An Exclusive Interview with the Man Who Lived at 112 Ocean Avenue.
By Louise Bohmer.
It has been called the most famous of American hauntings. The
Amityville Horror. The story has sold over 6 million books
with 13 reprints, and the movie grossed 86 million at the box
office. Here now is an interview with George Lutz, the man who
lived in the house at 112 Ocean Avenue.
LOUISE BOHMER: What were your views on paranormal
phenomenon before your experience at 112 Ocean Avenue?
I considered myself as much a skeptic about most such things .........as
anyone else might be. One way to put it would be that unless I
personally had experienced such things.(paranormal phenomena),
I had no basis to either believe or not believe in such events.
I do know that trying to describe my views, in any interview,
would not be as complete a discussion as I would wish possible,
because I believe that we all have some experiences that we are
reluctant to talk about publicly and it is in exchange of these
experiences that we all learn.
We had no reason to suspect that there was any reason to be wary
of the history the house had up to the time of moving in, yet
we were concerned about our children's opinions. We spent time
as a family deciding if we all agreed that we wanted to live there.
When a unanimous decision was reached, then we went forward with
LOUISE BOHMER: Do you feel that the heart attack
Steve Kaplan (one of the original perpetrators of the 'Amityville
Horror Hoax" myth) and the heart attack Jay Anson (author of,
The Amityville Horror: A True Story) suffered were mere
coincidences, or were somehow connected to the paranormal phenomenon
that occurred in the Ocean Avenue house?
Kaplan was a "vampireologist" and self proclaimed parapsychologist
that never was involved in any investigation of the phenomena
we experienced. We denied him access to our property when our
own research (a few phone calls to the university he said he taught
at and Duke University's paranormal research group founded by
Dr. Rhine) failed to confirm any of his so called qualifications
as a serious, credentialed researcher. He lied and misrepresented
himself to me personally and to the press. When he was exposed,
out he went on a "mission" to spend the rest of his life trying
to make a name for himself in another way ........as an author
of a book that purports to expose our story as a hoax. It was
a waste of life for him and has only served to leave his family
as well as his memory scarred by a fools errand and a legacy of
ridicule for himself and his wife.
His exclusion from the investigation was based on the unanimous
recommendations of the qualified experts we were able to assemble,
and I have never regretted asking for their recommendations or
my decision. In order that anyone be able to come to a reasoned
conclusion about the controversy he sought to create, one must
also become aware of his efforts to become notorious. Any review
the work he produced reveals the motivation behind it. His anger
at being refused entry was clearly the driving purpose of his
book and the only way he could associate himself into the case
was by declaring it a hoax.......it was effective enough to get
him noticed until his lack of credentials became his own undoing.
One example of this was referring to himself as "Dr. Kaplan,"
yet his degree was paper only and purchased from a nonexistent
school that was not accredited and did not require his attendance.
He did serve a purpose that has always been more important to
the story than was ever understood at the time. ........He continued
to make the public aware of the story and helped to get us all
thinking and talking about such phenomena, and to come to our
own conclusions about such things.
With that brief summary of Steve Kaplan's non-involvement with
my family, we can now try to discuss your question about coincidences
It is easy to blame "the house" on events that have befallen those
involved with it in one way or another. The threads of "coincidence"
do seem to support undeniable links that make for great drama
and supposition. It is just as easy to pull some quote from the
bible like 2Peter2 and lay it all on the offender....in this case,
Kaplan.....and ......it is almost as easy to just dismiss such
an idea with a feign at ignorance and humor.........
Although I prefer the humor to all else, the idea of the question
itself ....is just too serious for me personally to laugh away........I
have seen too much these last 28 years to do that.......the fact
that Kaplan died as soon as his "book" was finished.......can
lead to the idea that his "job" was done and he was no longer
useful to the evil that supported his task . This is probably
as valid an explanation as the fact that his addiction to cocaine
finally caught up to him. His apparent anger at his exclusion
and subsequent ridicule coupled with a complete disregard for
the truth, however, lead me to the conclusion at the time of his
death that the "coincidences" surrounding The Amityville Horror
are not always so easy to explain away or even understand for
ourselves. I never once believed he had any conception of what
he was dealing with and he certainly did not have the personal
depth to explain or expose nothing but his own corruption.
He physically died of congestive heart failure.....................although
in my opinion he had died to himself years and years before this.
LOUISE BOHMER: Do you feel that the heart attack
Jay Anson (author of The Amityville Horror: A True Story)
suffered was a mere coincidence, or was somehow connected to the
paranormal phenomenon that occurred in the Ocean Avenue house?
This is a difficult question about my own feelings and not just
because the feelings are private to me but also because over the
years they have changed in some respects. The simple answer is
yes, I do feel there was or is a connection. I am not willing
to discuss or explore this further at this time.
LOUISE BOHMER: After you fled the house, did
you experience any other odd occurrences? Or, was that the end
of the frightening events? After you fled the house, did you experience
any other odd occurrences?
Yes we did experience "odd occurrences" and these continued for
years. I tried to look on it as having a kind of half life in
that as time went on, these occurred less frequently.
Years later we were asked to take lie detector tests, and one
of the questions was about the time we levitated at my mother
in laws house after we abandoned the Amityville house. Kathy and
I had experienced this together and wanted that particular question
on the tests.
LOUISE BOHMER: Was that the end of the frightening
No it was not the end of such events, however the danger here
is blaming everything that goes wrong in ones life on evil. You
cannot do that and really learn anything worthwhile. You cannot
function in this world if your paranoia overwhelms your sensibilities.
The real problems are discernment and patience....... and the
impediment to beginning to learn how to endure is a lack of patience.
I had a lot to learn about all this.... and still do work on this
There did eventually come a time that the word frightening did
not have the same meaning or strength as it once had for us. Faith
was the only tool that undid the power that had inserted itself
upon us. It has been said that Faith is the substance of things
not seen.....I believe this to be a partial truth because I have
also seen faith do and move and change things and act and create
.....so at least for me faith is and has been so much more than
just "believing"...it has also been expecting and even knowing
LOUISE BOHMER: Ed and Lorraine Warren (prominent
demonologists and psychic investigators) investigated the occurrences
at the Ocean Avenue house, after you and your family left. They
came to the conclusion that a demonic force was haunting the home.
But what do you believe caused the terror in your home for those
28 days? Do you agree with the conclusion of it being the result
of demonic forces or inhuman spirits? But what do you believe
caused the terror in your home for those 28 days?
I am asked to lecture on this occasionally and always the elusive
nature of such phenomena is the interest of so many people from
all walks of life. You must first try to understand that the easy
answer......... "demonic forces or inhuman spirits" IS the answer,
yet this is not a complete enough answer for you or me to help
us to understand or learn anything of real value from just that
for an answer..........more important to any understanding would
be a catalog of observations, feelings, individual event descriptions
containing as much detail as can be recalled and then a collation
of all these for an examination of the effects of these events
upon the individuals involved.
Once you start this process, you learn that common duplicate perspectives
are at best, elusive. Each person involved will have a unique
experience, and it is this singular and separate perspective that
is difficult to define even to each other ....communication becomes
excruciating....even if two or more, have a seemingly simultaneous
experience..this compounds easily enough in "normal waking life"
yet apparently accelerates in a psychic environment...this charged
event will not create duplicate memories...and the effects of
the event will be both personal and dissimilar......add to his
description another "given" that begin to let you know just how
difficult any accurate conclusion will become for you..........The
"given" is a complete lack of knowledge, experience, vocabulary
and tools or solutions...........and then a form of despair leads
you to fear your own thoughts. You fear what others will think
of you and you become very alone and separate. You begin to know
that you do not know. Confusion now has grip you need real help
to become free of.
Confusion is said to be the absence of God's presence and I promise
you that confusion is only the beginning of what you are inundated
with, once the process of being in the presence of true evil starts.
LOUISE BOHMER: Do you agree with the conclusion
of it being the result of demonic forces or inhuman spirits?
I have come to believe that what was there was multi faceted and
multi talented ..........it was angry as a really obnoxious spoiled
child might be when we wanted it to leave..........it had the
ability to affect the lives of all it came into contact with....
it was deceitful and charming.........humorless and territorial.........intelligent
and powerful..........yet in all that it also was threatened by
the introduction of the religious or faith....it was vengeful
at exposure and worked to create confusion and fed off of anger,
guilt and greed and certainly fear........when exposed to love
or truth it retreats only to wait for an opportunity to take revenge
.........I learned that you do not ask someone to risk their own
life to clear a property of such an entity........you can instead
walk away and try to start over.
LOUISE BOHMER: Has anyone who has lived in the
house since your family's departure experienced paranormal phenomenon
of this same threatening level?
Since we no longer live there, much of what I would answer here
might easily be construed as rumor, yet divorce and money problems
have continued to plague subsequent owners, (as they did prior
to us) some have lost family and some have yelled about how awfully
sad they are that their house has been maligned in some manner.
There are pictures that have no reasonable explanation..........
why an arm suddenly becomes transparent......or a figure or figures
appearing in windows at times and there was a story about a death
from a fall off a ladder and another by drug overdose. I am told
there are police reports as well, but have not seen them.
You asked also..."of this same threatening level?"
I have no way to know of this being the case here. I believe you
are not a threat to this kind of phenomena if you do not believe
in it and do not want to expose or displace it somehow..........that
is not to say it will not choose to use you in some way if it
finds you convenient or more to the point...or..it finds you interesting.
LOUISE BOHMER: Do you think you'll ever write
a book telling your own truly personalized account of the terrifying
occurrences you and your family experienced, during your stay
at the Ocean Avenue home? Or, is the process of reliving those
events, in order to chronicle them in print, to traumatizing for
you to ever consider?
I am currently working on a picture book of the way we left the
house..........pictures taken during the investigation on March
6, 1976.........when that is finished, we will have an indication
of the need or desire on the publics part for an idea similar
to your question
We have often believed that the therapy is in the retelling...........you
get over and past something like this by facing it and dealing
with it............yet to describe the process is to usually be
found wanting for a better way of communicating the difficulties
one encounters...........through the years the reliving has become
less severe ......that is to say that there are still some buttons
that can be reached and cause for alarm because of the intensity
of the experience.........sometimes it is momentary and passes
quickly.........but I learned in an interview only a couple of
years ago that if the right person asks the right question..(
at the right time I suppose as well)..a whole flood of emotion
can revive itself and .as you say......the trauma of reliving
can still rear its ugly head........I have had to learn to be
wary of the process, yet embrace it as well since it has been
much more relieving than reliving.
LOUISE BOHMER: After experiencing such a terrifying
paranormal phenomenon, have you been contacted by, or helped,
others who've been through a similar supernatural occurrence?
Yes to both parts of your question. I do not speak of these in
public because they are confidential.
LOUISE BOHMER: Hans Holzer (professor of paranormal
psychology, author of many occult books) also visited 112 Ocean
Avenue, in 1977, with a medium. The medium claimed the malevolent
haunting was the result of the ghost of an angry Indian Chief,
who refuses to leave the house until it is destroyed. Do you think
there is any truth to this medium's claim?
The medium, Ethel Johnson Meyers, is known to be both gifted and
honest. I personally do not have any reason to doubt that the
recounting of what she experienced was..for her... invalid in
any way. Not all psychics will access all areas of information
or sources of phenomena available at ANY site in one single visit....or
even series of visits.........so while her investigation could
never be deemed to be complete........it should certainly not
be discounted either ..........It probably would be more accurate
to say that this was part of the whole.......another facet of
the forces within that were available to touched or learned about
and described ...that day...under the conditions present. I have
learned that even under the best conditions, when you try to investigate,
understand, and describe this kind of malevolent force, real truth
will be so elusive, it may never be possible to "map" its abilities
and purpose.......let alone its characteristics.........human
terms do not always apply.
LOUISE BOHMER: How did these traumatizing events
affect your life in later years? Were you terrified this might
happen to you again when you purchased another home?
I am sorry but this question probably requires a book for an answer........and
even then it would undoubtedly be inadequate and incomplete.........I
cannot even do a ...."suffice it to say............" in any reasonable
length or series of paragraphs and then feel I have somehow said
what all would need to be at least touched upon........One way
to describe this would be that it is still a process I am learning
from and learning about.
We experienced something I would wish on no one ever for any reason.
The fact that this is not as rare as you and I might want to believe
it is ......does not change anything. These things happen and
for the most part people will not try to explain them because
of the notoriety that sets you apart. The fear of ridicule has
never been an issue for me because I understand at least some
of the ignorance that accompanies the need to ridicule. My fear
is that I will leave out the message that will help someone that
truly is in need. My fear is that I will not communicate the serious
nature of these kinds of events in a way that is both respectful
of the reader and the material itself. I dislike the fact that
I cannot meet with those that are truly interested in such phenomena
in person and at least have a chance to impart what little I have
gleaned from all this so that their own quest for knowledge is
helped somehow. I have to admit a selfish part to this as well.........I
usually learn from others in ways that take me years to start
to comprehend and I value that learning in large ways.
I was leading a quiet life repairing old cars and doing my own
studies on the subject of this interview when the internet came
along. For the most part I was in private life and rarely spoke
of the past to all but my closest friends. The internet brought
with it a mentality that you can say what you want and you do
not have to be responsible for it..........because you are anonymous.........
I went back to school to learn about computers......... to build
them and repair them and then to protect them ......and finally
learn computer forensics because the internet also brought a viciousness
to some people.
I have had some fears to deal with.........I still am not too
happy with heights. I have learned allot about what motivates
people..........I have seen what we call the "amityville bug"
infect people with greed and meanness beyond comprehension..........and
I have been most fortunate in ways that have nothing to do with
material wealth or fame of some kind. I do not think it is the
events themselves that continue to affect you .........I think
it is how you come to handle their memory.....this probably has
more to do with what you want out of life than you have ever tried
to explain for and to yourself. I had to learn some very hard
lessons along the way these last 30 years or so.........but who
has not?.....I think the effect you are looking for in your question
applies to everyone....Shattered dreams are not so easily rebuilt
because the hurt has too long a lingering sensation....unless
you decide it aint much of a life without some more dreams.....being
truly terrified distorts your reality in a way that alienates
you from almost everyone else...unless you decide to work to change
the perspective that you had created.......I still continue to
take people at their word and extend them trust that I should
let them earn first...........but for me I am most fortunate in
that I have a few people I know are my friends because if I had
a body to bury.......they would bring their own shovel to help
LOUISE BOHMER: Were you terrified this might
happen to you again when you purchased another home?
Not so terrified as concerned.........terrified implies an extreme
and I do not think we were terrified that this might happen again.....
because we had so much help....real help that put some very important
basics into our personal belief systems ....concerned however
implies.......caution......and we certainly tried to be careful
........we ruled out even looking at any properties where someone
had died......no matter what the cause........for the longest
time new houses were our preference.
LOUISE BOHMER: Do you feel the catalyst for
the threatening paranormal phenomenon could've been the blessing
Father Pecararo performed on the home, perhaps aggravating or
stirring the negative force that inhabited the house and grounds?
Do you think the force would have manifested itself as aggressively
if the blessing had not taken place?
LOUISE BOHMER: Do you think the force would
have manifested itself as aggressively if the blessing had not
I do believe it would have been more subtle.........in less of
a hurry.......it would have allowed us years to erode our values
for each other and the basic rules of life......In one sense it
would know no other way to be other than aggressive...it is the
very nature within it that compels such behavior.........but it
would have relished the "game" of our undoing and pleasured itself
along the way by feasting upon the fears and confusion it would
have helped to create. Our emotions would have fed it a great
deal of energy and entertainment.
BUT............the blessing did take place and no matter what
anyone or anything else may think......the blessing "took" and
continues to grant us each a form of grace with each new day.........of
this I am certain and on this I continue to depend and expect
LOUISE BOHMER: Thank you for this exclusive
interview, Mr. Lutz. It's been a pleasure.