sleeping with something staring at you at night or having one walk past you on the stairs while everyone is asleep or losing your keys only to find them in the yard, even though you had to use them to get in the house and you are the only one home. And this is a nice ghost! Evil ghosts? NO THANK YOU…. LOL

rue
.-= rue´s last blog ..Guessing game =-.

Pascale Steig May 26, 2010 at 8:35 am

The photo of the dining room gave me the chills.

sherri/the claw May 26, 2010 at 8:46 am

I couldn’t live there, no matter how nice or what a deal you’d get on the house. Bad karma.
.-= sherri/the claw´s last blog ..asheville wrap-up (day two) =-.

Alison Agnew May 26, 2010 at 8:53 am

Aside from the fact that I don’t have 1.5 million to blow on any house, I would live there in a heartbeat. The Lutz’s lied and the original murder was not committed because of a house, but b/c of a deranged mind. In the words of Ryan Reynolds’, aka George Lutz, “Houses don’t kill people. People kill people.”!

Alison
.-= Alison Agnew´s last blog ..Swimsuit season draweth nigh… =-.

Kate (Little Beach Bum) May 26, 2010 at 9:21 am

I don’t think I could handle that…things that seem ridiculous and silly (like ghosts or ax murderers lurking in closets) during daylight hours can suddenly become very real and frightening once the sun goes down! I could probably visit during the day but any time after dark – no way jose! Lol.
.-= Kate (Little Beach Bum)´s last blog ..Quote of the Day =-.

Billy May 26, 2010 at 9:24 am

Well if I did, the move in would look like a meta-joke: A Priest, Rabbi, and Shaman walk into a house on Long Island and the Devil says “This is a joke”.

Lara Jane May 26, 2010 at 9:33 am

I link this house/story to the reason I hate Dutch Colonial Revivals in general! LOL! It’s kind of stupid, but true. I just hate that style of house. The attic windows, probably.

Whether one believes in ghosts or not, how could you envelop yourself in a place where such ghastly events occurred? I couldn’t.

And yes, here in Missouri, you are legally bound to disclose anything like this. However, it was MY HUSBAND who told our new neighbor (an 18-year-old, first-time homeowner) that the previous owner hung himself in the garage. Whoops.

Dawn-Hydrangea Home May 26, 2010 at 9:35 am

Wow- that brings back memories! As teenagers, we would do a drive by of the Amityville Horror House – when we had nothing better to do!
.-= Dawn-Hydrangea Home´s last blog ..Spring Garden Sale! =-.

Dean May 26, 2010 at 9:41 am

Uh, No. Don’t want to be bothered by either the spooks inside the house or the spooks (curious gawkers) outside the house. Poor house has too much negative history attached to it.

Morning T May 26, 2010 at 9:50 am

I love this house and have always wanted to visit. Maybe I’ll have to fly up and schedule a tour. :) I’m sure it is just gorgeous but I would be way too scared to live there….
.-= Morning T´s last blog ..Empty bowls =-.

melissa May 26, 2010 at 9:52 am

I don’t really know how I would feel…I think your home is what you make it…It’s a gorgeous home…I think my favorite part is the backyard with the porch and boat garage.

Lisa May 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

there is no way on earth i could live in that house- i don’t care how pretty it is. people were murdered in that house! how could you not constantly think about it?!!
.-= Lisa´s last blog ..monday =-.

The Shiny Pebble May 26, 2010 at 10:48 am

I wouldn’t even want to live in the same neighborhood. How gruesome!
.-= The Shiny Pebble´s last blog ..2010 Shanghai World Expo and Burberry Blue Label =-.

Lacy May 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

I’m with you. couldn’t live there, but would love to visit.

My brother put windows on the side of his house like those. He had never seen this house. So now we give him a hard time.

Nichole May 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

I don’t think I could do it. But that’s too bad because it looks lovely. Also, I could never afford it!
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..When You Fall Down, Get Back Up Again =-.

Amy May 26, 2010 at 11:33 am

I saw this on MSN the other day and thought, “Julia should do a post on this”. Funny. I think the house is beautiful. It’s so sad it comes with such a dark history. I’d have to pass though, no matter how beautiful. I’m sure I could spend 1.5 million on an equally lovely home.

I also read an article about a guy that bought Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home. The one he committed his first murder in. The new owner has a website but it looked creepy so I didn’t get very far. The story was interesting though.
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Just Do It =-.

Susan May 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I could live there. If other owners did not experience any paranormal activity, I’m assuming that the story was a hoax. The only thing that would concern me is the curiosity surrounding the house. It would not allow for much privacy.

Love,
Susan and Bentley
xxoo
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Reds Gone Wild!! =-.

Brandy May 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I would have to see how the house felt first. I’ve found all houses have a feel to them, I don’t know how to explain it. If it felt ok then I would be ok living there. I would however feel bad about what happened there and probably think about it from time to time. It is a gorgeous house, but being that it is far, far out of my price range, I won’t ever have to make that decision, sadly.
.-= Brandy´s last blog ..Some Where Over The Rainbow =-.

Danielle @ Transforming Home May 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm

No way! The home is gorgeous – the lot is beautiful – the landscaping is great – the boat house….but not in a million years. We bought new construction because my husband and I both don’t want to live where other people have lived, let alone an entire family murdered. Way too much negativity. And super creepy…..

Stephanie May 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Looks pretty…but no way!!
.-= Stephanie´s last blog ..You Capture , Nothing but blue SKIES … =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now May 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Ummm…I don’t think I could live there, as beautiful as the home is. What a shame. I’m going to check out that link and I will blame you if I have nightmares tonight. ;)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Decorating Dilemmas Party…Round 8! =-.

Hailey Erickson May 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm

….nope…
.-= Hailey Erickson´s last blog ..Creating the ‘Perfect’ Batter… =-.

Black Eyed Susans Kitchen May 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Nope….never going to happen! I really think that houses have a feel to them, and this one would be too negative for me.
.-= Black Eyed Susans Kitchen´s last blog ..ULTIMATE YARD SALES AND WHY YOU SHOULD GO WITH THE FLOW =-.

Nancy@marcusdesign May 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Oh dear! I don’t think I’d like to live there, I’d be a wee bit creeped out. Even though the house is beautiful, just the annoyance of passers-by would be enough to keep most buyers away!!
.-= Nancy@marcusdesign´s last blog ..{my charming new retro telephone} =-.

Carmen May 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Nope. I couldn’t do it. I could never get over the murders. I just read the whole store on wiki. How STRANGE.
.-= Carmen´s last blog ..Ice Cream Shoppe Party =-.

Dawn May 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I heard that the house had gone back on the market, and I can honestly say that I would never set foot in there!!!
.-= Dawn´s last blog ..Are You Kidding Me??? =-.

desiree May 26, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I’d love to see it in person–in broad daylight–with a large group of people! It is a beautiful home–too bad it has such a negative back story. There is a home in my neighborhood that has the same roof line which I happen to adore–but it was for sale a while back I don’t think I could have lived there either. It sounds ridiculous but I really can’t watch scary movies–I can’t let go of that stuff! Fun post though–Loved seeing the pics!
.-= desiree´s last blog ..Carmel hideaway with Big Sur Vibe:My fantasy =-.

Jennifer May 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm

100% agree with Alison Agnews comment. Amazing how supersticiouns can paryalize people!

Helen May 26, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I’m not crazy about Colonial Style homes, but if I could buy it for 80 thousand….

Vanessa@decor happy May 26, 2010 at 11:02 pm

No thanks!
.-= Vanessa@decor happy´s last blog ..1st Giveaway! =-.

Beach Vintage May 26, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Sorry, you have lost me. I couldnt live there.

Heidi@recklessbliss May 27, 2010 at 10:26 am

I wouldn’t live here even if they gave me the house… which is a shame because it is beautiful. Every picture in the listing just gave me the chills; all I could picture was a crazy person slowly walking through the rooms dragging a shot gun beside them. It’s all the children being murdered that disturbs me the most. That poor family…. it’s just too sad and scary. I watched something on TV about it and they set up a camera in the hall that took pictures every couple seconds. In one shot (when the house was completely empty) it caught a picture of a little boy in a doorway that looked like one of the kid’s who was murdered. I know it was probably totally fake but my goodness I was so scared! It creeps me out to see it online, I don’t think I could turn the lights out and sleep soundly in it. The movie with Ryan Reynolds was also very scary, fortunately you get to see him shirtless and buff in it haha :)
Great post Julia!
Heidi
xoxo
.-= Heidi@recklessbliss´s last blog ..Make An Entrance =-.

Angela May 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I’m starting to think I must be morbid, but I would live in the house. I know I would think about the family and feel a sense of sadness for them, but I don’t think the house itself would be a bad place. I’m sure lots of old houses have many different stories in their histories (think Gettysburg houses, southern plantations, etc.) and those are some of the things that make them unique (not that a murder is a selling point). One of the first things I would do is replace those windows back to the original eyebrow style.

Puna May 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Absolutely not Julia. This movie ruined my childhood and scarred me for life.
.-= Puna´s last blog ..Out Of Focused Team Thursday =-.

Jaime May 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I have been in love with the style of this home since I was a little kid. Unfortunately, Dutch Colonials are nowhere to be found where I live, so I am out of luck. I think that the most recent owners have done a beautiful job of renovating the home and property – it is gorgeous!

Would I live in this particular house? Likely not – The history is too sad and well, I would not want all the looky-loos around my property or bothering my family. I’d simply love to have something similar.

BTW – One of the previous owners had the original quarter moon windows removed. They were too recognizable, (and supposedly looked like evil eyes), so in an attempt to cut down on traffic the change was made.

It would make quite the haunted house at Halloween though…
.-= Jaime´s last blog ..Holidays with Matthew Mead… =-.

Erin May 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Beautiful, but I don’t think I’d want to be the “curiosity house” that every bored teenage drives by or visits on Halloween. Besides, I agree with a previous comment: every house has a spirit you sense when you enter. I’m not all “ghost whispery”, but I definitely have felt instant warmth and comfort when I have stepped into each home I ever purchased (surprisingly even the one that was floor to ceiling orange paint and cigarette smoke- I could see beyond that). Not sure what I would feel on entering this one, but knowing that it holds a fascination for those into the macabre. No thanks.

Lisa September 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

No i would never live there, even though the haunted house thing was a hoax the fact that 6 people were murdered in there would be hard to not think about. I magine being in that house alone at night watching a scary movie. No Thankyou. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to live there with its history, very freaky.

Lisa September 28, 2010 at 5:38 am

If you need someone to stay in the house while you are selling it, I would be willing to. I lost my job last year and have not been able to find another yet. I have no obligations, no debt. If you can provide travel and food, I will stay until the house sells. I do not mind, it will give me a change.
Thank you

hookedonhouses September 28, 2010 at 6:33 am

Sorry, but they sold it! -Julia

Jenny October 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm

We actually had a case here in Sydney where a Uni student murdered his whole family and tried to make it look like a home invasion gone wrong. Anyway, the house was eventually sold, but the Real Estate Agent didn’t tell the vendors about the history of the house. When they eventually found out (I think they saw a story on the news), they were horrified. They took legal action against the agents, saying they never would have bought the property if they had known what had happened there, and won. I understand completely how they feel. I’m sure there would have to be bad kharma in a house that has experienced such a horrible crime.

hookedonhouses October 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Oh, wow, can you imagine? I’d be upset, too! Yikes. -Julia

ANGEL May 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

YES I WOULD LIVE IN THIS HOUSE. YES I DO BELEAVE IN GOST OR THE PERANORMAL ACKTIVATYS. BUT IT STILL WOULD NOT STOP ME FOR LIVEING IN A HOUNTED HOUSE I THANK IT WOULD BE PRETTY COOL TO HAVE A REAL HOUNTED HOUSE. MATTER OF FACKED IM LOOKIN IN TO BYEING ONE MYSELF. I LIKE HISTORY AND I LIKE OLD HOUSES.

Red Blue Realty August 17, 2012 at 7:28 pm

This house would really be a fun sell… There has to be plenty of people out there looking to buy a home that has such a history… Plus who wouldn’t want to live in a home that had so much publicity.

ladyofargonne August 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Six people were murdered there. Including a little boy who took a while to bleed to death. In pain and in horror. All the redecorating in the world would not keep me from thinking of him. Things don’t have to go bump in the night for a house to haunted.

Ro September 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm

You’re comparing photos of the real house with photos from the original film. However, they’re not even the same house. It was filmed in my hometown in New Jersey. Not in the real house in Amityville.

Mike Jones September 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I’d move in, first thing I’d do is restore the attic windows, then hire a wax artist to create replicas of the murdered bodies in their respective beds. I’d sleep in the basement.

Earl October 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I would live here cause its only a house maby something happned besides the murders so i would love to see what may or may not happen it would be awesome.

Johnny November 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

Every time I see a house with those quarter-moon windows on each side of the chimney, I think of this house. Every. Single. Time.

JFarrow November 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Awesome listing…remember that Mr. Lutz was a professional land surveyor

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