By January 1976, rumors were floating around that the most recent homeowners of the Dutch Colonial house on a waterway at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, had left because the place was haunted.
During a press conference on February 13 at an attorney’s office in Patchogue, explicitly held to clarify the story, the media was first introduced to the main characters of the entire tales: George and Kathleen Lutz.
These days anybody would think that journalists have just enough skepticism to question ghost-related reports, but the 1970s American was too much awash in superstition.
Ghosts made an appealing story for newspapers, even if it was nothing but fiction.
The chain of events that would eventually become one famous tale of a haunted house started with actual real-world gruesome murders of six people in 1974.
There were murder houses before Amityville in America, for example, the home of Gertrude Baniszewski, one owned by John Wayne Gacy, the modest property of Andrea Yates’ and a lot more.
Still, no place has made an impression on American pop culture as deep and notorious as the Amityville home.
10 /10 Family Onslaught
The previous owner of the house was the DeFeo family. The tale of Amityville horror began on the evening of November 13, 1974.
The oldest son of the family, Ronald DeFeo Jr., ran to a nearby bar and told people his parents had been shot. A group of people came to check and found the story to be true.
One of them then called the emergency service. Officers from the Suffolk County Police Department responded to the report. Upon arriving, they discovered six dead bodies inside the house.
9 /10 The Victims
It was not that difficult to identify the victims and causes of death.
All were Ronald’s own families, including the parents Ronald DeFeo Sr. (43) and Louise (43), as well as four siblings: Dawn (18), Allison (13), Marc (12), and John Matthew (9).
They were found dead lying face down in bed. Father and mother had been shot twice each, whereas the siblings had been killed with single shots. The family had lived there since 1965.
The victims were later buried in Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale. After the murders, Ronald Jr. was the only surviving member of the family.