After the Lutz family fled from the Amityville house, word of the haunting spread, and the media pounced. (Click here if you haven’t read Part 1, and here for Part 2) Who could pass up the story of a house that was the site of six murders and was now supposedly haunted? The public certainly couldn’t (and neither would I). Public opinion, of, course, was divided. Reporters started digging to find things in the Lutzes’ past that would give them a reason to lie. The Lutzes both passed lie detector tests.
A reporter named Laura Didio got a group of psychic researchers, including Ed and Lorraine Warren, together to investigate the house. She said it was like a “psychic slumber party” at the Amityville House. Lorraine said she felt an overwhelming feeling of horrible depression as soon as she walked into the house. No one has any evidence of a haunting, though there is supposedly a picture of a little boy looking out from one of the rooms. The Warrens said the house is haunted. Ed Warren even said, “This was no ordinary haunted house. On a scale of 1 – 10, this was a ten”.
Ron DeFeo’s lawyer, William Weber, tried to use the story of the haunting to DeFeo’s advantage. He spoke with the Lutzes about doing a book deal. They found out he was going to split the profits with DeFeo so they backed out. That’s when they started speaking with Jay Anson and The Amityville Horror was written.
Weber joined forces with Hans Holzer, a ghost hunter and professor of paranormal psychology. They planned to write their own book. Holzer went to the Amityville house to investigate. He claimed that he went into a trance and encountered an angry Indian Chief. The Chief was angry because the house had been built on a sacred burial ground. Holzer claimed that DeFeo was possessed by the Indian Chief. According to Straight Arrow Copper, the Chief of the local Montaukett tribe, there are no records of any burial ground.
Weber went to the press and said that he and the Lutzes had got together to embellish their story. He claimed that they all used the DeFeo murders to make the story sound worse than it was. He sued the Lutzes for “stealing his ideas” The lawsuit was for $60,000, but they settled on only $2,500. The Lutzes sued Weber and Holzer, and their book was never published.
The Lutz’ son Christopher Quaratino (he changed his name) now says that much of what his parents say isn’t true. He claims that there was definitely something supernatural in the house, but not the way his parents tell it. He also said that it wasn’t because of the DeFeo murders. He said that his father played around in the occult and that he was obsessed with the paranormal. He claims his father tried to summon spirits, and that’s what caused the haunting. Christopher does say that he saw a shadow figure in the house. He blames his father for everything.
There were rumors of financial problems. There were claims that the Lutzes made up the haunting hoping to make money to help pay for the house. Christopher says this wasn’t the case. He said that because the house was so cheap, his parents made a large down payment. He said his father was planning on operating a business out of the house.
Friends of the DeFeo family have never experienced anything in the house. Friends of the Lutz children even played in the famous “red room” (click here to see a video of a friend of the DeFeo kids in the actual red room). The Lutzes stuck with their story until they died. Kathy died in 2004 from emphysema, and George died of heart disease in 2006. The house has changed hands several times over the years. None of the residents have ever been haunted.
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