The DeFeo family, living at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville appeared an idyllic, suburban family on the outside. Within closed doors, it seemed the family had troubles. Mr DeFeo had anger problems and it was said that he frequently beat both his son Ronnie and his wife. Fights would break out randomly and things were less than “idyllic”. However, when 6 of the DeFeo family were found shot dead in their beds one night, the neighbourhood couldn’t have been any more shocked.
One family member still alive and seemingly completely unharmed, Ronnie DeFeo Jr had found his family dead and ran to get help. When the police arrived, the scene already looked strange. Every family member was found with a gunshot wound to the back and were all lying face down in bed.
This poses a series of strange questions. Firstly, why were ALL of the family members lying in exactly the same position? Why didn’t anyone in the household hear the gunshots and wake up or try to escape? Why did Ronnie himself not hear the shots? It was said that the rifle used was extremely loud and the shots would have been heard 4 to 5 blocks away. So why didn’t even the neighbours hear anything aside from the DeFeo family dog barking in the early hours of the morning?
Ronnie DeFeo Jr was arrested as the murder suspect. It was a well known fact he was a frequent drinker, drug-user and gambler and many in the neighbourhood when asked who they thought the suspect was, straight away accused Ronnie Jr. Ronnie himself changed his story a number of times. At first claiming innocence and knowing nothing of the murders until he found his family dead and went to get help. He then claimed he had been using drugs and was watching TV when a “black handed demon” came to him, handed the rifle to him and then he went and shot the family. He then claimed the “devil made him do it”.
The reason and actual story to this day is shrouded in mystery and this was exacerbated by the Lutz family moving into the house afterwards.
George and Kathy Lutz had known about the house’s history and decided they would be okay. The family happily moved in and seemed to be fine, although George did say that a number of strange things happened on the first day, including the family dog jumping the garden fence and trying to “hang himself”.
George claimed he regularly found himself waking up at 3.15am, hearing strange noises. 3.15am is suggested to be the time around which the DeFeo murders took place. George became restless and irritable and household arguements were frequent.
Strange occurances such as swarms of flies and the sudden invention of an “invisible friend named Jodie”, who Missy (their daughter) claimed was a pig, made George and Kathy uneasy. Disembodied screams and phatom carpet bloodstains eventually forced the family to leave after a horrifying night, which even to this day, they are quite reluctant to discuss.
The Lutz’s finally met with Ronnie DeFeo Jr’s defense lawyer after they had a suspicion that what they experienced was not merely residual energy from the DeFeo murders, but something more sinister, which could have affected Ronnie, causing him to murder. After it was discovered that the lawyer was implying the creation of a book and movie regarding the “hauntings” and that his client DeFeo would get some of the profits, the Lutz’s saw a scam and cut all contact. They then made the mistake that some will now argue was their undoing. They contacted paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The Warrens claimed the house was pure evil. When their team arrived several members experienced unpleasant sensations, such as seeing a little girl at a window, followed by the sound of crying. Lorraine claimed there were several spirits in the house, not just the DeFeos and another pyschic said she saw monks. Reporters who were with the team remained skeptical and neither saw or felt anything, until they found a picture taken by an automatic camera which was set on the stairwell to take photos at specific intervals. The picture clearly shows the face and body of a little boy, yet all present at the time agreed on one important factor – there were definitely no children in the house at the time. When the Lutzs asked their daughter if she recognised the boy in the photo, Missy said “that’s the little boy I used to play with”.
Upon further investigation by another psychic, an “indian chief” whose burial ground was disturbed was forcing the people who lived there to be violent.
However, many suspected a hoax. The family went from claiming to only hear sounds, to seeing slime, phantoms and “floating pigs”, which it was found out later to just be an oversized cat that frequented that windowsill.
Windows which would shut on their own, were found to be the result of uneven floorboards and counterweights. Hospital visits by the family came up with no records. Many think Ed and Lorraine Warren embellished certain facts and talked the Lutzs into going public.
The family which live at 112 Ocean Avenue now have had no problems at all and feel the Lutzs lied and made a mockery of the horrible murders of the DeFeos.