The following is a short run-down of the events the way the Lutzes have said they occurred.
During the summer of 1975, George and Kathleen Lutz went to visit 112 Ocean Avenue, a beautiful three story Dutch Colonial set on the Amityville riverside.
“We looked at about 50 homes over the months that we decided to combine the households,” says George in a 2005 interview. “When she (the realtor) showed it to us she said, ‘I don’t know if I should tell you now or after you’ve seen the house, but this was the house that the DeFeo murders took place in.’ We kind of looked at each other like we weren’t sure what she was talking about. And then she reminded us about Ronald DeFeo having killed his whole family -- it had been in the newspapers about a year before.”
After taking time to discuss the matter over with their children, George and Kathy decided to purchase 112 Ocean Avenue, feeling they could live with it's tragic past. The Lutz family was set to move in on December 18, 1975.
Due to the property's grim reputation, a friend of George's suggests the house should be blessed by a Catholic priest. "I was a Methodist, so this was new and foreign to me at the time.", recalls George. "Father Ray showed up shortly after we were in the process of moving in. I waved, he waved, and he went on in the house and went about blessing it. When he was done, I tried to pay him but he wouldn’t take money. He said, ‘No, you don’t charge for this, and you don’t charge friends for this.’ I thought that was a very kind thing to say, and then he said, ‘You know, I felt something really strange in that one upstairs bedroom,’ and he described the bedroom. And we said that’s what we were going to use as a sewing room. We weren’t going to use it as a bedroom. He said, ‘That’s good, as long as no one sleeps in there.’ And that’s all he said, and he left."
Strange occurrences began almost immediately. Cold spots were discovered in random spots throughout the house. Eerie vibes pervaded the atmosphere. Jolting sounds would wake the family during the night. The escalating chain of events took their toll on the Lutzes, resulting in drastic personality changes. George, who began to seclude himself from the family, obsessed over the fireplace that never seemed to warm him enough.
Kathy also began to undergo a series of unnerving events. On more than one occasion, she described being touched by an unseen person. And most dramatically, Kathy claims that after waking from a deep sleep, her face was that of an old hag that took hours to dissipate.
Even the Lutz children began to argue more than usual, resulting in terrible beatings from their parents. The youngest child, Missy, described speaking to "an angel" that was living in her room. This angel, Missy claims, was named 'Jodie'. Jodie was able to present itself as a "large pig" to Missy and change shape and form at will. George and Kathy claimed to have witnessed two red eyes peering in at them from the upstairs bedroom window. Missy believed it was Jodie wanting to come inside.
"I just didn’t want to leave the house.", George says. "We would invite people over instead of going to see them. There came a point when we would invite people over to see whether we were crazy or not. Because when our friends sat in the kitchen, they could hear the people walking around upstairs after the kids had been put to bed. We’d all go up and find the kids fast asleep. There was no way it was the kids -- and when your friends confirm that for you, you almost want to break down and say out loud, ‘I’m not crazy. They hear it too!’ That is such an emotional moment when someone else confirms for you what you’re hearing and that it’s not just you hearing it -- it’s not your imagination.”
"Coming back to 112 Ocean Avenue, the families that I found had resided in that dwelling place appeared to have a calamity within each one.", recalls Kathy.
The final night the Lutz family spent in the house was, in George's words, "the reason not to stay there anymore."
“I was lying in bed and everyone was asleep, and Kathy lifts up off the bed and starts to slide away from the bed and away from me,” Lutz said. “I feel something get in the bed with us. I’m unable to move, I hear the kids beds continually slamming up and down on the floor and being dragged. We heard these pigeons on the air conditioner top overhead from the master bathroom, and they’re fluttering all night long and yet there are no pigeons there the next morning -- or any nest or anything like that. The lights flickered. We brought the dog up to stay right by the bedroom. We tied him right to the doorknob and he’s up, going in circles, and throwing up all night.
The boys came down in the morning absolutely frightened. They were unable to get down to me, and I was unable to get up to them. Missy came in and just asked what was that all about? And Kathy had no memory of much of it. That day we spent trying to get a hold of Father Ray, and he said all the right words.”
For the remainder of their lives, George and Kathleen Lutz maintained that their experiences in Amityville were real.
"Some people have called our testimony about Amityville a hoax. There is nothing that I could say to them...there is nothing I could show them that would be new evidence that this is the truth. It is the truth. It is my testimony. It is where I came from. And to judge another's testimony, not having experienced it, not having gone through it, or been touched by it...you don't have the right to. Yours' is just an opinion...and the opinion doesn't hold water."
- Kathleen Lutz, 2000
"It's my prayer that everyone in this room never go through such a thing. But if you know someone that does, the hardest thing for those people is the loss of being able to communicate with anyone else about it. Not being able to find anyone that can intelligently help them. It's not talked about. It's not understood...and when it happens to you, you become an alien to everyone else."
-George Lee Lutz, 2002
After fleeing the home in January 1976, George and Kathy Lutz, with the assistance of Channel 5 news assistant, Laura DiDio, contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren, a husband and wife team of self-proclaimed demonologists.
The Warrens first entered 112 Ocean Avenue on February 24, 1976. Lorraine Warren described an "overwhelming sense of sadness and depression" throughout the entire home.
After entering the basement, Ed felt a powerful, inhuman presence. "It was if I were standing underneath a waterfall.", Ed recalls in a later interview. "And the pressure was driving me down to the floor. And I commanded, in the name of Jesus Christ, what was there to reveal it's identity...I understood right at that point that what we were dealing with was no ghost. This was no ordinary haunted house."
After conducting their initial investigation, the Warrens put together a group of professional psychics to assist them in their findings. The Channel 5 news team (Marvin Scott, Steve Petropolis, and Laura DiDio) covered the Warren's investigation on the night of March 6, 1976.
A friend of the Warren's, Mary Pascarella, traveled along to the house during the March 6th investigation. Mary considers herself a "time-walker", a person who is able to sense, and sometimes visualize, past events in a particular location. The house at 112 Ocean Avenue was no exception.
"I began to say my prayers and I was saying the 'Our Father'", recalls Mary Pascarella in a 2002 interview. "I looked out of the door...and as I was saying the 'Our Father'...there was a group of figures saying the 'Our Father' backward."
Mary was not the only one who experienced strange events that night. Channel 5 cameraman, Steve Petropolis, reportedly suffered a rash of heart palpitations and shortness of breath while climbing the staircase. The Warrens say they also felt a "cold spot" on the staircase, a detail George Lutz has since says he also experienced.
During the first seance, Mary Pascarella also became ill and was ushered out of the room. "There seems to be some kind of black shadow that forms a head, and it moves", Mary claimed. "And as it moves, I feel personally threatened."
Another psychic, Alberta Riley, made similar claims during the seance: "It's upstairs in the bedroom. What's here makes your heart speed up. My heart's pounding."
"Whatever is here is, in my estimation, most definitely of a negative nature. It has nothing to do with anyone who had once walked the Earth in human form. It is right from the bowels of the Earth.", insists Lorraine Warren. "Whatever is here, is able to move around at will. It doesn't have to stay here, but I think it's a resting place."
The Warrens felt the house could only be saved through a cleansing performed by an Anglican exorcist or a Roman Catholic priest. George and Kathy Lutz say they were not willing to take on this responsibility. "They'd be putting their life in jeopardy...how can you go and ask someone to do that for a house?", George laments.
George and Kathy decided they couldn't risk moving their children back into the home. They returned the property to Columbia Savings and Loan on August 30, 1976.
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