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What's up with all the flies on the windows?
The longer the Lutzes were in the house, the more flies would appear, even though it was the dead of winter. They were mostly in the sewing room (the DeFeo boys' old bedroom) and the upstairs playroom (Dawn DeFeo's old bedroom). George would kill the flies only to have them return the next day.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

Did the flies attack the priest, as in the movie?
No. If they did, Father Ray has not mentioned it publicly.

Did the walls bleed?

No. This probably came from an incident where an unknown green substance was found by the Lutzes on the carpet. It looked like drops of green oil or gelatin which went from room to room. They blamed this on the children, scraped up the sticky substance off the carpets and dumped it in the boathouse.

In Anson's book, this seems to have been changed to green slime on the walls, which ended up in tiny pools on the carpet.

In the movie this was changed to blood oozing from the walls.

source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; ABCNEWS internet chat, 2002

So that's where they got the idea of the "bleeding walls" from?

Most likely. The only other "drip" in the house was a sort of black epoxy substance which seemed to drip or hang from certain keyholes in the house (particularly on the second floor). The family thought it might be oil or something. It was a hard substance, and the family never saw them actually grow, but they seemed to get longer and longer each day, resembling long teardrops.

These "drips" were reportedly still there when the investigators entered the house on March 6, 1976.

source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Did Kathy turn into an "old hag"?

Yes, one night Kathy's facial appearance turned into, what George referred to as, that of "a really ugly old woman." Kathy was in a deep sleep, and George woke her. She was shocked by the look of revulsion on his face. Kathy looked at herself in the mirror and saw that her face was severely wrinkled with deep impressions under her eyes and across her forehead. Her lips were tight and drawn, and her hair had turned into a greyish white color. It took hours for this to go away.

At the time, Kathy recalled feelings of confusion and illness as she tried to understand what was happening. George can't recall what exactly was going through his mind at that moment, besides a great feeling of revulsion; but he didn't connect the incident right away with the house. He was trying to figure out a rational explanation for what could have caused this.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; In Search Of documentary, 1979

Why did George wake up at 3:15am each morning?

The book and movie had George waking up precisely at 3:15 am each night. In reality, George would awaken between 3 and 3:30 am each night – not always precisely at 3:15. The reason is unknown, but some believe a connection between the estimated time of the DeFeo murders.

George would awaken and feel the urge to check on the kids or check on the boathouse (their boat was a major investment).

source: Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

Was the "red room" the gateway to Hell?

That was an invention of the movie, and, to a lesser extent, Anson's book.

Kathy came across the "red room" by accident one day, as she was moving furniture around in the house and setting up storage space. In the basement, she saw one particular bookshelf that she wanted to move. She was surprised to find that behind the bookshelf was the entrance to a small hidden area which was painted a bright red color.

It was not as it appeared in the movies. It didn't contain a pit of blood, and it was not behind a solid wall that George had to break down to gain access.

Nevertheless, the Lutzes found this little "red room" a bit disturbing – it wasn't included in the diagrams of the house; it has a foul odor; and their dog, Harry, wouldn't go near it. Normally Harry was a very curious animal, but he backed right out of the area and ran up the stairs.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; In Search Of documentary, 1979

Did the Lutzes have nightmares while living in the house?

Kathy has talked about nightmares where she experienced the bullets entering and exiting Mrs DeFeo's body. She said she was able to determine in what order the family members were murdered, and claimed that the facts in her dreams were confirmed later when they met with DeFeo's attorney William Weber – adding that the entry/exit points of the bullets were never made public.

In the movie, Kathy awakes screaming, "She was shot in the head," but was probably artistic license used by the filmmakers, seeing as Louise DeFeo was not shot in the head.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Why was it a big deal that the kids slept on their stomachs?

Not necessarily a "big deal," but just another strange thing to add to the list of strange events. Every member of the Lutz family started sleeping on their stomachs since moving into the Amityville house. Everyone except for George. This is another example of their personal traits changing in the house – Kathy and the kids didn't sleep on their stomachs before then – it was just after moving into that house.

Some have made comparisons to the fact that the DeFeos were all found face down in their beds, and/or the Indian legend that said they buried their enemies and those possessed by evil spirits face down in the ground.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Was George possessed?

While he admits he felt like a different person while living inside the house, George wouldn't go so far as to say he wasn't in possession of his own body – but his body sure wasn't acting in the same way.

The families' personalities and behaviors changed, and it was difficult to communicate with one another. George felt like he lost his sense of humor, and suffered from moodiness, feelings of confusion and anger. Physically, George felt tired and ill during most of their stay. He lost a lot of weight, and found himself repeating his actions often.

During a 2005 interview with Horror.com, George explained it like this:

"When Dan spoke about the onslaught of psychological attacks that accompanied this, there is a complete breakdown of communications that go on. There are mood swings, and headaches and nausea, and all kinds of physical reactions, but there are also deeper layers of self-doubt and there are thoughts that come that you know are not your own. When they come, and you begin to realize that something is going on that is just not right, that is just not normal, that is just not part of your own nature."

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; In Search Of documentary, 1979; Horror.com interview

Did George turn in his gun to the police out of fear he would hurt his family?
George was licensed to carry a firearm due to his cash payroll for his business. On a trip to the city, George dropped it off at the police station, due to the Sullivan Act which made it a felony to carry a firearm in New York City. George said this was a regular routine which was blown out of proportion.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

Who was Jodie, the pig?
Jodie was described by Missy as an angel, who could appear in many different forms. It was a friend to Missy. For some reason it appeared to Missy as a pig – either on its own, or at the request of Missy. Missy said Jodie could change size – that it could be as small as a teddy bear, or bigger than the house – and that it could not be seen by others unless it wanted them to.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; In Search Of documentary, 1979

When did George or Kathy first find out that Jodie was real?

Kathy recalls one day in the kitchen when Missy came in and asked if angels could talk. She said there was an angel living in her bedroom. At first Kathy thought nothing of Missy having an imaginary friend – her sons also had imaginary friends in the past – but when Missy asked if angels could talk, and when Missy told her parents that Jodie said they would live there forever, George and Kathy were concerned. That didn't seem a normal thing for a little 5 year old girl to say.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

What was it that was staring at George and Kathy from outside the living room window?
George described a pair of red beady eyes with no form behind them. Outside they found a trail of cloven-hoofed footprints that led "right off the boat dock and right into the river."
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

Did the force in the house prevent them from using the telephone?
Kathy stated that when she'd try to call Father Ray, the phone connection would break up in static. Likewise she said this occurred when Father Ray tried calling the Lutzes. George was able to call him from his office, however.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Did the Priest bless the house, or did the Lutzes do it themselves?

Father Ray blessed the house on that first day and never returned. The Lutzes attempted to bless the house on their own on two separate occasions.

On the advice of a family friend (who went through a similar situation as a child) the Lutzes performed a ritual they hoped would cause the evil force in the house to leave. They went from room to room, opening each window, reciting the Lord's Prayer, and commanding whatever was there to leave in the name of Jesus Christ.

During this first attempt, the Lutzes heard a chorus of voices saying, "Will you stop." This ritual didn't seem to help, as things reportedly got worse after that.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; In Search Of documentary, 1979

Did Danny's hands really get crushed by the window when he was teasing Missy?

Yes and no. Missy wasn't involved – that was an invention of the movie. Danny was sent upstairs to close the windows, and George and Kathy suddenly heard him screaming.

Danny's hands were crushed by a window in the sewing room. His hands were literally deformed – they were flat. As they were about to leave for the hospital, they looked at his hands again and they appeared fine. It was almost like the house didn't want them to leave, which is a conclusion they arrived at much later.

source: Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Did the Lutzes really levitate?

Yes, but that did not take place until the last nights they were there. Kathy levitated in the Amityville house, and they both levitated together in the house of Kathy's mother, after fleeing Amityville.

On their final night, during all the commotion, Kathy, while in a deep sleep, levitated and moved towards the wall, away from George on the bed. Terrified, George grabbed hold of her and pulled her down, back towards him. She woke up immediately and saw the terror in George's face.

For the first couple of nights at Kathy's mother's house, there were two separate occasions during which they levitated. One occurred as they were meditating (they soon stopped that practice). George woke from the mediation to see Kathy being pulled up the side of the wall. He grabbed her, pulled her back down and woke her up.

The other time this occurred, they both levitated together one morning. This time they felt calm and peaceful, like it was a beautiful thing. As they "floated around the room," they were talking to one another, asking each other if they believed this was really happening. It was described by George as a completely different sort of phenomena than they had experienced in the house.

source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

It almost seems like the Lutzes thought everything that happened to them was supernatural. Didn't they check things out to see if they could have a natural explanation?

Yes, for a long time they tried to explain away everything that was going on, even when Kathy turned into and "old hag." When they experienced the strange noises and smells, they looked for natural explanations such as broken pipes, possible leaks and they even tore down ceiling panels, looking for hidden speakers or speaker wire. The Lutzes tried to find natural explanations for the events, but over time too many things just didn't seem to add up:

--the odor of sweet/cheap perfume
--the foul "sewer-type" odors in the basement (where there were no pipes)
--the red room, its odor and its affect on their dog (again no pipes)
--the changes in the family's personality
--George's obsession with the fire
--George being awakened each night around 3:15am
--the flies in the middle of winter
--the epoxy drips in the keyholes
--the fluctuations in the heat
--the black stains in the toilets
--George not wanting to eat or shower
--the family not wanting to leave the house at any time
--doors mysteriously opening on their own

Individually, these were not things the family seemed to be overly alarmed about, but collectively it got to a point where George was questioning his own sanity. They started to realize there was something seriously wrong.

source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; In Search Of documentary, 1979

Were there other witnesses to any of this?

Yes, George and Kathy would have guests over to the house. As they chatted in the kitchen area, they all heard footsteps coming from the floor above them, as if someone was walking around. They'd go upstairs to find the children sound asleep, with no explanation for the sounds.

The wife of Kathy's brother slept over one night, and was awakened by what she claimed was a sickly-looking little boy, who sat on the edge of her bed and asked her where Missy and Jodie were.

source: Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; The Amityville Horror (book), 1977; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

What happened on that final night?

Not everything is known about the final night, but here is what we could piece together from various interviews.

The children's beds were being slammed around upstairs – levitating up then crashing down onto the floor. Kathy was in a deep sleep, very rigid, and was sliding away from George across the bed. The "marching band" noise George heard before was once again coming from downstairs, and it sounded like every window and door downstairs was being violently slammed open and closed repeatedly. George couldn't get out of bed, which was soaked from sweat.

Something got into the bed with George and Kathy – something invisible, but George could see the impression of its footprints on the mattress. He could feel its weight and he sensed he could feel its breath, although there was so much noise happening at the time, he couldn't be sure.

Harry, the dog, was tied to the master bedroom doorknob. He would wake up, walk around in circles, vomit and go back to sleep.

source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; In Search Of documentary, 1979; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

Why do the Lutzes not talk about that final night?

George says that when you talk about their experiences, you are reliving it. The worst of it comes back, and its hard to detach yourself from the memories. It's just too unpleasant for them to go through – and their final night was the worst of it all.

According to what Kathy has stated on the History Channel documentary, it seems to go just beyond bringing back memories. She said it is difficult to describe such intangible things such as fear and evil, and their affects on an individual.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

Did the Lutzes practice witchcraft or anything?

No. For a time, George and Kathy practiced Transcendental Meditation. Kathy believes that this practice may have opened up their minds to become more sensitive to certain phenomena.

George played with an Ouija board as a child, but it was apparently no big deal – just a thing kids would do.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Did George really see a hooded figure as the family fled the house?
Yes. He described the figure as "something like a Ku Klux Klansman with half the hood blown away with no face." It looked similar to an image the fire etched into the back of the fireplace.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

Did they leave the house on a dark, stormy night?

No, they left the house the next day, after a frantic call to Father Ray.

Father Ray asked why they were still in the house. The Lutzes never realized that they could just abandon everything and leave, which is what they did. They realized Father Ray was not coming back, and that they were not going to spend another night like that last one in that house.

Even though they had been through hell, they still felt an unnatural urge to stay just before fleeing.

source: Coast to Coast radio program, 2002


As the Lutzes fled the house, did their car fail to start, like in the movie?
Well, in the movie they had trouble starting the van, but I think most of that was them fumbling around for the keys. Oddly enough, in real life the Lutzes' van, in fact, did not start up as they tried to flee; but it wasn't a big deal. The van was equipped with two different types of ignitions. George opened the hood, switched the van to conventional ignition by pushing a switch, and the van then started right up.
source: Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

When did the Lutzes flee their Amityville home?
The Lutzes left their home on Wednesday, January 14, 1976.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

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