The real life Amityville Horror House

image from: – Photo credit: Kevin Wohlers for Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

The photo above is the actual house in Amityville, New York where 24-year-old Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot his mother, father and 4 siblings with a shotgun the night of  November 14, 1974.

This photo was taken in 2010 when the house at 108 Ocean Drive (formerly 112 Ocean Drive) was last listed for sale.

It looks a little different today than it looked in the 1970’s…

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Originally clad in dark shingle siding, the Dutch Colonial style home had been owned by the DeFeo family since 1965.

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After the gruesome and seemingly inexplicable crime, Ronald DeFeo Jr. – the eldest son – was arrested and is now serving time in prison for the murder of his family.

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Almost exactly a year after the crime, George and Kathleen Lutz purchased the home despite the fact that it was still technically tied up in probate proceedings. They moved in on December 18, 1975 with their dog and three children and fled 28 days later in utter fear.

Their stay was so short that they did not even make a payment on the $60,000 mortgage they had on the house.

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The Lutz’s claimed they were terrorized by demonic forces in the home and wrote a best-selling book with Jay Anson based on their experiences.

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The Lutz’s reported hearing voices, being levitated above their beds and green slime oozing from the walls, among other phenomena.

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The book – The Amityville Horror (1977) – was turned into a blockbuster movie in 1979 and has had several film adaptations since then.

Although the Lutz’s eventually lost the house to foreclosure August of 1976, they made a killing from book royalties.

Recently, I finished reading the Jay Anson book on which the original movie was based. Though compelling, I found some of the claims to be a bit over the top. I mean, sure the house could be haunted, sure there could be some negative energy there, but flying pigs with beady red eyes seemed a little much to me.

Nonetheless, the book digs into the house and the property’s interesting history…

Although the house was not built until 1927-1928, the property on which the house stands is said to be ancient Shinnecock Indian land where the sick, infirm and mentally ill from the tribe were banished. After the Shinnecock people were driven westward, the property was used as farmland until a settler by the name of John Ketcham set up a residence there in the 1690’s. After his death, he was reportedly buried on the property. The Jay Anson book claims that this was the same John Ketcham who had been forced out of Salem Massachusetts for practising witchcraft, although this claim has not been authenticated by historians.

There was an odd hidden room found in the basement of the house by the Lutz’s – apparently the location of a colonial era well – but the Anson books suggests that this room was some type of portal to hell. I believe that I have one of those in my old house’s cellar as well, so that’s not news to me (or any old house owner).

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At some point in time after the Lutz’s claims of haunting went world-wide, new owners of the house replaced the eye-like quarter-round attic windows with regular square shaped windows in the hopes that the infamous house would be less recognizable. Previous owners even went so far as to change the address to throw off leering legions of morbid house-peepers.

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The house was most recently listed for sale in 2010. In August 2010, after it went under contract, the sellers held a moving sale and curious folks lined up down the street and around the block just to get a peek inside the place.

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The house in Amityville made the news again recently in February 2012 when a second gun was found in the Amityville Creek directly behind the house by a film crew filming a documentary there. The discovery of a second gun gave credibility to the theory that Ronald DeFeo Jr did not act alone and that the murders may somehow have been mafia related. The gun was extremely deteriorated and little to no forensic evidence could be pulled from it. You can read more about that here.

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The 2010 sellers had done a lot of work to the house including restoring the sagging boat house and adding a second sun room on the canal side of the home. It sold in October of 2010 for $950,000.

The 2010 listing was one of the few glimpses the rest of us nosy house-lovers have had inside the infamous house.

Below is a photo of the newer sun room…

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The sellers had the house beautifully and appropriately decorated…

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…but still… there is just something about that house that gives one pause (and cold shivers up and down the spine!)

It’s perfectly, wonderfully creepy.


For further reading about the Amityville Horror House see the following sources:

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**** The house at 108 Ocean Drive in Amityville is a private residence and the new owners would like to maintain their privacy even though they live in one of the most notorious homes in America. So please, for the love of all things holy, confine your Amityville Horror house gawking to virtual (Internet) house-peeping only!


*******Update 11/20/2012 – a reader named Camille who had property in an Amityville neighborhood told me that the infamous house at 108 Ocean Drive did sustain damage from super-storm Sandy in early November 2012 but the house is still standing. See message below:

 Hi Sarah

Just wanted to give you an update on the Amityville (horror house). We don’t acknowledge it in that way because the true horror for the town was what really happened in the house and to the family.
ANYWAY…I was there yesterday and it was surreal to see the destruction the storm surge created. That house apparently had water in the house , because there were rolls of carpet and padding at the curb along with other things, but I think because they are farther up the creek and don’t have a canal across the street, they made out a little better than those of us with water on both sides.
Most of the houses in our neighborhood (by the yacht club) are not habitable as they were flooded with sea water. We were the hardest hit, as far as I could see, as we were completely leveled. Others had everything from their home out at the curb.



  • Crissy says:

    I have always been fascinated with the Amityville house. I also read that book when I was a teen and found it a bit over the top but very spooky. Defiantly a good read for Halloween 🙂 Another book similar but just as over the top and scary, is the one written about the Myrtles Plantation, another house that I’m obsessed with 🙂

  • Sue says:

    Love it all. You would not believe how loud and hard I laughed and laughed when I read your line “. I believe that I have one of those in my old house’s cellar as well, so that’s not news to me (or any old house owner).” You made my day!

  • Wade says:

    From an Amityville Horror buff, I though you did a nice job on your blog entry. I’m more into horror lit and movies, not real life happenings so much. But I have been fascinated with the history here since reading the Jay Anson novel all those years ago when I was a kid. Out of curiosity, I even went so far as to hunt up the house myself during a past business trip to L.I. One of those “morbid house-peepers,” guilty as charged. Additional kudos BTW, as I was not aware of the firearm they found in the waterway behind the house. Great stuff.

    I got a giggle out of the old well comment too. I have an old house myself, fortunately no portal to hell well. Maybe a stopped up floor drain to purgatory though.

  • Martha says:

    The house has superb features – I’m just in love with it! I can see why it would have been a good deal even with the history.

  • Very interesting read! Thank you. I haven’t seen the original movie in over a decade, now I’m very axious to watch it again. AND – I’m going to go look for the book at the library.

  • Ashanti Ferard says:

    Hey, many thanks for sharing your photos of the Amityville Horror House. This is really a very nice website.

  • Nickayla says:

    i love haunted history expecially this one!!!

  • Lisa says:

    Never believed the lutzes story , love the house though

  • Jim says:

    I don’t believe in ghoulies and ghosties and long leggity beasties but you could GIVE me that house and I wouldn’t live in it. lol

  • Kurt says:

    Love the home and liked all the movies. However, I am more interested in the real life ordinary experiences of the people who have lived in the house since the Lutzes. From what I have read, everyone has been perfectly satisfied with no trama. I guess sometime ago I ran across a picture online with one of the families sitting comfortably in the Amityville house living room, laughing watching the Amityville horror on tv. One of the kids said this is about our house. Is there any validity to that picture? Anyway a beautiful home..wish they would have kept the eye windows..

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  • Deb Kenny says:

    if you are going to write an article on the house, get the street address right….it is on Ocean Avenue NOT Ocean Drive. As far as it being a burial ground, ALL OF LI IS A BURIAL GROUND. The only horror is the greedy people who capitalized on the tragic events that took place. I lived nearby and knew the people who were in the bar that the killer ran to saying his family was murdered. All the patrons KNEW HE DID IT. No haunting, no possession, just a junkie! The people that bought the house after the murders, couldn’t afford to pay the bills as their business was failing so they had to come up with a money making scheme. I kid you not, it is a hoax and a disgrace.

    • Brittany Morgan says:

      Thank you Deb. While I do believe in ghosts and all that, I want stories that are genuine. (I don’t even watch horror movies. Can’t stand any of them). It’s a shame when people take a situation such as this and turn it into a circus, not to mention adding in completely ridiculous details and calling them truth to add “the right element” to an already tragic story to make a buck and also in this case turning the killer into a victim. It’s downright despicable and those people should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Dee says:

    I don’t know about the Amityville house, but I do believe the supernatural exists. I do not live far from the Myrtles Plantation and I have visited many times, in which I took many pictures. I can tell you that there is something or things that dwell there because of the pictures that I have taken. They are very real and unexplainable. I don’t suggest meddling with such things, whether you want to believe me or not…it really doesn’t matter to me. I am a Christian who believes in God and the devil. And I believe there are things, supernatural things that we are not meant to see nor play with. I myself use to be a ghost chaser but after coincidences that I choose not to speak of. I barely even watch horror movies anymore. Call me crazy…whatever…but to those who are reading this… if you search hard enough for something… you’re gonna find it eventually and you may not like what you find.

    • shortney1985 says:

      While I’ve never experienced anything supernatural firsthand, I believe in ghosts and spirits as surely as I believe in God. It stands to reason then that is there are “good” ghosts, unfortunate people with unfinished business trapped in a world they no longer belong to, then surely there are bad spirits, entities, demons, whatever you call them. Just as there are good and evil people on this earth, there are good and evil on the other side as well.

  • RhondaG says:

    Great article!! I would love to see the house for real!!.. However.. I did notice a mistake and it is really huge… the picture you have of “Butch Defeo” is not the REAL Butch.. that photo is from one of the “Amityville Horror” movies.. I believe the one with Ryan is an actor who portrayed him….might check into that.. there are a lot of pics of the real murderer out there… Have a great day!!

  • pat k says:

    i live a few miles from the house and have been showing seekers where it is since the mid 1980s. i believe some of the shit that was reported by the lutz family. a lot of what was portrayed in the movies was done by hollywood for scare tactics and was not from what the lutz family said. by the way the lutz family past lie detectors.

  • charlotte west says:

    I would love to spend a couple of days in that house to see for myself. I have a sensitive ability to feel things that you cannot see. I saw a ghost once along with my roommate and she would not sleep there again. I just prayed for Gods protection and that was that. I’ve seen an orb and other experiences as well.

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