Plus in the early 1980s, this film made the Amity Horror –
The Amityville Horror – a household word.
from In Search Of and the movie with Kathy's voice-over]
LUTZ: We had substances seeping out of keyholes; toilet
bowls that turned black; furniture that moved; windows that blew
in; flies that appeared out of nowhere...
[back to host]
Well how much of the movie is Hollywood, and how much is real?
The real Kathy Lutz answers that question on today's 700 Club.
ROBERTSON: Well for 28 days, the woman in our next story
lived a non-stop nightmare. You've heard it in a movie called
The Amityville Horror. But for years after that, she
and her family endured the torment of relentless publicity. Now
for the first time in nine years, Kathy Lutz separates fact from
fiction in this exclusive interview with reporter Paul Petitte.
PETITTE: It's the story of a modern day haunted house,
that in 1979 caught the nation by storm. To Kathy Lutz, it was
a real-life nightmare that pushed her to the edge of insanity.
A nightmare that came to be known as The Amityville Horror.
Kathy and ex-husband George Lee Lutz say their Long Island home
was cursed with an inexplicable evil. The Amityville Horror
is the story of their terrifying experience. But just how much
of the film is true and how much is Hollywood? Kathy Lutz, in
her first interview in nine years says it was frighteningly all
The extremes of some of the happenings, like the substance coming
from the keyholes, was not to the extent that they portrayed it.
The finale of the movie, where you have all this gunk coming out
– that's not accurate. But as far as experiences, we had
substances seeping out of keyholes; toilet bowls that turned black;
furniture that moved; windows that blew in; flies that appeared
out of nowhere – and not one or two. We're in the month
of January – it's ice outside – and you've got thirty,
forty houseflies on one window. Things of that nature, yeah, they
did a good job.
And each night something terrifying took place. The front door,
which is, well, it's an oversized solid wood door, blew-out. Not
blew-in, it blew-out. And there was no physical explanation for
it. That was checked-out by the police, that was checked out by
a repair man. We wouldn't explain it. I thought I was losing my
PAUL PETITTE: After a 28-day long nightmare,
the family literally fled their home with only the clothes on
their back. Parapsychology experts later documented many of the
phenomenon. What followed was a flood of unwanted publicity. In
order to dispel false rumors and set the record straight, the
Lutzes sold book rights to their story, which was later made into
a movie. Soon Kathy found herself trapped in a promotional glut,
that refused to allow her to escape her horrifying past.
Yeah, sometimes I've said it's like an operation that left an
ugly scar. And if you keep picking it open, it's not going to
PAUL PETITTE: The Lutzes moved to San Diego,
and then Phoenix – but by this time the stress of the public
eye had taken its toll. Kathy's relationship with her family weakened
as she tried harder and harder to come to grips with her past.
As a kid I used to lay out; and I'd look at the clouds and I'd
talk to God. I could see God in the clouds. I was involved in
the choir at church. And I'd just bellow out. I remember how I
felt with that. Always talked to God. And then as I got older,
I moved away. And now I was – I didn't know where I was.
And I didn't know how to get out of where I was. I was losing...
I was living [with/for] my kids. They were doing all right. But
I was losing the relationship with them. I didn't feel like I
was a plus in their life, any place.
PAUL PETITTE: It was seven years after the Amityville
encounter, Kathy sat on her bathroom floor with a drink in her
hand and a bottle of pills by her side. Perhaps, she thought,
her family would be better off without her.
[I had] a bottle of pain-killers sitting there, and I was planning
this thing for hours – how I was going to do it. And I was
thinking, well, what's it going to be like; who's going to find
you; and was it going to be one of the kids or was it going to
be Lee. And I had turned the television on in the adjacent room.
And TBN was on. And I couldn't tell you who was speaking –
and I don't even know what he was speaking – but all of
a sudden he was talking about how you could be healed; how you
could have that abundant life. And it was like he was on a megaphone,
right in my head. And he began to pray a prayer of salvation,
and the words were just spinning out of me. And I asked Jesus
in. And the peace that overtook me was just something that I had
never experienced. I mean, I thought I knew God when I was a kid,
but I had never known this.
PAUL PETITTE: Whether you believe in the accounts
of The Amityville Horror or not, Kathy Lutz knows that
for 28 days, she and her family experienced a living hell. But
today, she's happy to tell everyone that years of fear, frustration
and torment are gone.
[unintelligible] to God, I know Jesus. Before I was in turmoil,
and it was turmoil that was inside of me. There was no peace.
And now the turmoil is on the outside – the peace is on
the inside. And I know who I am, and whose I am.