Arguably one of the most famous ghost stories in America began in an unassuming house in Amityville, New York, in 1974. If you’ve seen any of the films based on the events, you know the story — a family moves into a house that had recently been the site of horrifying murders. They begin hearing voices, seeing ghosts, and experiencing other paranormal activities before ultimately fleeing their home in terror.
Part of that is true, but exactly how much of it, we may never know.
The home’s previous owner Ronnie DeFeo really did murder his entire family in the home. At his trial, he said that voices in the house made him do it. When George and Kathy Lutz moved in, they may or may not have experienced something supernatural. What we do know is that they worked closely with DeFeo’s attorney to either fabricate or exaggerate the hauntings, according to ABC News. Out of this, the Lutzes hoped to secure book and film deals, which they did, and the attorney hoped to give credence to his client’s “not guilty” plea, which he didn’t.
DeFeo was sentenced to life in prison where he still resides and eventually admitted to ABC that he lied about the voices. No other tenants have reported anything spooky in the Amityville house since.