The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

The Amityville Horror House


Do you remember this? 112 Ocean Avenue is nearby where I live and I’ve always wanted to do a blog about it. Here it is.

Who really knows what happened on that fateful night in November of 1974 at 3:15 in the morning? What I do know is that 6 people were killed and 1 man is locked away to this day. An entire family wiped out in just a few minutes.

Ronald Defeo is locked away forever in Fallsburg, NY, for shooting his parents & siblings in cold blood as they slept. All appeals have been denied. He claimed ‘the devil made me do it’.

The story was sensationalized by radio, newspapers & television and the books ‘flew off the shelves’ at the shops. This was in 1974, before internet was available. Hollywood wanted to ‘cash in’ too and ran with the story adding it’s own spin and so our imagination.

Hollywood is all about selling as many movie tickets as possible and nothing sells better than a good horror movie, especially one based on a true story – true in Ronald’s delusional brain influenced by who knows what. He created a very bloody mess and blood draws a lot of flies. Even minute traces of blood will bring in lots of flies.

The provenance of 112 Ocean Avenue continued in 1975 when George & Kathy Lutz bought the house for a bargain at $80,000. Because of the murders, the house was considered a ‘white elephant’ by realtors and they wanted to ‘unload’ it as quickly as possible. The house sold again in 2016 for $850,000. Today, it’s worth over $1.2 million.

The Amityvile House sits on an estuary of the Great South Bay which is teaming with all kinds of game fish and shell fish. The pristine beaches of Fire Island are a 15 minute boat ride away – from the boathouse in the back yard. The house is currently occupied.

George and Kathy ‘fled’ the house after 28 days citing several supernatural happenings. They validated Ronald Defeo’s claim bringing in Fred & Lorraine Warren, American paranormal investigators. The Warrens confirmed a malevolent supernatural presence in the house. They all wanted to ‘cash in’ and so did the big publishers in New York City. The Lutz & the Warrens both wrote more books.

Supposedly, the house must really be haunted now that the Warrens confirmed it. But that was good for business and it sells books and gets you guest appearances on the day time talk shows…and everybody makes oodles of money. The media again ate it up. The property gained world wide notoriety.

Yeah sure! George & Kathy fled to a new life in the sun. They moved to California after striking a lucrative book deal and could then afford to live there.

The house itself reached celebrity status. It was/is a cash cow. The public couldn’t get enough of it. More books were written, documentaries were created and more movies hit the box office. Money is driving the whole ‘Amityville Horror’ machine.

Of course I’m horrified and saddened by the murders that took place here. The Defeos were a beautiful family. I never want to set foot in that house. It’s too close to home and it gives me a negative vibe. Is there a supernatural element to this story? You decide for yourself. However, this is the actual house were it all happened – 112 Ocean Avenue. Amityville, New York.

More blog posts by bathgate

Previous post: Butterflies

Next post: Possibilities



I gave it a like for the sensible approach to the story! You only have to look back to various stories to see how the media feed the sensation, horror or mania of the certain type of public that lap this up. I don't read any sensational newspapers (none, quite honestly) and find that any story that doesn't actually touch my life will make no difference to it, with the exception of stories of valour or sacrifice which touch your heart and make you realise that not all humanity is bad.
As for the house, it's a beautiful looking house and I am sure that any negativity comes from the people involved and not wood and stone. Unless of course there is a wood sprite trapped in the clapboard!

20 May, 2020


LOL thanks for the sensible comments and for stopping by.

20 May, 2020


Hi looks like a man with severe mental health illness has been used to make many fortunes. The house itself is very beautiful and the story is tragic. I am surprised it is occupied and was not demolished after the murders. Similarly, there is a house in Dundee where a murder took place, a lovely big old Victorian stone mansion in the University quarter. It has been bought several times, but nobody has ever lived there as far as I know. It is obviously beyond derelict by now but listed, so protected from demolition. I guess it will eventually fall down unless someone with millions comes along. But it will always be 'The Murder House' and I certainly wouldn't want to be inside it any more than I would want to go inside this house. Very interesting blog though.

20 May, 2020


Thanks Karen: I concur with you 100%. I don't even like driving past it. I try to avoid Ocean Avenue altogether, but sometimes I have no choice because I know people in the neighborhood.

20 May, 2020


I read the book in my late 20s thought it was all a hoax at the time now to know it was a hoax by three people years later the couple who bought the house with another bloke to make money who drank wine together making it all up about the haunting their son said its ruined his life.

Its a beautiful house looks like how the Dutch build theirs with the roof shape . I would nt fear going past the house or living in it it looks a peaceful place . I would fear going past the jail where Ronald is the murderer. Yes he had a mental problem one psychiatrist said he had an anti social disorder as he drank and used drugs at the time most likely his drug taking made him worse .

When I was 16 my sister and I worked with a famous murderer in a local shoe shop she later was aquitted. Not knowing at the time who she was until a short while later when she asked my older sister to tell her fortune which my sister picked up what she had done.
She was a lovely girl and such ashame she was caught up in such a thing she told me it was an elderly man who lived in a caravan told them to do it but this has never been told as I know of with police or news so I cant tell if she was lying on that . I assumed she was sent here to hide her ID at the time . All these years I have never revealed I worked with her or told any one until recently. I dont know where she is now.
The girl in the top right photo is how I remember her .

Another murderer that came from this city and murdered a young girl she was found in the canal he stole my tv licence also money to rent a tv for my kids for christmas as I had saved all year being on my own bringing up two children I could nt afford a tv licence or tv hence why it took so long to save. His wife and little boy use to come around my house but he stole my purse ran off into an alley way as I was heading home from shopping he came back a few kinutes later replaced my purse in my shopping bag having two small kids and my hands was full of bags of shopping I did nt check my purse until I got in I did report it to the police but had no witnesses . His wifes sister in law told me they had no money that day but was in the pib that night drinking with money to spend. I always believe in Karma but it took years . He later killed him self in jail.

20 May, 2020


It's a lovely house. Shame it has a bad reputation.

21 May, 2020


A very sad story. Some houses do project a "feeling" whether something bad has happened in them or not. I remember one in Cambridge that I wouldn't stay in again if you paid me!

21 May, 2020


You are so right Anget you do get houses that feel welcoming or the complete opposite I ve learned this when being offered council houses over the years which some I have refused because they did nt feel right.

21 May, 2020


It's the same with some outdoor spaces, I find...

21 May, 2020


Yes I find that too. There's a road near here that I will NEVER drive along because I find there's an oppressive feeling there. Nobody else has felt it but I do.

21 May, 2020


I definitely feel the same. I didn't want to say anything in the blog above because, let's face it, this blog is slightly off topic, but the house is world famous and the story. I"m very 'tuned into' my surroundings, people and animals too. I know when I should call or visit a certain individual or cancel a flight or not go to a certain place or associate with a person, place or thing. I wouldn't be alive if I didn't have that intuition or whatever you call it - gut feeling, sixth sense, St. Elmo's Fire. Whatever you call it, I have it. Thanks everyone for your interesting comments and for reading.

21 May, 2020


Very interesting blog Paul , I must admit I have lived in a couple of houses where strange things have happened , I don't suppose anybody will ever know the truth about such things ..

23 May, 2020


Have you? What's the strangest thing that has happened to you? I'm just curious. How did you deal with it. Not sure how I would handle it.

23 May, 2020


Enjoyed reading your blog, Paul. Very interesting angle too. Such a beautiful looks so ‘normal’ doesn’t it!
Sometimes we do get ‘feelings’ or some sort of ‘gut intuition’ in certain environments don’t we! Whether it’s the history of a place or just that feeling that makes your hair stand on end..
When I was 3 years old, my parents took me to Culzean castle ( pronounced Cullane) for lunch and a bit of a walk around the gardens etc. Mum said when we were having lunch I became quite anxious and upset. She said I had started to cry and I was saying that I wanted to leave as it was a scary, bad place! Saying that, as a teenager and an adult I have returned, and I felt nothing..just that it’s a fab place to visit.

27 May, 2020


Thanks for your thoughtful comments Kate. It's nice to have confirmation. I'm glad you enjoyed my blog.

I thought the contrast was astounding between reality and how this house is portrayed in the movies, books, etc. The story has 'sprung legs' and people want to believe that Hollywood gave us the true story. Some people get upset with me when I try to explain that tinsel town is capitalizing on the story. Blood oozing from the walls? A pig in the window? Really? A ghostly marching band in the living room at 3am? That sounds more like the fun house at an amusement park.

27 May, 2020


Gives me the shivers just reading about it here Paul, I've never read any of the books, watched any films or programmes about the actual case, reason being it happened in my lifetime, I absolutely abhor people cashing in on other peoples misery, pain and grief, what happened was tragic, there are probably family members still trying to lead a normal life, some would say that they also have made money along the way. but how could you live with all the constant reminders.
.The house itself looks beautiful but I wouldn't enter it if someone offered me lots of money, I know that it would do my head in even trying to walk into the grounds...
I have visited places that give me strange feelings and yet others have no effect whatsoever, I don't allow myself to dwell on such things as I would end up with nightmares, I don't know whether I believe in the supernatural or not, I hope I never have cause to find out the truth, I have a very vivid imagination anyway, I certainly do not need it stimulating by watching horror movies about true events that I can vaguely remember watching on the news, lol.....

27 May, 2020

Add a comment

Recent posts by bathgate

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 May, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Nov, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Jan, 2014

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2018