Amityville Horror - the real story


Points written and noted by Dr. Stephen Kaplan – The Amityville Horror Conspiracy. Stephen Kaplan & Roxanne Salch Kaplan:

Notes by Dr. Kaplan:

  1. The Catholic priest, now described as a "cleric in the chancery of the Rockville Center diocese," is said to have blessed the house shortly after the Lutzes moved in, warning them not to use a particular second-floor bedroom. The Lutzes took his advice, placed holy water in the room and used it as a sewing room, later learning that it was Ronald DeFeo Jr.'s former bedroom.
    This disagrees with what I was told – that Ronald’s bedroom was on the third floor.

  2. "Lee became impulsive about building roaring fires in the living room fireplace." And who wouldn't, when the heating system had failed shortly after they moved in?

  3. Kathy and Lee had arguments "for no apparent reason." What couple doesn't? They also changed their policy of not hitting the children, raising welts on the boy’s bottoms with a wooden spoon. Sounds to me like the Lutzes got a little carried away with old-fashioned corporal punishment.

  4. "The in-laws spent a whole evening sitting and glaring at each other…" This is occult? Kathy’s aunt, a normally placid ex-nun, came to visit and, according to Lee, “sat there and cut me down for three hours.” Perhaps she just doesn't like Lee. "When Kathy’s sister-in-law visited, she reverted to childhood, spending all her time with the children in the third-floor playroom." Roxanne (Dr. Kaplan’s associate) says that many young women her age enjoy being with children and prefer their company to that of certain adults. This does not mean that they are reverting.

  5. Once again we have the report of "strange noises" but the Lutzes admit that "every new house has strange noises." The fact that they were not able to account for the source does not mean it had to be supernatural.

    George & Kathy Lutz

  6. Some new phenomena which we have not heard of before. Doors and windows mysteriously opened or shut, black stains appeared on bathroom fixtures, trickles of red ran from keyholes, a smell of decaying bodies in the playroom, clusters of flies (in winter) on the playroom window. Lee claims the second-floor bathroom had an odor "like a whore’s perfume from Paris."

    How would you know, Lee?

  7. "Night after night, Lee was snapped wide awake at 3.15 – the hour of the murders." This is very interesting. I know that the exact time of 3.15 was picked up by the media from Joel Martin’s interview of the neighbor, in which she stated that was the time she heard the DeFeo dog barking. The actual coroner’s report stated only that the murders occurred in the "early morning hours" as that was as close as they were able to pinpoint it.

  8. Kathy felt the comforting hand of a woman clasp hers and "knew, instinctively, that it was Louise DeFeo's."

  9. Throughout the Christmas holidays the Lutzes remained baffled by what was happening, but they weren't afraid… yet. They stayed home on the night of Dec. 31st to welcome the New Year and Lee’s 29th birthday. Then on Jan. 6, Epiphany, or "Little Christmas," as Kathy calls it, they took down the holiday decorations. After that… "havoc". It is a fact that Lee turned over his gun to the Amityville Police, for fear that he might shoot the family, this was only a few days after moving in. How could he not be afraid until Jan 6th? Wouldn't it be a most fearful occurrence if one had the urge to shoot his entire family?

  10. On the night of Jan. 10th, Lee claims to have felt a compulsion to flee the house. He had trouble awakening Kathy, and as he watched, "she turned into a 90-year-old woman." Her hair became old and dirty, creases and crow's feet formed on her face, water drooled from her mouth and drenched the sheets. She did not return to normal for several hours.

    Perhaps Kathy was dreaming of the overdue bills?

  11. The next night, Lee observed Kathy "sliding across the bed, as if by levitation." Lee had the impression of a cloven-hoofed animal climbing up on the bed.

  12. On Jan. 12th, Lutz allegedly called the priest, who promised to talk to the bishop. Lee then told his story to a woman in his office who claimed to have psychic powers. "Roz" and her friend "Bill" came to the house and Lutz felt a turbulence "like an elephant rolling over in its sleep" when the couple arrived.

    "Bill" examined the house and explained that it was haunted by the spirits of those who had died in their sleep and didn't know they were dead." This statement sounds like a cliché from every old book on spiritualism ever written. Following the couple's instructions, Lee and Kathy went to each room, opened a window, and prayed, "God bless this house. God bless this room. This is our house. Whoever you are, get out!"

  13. It didn't seem to work. Kathy observed "red, beady eyes" at the living room window six feet above ground level.

  14. On Tues, Jan 13th, Lee opened a window in each room, recited the Lord’s Prayer in each corner, and once again told the spirits to "get out!" Afterwards their son Danny suffered a slight cut (which Kathy treated) when an aluminum storm window that he was closing fell on his hands. Lee took this as a sign that the spirits were rebuking him. He states that he was so furious "I could have killed." He compares this rage to what Ronald DeFeo must have felt.

  15. The same Tuesday night, the Lutzes also claim to have had even louder noises, beds sliding across the floor and a Bible that flipped over by itself. Three doors were found open the next morning: the front door (supposedly double-latched), the locked basement door, and the garbage shed doors (which had been nailed shut). The priest advises them to get out before sundown and they all flee to Kathy’s mother’s house in West Babylon that very afternoon, Jan. 14th.

  16. The next few paragraphs of the article deal with outsiders’ reactions: neighbors do not believe the house is haunted, nor does Sgt. Pat Cammaroto; and attorney William Weber is called a "doubter." Yet Weber is considering making a motion for a new trial for DeFeo on the grounds he was possessed by the force in the house when he killed his family. Quite a daring motion for a "doubter".

  17. The Lutzes repeat two statements which agree with what Lee told me on the phone in February: First, that they took a "crash course" in the occult after they fled the house (including astrology, mysticism, mediums, psychics and parapsychologists). Second, Lee claims the house is possessed by a number of spirits, "some of whose names I won't pronounce, since merely to mention their names will bring them here.” This is just what he told me except that he now calls them "spirits," rather than "demons."
    Lee says that Kathy and he will not go back to fight the house because "it knows us too well."

    Dr. Kaplan now concluded (after reading the article) that the Lutzes had most likely been spooked by the idea of living in a house where brutal murders took place. It had become an obsession for them, leading to stories about ghosts, demons and bad spirits.
    Kaplan decided that he had had enough of the hoax and and it was time to stop it.

  18. Stephen Kaplan found another major article in Good Housekeeping on the Amityville House. It quoted a séance led by the Psychical Research Foundation which was attended by the Warrens. It was not considered successful due to the "sideshow" atmosphere.

  19. Kaplan immediately called Jerry Solfvin at the Psychical Research Foundation and found that they were misquoted. The Society did not run the séance and were sick of the Amityville case. Their own investigations were inconclusive, and they had severed all ties with the Lutzes. It was noted that the séance was actually run by the Warrens and another group brought in by a television crew. No notable paranormal investigators would have their name associated with the séance or with the Amityville House now.

  20. Kaplan also discovered that a book was being written on the Amityville case by author Jay Anson.

  21. A new family moved into the Amityville House. Stephen Kaplan visited the house and attempted to speak to the new owners who had changed the street number to try to deter sightseers. He was greeted at the door by the maid who invited him and his partner Roxanne inside.

    The maid had also worked for the DeFeos and knew Ronald (Butch) DeFeo quite well. She said that the new owners, the Cromartys, had heard of Dr. Kaplan and were happy for him to expose the hoax. They they felt the entire circus was an insult to the memory of Louise DeFeo, to whom they were related. The Cromartys were also negotiating to prevent the book by Jay Anson being published. They felt it constituted an invasion of privacy.

    The Amityvill Horror - A True Story

  22. Stephen Kaplan managed to obtain an advance copy of the book titled "The Amityville Horror - A True Story".

The following excerpts are from "The Amityville Horror Conspiracy" by Stephen Kaplan and Roxanne Salch Kaplan.

"Accuracy in this book can not even be maintained from pages 2 through page 5. In the Prologue on page 2 it is state, "They [the Lutzes] moved in on December 23." Turning to Chapter 1, beginning on page 5, we read the following: "Dec. 18, 1975 – George and Kathy Lutz moved into 112 Ocean Avenue on Dec. 18. Twenty-eight days later, they fled in terror." On the front sleeve of the dust-jacket, the Dec. 18th date is repeated, but on the back cover of the book the quote from Newsday Feb. 14, 1976 reads, "Amityville: On Dec. 23, George and Kathleen Lutz bought the house and a few days later they moved in."
Interesting also is the fact that this quote omits pertinent data.
The book jacket continues to quote Newsday with the following sentence, "Within… days, they moved out." Looking back at the original article, we see that the actual sentence read, "Within 10 days, they moved out…". What we have here is three different dates for when the Lutzes moved into the house: Dec. 18th, Dec. 23rd, or a few days after Dec 23rd – all three taken from Anson’s book and each contradicting the others. If the Lutzes can not even correctly remember the date they moved into the house, how are we expected to trust their account of what follows? Also, they were very careful to omit the mention of them leaving within 10 days, as it contradicts their present claim of being there 28 days."

The Stephen Kaplan book runs on to discuss inaccuracies and discrepancies with the entire book. There are far too many to discuss for now. I suggest you may wish to purchase a copy for yourself and read further about the problems with the book.

The book of the Amityville Horror soon became a best seller – which infuriated Stephen Kaplan. His reports on the hoax were largely ignored by the newspapers and he continued to fight for his story to be told. He ran into some unpleasant situations with the Warrens, who seem quick to become enemies with anybody who doubts the story.

The Lutzes made national appearances on Television and radio programs promoting their famous story.

In March 1978 Dr. Kaplan and associates were invited back inside the Amityville House by the new owners, the Cromartys. Dr Kaplan and his team stated unequivocally that they had encountered no strange occurrences in the house and it is most definitely NOT haunted. They offered up logical explanations to some of the events that the Lutzes described as paranormal.

Although Dr. Kaplan doesn’t claim to have the last word on the Amityville Horror story, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it was a hoax.

We should also take the time to consider who the real victims of this elaborate hoax are. While the Lutzes are free to continue with their lives, the first victims were the DeFeo family, who are still sadly missed to this day by their friends in the Amityville community.

Another group of victims in this case are the people of Amityville. They still fight to try to protect their own privacy from curiosity seekers who visit the town expecting to see demons and other nonsense. Unfortunately some media representatives seem to focus only on sensationalism and ratings, and would like to cash in on the original hoax, creating even more disturbances for the innocent people of Amityville.

Please, if you do ever find yourself visiting the town, don't try to talk about that famous hoax to any of the locals, just enjoy the scenery and leave them in peace.

I personally find the story difficult to believe, along with 99% of the public. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck… you know how it goes!


Ed & Lorraine WarrenThe Warrens are noted for their interesting views on the world of the paranormal. They claim to regularly investigate such events as demonic possession and lycanthropy. The Warrens still claim to have photographic and other evidence that the house was in fact possessed by demons and other evil spirits.
The Warrens and the family and associates of Stephen Kaplan seemed to be at war on the Amityville case. I guess it is one person's word against another. However -- I am very cautious to avoid 'fuzzy logic' and to be aware of the potential of outright dishonesty…


There was a story going around during the filming of The Amityville Horror that the production team were too scared to work in the real Amityville house, so that they had to use a house in Tom's River, New Jersey instead. The real reason was that the town of Amityville refused to allow the film company to use the house because of the incredible circus that was being created. The family who lived in the real house sued the production company because shots of the real house were used in some of the film's trailers.

The rejected score for The Exorcist was used for the film The Amityville Horror.

The house has now had a number of new owners. None have ever reported anything even slightly supernatural about the house. They have all been harrassed by annoying tourists. The house No. has been changed and the latest owner has spent a large sum of money restoring and renovating both the house and the boatshed.

George and Kathy Lutz relocated to the West Coast of America. They are now divorced but still doing interviews about the case.

Amityville township and local historians avoid interviews and press about the house to this day. However the media still run stories which aren't all together correct or truthfull.

graveMaybe one day the DeFeo's will be allowed to rest in peace.

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