Haunted Books to Movies: Amityville Horror/House

The Amityville Horror is a book written by Jay Anson, which has been transformed into many different movie adaptations and sequels of the original plot. Published in 1977, the movies that followed ranged from 1979 to 2011. The basis of the book concentrated on the real paranormal experiences of the Lutz family, which has been at the center of many debates on whether their claims have been true.

It was 1975 when George and Kathy Lutz moved into the large Dutch Colonial house in Amityville ”“ a suburban neighborhood situated on the south shore of Long Island, New York. With Kathy’s three children, the family settled in, but the home had a dark past. Thirteen months before the Lutzes called the residence their own, Ronald DeFeo Jr shot and killed six members of his family within the very property. The Lutzes only lived in the home for less than one month before they moved out abruptly. The family claimed to have been terrorized by paranormal energy.

Some of the strange and scary events that the Lutz family claims to have experienced include:

”¢    George would wake up around 3:15 every morning and make a trip to check out the boathouse. It was later learned that this time was most likely the same time that DeFeo killed his family.

”¢    Even though it was wintertime, the house suffered from a swarm of flies.

”¢    Kathy was plagued by vivid nightmares regarding the murders. She also experienced red welts on her chest that an unseen force had created while she was in the bed. Kathy also levitated two feet off the bed.

”¢    George uncovered a mysterious small room hidden behind shelving in the basement. It was painted red and was never a part of the blueprints of the house. The family dog refused to go near the room and would cower in its presence.

”¢    Some rooms in the home smelled of perfume and feces. The family also experienced cold spots throughout.

”¢    The Lutzes found that their 5-year old daughter gained an imaginary friend named ‘Jodie’ that was described as a demonic pig-like creature. It had red eyes that glowed.

”¢    Sometimes, George would awaken in the middle of the night by the sound of a slamming door. He’d go to investigate and every time, it would appear that he was the only person that heard the noise. For example, he’d find the dog was sound asleep and showing no signs of hearing a disruptive sound.

”¢    Throughout the home, the family would find locks, doors and windows that had been unexplainably damaged.

”¢    Kathy had hung a 12-inch crucifix in the living room, and found that it revolved until it was upside down. It was also reported that it gave off a sour scent.

After the family decided that something was not right with their home, they performed a blessing of their own on January 8, 1976. While George was holding a silver crucifix, he and his wife recited the Lord’s Prayer. While they were in the living room, George believes that he heard a chorus of voices that said “Will you stop!”

The Movie Adaptations

The experiences of the Lutzes led to 10 films centered on the Amityville house tale. The first appeared in 1979 (The Amityville Horror) with the last released in 2011 (the Amityville Haunting). Other films included Amityville II: The Possession (1982), Amityville 3-D (1983), Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989), The Amityville Curse (1990), Amityville: It’s About Time (1992), Amityville: A New Generation (1993), Amityville Dollhouse (1996), and The Amityville Horror (2005 remake).