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Amityville Horror House For Sale

The house that spooked the shit out of the family Lutz, and, later, readers of Jay Anson’s account of it, The Amityville Horror, went on the market yesterday.  The 5 bedroom Dutch Colonial can be yours for just 1.5 million.  But, as they say, buyer beware:

The house has a history of terror.  The Lutz family moved into the house in 1975 after it went on sale because the former were all killed in the home with the exception of the eldest son, Ronald DeFeo Jr. who was convicted of killing his family.

The horror house left the Lutz’s moving out with a tale to tell that was made into an Oscar nominated film starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder as the Lutz family who were only able to stay in the house for a brief time.  Neighbors say people still gawk at the home and it draws a crowd on Halloween.  How much of the story the Lutz’s told was true, but if the house sells, and some brave family moves in, we may find out.

Attn: potential new tenants of Amityville Horror house: if that demonic pig, Jodie, pops up again, please send him to Park Slope, Brooklyn, c/o Jonathan Safran Foer.  You got that?  Park Slope!

Previously on Dangerous Minds: The Merv Griffin-Amityville Horror Summit

Amityville Horror Home For Sale

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
The Merv Griffin-Amityville Horror Summit

I suppose you can consider the attached Merv Griffin clips where George and Kathy Lutz join actor Rod Steiger of the Amityville Horror movie, a Dangerous Minds “Halloween post.”  But I find them interesting for a reason beyond tomorrow’s holiday.

Without getting into the “truthiness” of the Lutz’s claims, and knowing this was obviously great publicity for the movie, they remind me of how seriously the television landscape back then treated matters of the occult and the supernatural.

In fact, as a kid growing up in the ‘70s, that’s exactly what made that decade, for me, feel so terrifying: even adults weren’t taking this stuff lightly!  Today there’s Ghost Hunters, sure, but that’s a self-contained show—a self-contained world.  And I can’t quite imagine the ladies of The View devoting an entire hour to a supposedly haunted house on Long Island.

As reads go, I remember Jay Anson’s Amityville Horror book being spooky and terrifying.  To my young mind, the demonic visitations that plagued the Lutz family felt entirely plausible.  Hell, even the cover announced it as “a true story.”  Not even “based on,” just true.  And it was happening to adults, authority figures—people in charge!  Like I said: spooky and terrifying.

But between In Search Of…, Night Gallery, and Ghost Story (both Sebastian Cabot‘s and Peter Straub‘s) that’s largely how I remember the ‘70s, anyway: far more spooky and terrifying than the decades that followed it.  And I don’t think this was entirely due to my young age, or some particular rise in darker shit going down.

The likelier culprit was that decade’s proximity to the one that preceded it: the nervous breakdown fallout from the ‘60s was still seeping and spilling under the floorboards of the ‘70s’ pop cultural landscape.

George and Kathy Lutz show up on Merv Griffin in Part IV.  Links to the remainder of the show follow below:

The Amityville Gang Does Merv Griffin, Part: I, II, III, V

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment