There are some horror films that even the non-fan are familiar with: Dracula, Frankenstein, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, and The Amityville Horror.
The house in Amityville has such a complicated, twisted history that it’s hard to parse apart what’s real and what’s been created through legend, rumor, and flat out deception. However, it’s hard to deny that this is one of the most, if not the most, haunted houses in America. The reality of the haunting may have little to do with the appeal of the story.
The short version of the story: the Lutz family purchased the house in Amityville, NY in 1975. The house was the site of a violent murder in 1974. Ronald Defoe, Jr killed his parents and four siblings on site while they slept; Defoe, Jr was tried and convicted of his crimes. The Lutzes were not overly concerned with this history and moved into the property. First, however, they had the house blessed by a Catholic priest who claimed to think the upstairs felt odd. He told them to avoid one bedroom, and left.
The family noticed strange activities almost immediately. Issues ranged from ‘normal’ haunted house phenomena like noises and lights, to strange behaviors among the family members including a spike in violence, bodily contact, and body modification. The family didn’t want to abandon the property, but eventually the activity grew so intense they felt they had to leave.
Eventually the family contacted local media, as well as the Warrens (two of the most famous paranormal researchers in the States at the time). The Warrens stopped just short of claiming that the house was possessed by something demonic, but insisted that whatever was in the house was dangerous; the most active investigation involving the Warrens led to everyone on site to have experiences. The Lutzes eventually sold the house back to the bank and left.
As late as the early 2000s the Lutzes were claiming that their stories were true. However, this has come under question in recent years when it’s been suggested that one of the original attorneys for Defoe claimed that the entire set of experiences were fabricated. Events were either modified for better effect or completely misrepresented. It is the attorney’s assertion that the Lutzes couldn’t afford the mortgage on the house, and the only spirits involved was a massive amount of alcohol.
It should be noted that since the house was been sold (and remodeled), owners have not reported activity on property, at least according to urban legend.