The Amityville Horror is a classic horror movie that follows the story of the Lutz family, who moved into a house where a mass murder had occurred. The film is based on a book by the same name, which is supposedly a true story. While the movie was a hit, the Lutz family’s life was forever changed by their brief stay in the house.
After the release of the book and movie, the Lutz family became famous overnight. They were interviewed by countless media outlets and were even featured on a talk show. However, as time went on, the family slowly faded from the public eye. Many people have since wondered what happened to the Lutz family after they left the Amityville house.
The Amityville Horror Background
The DeFeo Family Tragedy
The infamous Amityville Horror story began on November 13, 1974, when Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his parents and four siblings in their home at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. According to History vs. Hollywood, DeFeo claimed that he heard voices telling him to commit the murders.
DeFeo was found guilty of six counts of second-degree murder and is currently serving a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. The murders shocked the small town of Amityville and left the house vacant for over a year.
The Lutz Family Purchase
In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz purchased the Amityville house for $80,000, despite knowing about the murders. The Lutzes moved in with Kathy’s three children from a previous marriage and began experiencing strange occurrences.
According to Biography, the Lutzes claimed that they saw green slime oozing from the walls, heard voices telling them to “get out,” and felt an overwhelming sense of dread. They also reported being physically assaulted by unseen forces.
The Lutzes contacted a paranormal investigator named Ed Warren, who determined that the house was haunted by evil spirits. The Lutzes eventually fled the house after only 28 days, claiming that they were in danger from the malevolent entities that inhabited the home.
The Lutzes’ story became the subject of a best-selling book, “The Amityville Horror,” which was later adapted into a popular movie. However, the veracity of the Lutzes’ claims has been a subject of controversy for decades, with some skeptics arguing that the story was a hoax.
The Lutz Family’s Experience
The Lutz family’s experience in the Amityville Horror house is one of the most famous paranormal stories in modern history. George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, in December 1975, along with Kathy’s three children from a previous marriage.
Almost immediately after moving in, the family reported a series of strange and terrifying incidents. They claimed to hear strange noises, see doors opening and closing by themselves, and experience unexplained odors. They also claimed to see ghostly apparitions and even levitation. George Lutz claimed to have woken up every night at 3:15 AM, the same time that Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his family in the house a year earlier.
The family brought in a team of paranormal investigators, including Ed and Lorraine Warren, who claimed that the house was haunted by evil spirits. They claimed that the house was built on the site of a Native American burial ground and that the spirits were angry at the desecration of their sacred land.
Public Attention and Skepticism
The Lutz family’s story quickly gained national attention, with media outlets covering the story and the family appearing on talk shows. However, many people were skeptical of their claims, and some accused them of making up the story for financial gain. The Warrens’ involvement also raised eyebrows, as they were known for their controversial claims and involvement in other high-profile paranormal cases.
Despite the skepticism, the Lutz family’s story has become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring numerous books, movies, and TV shows. The house at 112 Ocean Avenue has since been renovated and sold several times, but it remains a popular tourist attraction for those interested in the paranormal.
Aftermath and Legal Battles
Lawsuits and Disputes
After the release of the book and subsequent movie, the Lutz family faced a barrage of lawsuits and disputes. The Defeo family, whose son Ronald Defeo Jr. killed the previous occupants of the Amityville house, sued the Lutz family for using their name in the book without permission. The Lutz family was forced to pay a settlement to the Defeos.
Additionally, the Lutz family’s former attorney, William Weber, claimed that the entire Amityville Horror story was a hoax created by himself, the Lutz family, and author Jay Anson. Weber alleged that he and the Lutz family concocted the story over bottles of wine and that Anson embellished it for the book. The Lutz family denied these claims, and a court ultimately dismissed Weber’s lawsuit.
The Amityville Horror story has been the subject of numerous movies, TV shows, and books, with varying degrees of accuracy and sensationalism. The Lutz family has been portrayed in many of these adaptations, often as victims of supernatural forces beyond their control.
However, the Lutz family has also been accused of exploiting the tragedy for their own financial gain. In addition to the book and movie deals, the Lutz family sold the Amityville house to another family, who later sued them for failing to disclose the house’s history of paranormal activity. The Lutz family countersued, claiming that the new owners were simply trying to profit off of the Amityville Horror story.
Despite the legal battles and media scrutiny, the Lutz family largely retreated from the public eye after the initial frenzy surrounding the Amityville Horror died down. George Lutz passed away in 2006, and Kathy Lutz died in 2004. Their children have largely avoided speaking publicly about their experiences in the Amityville house.
The Lutz Family’s Whereabouts
George and Kathy Lutz
After fleeing their infamous Amityville Horror house in 1975, George and Kathy Lutz moved to California with their children. They hoped to escape the media frenzy surrounding their claims of paranormal activity in the house. However, they were unable to avoid the spotlight entirely.
In California, George and Kathy Lutz continued to speak publicly about their experiences in the Amityville house. They even wrote a book about their ordeal, titled “The Amityville Horror.” The book was later adapted into a popular movie.
Despite their continued public appearances, George and Kathy Lutz eventually divorced. George Lutz passed away in 2006, while Kathy Lutz passed away in 2004.
The Children’s Accounts
The Lutz children also claimed to have experienced strange occurrences in the Amityville house. However, their accounts of what happened in the house varied widely.
Daniel Lutz, the eldest of the Lutz children, has been the most vocal about his experiences in the house. He has appeared in several documentaries about the Amityville Horror and has given numerous interviews about his time in the house.
Christopher and Melissa Lutz, on the other hand, have largely avoided the spotlight. They have not spoken publicly about their experiences in the Amityville house in many years.
Cultural Impact and Legacy
The Amityville Horror has had a significant cultural impact, with numerous adaptations, books, and documentaries being produced over the years. The Lutz family’s story has become a household name, and their experiences have been the subject of much speculation and debate.
Books and Documentaries
The Amityville Horror was first published in 1977, and it quickly became a bestseller. The book was written by Jay Anson, who based it on interviews with the Lutz family. The book claimed to be a true story, but many have since disputed its accuracy.
In addition to the book, there have been numerous documentaries produced about the Amityville Horror. These documentaries have explored the history of the house and the Lutz family’s experiences. Some have attempted to debunk the story, while others have taken a more sympathetic approach.
Films and Adaptations
The Amityville Horror has also been adapted for film several times. The first film was released in 1979 and starred James Brolin and Margot Kidder as George and Kathy Lutz. The film was a box office success, and it spawned several sequels.
In 2005, a remake of the film was released, starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. The film was a commercial success, but it received mixed reviews from critics.
In addition to the films, there have been several other adaptations of the Amityville Horror story. These include a made-for-TV movie, a video game, and a musical.
Overall, the Amityville Horror has had a lasting impact on popular culture. The story of the Lutz family has captivated audiences for decades, and it continues to be the subject of fascination and debate.
Critical Analysis and Debates
Investigations and Evidence
The validity of the Lutz family’s claims of paranormal activity in the Amityville Horror house has been a subject of debate among investigators and skeptics. Some have argued that there is no concrete evidence to support the family’s claims, while others have pointed to various pieces of evidence that suggest there may have been something unusual occurring in the house.
One piece of evidence that has been cited by believers is a series of photographs taken by paranormal investigator Ed Warren. The photos apparently show a ghostly boy peering out from a doorway, as well as strange glowing shapes in several other rooms. However, skeptics have argued that the photos are easily explainable as either hoaxes or simple photographic anomalies.
Another piece of evidence that has been cited by believers is a supposed “red room” in the basement of the house. According to the Lutz family, the room was a site of particularly intense paranormal activity, and was painted red by the previous occupants in an attempt to exorcise the evil spirits. However, no physical evidence of the room has ever been found, leading many to dismiss it as a fabrication.
Aside from questions of evidence, the Amityville Horror case has also been subject to analysis from a psychological perspective. Some have argued that the Lutz family’s claims were simply the result of a shared delusion or mass hysteria, possibly brought on by the stress of moving into a new home with a traumatic history. Others have suggested that the family may have been suffering from mental illness or substance abuse, which could have contributed to their experiences.
However, others have pointed out that the Lutz family’s claims were consistent with many of the classic symptoms of haunting, such as unexplained noises, cold spots, and feelings of being watched. Additionally, the fact that the family left the house after only a month suggests that they were genuinely frightened and felt that their safety was at risk.
Overall, the debate over the Amityville Horror case is likely to continue for many years to come. While some will always remain skeptical of the family’s claims, others will continue to believe that something truly unusual occurred in that house.
Current Status of the Amityville House
The infamous Amityville House, located at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, still stands today. The house has been renovated and remodeled several times since the Lutz family fled from the property in 1976. The current owners of the house have made extensive changes to the property, including changing the iconic quarter-moon windows to rectangular ones.
Despite the changes, the Amityville House remains a popular tourist destination and has been the subject of several books, movies, and TV shows. The house has also been the site of several paranormal investigations, although no concrete evidence of paranormal activity has ever been found.
In 2010, the house was put up for sale for $1.15 million, but it was eventually taken off the market. The current owners of the house have not disclosed their identities and have asked that their privacy be respected.
Overall, the Amityville House remains a controversial and fascinating piece of American history. While some dismiss the stories of paranormal activity as hoaxes, others continue to believe that the house is haunted. Regardless of one’s beliefs, the Amityville House remains an enduring symbol of horror and intrigue.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long did the Lutz family reside in the Amityville house?
The Lutz family resided in the Amityville house for only 28 days. They moved into the house in December of 1975 and left in January of 1976. During their short stay, they claimed to have experienced a series of paranormal activities that ultimately forced them to flee.
What is the current status of the Lutz family members?
George Lutz passed away on May 8, 2006, at the age of 59. Kathy Lutz passed away on August 17, 2004, at the age of 57. Daniel Lutz, one of the Lutz children, has made several public appearances to discuss his experiences in the Amityville house.
Who occupied the Amityville house after the Lutz family moved out?
After the Lutz family moved out, the house was purchased by James and Barbara Cromarty. The Cromartys did not report any paranormal activity during their stay in the house. The house has since been sold several times, with the most recent sale occurring in 2017.
What is the backstory of the DeFeo family in relation to the Amityville house?
The DeFeo family was the previous owner of the Amityville house. In 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his parents and four siblings in the house. DeFeo claimed that he heard voices that told him to commit the murders. He was found guilty of the murders and is currently serving a life sentence.
Is the story portrayed in ‘The Amityville Horror’ movie based on actual events?
The story portrayed in ‘The Amityville Horror’ movie is based on the experiences of the Lutz family during their stay in the Amityville house. However, the accuracy of the events portrayed in the movie has been questioned by several sources, including the Lutz family themselves.
At what age did George Lutz pass away?
George Lutz passed away on May 8, 2006, at the age of 59.