AMITYVILLE HORROR HOUSE

BY FERNANDO INFANTE (STRANGER MINDZ)

NEW YORK STATE MANAGER

112 (108) Ocean Avenue, Amityville, NY

Status: Private Residence; Urban Legend; Famous Haunted House

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Photo Courtesy of StrangersMindz


This location is a private residence that is not owned by the author of this article. In no way does this article or any the information presented in it construe as permission to enter this property. Permission would have to be gained from the legal owners before it can be entered.

The Our Paranormal World Network does not condone trespassing in any way.


Strangers Journey

To

The Amityville Horror House


June 30th, 2023

By Fernando(Strangers Mindz)Infante

Welcome fellow strangers to the Amityville Horror House. This location needs no introduction, especially if you are already familiar with all the movies, books, articles and its infamous legacy. But whether or not you are familiar with Amityville, there are still things that might still shock you. With all the research I have done, you will learn everything I came across and everything you need to know about the history of the house, the murders, and the haunting associated with Amityville. According to my research, this is what happened on that dreadful day for the DeFeo family that shook New York especially Long Island to its core.

Are you ready to know what really took place at the infamous Amityville Horror House? If so, read on at your own discretion because all the information I have found might make or break your beloved thoughts on Amtyivlle and its infancy. In the words of the Joker in Batmen the Dark Knight, "Here We Go!".

November 13,1974, is the date that the infamy of the Amityville House started. In a small suburban town called Amityville, Long Island, New York, sits a large Colonial Dutch house. It is located at 112 Ocean Ave and was dubbed "High Hopes" at the time. This is when the most iconic and horrific murders were committed. The culprit, Ronald Joseph DeFeo Jr. and his victims were his own family. Ronald DeFeo was tried and convicted of murdering his parents and his siblings in a total of 6 murders in that house.

Respectfully, father Ronald DeFeo Sr. (43) and mother Louise DeFeo (43), sister Dawn (18), sister Allison (13), brother Marc (12), and brother John (9). All victims were found in a horrifically and uncharacteristic manner, facing down with their hands over their heads in their own beds. The weapon used was a .35 caliber lever action Marlin 336C rifle. Ronald shot all of his family on the back of their heads, his siblings received one shot but his parents both received two.

According to the physical evidence, Louise DeFeo and Allison were awake at the time of their deaths. Which begs the question, how were they all found lying face down in their beds? Did the gun even make a noise? Because if one shot was loud enough to wake up a neighborhood, how did it not wake up everyone in that house. Apparently, DeFeo drugged his family, which is how he was able to shoot and kill everyone. The medical examiner Dr. Edelman stated, "there is a good possibility they were drugged", "I don't know how they could keep quiet at the time of the shootings", "If there was something (meaning drugged), it was in what they ate", "the bodies had no needle puncture wounds". Dr. Edelman also added, "it is bizarre that they were all in the same exact position".

Ronald Joseph DeFeo Jr. after murdering his family, at around 3 AM went to Henry's Bar in Amytiville (which by the way is closed down permanently according to Google). But it has switched owners several times and if my timeline is correct, after Henry's Bar it became Cloud Nine and after that, B&B Fish & Clam. Whether or not there were other businesses in between them is unknown but from 1974, it has changed hands a couple of times (almost as if that location is cursed alongside "High Hopes") one thing is for sure, according to everything I have read, Henry's Bar was just a couple of blocks away from the DeFeos home.

Around 6:30 PM, Robert DeFeo ran into Henry's Bar and told people there, "You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!". A small group of people including Ronald DeFeo Jr. went to the house to discover the gruesome scene of this tragic event.

Let's dig deeper and go step by step.

Ronald DeFeo Jr. ran into Henry's Bar at 6:30 PM yelling and crying asking for help from the patrons in the bar. A couple of men including Ronalds best friend Robert “Bobby” Kelske, with Joey Yeswit, John Altieri, Al Saxton and William Scordmaglia, all went to the house driving in Ronalds 1970 Buick Electra 225.

When they got there, they all noticed how unsettling the house and the environment felt. As all the men gathered in a group to check out the house, that's when they saw how bad the situation actually was. Joey Yeswit called the Suffolk County Police Department to report what has happened.

The Defeo's family was buried at the Saint Charles Cemetery which is a Roman Catholic cemetery of the Diocese of Brooklyn in East Farmingdale, New York.

Ronald Joseph DeFeo Jr. was arrested for the murders and his trial began on October 14, 1975. The trial became a show of its own; due to all the stories that was spewed. First, when DeFeo was taken into custody it was for his own protection because he told the authorities that the killings were a mob hit and was carried out by a hitman called Louis Falini. At the time, DeFeo was known to be affiliated one way or another with the mob, so it was a possibility that this is what happened, after all Ronald DeFeo Jr. was nicknamed "Butch", if that's not a "mob" nickname I don't know what is.

Unfortunately for DeFeo, his story had too many inconsistencies, which led to him admitting the next day that he and Falini killed his family together, but again, unfortunately for DeFeo, Falini had an alibi, stating that he was out of state during the murders.

Now, Ronald was left alone with this heaviness on his shoulders and ended up telling the detectives, "Once I started, I just couldn't stop. It went so fast". DeFeo admitted taking a bath and discarding the blood drenched clothes he was wearing. The sickening part of all this is, if the DeFeo family was murdered at 3AM, then why was the murders reported at 6:30 PM? The answer is, Ronald DeFeo went to work. We all got to stick to that 9-5 job don't we.

Throughout the trial there were many testimonials including the one of Dr. Harold Zolan, a psychiatrist for the prosecution, and he stated that "DeFeo was a user of heroin and LSD, he had antisocial personality disorder and was aware of his actions at the time of the crime". He said this in return to DeFeo pleading insanity which was recommended by his defense lawyer, William Weber.

Weber mounted an affirmative defense of insanity, claiming Ronald DeFeo killed his family in self-defense because he heard voices, voices of his own family, threatening him. The insanity plea was supported by the psychiatrist for the defense, Daniel Schwartz. And this my fellow strangers is where, when and how the whole premise of the Amytiville Horror was created.

On November 21, 1975, Ronald DeFeo was found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder. On December 4, 1975, Judge Thomas Stark sentenced DeFeo to six sentences of 25 years to life. DeFeo was held at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York, until his death. There are many articles and theories to try to answer the question that has been in all of our minds, which is, if it wasn't due to a possession (how the entertainment industry strived for) then why did Ronald DeFeo Jr. kill his family?

The answer is, his father's life insurance. Ronald DeFeo didn't have a good relationship with his father, and he was so curious to know how to collect his father's life insurance that he even asked the police... (think about that), Robert DeFeo asked the police how he can collect his father's life insurance. Which set off all the alarms for the prosecution to suggest that this was his motive for killing his family.

Ronald DeFeo Jr., after serving one term of his sentence, died at the age of 69 on March 12, 2021, at Albany Medical Center. The official cause of death has not been released to the public.

Now my fellow strangers, do you still think that this tragedy was influenced by paranormal activity? It sure seems like it wasn't but Hollywood is a creative bunch aren't they, but here is my next question. Do you think this incident incited paranormal activity in that house? I mean it does have all the right recipes for it, but the question relies more on, did Ronald DeFeo actually hear spirit entities? Let's find out.

Throughout my research, I found many theories that would suggest that Ronald DeFeo Jr. was influenced or possessed by an evil entity. That the house was built on ancient Indian burial grounds and also, a devil worshipping cult leader by the name John Ketchum is said to have been summoning demons and the devil. If this is all true, then hands down, Ronald was possessed and was indeed a victim instead of the perpetrator. But things don't add up, let's get into it.

In my research I did come across information of an indigenous tribe called the Shinnocks and that they used that plot of land to home their mentally unstable tribe members, an Aboriginal insane asylum if you will. But that theory was quickly disproven because the Shinnocks wouldn't leave their family in that state of mind and unsafe alone.

In fact, according to a Long Island Native American expert John Strong, author of "We Are Still Here", debunked that rumor stating that many Aboriginal groups lived along the tidal bays in the area but not inland. Furthermore, the Montaukett Nation stated, "these native people were a kind and gentle people, so it is absurd to think that they would leave anyone out, exposed to the elements to die or curse a land. Rather, they took care of their sick, dying and mentally insane and even showed the European settlers how to do the same". On top of all that, there is no evidence to suggest that the house was built on any burial grounds whatsoever. This information can be looked up at the Amityville Historical Society and New York State Records on Cemeteries. Theory 1 neutralized.

How about the other theory stating that there was a devil worshipper by the name of John Ketchum. He was also mentioned in the Amityville Horror movie in 2005 dubbed "Reverend Jeramiah (John) Ketchum" and even in books and articles. So let's get into that shall we.

John Ketchum, wait, which one? WWHHHAAAATTTT! Once again, through my research I came across not 1 not 2 but 3 John Ketchums associated with Amityville. John Ketchum, born 1622 and died 1697, John (Reverend Jeramiah) Ketchum born 1622 and died 1697 and last but not least, Colonel John Ketchum born 1782 died 1865. Upon reading into all three men, I believe that Reverend Jeremiah (John) Ketchum was created by using the bio of 16th century and 18th century John Ketchum and here's why.

The story of the Reverend Jeramiah (John) Ketchum goes like this according to what we know from the movies, books and articles claiming that he is a real person. Apparently, he was chased out of Salem Massachusetts during the famous Salem Witch Trials, which is interesting enough, but there isn't much information as far as dates are concerned but the famous Salem Witch Trials were conducted in February 1692 to May 1693. John Ketchum (16th century, not Reverend) did live in Massachusetts, but he was made a freeman in Salem Courts on Feburary 28, 1643. He wasn't chased away like the Reverend was due to the Salem Witch Trials according to everyone thinking the Reverend is a real person in 1692-1693. Furthermore, there are records of John living in the area known now as Amityville in the 1650's.

John Ketchum was a very well known predominant man and not a psychopath. From there, with all his hard work and dedication, John Ketchum began to travel and own property. In 1653 John was able to purchase a house and land in Hanshamomack, which is now Suffolk County, New York and just in case you guys got lost in translation, Amityville is located within Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Fits the description doesn't it but it's based on completely different stories.

Wait a minute! If Reverend Jeremiah (John) Ketchum fled Salem to Amityville because of the Salem Witch Trials, then that would mean, the Reverend was 70-71 years old by my calculations. Wow, that old man must've had some spark in him. But hey lets see where this leads to because the Salem Witch Trials was a moment in time where they were very diligent.

More than 200 people were accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. Thirty people were found guilty, 19 of them were executed by hanging which included 14 women and five men. Others were just killed and at least 5 people died in jail. This was a crazy time, but it begs the question, how did this 70+ year old man was able to escape all of this but not the other 200 people? There isn't any information on how, obvioulsy but sure, it could have happened. Especially when all the witches at the time were scattering trying to get away and there could've been hundreds probably thousands of witches in Salem at the time, right?

Please see our 2 articles of haunted locations in Salem (and 1 in Danvers; which was part of Salem during the trials) below for more on the hauntings related to the witch trials.

Either way, there are no records involving John Ketchum to witchcraft at all except for this Reverend.

Now let's get to know the Colonel John Ketchum 18th Century. The Colonel never lived nor owned property and he probably never stepped foot in Amityville, Long Island, New York during his life. He was a very decorated soldier in the military but also worked as a contractor. He has even recieved many prizes during his service. One of his most highly prized titles, was one he recieved from General Andrew Jackson’s electors. He also was listed as one of the first trustees of Indiana University. All this to say, he has no association with Amityville whatsoever except for the theory with "murdering Indians" and we will get into that shortly. But needless to say, he wasn't born during the Salem Witch Trials.

The theory involving John Ketchum killing Native Americans as a sacrifice to the devil is an interesting story but fictional at best. John Ketchum (16th century) has no association whatsoever with Aboriginals of any kind.

Now, Colonel John Ketchum (18th century), who wasn't even born during the Salem Witch Trials, is known to be one of the founding fathers of Browntown, Indiana and famed for his military strategies against Native Americans. But it is not noted, reported nor is there any evidence to suggest Colonel John Ketchum killed any Aboriginals himself, he was just a strategist. So in my opinion, the Reverend was a made up character to fit the Amityville Horror House movies, books and articles using both John Ketchum as the catalyst because they have the same name.

Furthermore, there is no mention in history of 2 John Ketchum's associated with buying or living on the land, in the house of what would become "High Hopes", ever. So will the real John Ketchum please stand up! So in my book, theory number 2 has been neutralized.

The theories of the paranormal which contained the Amityville house being built on ancient burial grounds and/or being used by a devil worshipper has been debunked. On top of that, there was never any paranormal activity being reported in any way, shape, or form before or after the Lutz family. Which begs the question once again, what happened to Ronald DeFeo Jr.? Did he really hear voices? To get a proper answer, let's look into the history of the Amityville House.

Through my research I found that the actual Amityville House that the DeFeo murders happened in was built in 1924 by a couple named John and Catherine Moynahan, which means the house John Ketchem is said to have built didn't exist. John and Catherine Moynahan built their dream home and they lived very happy for many years without any incidents and it was just a regular house.

The house was actually sold to the DeFeos in 1965 by the Moynahan descendents.

So the "curse" that was spoken about didn't happen before that dreadful night November 13,1974 which means that everything the Lutzes endured after buying the house, if true, had to be due to what took place with the DeFeos. The "curse" if any, was born that night which is why everything that happened involving that house and its legacy was summoned up by the actions of Ronald DeFeo Jr. That's my theory upon reviewing history. Let's talk about the Lutzes family.

George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house on December 18, 1975 and were happy with their new house at least until things started to bump in the night. 28 days after buying the house, they abandoned their houses leaving behind all of their belongings. So what would drive the Lutzes out of their new bought home? I mean $80,000 at the time was a lot of money and they just upped and left. In fact, whatever happened to the Lutzes terrorized them so much that they moved across the United States to California and never looked back.

The reports that were made by the Lutzes claimed that it didn't take long for the paranormal activity to start. At first it was subtle, creeks and knocks, but after a couple of days it amplified to doors slamming, voices, and they began to fear for their safety. Last but definitely not least, the Lutzes reported slime oozing from the walls. These activities would've made anyone run for their lives.

With all that said about the history of the Amytiville Horror House, do you believe the Lutzes? Well, it definitely captured the attention of Hollywood and also many curious paranormal investigators. Due to the Lutzes and their stories it did attract the best of the best of paranormal investigators including Ed and Lorraine Warren. But like I said before, this location, the legacy of the Amytiville Horror House, ultimately began with the murders and not beforehand.

No Indian burial grounds, no curse, no demonic summonings but that night did however create a paranormal location like no other and it includes the spirits, ghosts, and dark entities.

Today, the house still stands and it remains a private home. The owners have gone too great lengths to keep their lives separate from the legacy of their residency so much so that they went and contacted Google to blur out their house. So this goes without saying do not trespass and be respectful. They have reported no paranormal activity, and all owners since the Lutzes state it is just a house.

But what happened with the paranormal activity? My theory is, with all the attention the house has gotten, there has been many people visiting the house. People such as investigators, priests, demonologist, mediums and psychics, so on and so forth, I believe that at some point the entity was driven away. Or a more dramatic thought, it attached itself to someone, or, unpopular opinion, it has gotten strong enough to the point that it is now a traveler, tormenting people around the world. All theories of course, but it is an interesting thought.

What would be interesting now is, with the passing of Ronald DeFeo Jr., will there be some sort of residual imprint of him in the house? I guess we will never know, but for now, thank you for reading and taking a Strangers Journey to The Amytiville Horror House.


Afterthoughts by Our Founder Craig Mitton (Who has been to the Property Once in the 1980's)

I have been asked repeatedly why – if this house is so haunted – have none of the former owners since the Lutzes reported anything other than a normal house?

Two reasons I think: 1) They don’t want the publicity. They want to live their lives in peace without 40 people on their front lawn 24/7. Totally understandable. 2) The sixth sense is just that – a sense – not everyone has it; much as some people are born blind, deaf or dumb. Without this so-called sixith sense the house has no battery to power itself and the people have no way of sensing the energy present in the house.

Reported paranormal activity in the home I did not witness or sense:

A loving unseen presence

Demonic whispers telling people to do terrible things

Intense feelings to harm both others and yourself

The red room and the evil energy that pours from it

An uncontrollable desire to leave now

Doors and windows opening and closing on their own

Being scratched, hit and slapped

Nightmare visions and time slips

Reoccurring nightmares detailing the murders after leaving the house

Apparitions of the DeFeo children

Phantom sounds of gunshots

Shadow people and dark presences


Reported Paranormal Activity I did Witness Or Sense:

A powerful pervading sense of intense evil

Phantom footsteps on floors that were unoccupied

Cold and warm spots

Unexplained breezes

Phantom laughter and voices

My name being whispered in my ear (sometimes followed by a child’s giggle)

A feeling of being watched and unease

Movement in the corner of my vision

Unexplained mists that move on their own

Touches, tugs and pulls by unseen presences

An intense feeling that reality is being altered and other dimensions are present.


Sources, Websites:

Behind the evil eyes: The (Real) story of the Amityville house

https://www.fancypantshomes.com/movie-homes/the-real-story-of-the-amityville-house/

Ammityville Files

https://www.amityvillefiles.com/

The Amityville Murders

https://amityvillemurders.com/

Ronald DeFeo Jr.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_DeFeo_Jr.

The True Story Behind ‘The Amityville Horror’

https://collider.com/the-amityville-horror-true-story/

John Ketcham I (bef. 1622 - 1697)

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ketcham-9

John Ketcham, 1622 - 1696

https://www.myheritage.com/names/john_ketcham

John Ketcham

https://villains.fandom.com/wiki/John_Ketcham

John Ketcham (Indiana surveyor)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ketcham_(Indiana_surveyor)

Salem witch trials

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials

John Ketcham (The Amityville Horror)

https://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/1011234

The Amityville Horror

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_Amityville_Horror

Amityville, New York

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amityville,_New_York