Gentile Amityville Week, Night 1
(May 27, 2002)
LOU GENTILE: Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
you're listening live to The Lou Gentile Show broadcasting
via satellite and also via the internet at www.lougentile.com.
Joining me live in the studio is Kevin Mears as usual.
KEVIN MEARS: Good evening everyone.
LOU GENTILE: Now tonight we're going to be speaking
with George Lutz and a little bit about George Lutz. He has lived
in the Amityville horror house and he is the basis for the books
and everything that you've seen about The Amityville Horror.
Him and his family lived in there for twenty-eight days and then
left. We're going to be speaking with George Lutz and also it's
a pleasure to have Lorraine Warren on the show. She's going to
be also talking about what her and Ed found out about The
Amityville Horror how they investigated it and everything
else like that. So without any further adieu let's bring both
of them on the show. George and Lorraine, welcome.
LOU GENTILE: George?
LOU GENTILE: How you doing?
Good, how are you?
LOU GENTILE: Can you guys hear each other or
what? George, can you hear Lorraine?
Has she said anything?
Yes, I said "Hi Lee"!
Hi Lorraine! How are you?
Yes, I can hear her just fine.
LOU GENTILE: Okay. Alright, now let's see. Oh
boy, where do I even start with this?
Tell us how Ed is.
Ed is sleeping while he's partially watching TV right in the room
next to me. So I can look right in there and see him.
Is he better?
Well, he's home...that's the biggest thing of all. I mean considering
the fact that we are very, very, very fortunate, through prayer
and faith, to have Ed alive and he is home. I have live-in help
that's helping me care for him.
But the most important thing is having him home.
KEVIN MEARS: Lorraine?
KEVIN MEARS: Hi, my name's Kevin we met briefly
once. I just wanted to say, I'm very glad to hear about Ed and
my prayers go out to him.
Thank you, I hope everyone's prayers go out to for, him. That
is so needed. That's what's got him to the point where he is at
and he is watching Tom Brokow on The Price We Pay for Peace because
he's a veteran of World War II.
LOU GENTILE: Now, before we go into this, Lorraine,
you have your views and what had happened at 112 Ocean Avenue.
Okay, I can give you some of the background concerning before
we met. To me he is Lee Lutz.
That's to me, also.
Before we met Lee and Kathy and the children, and Harry the dog,
before we met them...let's go back to the night of the tragedy
that had occurred thirteen months before George and Kathy ever
bought this home. At the exact moment, the exact time, that Ronald
DeFeo murdered every one of his family in that home at 112 Ocean
Avenue in Amityville, Ed's mother passed away. Her death certificate
reads the exact time.
LOU GENTILE: Wow.
Ed's mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer twenty-two
years before with six months to live. We had gone to a shrine
in Montreal Canada to pray for a speedy recovery or happy death
for his mother. It was very hopeful. His mom lived for twenty-two
years and died at that exact same moment. Now at that time, Ed
and I were speaking at a University in West Virginia and we had
to drive home for her funeral. We had our car so we had no choice,
we couldn't fly home and the body was held. We knew nothing about
the tragedy that had occurred there in Amityville. We knew nothing
about it, whatever, we weren't programmed by it we knew nothing
about the news.
When George and Kathy and the family moved into that home and
fled after twenty-eight days they didn't move out they fled.
And when they did, we were again, on tour and we were out in the
Midwest. So, we knew nothing about the news. But when the call
came in to us that February day, when that call came in from the
media from Marvin Scott to our home...what was any different about
that case, about the Amityville case than hundreds and hundreds
of cases, that Ed and I had already been involved with...after
all, Ed and I have been involved for over fifty years throughout
the world with cases. But what was it about that phone call that
day that just made me have the eeriest feeling...it was such a
strong feeling that I had, that I contacted many priests who had
worked with Ed and I in the past and asked if they would enter
that home with us in spirit and pray for us and the family. Why?
I mean, did I psychically know it? I couldn't have been preprogrammed
that's for sure.
LOU GENTILE: So Lorraine, you actually felt that
something was wrong when you got that phone call?
Oh yeah, so much so I remember that it angered Ed because I
got in the car and I had to get out I had to leave the house
in order to find some peace. But that day had been a beautiful
day for Ed and I up until that point in time that afternoon. We
had gone out for a ride and went for a really long walk. It was
a beautiful day, there was nothing about the day prior to that
phone call that could have programmed me to have that tremendous
apprehension. But at the post office, when I went over to pick
up our mail, at the PO Box, there was an envelope from a man on
Long Island by the name of [inaudible]. To this day I have never
met the man. He had watched us on TV shows and sent us a package.
In that was a great deal of literature and a second class relic
of Padre Pio. That man's relic I carried into their home that
LOU GENTILE: Now Lorraine isn't it true that
you even have a picture of Padre Pio manifesting in the house?
In in the wet bar room which is on the first floor, I got that
cupped in my hand and I, it was, it was a horrible feeling in
that room, that was awful. I could see bodies all lined up, I
could see sheets over them. It was the DeFeos, I guess, that I
was looking at. And I just hugged that, tightened that relic in
my hand and hugged it to me and, you know, prayed for God's strength.
I prayed, I prayed to Padre Pio for the gift of discernment
to help me with my discernment and to also protect us the researchers.
Now in the meantime, after I had gone out to the post office to
get this, not knowing it was there of course, Ed had contacted
many people who entered that house with us. Although there are
people today that are surfacing that said they went in to George
and Kathy's home, they never were in that home. We were the chief
investigators going in there, which Lee will tell you, and we
brought the people that were there. The president of the American
Society for Psychic Research a parapsychologist and his wife were
friends of ours, people from Duke we brought these people in
to that house. All of these people claiming that this was a hoax,
that they were in that house, they were never in that house! What
are they basing "hoax" on?
Ed put up, prior to Ed becoming so critically ill fourteen months
ago, Ed put up a ten thousand dollar reward for anyone that would
prove to him beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was any hoax
connected to that house. Not one person, not one person ever claimed
it. And now, today, who are these people that are coming forward?
Who are they? What have they got to gain? And truthfully, how
many people know how very, very little George and Kathy, the children
got out of that case? How many people really know how very, very
little they ever received? We have been behind them 100% since
we were in that house. That home has affected our personal lives
more than any case we ever worked on and we will always be 100%
LOU GENTILE: Now Lorraine, what exactly do you
think made The Amityville Horror case what it is? I mean,
why was it so widely publicized? Was it because people tried to
get in there and they got agitated that they couldn't get in to
experience what was in the house?
It's probably...Ed and I have been all over the world, I mean
involved, and like Ed will say so many times that you can go in
the smallest village in the most remote area of the world and
say about Amityville, and they know what you're talking about.
It's the most famous haunted home in the world.
Now, George and Kathy didn't set out to move into the most famous
haunted house in the world. Under no circumstances whatsoever.
They went into a house and tried to make that their dream home.
George was going to have his business out of there. I still have,
I still have...and moved from Ed's room, right next to me here,
out onto the porch, the same plant, the little plant, that he
gave me that belonged to his grandfather. I still have that. And
I think about, I think about the shows, I think about all the
nonsense that came up because of the priest involved and how they
would say there was no priest. Because we were asked to protect
the identity of that priest and so were the Lutzes asked to and
we did because of the fact that we knew how important it was to
do it. But then finally it got out who Father Pecoraro was, that
he was the priest involved. And finally it was released and still,
and still they would find something else. But that case is a true
case of demonic infestation that could have destroyed that family.
LOU GENTILE: Now Lorraine, the house at 112 Ocean
Avenue, do you think that by any chance, all the controversy that
was wrapped up around it, do you think it could have been like
if there wasn't so much publicity towards it would it have
been just another case that you worked on?
Yes, yes it would have. It would just been another case. But it
was, it was...maybe it was the timing, maybe that's what it was.
But it was...maybe it was what the public was looking for. Tam
Mossman was the editor. He then, years later, wanted our biography
and it was Tam Mossman who was our editor of The Demonologist.
And...did it start from there? Yes, it could have. And Jay Anson
wrote that book just on tapes, you know, that George and Kathy,
you know, sent to him. That's all.
Could I add something here?
Could I add something here?
What most people don't know Lorraine, is that you and Ed came
down at the request of Laura Didio and met with Kathy and I and
decided that you really needed to have more people there than
just yourselves, so you went back twice. And what you organized
for the second time was probably as good an investigation as could
be put together at the time given all our considerations involved
with the media that demanded to be a part of it, and Laura Didio
worked for them so there wasn't much choice there.
All the people you brought in including Mary Pascarella, and their
qualifications were exemplary. They all had years and years of
investigating these kinds of houses or phenomena. And the reason
you did that was because of what you sensed when you went the
first time was from my understanding was you realized it was
something bigger than what you should try to deal with yourselves.
Oh it was very big. It was extremely big. Do you remember, Lee,
do you remember how Ed, who is never affected, how it was the
men who were affected the most in this case.
He was I had always thought of Ed as fearless, and yet he complained
of the attack of tachycardia the racing of his heart and I
think it jarred him in a way that he really couldn't explain to
us because we were already...didn't know what to think about anything
and here's someone that comes highly recommended, who has been
all over, and if I recall correctly about Ed, he's the he was
court-marshaled for missing a troop ship movement and then was
exonerated when the ship went down and he had seen that the ship
was going to go down and nobody believed him. [unintelligible]
Yeah, I do remember that.
Ed is a real hero, and always has been in my mind. And he's a
tough guy. For all of his education and experience, he's a very,
very tough experienced man. His first experience in there was
not something that was comfortable, it wasn't something that was
usual for you to have had to go through on your own so he wanted
more people there. I don't know if that's the right way to put
that for you. I don't mean to put words in your mouth.
Yes, it is and you put that very well. And then, I did not know
as I went to go up the stairway onto the second floor, I didn't
know that Ed wasn't behind me. You know, the media were there,
and I didn't know that he wasn't behind me at all.
This was the first time you went in before you went back with
the... (Lorraine cuts in)
That was when, uh, Marvin Scott and Laura Didio and Gene Campbell
was taking the photographs throughout the house.
Okay, that was March 6th as I recall.
Yes. That was March 6th.
But before that, you were there before that without Gene Campbell.
Yes, that was the second time, you're right. And when I started
to walk up the stairs, it was as if, as if you were like walking
against a waterfall. A force that was so strong. But never, never
did I know that Ed wasn't behind me. But as a religious demonologist,
Ed waited for the time when he could be really by himself to provoke
in the name of Jesus Christ for what was there to reveal its identity.
And he went down into the basement and took the relic that cross
with the relic of the true cross in it and commanded in the
name of Jesus Christ for what was there. Now, unbeknown to me,
that is happening at the exact time that I'm under attack walking
up the stairs and he felt, as he described it, like somebody took
a very hot, wet blanket and threw it right over the top of him
so that his heart pounded what you're talking about and it
was almost impossible for him to catch his breath. And he had
to then command that, in Christ's name, to leave and to go back
to where it came from. But then he didn't talk about that, he
didn't talk about that for a long time. So, it affected him, yes
it did affect him very, very badly. And it was that night going
home when... you remember, I had fasted and I was very, very hungry
I just wanted something, anything you'd never, ever, ever
have to ask Ed to stop for something to eat.
LOU GENTILE: As we all know from experience,
I mean, honest to God,you know, you'd say something about that
Diner you passed, he'd say "Why, did we pass a Diner?" Because
you know, believe me, you'd never, ever have to ask!
And Ed is, Ed has always took tremendous pride in his driving,
like he has no motor vehicle, you know, thank God, encounters
whatsoever, in any category. And he drove erratically going home.
Something, something was very wrong. Something was so, so wrong.
I knew that. I knew something was so, so wrong. Now this is the
first time, Lee...
Do you remember what we...while you're on and I can ask you, rather
than me say it, I think I'd rather have you answer it. Do you
remember how little, or what information you were given before
you went in there and how the circumstances came about that we
that you got the keys to go in there with Laura Didio?
Um, we met you at the pizza parlor.
Did you and I talk to each other, for example, before that or
did we, Kathy and I, sit down and tell you anything about what
was going on or anything like that?
My memory of it is that we kind of wanted you to go in cold without
knowing anything and see if you found anything.
We really did not know until we met with you and Kathy and Kathy's
mom, and the children and the dog at Kathy's Mother's house for
supper with Father Pecoraro.
That was after the second time you were in there?
That was after the second time and that's when we got really
the whole story.
Kinda filled in on what had gone on for us, yeah. That's the way
I recall it, and so often my memory isn't the same as someone
else's that's why I was asking you.
Mmm hmm, that's when...I remember how this annoyed Ed, we met
you at the pizza parlor and Ed takes out the recorder and asked
you what happened and you kept saying to him, "you know". Oh,
Lee if you ever knew how upset he was! Because you kept saying
LOU GENTILE: Alright guys, I gotta take a short
break and when we come back to The Lou Gentile Show,
we'll be speaking more with George Lutz and Lorraine Warren right
GENTILE: Alright, let's get back on the line with George
and Lorraine, welcome back guys.
Both: Thank you.
LOU GENTILE: Alright, now Lorraine, can you explain
to the listening audience exactly what happened the first day
you actually investigated the Amityville house at 112 Ocean Avenue
when you pulled up into the driveway.
Well, when I first entered the home, the first emotion, and it
was emotion it wasn't any psychic discernment, was one of terrible
sadness and depression. But don't forget, I'm in a home that has
known such a horrible tragedy with one family and a second tragedy
with the Lutzes. And then I began to walk around and it was, it
was incredibly sad to walk around that house. Everything that
this couple owned was there. All furniture and important things
inherited by George's grandfather...Parry, I believe the last
name is Parry, am I right?
Yes. And looking at all of these very, very valuable things...looking
at a, one of the gingerbread houses that Kathy had made the children
on the dining room table...looking at bolts and bolts of yardage
of material for drapes that was in the different rooms for probably
reupholstering and making drapes.
Oh, you're reminding me. We had, Kathy and I had signed up for
a class at, I think it was Amityville High School, a night class
to learn how to reupholster. We were going to reupholster the
dining room set that we had bought from the estate.
And then I think, possibly use the rest for curtains to go with
the dining room as well.
And that's what I remember.
That's what the cloth was, yes.
That's what all that cloth was, yup.
LOU GENTILE: Now what exactly had happened, I
mean now George you had left the house and then...
They fled the house. Don't say left. They fled.
LOU GENTILE: Right. Well, I know that.
They fled in the middle of the night.
LOU GENTILE: (laughing) Lorraine, you're always
(laughing) Lou you know me!
LOU GENTILE: I know, I know!
KEVIN MEARS: Lorraine, I don't blame you, I gotta
keep him in line all the time too.
My memory of it Lorraine is that we left really late afternoon.
Well I thought you went there I thought you left at night.
No, well it was pretty much dark by the time we got to Kathy's
Mom's house. That I recall.
(laughing still ) Okay.
So, that would be night time but it's winter so it's dark.
That's right. That's right, it was Winter.
LOU GENTILE: So basically Lorraine, you're walking
into a house that the people just basically everything that they
were doing was just left there?
I'll tell you, and Lee will remember this. In the kitchen, um,
were all the dishes from supper. And all the plants were sitting
on the counter, on the uh, sink, on the set-tubs and like that.
Probably to be watered. Of course, they had died, naturally. And
it was, it was just a very sad feeling. The whole, the full effects
of that house did not reach me until I began to go up the stairs
onto that second floor, then it was my first comment, and that
was in the red room. Er, not the red room, the uh, sewing room.
When I went in the sewing room and...now remember, I knew nothing
about this house. This is very important for you to know. I didn't
know about all the flies. I didn't know about the priest and what
had happened to him there. I didn't know any of these things prior
to going in. George at the pizza parlor was so frightened to tell
us what had happened. The priest had told him, "The more you talk
about it," which is true, "the more recognition you give." And
so, he didn't talk about it, he didn't talk. He didn't talk until
we were to meet with Father Pecoraro who set it up on St. Joseph's
Day and he braked baked St. Joseph's bread for us. That was
some evening. That was some evening, believe me. That was outside
of the Amityville home.
Now, this night in the Amityville house, when I went in the sewing
room, I remember saying "I hope this is as close to Hell as I'll
ever get." That is what I felt in that room. That was awful in
LOU GENTILE: Which room was that?
The sewing room.
LOU GENTILE: The Sewing room. Okay.
That was absolutely terrible in that room. Then I went into the
room that the little girl, your daughter....Kathy's little girl...
And, oh my God, it's like, it's like they were all there to greet
me. All of these... spirits all ...oh it was it...I can't begin
to tell you, the feeling. The feelings were all very, very depressing.
They were there almost mocking you. It was, it was horrible. It
was horrible. And I felt, I felt, George and Kathy's...I felt
their fears, their anxieties and...you have to understand the
kind of a man I mean, you're, you're describing my husband as
being a tough guy, well (laughing) George Lutz isn't exactly a
sissy! I'll tell you that right off the bat. I mean, both George,
both George Lutz and my husband they are, they are tough. They
are no nonsense men. And yet that broke that man right down, that
home. Then I went into the master bedroom across the hall, right
across the hall...went into that room. And I remember standing
in the doorway of that room and really not even wanting to go
in there. And I went to my right and went in a little room that
was kind of like I don't know whether you were setting that
up like a little study for yourself, but all of your clothes were
in there in the closet.
It was like a sitting room.
Yes. And I remember going in there and everything, all those beautiful
suits, all of your clothing, all of the personal things. And then
there was the closet there with the linen and everything all folded.
And then I went back to the master bedroom. And I looked at that
mirrored wall and I sat on that bed and I could not believe that...what
came over me it was, I uh, the anxiety, the horrible evil that
I felt there the pain that I felt. I'm sitting on the bed, the
bed, the very bed that the Defeo's Mr. and Mrs. DeFeo were
No, that's not true Lorraine.
It is not?
No. That was Kathy's and my bed.
Well, I'm sitting on it.
In the same room...
Actually, occupying the same space. I think it was set up in the
The same space.
But it was never the bed that the DeFeo's had, it was Kathy's
Okay. And I'm, I'm also, sitting on a bed that you both levitated
Uh, I didn't, there. Kathy did it there, in that house. I levitated
That's where you looked and she was in the air.
Right. Um, we both levitated together over in Kathy's mom's house.
Kathy's mother's home.
Right. But Kathy would lift up off the bed and slide away or just
move away from me like she had no weight to her and head towards
...while we were laying in bed.
Yeah and when you stood in the doorway that time and watched.
Yes, I remember that. But, then when it came time to go onto the
third floor, I...my recollection of that third floor is almost
erased from my mind. I don't, I don't know why, but it's almost
erased from my mind. I really did not want to go up there. I did
not want to go up to that third floor of the house. Uh, that,
that home, I find so difficult to believe. I know that there are
haunted homes. I know that families can move out of and other
families can move in and nothing might ever happen. But not that
house. Not that house at all. I cannot, I always said, that if
I were given that home as a gift, I wouldn't want it. I really
would not want it. And I have to say, as I have said so many times
before, that that home affected our personal lives more than any
case we ever worked on. It continued to follow us. It followed
us right here to our own home.
Well, of all the investigators and all the people that were there
on March 6th, 1976, I understand that you are the only people
still living in the same place. Everyone else that was in there,
that house, has moved at least once since then.
Mmhmm. No, we're still living in our same home. We're still living
here. But the thing is, it had such far-ranging effects on us.
Think what happened, which we'll probably talk about tomorrow
night Lee...is coming home from that University in Pennsylvania
and just talking about your case and what happened with that car.
That brand new Ford Elite car.
The black one?
Yes. Think about that. Think about when I called you from the
phone before we left New Jersey and when we were coming out to
California. Think about that growling on that phone. When the
operator said "what's that?" And I just hung up. And then we called
you back again, again after the lecture that night and the same
growling on the phone. All of these...
I had forgotten that. I [unintelligible] on so many different
times, you know, I'd just, I'd forgotten.
We want to forget certain things.
LOU GENTILE: I can imagine. Lorraine, let me
ask you a question. There was a photograph that was taken by Ed
in the house, and it showed a little boy ...
No, nothing was taken by Ed. Not one photograph was ever taken
by Ed. The photographs were taken by Gene Campbell.
LOU GENTILE: Okay.
Remember, he was acting as a photographer for us.
LOU GENTILE: Okay.
He was a man from Newtown, Connecticut who had processed so many
of our photographs into slides for our University lectures. And,
he always wanted to go in on a case with us. So, this was just
another case. And he took all of these photographs some infrared,
most in black and white and one of them does show something
looking out of the little girl's bedroom. Yes, it does.
LOU GENTILE: Now, there are some people that
say that it could actually be one of the children or something
like that, do ...
We, we don't know who that is.
LOU GENTILE: No?
No we don't. We don't really know.
Ask Lorraine if there were any children there that day. That would
probably be the best way to go...
No, no there were no children. (laughing) Definitely, I wouldn't
bring any children in that house. No, there was no children with
Did I ever tell you the story, Lorraine of how that photograph
was discovered by us?
We were in the process of putting together what we were going
to tentatively call The Amityville Horror Picture Book
years ago, this would be back in 1979 or so, and Gene Campbell
still had the camera emporium shop...
And he had sent me out the originals to put all of that together
and in, of those pictures that he set up on the second floor landing,
the ones that were created on the black and white, infrared photography,
they were automatically set-off so that the camera would, just
every once in awhile wherever the timer, was, would take a picture
Yeah, that's right. Yes.
And the girl that was typing up the notes that we had for a secretary,
at the time, she was I think in her seventh or eighth month pregnant,
um, and we had probably fifteen or twenty at least of these photographs
that were all the same. And she asked which one we wanted to pick,
and I said, "Just pick one, it really doesn't matter because they
were all the same so no sense in putting all of those in the picture
book." And she went through them for some reason and every time
she picked up that one picture, her baby would jump inside of
her stomach. And she kept looking at it trying to figure out why
it was that picture and then she found that and brought that in
to me into my office and asked me who that was. And I said I have
no idea, let me ask Missy and went and got Missy and asked her
she said "that's the little boy I used to play with."
I remember. "The little boy I used to play with." Oh my God. I
remember that. Yes, I do remember that.
Because everyone thought all of those pictures were the same,
no one had seen anything in there.
No. And you know what I always remember too, this is another thing
I always remember Lee. Especially where the public listening to
us talking. When we had met you, and we went someplace, all of
us in the Winnebago, I don't know if it was one of our lectures
at the schools, I don't know what it was.
I think it was San Diego.
But, okay. We were walking alone with the children, Ed and I.
Ed and I were walking alone with the children, I don't know why.
And those innocent little kids were relating to us, without certainly,
without us asking questions, about things that occurred to them
in that house.
Now I never knew that. I never knew that you had even had discussions
with them that way.
Yes, yes. After they would open, to us.
So this was a couple years later out in California?
Yeah, that's right. Yeah, when we came out to California.
What kind of things were they telling you?
About the things that had occurred. Especially Missy. Missy told
about her friends, told about the rocking chair incident, talked
about things that had occurred. The little girl, she was, she
was probably had a very high degree of sensitivity. The little
girl. And you know what? That little kid was very brave. For some
reason she was too young to be frightened or intimidated by certain
things. She truly believed that they were little playmates that
were there. It was frightening. It was very, very, very frightening.
But to hear the things that you related to us, that night, when
you finally began to talk...oh, gosh. I think back of it, I think
of the horror concerning a 28-day period that you lived in that
house. But for the public to understand it all is very, very far
reaching. It's very hard for people to understand how these things
came to you, how you were able to hear what you were able to hear
with that German marching band; how you were able to see that
carpeting all rolled up; how you were able to see all of that
goo come out of the stairs.
Well actually it was the keyholes. The, um, the doors in the,
especially on the 2nd floor...
The keyholes in the doors.
The keyholes had these black drips that, um, kept getting larger
and larger. But it wasn't like the walls were bleeding blood or
anything like that.
No. Of course not. But the thing is that for the, for the public
to realize that even where things seemed like they exploded, nothing
really broke. It's just that that was a telepathic projection
to you. That was to frighten, that was to terrify, that was to
break you down. And it did. And it did.
We would be laying in bed and Harry would, our dog, the black
lab, would be laying by the front door. And the front door in
that house was a very big, solid wooden door.
And it's an unmistakable sound when that door would close, and
you could hear it in the house probably from anywhere.
Yes of course. Yes I agree.
And you would be upstairs and it would be just about time to be
asleep, or you'd be asleep, or you would think you were asleep,
and you would hear the door slam. And I would run down the stairs
and Harry would still be asleep and you would know that the door
had not slammed but there was an unmistakable sound that it had
occurred. That's what Ed would describe that the way you just
And that was projected to you. And of course, it could easily
do it in this home because there's a central hallway that goes
all the way up the three stories. The stairway goes right up three
stories high. The home, the home actually is very beautiful, but
I don't want it. But it is a very beautiful house.
LOU GENTILE: Alright, um, I really don't want
to stop, but I know you gotta run Lorraine.
I do, I still have to give Ed meds. And I have to do a lot with
Ed before I can even go to sleep.
LOU AND KEVIN: Thank you Lorraine.
LOU GENTILE: My prayers are with you and for
WARREN: Thanks a million!
LOU GENTILE: And I hope all the listeners out
there are also praying for Ed.
LORRAINE WARREN: I certainly hope and pray they
are. And goodnight Lee, I'll be talking to you tomorrow night
and love to everybody.
I'll look forward to it, goodnight Lorraine.
KEVIN MEARS: God bless.
God bless, bye-bye.
LOU GENTILE: Alright Lee, we're gonna take a
short break and when we return to Lou Gentile, we're going to
be speaking with George Lutz and we're gonna get on the phone
with John Zaffis and we're gonna be talking about what happened
at 112 Ocean Avenue with that 28 days.
talk excised break]
GENTILE: And we're back to The Lou Gentile Show,
live here with Kevin Mears.
KEVIN MEARS: Good evening.
LOU GENTILE: And we're speaking here with George
Lutz the George Lutz who was the basis, and is the basis for
the book The Amityville Horror. Lived in the house, fled
from the house 28 days later. Lived in the most haunted house
in human history. I would say that's pretty accurate don't you
think Kev, or what?
KEVIN MEARS: Yeah! I was just thinking about
it earlier today and it is definitely the most famous and most
haunted in U.S. History if not the world. There aren't a lot of
houses that come close to that degree of activity.
LOU GENTILE: Nope. And with us on the line right
now, I'm going to introduce Mr. John Zaffis. John Zaffis is the
nephew of Ed Warren, John has been ghost busting and ghost hunting
for 28 years and he's a direct blood descendant demonologist of
Ed Warren. John, welcome.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Hey Lou, how you doin'?
LOU GENTILE: Good how are you doing?
JOHN ZAFFIS: Okay.
LOU GENTILE: Well, I know this is, this is going
to be a first for you too.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Yes it is!
LOU GENTILE: (laughing) You know, so, this is
going to be interesting.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Well, you have to remember Lou,
for the past uh, 28 years that Amityville has existed I've heard
more about Amityville and more of the stories and more of the
debunking of it than any, uh, individual I could possibly think
of. So, for me it's a great opportunity to finally get on the
air and talk a little bit about it and uh, it's a good thing.
LOU GENTILE: Alright well without any further
adieu I'd like to welcome back George Lutz, welcome George.
Hi Lou, how are you?
LOU GENTILE: Alright. Ah now, what I...
JOHN ZAFFIS: Hi George! How ya doin'?
I'm fine, how are you?
JOHN ZAFFIS: Okay.
LOU GENTILE: Ok now, I was just gonna introduce
them but, that's Okay.
LOU GENTILE: You guys are always a step ahead
of me I'll tell ya!
JOHN ZAFFIS: You're too slow Lou!
LOU GENTILE: I'm telling ya!
JOHN ZAFFIS: (laughs)
LOU GENTILE: Anyway. But anyway...
You make me nervous when you say "The George Lutz" or words to
LOU GENTILE: Oh alright fine, I'll just call
you Lee like everyone else. I don't know, I'm just [unintelligible]
ever since you called into the show that one time, I'm just like..."um...Mr.
George Lutz" ya know?! But anyway, Lee, um...if you could explain
to the listening audience as well as John, what exactly led up
to you going into that house after you purchased it, and then
fleeing the house 28 days later. Could you possibly let everyone
know exactly what happened?
There's probably a little bit of background I could give you that
LOU GENTILE: Sure. Whatever you think is going
...you understand even how the finances went for that house. Kathy
and I were married the previous July and we each owned a house.
And Kathy had her three kids, and we wanted a new house for the
new marriage. So the idea was to sell both houses, and if we could
find something on the water where I wouldn't have to pay the docking
fees for my boat, and we would have that savings as well, then
we would be financially way ahead of having the two...keeping
the two houses or...plus the rental for the boat and the travel
back and forth and all the rest. So, the idea was to go out and
find a house that would suit us in as many ways as possible.
I recall that we looked at 40, 50, 60 homes. We spent most of
the summer doing that. We put our homes up for sale. Kathy's home
sold first. So, she and the kids moved into my house in Deer Park.
And, eventually we bumped into the Amityville house, um, just...the
way I would describe it is by accident. The realtor said "I have
something I want to show you." She had shown us some other houses
before that and...as soon as Kathy walked in the front door, she
just had this smile like "this was it." And...that hadn't happened
in all of the homes we had looked at. In all of the different...and
we'd looked at every price range possible, as well, that we could
conceivably figure out a way to work out financially. And when
she had that smile on her face it was like "Okay, let's see if
we can figure this one out".
The house was on the market for $100,000 if I recall correctly
we made an offer of 80. It was accepted. I applied for a mortgage
from one bank. My credit was excellent. We got approved immediately
for a $60,000 mortgage. We had more than enough money to put the
$20,000 cash down payment, and I think the closing costs with
the insurance and the title fees and the attorneys and all the
rest and we bought some furniture from the estate was another
$4,000 or so.
We moved my boat over to the boathouse there, and we had, I had
just bought another boat that we hadn't even used yet. It was
new for us. It was a speedboat. And we moved that in. And I built
some Harley Davidson motorcycles as a hobby then, and we moved
those over and my tools and what was left of the furniture from
both of our homes, and we moved into this beautiful 4,000 square
foot home on the water with a heated pool, full basement, boathouse,
garage, and we thought we were home.
When I told a friend of mine what house we were buying, he made
me promise that I would get the house blessed. I didn't know what
that was at the time. I was a non-practicing Methodist, if there
is a proper way to describe that. And I asked Kathy what a house
blessing was. She was Catholic, and she explained it to me and
the only priest I knew was a priest by the name of Father Ralph
Pecoraro that um, was an ecclesiastical judge at the Diocesan
Offices in Rockville Center New York. He was, uh, a therapist
as well he had his degree in, in therapy and he was a judge
and a lawyer in the Catholic Church court there. I didn't realize
that he wasn't a, uh, I guess that you could call a Parish Priest
where he went out and normally did house blessings. But I had
met him when my previous marriage, which had lasted about six
months, um, had been annulled and I had then called him a courtesy
for those proceedings, met him and he and I had spoken from time
to time over the phone since the time that I had met him. He hadn't
met Kathy until the day that he came and showed up to see the
house to bless it. I think they had spoken on the phone at least
once before he came over.
He showed up while we were moving into the house. Uh, the day
that we moved we had the trucks and trailers and van and all packed
and we went from our house in Deer Park to the closing and then
went to the house to move in with all our stuff. We were, I was
unloading the truck and he came and I waved and in he went. Um,
that was moving day, first day into the house. Twenty eight days
later we left and it wasn't like immediately there were problems
of every single kind or every kind of phenomenon it was the
kind of thing that got worse and more noticeable as time went
on. And I have believed always since then that one of the ingredients
to cause that that one of the things that made the place uninhabitable
was the house blessing. And then subsequently when...when Kathy
and I believed that we needed to do it again, ourselves, and what
happened then when we went through the house saying the Lord's
prayer and trying to rid the house of the noises and the odors
and the different things that had been happening...it got to the
point where our last night in the house, uh, was an experience
for all five of us that individually you would have thought that
we were each in five different houses when we recalled it and
talked about it later to ourselves.
We called Father Ray that day and he asked us what we were still
doing in the house and that was a question that didn't occur to
us to leave...I mean everything of ours was there it was our
house we just wanted to figure out what was wrong with it and
somehow get it fixed. We wanted him to come back and do another
house blessing or whatever you do. At that point his words were
so strange to us, "what are you still doing in the house," and
many times we had tried to call him and been unable to get a hold
of him ...we'd connect and then the phone would go dead or there
would be a buzzing on the phone line. There would be interference
of some kind.
We grabbed some changings of clothes and the dog and we got in
the van to leave, and the car didn't start and it was just like
right out of a movie. You know we made the commitment to leave,
we had just basically gone running around trying to stay together
to leave the house and we got in the van and it wouldn't start.
And one of the things that I had done with the ignition system
in that car was to put in a transistor ignition it was a '74
Ford one ton super duty van, and it had a button on it, you could
go out and switch it if you lifted the hood up you could switch
it back to conventional or ignition, and I just got out of the
car and pushed the button and got back in the car and tried to
start it it started right up and we left and we moved to Kathy's
mom's house and we did not go back to the house as a family. We
didn't go back and get our things or ...um, the kids never saw
the house again. We moved, eventually moved to California on Mother's
Day of that, later that year.
LOU GENTILE: Now George, in the house you described
knockings and bangings ...
LOU GENTILE: were these things that you could
not explain? I mean, this is gonna sound stupid, granted of what
went on, but these were things that you could not explain physically
from the real world these were something that you couldn't just
Well let me preface that. I don't think that when you ask a question,
or when you're trying to understand something here, that its "stupid,"
Okay? I don't think that I can always explain it well enough for
someone to understand the way I mean it, so maybe I'm the stupid
The...I think what you're asking me is ...we had a thing where
we would be sitting in the dining room...or the kitchen rather,
there was a nook there where the table in a built in bell shape,
upholstered area and some chairs and we'd be sitting there with
some friends and you would hear footsteps overhead on the second
floor walking around and you'd go upstairs and all the kids would
be in their beds. And you wouldn't have a way to explain to yourself
where those footsteps came from. And that would happen and then
you'd try to dismiss it and then you would have friends over and
you would be sitting there and you would look at them and you
would ask them if they heard the footsteps also and when they
did you would be partially relieved you would think "Okay, I'm
not going crazy here, um they hear it too." And you'd go upstairs
and you'd take one of them with you and they would see that the
kids were asleep also. Um, that kind of thing, that's the beginnings
of things that would just be so unnerving you would just start
making a list in your mind of this is wrong and this is wrong
and this is wrong.
LOU GENTILE: Yeah, I didn't mean it to sound
like, you know, "stupid," but what I meant was...
No, no, I didn't take it that way.
LOU GENTILE: I mean with all that you went through
in that house, I just want the listeners to understand that, you
know, these things weren't just things that you were picking out
of your mind and you were saying everything in the house was,
you know, supernatural or ghosts.
Oh my goodness, no. It was very slow. It's a very difficult thing
to explain to someone that hasn't experienced it but it's a process
that's slow it's not like all of a sudden your first night is
hell. There were changes in all of us as time went on the more
time we spent there. And when we left the house, we were not the
same people that had moved in, we were...aside from being frightened
and disoriented and without sleep and way over-tired and having
had so many things confront us that we couldn't explain didn't
make any sense, just certain things that we had no idea could
even go on, um, we were not the same people as a family unit when
we left there 28 days later. We there was a change in all of
us. It was, so many things would happen to one of the....let me
see if I can explain this how I mean it...
Our perceptions individually, we didn't have a chance to compare
them very often while we were in the house. But after we left
and we would talk about this, um, what Kathy thought what was
going on for me or what I thought was going on for her was really
quite different from um, what really was. There was a sense of
confusion that kind of moved in with us throughout this time,
LOU GENTILE: Did the house have some kind of
a personality to it did you notice after awhile?
One of the things that you noticed right away was the deadness
of sound in the house...there wasn't a resonance you could be
on the front porch and the sun would be out and you would look
outside and you would see a car drive past and you wouldn't hear
it. The outside noises didn't penetrate into the house. And...
for example, the last night we were in the house we knew that
there was a terrible terrific storm going on outside. And yet
the weather bureau, whatever, afterwards people checked and said
there was no such thing. Well, for us, in the house, that was
going on outside. I don't really care what the weather bureau
had to say about it later or even what the neighbors experienced.
For us, there was a terrible storm going on outside.
LOU GENTILE: So in other words, you looked out
the window and it was raining and...
No, it was the wind and the noise from that that did come through
the windows that we did hear.
LOU GENTILE: Okay.
Okay, That was a time when that was very, very, very, very strong.
Um, prior to that that was the kind of thing that was unusual.
But it was so memorable; it was such a strong indelible kind of
memory. And so when Anson did the book from the tapes that Kathy
and I did, um just trying to undo this when we were talking about
it, um, after we were in Kathy's Mom's house, we just sat down
and did a series of about 26 cassette tapes just talking, about
this. And then um, and then Anson when we eventually met him and
he agreed to try to write a book, um, he had a very difficult
job of trying to put together any kind of a book from those tapes.
Nothing was chronological it was...we skipped all around and our
language certainly wasn't the best. We were drinking at the times
when we were doing those recordings. Um, by the time I left the
house I was drinking pretty heavily without a doubt.
LOU GENTILE: Oh well I'd probably be doing the
And for a number of years after that. See, the confusion that
set in and that was the point I was really trying to make it
wasn't slow, it was a progressive thing. And I think the house
considered it years later when I look back, at the time I considered
the house being very patient, it was willing to wait. But when
we went around blessing the house again, it really got...that
got it kind of upset. It didn't like that.
LOU GENTILE: Now John, I know you're soaking
this in, you gotta be if you're like me! John, do you have any
questions for George?
JOHN ZAFFIS: Um, no, not really. Um, I'm listening
to everything that George is explaining and listening to all the
details and Lou, you know as well as I do, to listen to what George
is telling you and being involved in the research not only from
the Lutzes type of case, but how many other cases over the years
it's the same type of scenario with listening to George talking
about trying to explain the tappings and the rappings that it
starts out very light and then it escalates as time goes on. This
is very classic with your personality changes when everybody starts
to go through all these types of withdrawals, their personalities
totally change. This is very, very characteristic when you're
dealing with a demonic in these types of homes. So the amount
of information that George is actually explaining first hand is
very very good, and not only that, it's something that I've heard
thousands and thousands of times before from other people. So
it's good to hear it from George first hand.
LOU GENTILE: George, can we take a call?
LOU GENTILE: Okay. You're on The Lou Gentile
CALLER: Hi, I'm sorry, are you allowed to make
LOU GENTILE: We're actually on the air right
now would you like to talk to George Lutz?
CALLER: Um sure, I would love to thank you.
LOU GENTILE: He's waiting for you to ask your
Yell at me so I can hear you please.
CALLER: Oh, hi George, my name is Marcie [unintelligible].
I'm sorry if I'm a little hard to hear you. I just had a comment
I just wanted to say, I really have a lot of admiration for you
and I can't even imagine what it must have been like for you to
go through all this stuff and I just think you're a really strong
person and I hope things are going better for you now. I hope
you're at peace.
That's very kind of you. Thank you.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Hi Marcie, it's nice to finally
talk to you.
CALLER: Hi there.
JOHN ZAFFIS: It's John Zaffis.
CALLER: Oh hi John, how are you? I'm sorry, I
thought I was talking to George.
LOU GENTILE: Well you are. George is there as
well as John.
CALLER: I'm sorry, I find it so hard to hear
GENTILE: Alright, thanks for the call dear.
I don't know what to say to such a thing. I don't think that what
we went through was admirable in any way. I appreciate what she's
saying, but the hardest thing was to decide whether or not to
go public with this, whether to even ever talk about it publicly.
KEVIN MEARS: You see, there's the thing that
really is worth admiration though you were willing to go out
in the public with it in a time when these stories as you all
know were not quite as popular and in vogue as they are today.
You were still willing to tell the truth and continue to tell
Well I think if we knew what we were going to go through for the
next 25 years when we made that decision, no, we wouldn't have.
KEVIN MEARS: Well, yeah, I can understand that.
I think we would have been cowards about that part.
LOU GENTILE: Alright I gotta take a short break
and when we return to The Lou Gentile Show we'll be speaking
more tonight's guests. George Lutz from the Amityville case as
well as John Zaffis, demonologist from Connecticut, and nephew
of Ed Warren.. when we return to The Lou Gentile Show,
right after this.
GENTILE: And we're back to The Lou Gentile Show
with Kevin Mears.
KEVIN MEARS: Hello.
LOU GENTILE: And we're on the line with John
Zaffis and George Lutz and we're talking about The Amityville
Horror from the person who experienced The Amityville
Horror at 112 Ocean Avenue, Lee Lutz. Lee, you there?
Yes I am.
LOU GENTILE: Ok, Lee, we're going to take a phone
call in one second here. You're on The Lou Gentile Show
what's your question for Mr. Lutz?
CALLER: Yes, Hi Mr. Lutz I have a question. While
you were in the house did you ever see actual entities walking
Not like most people would think of um, like seeing another person
walk around. You would, in your peripheral vision you would see
something move and you would look there and there would be nothing
there. There would be times when you were sure that someone else
was there in the room with you but you wouldn't see it. I was
always very grateful I didn't.
LOU GENTILE: Any other questions?
CALLER: Uh, yeah, I have one more question for
um, for John Zaffis. My mom always tells me that like if someone
is using an Ouija board on TV. not to watch it because spirits
or something can invade your house. Is there truth in that?
JOHN ZAFFIS: Yes there is. It's not actually
the Ouija board it would be the people that are using it. It's
just a piece of cardboard but with that, it is opening up the
doors for the spirits to be able to come through. So uh, do I
endorse the Ouija board? No. It's a type of situation that can
bring things in. Does it happen all the time? No, but I've worked
on a lot of cases where a lot of people had told me they were
playing with an Ouija board and they didn't believe it was doing
anything or helping in any way to be able to bring spirits in
because they didn't believe in them. And I'll always ask these
people the words "do you believe it now?" and they'll say "yeah
John, I do."
CALLER: But I mean, just like watching people
using one the TV would that have any effect on your home?
JOHN ZAFFIS: Watching something on TV I don't
really think can cause something but, what you have to remember,
it has a lot to do with individuals with their amount of sensitivity
and the amount of recognition that would be given. If you have
somebody that's very sensitive and they're seeing things like
this, they can at some point, not always, but they could bring
LOU GENTILE: Alright. Ok, thanks for the call.
CALLER: Thank you.
LOU GENTILE: George, I got a question for you.
Have you guys, when you were in the house, did you ever come across
an Ouija board or anything else like that?
No. I had used one years earlier in New Hampshire when I lived
there. My understanding is that they're made in Salem, Mass. and
that each one is assigned a spirit, so to speak.
LOU GENTILE: well they used to be made out there,
now where are they made at Kevin?
KEVIN MEARS: I think some of them still are but
there's at least one other factory that makes them as well.
JOHN ZAFFIS: There's a couple of different ones
out there now.
LOU GENTILE: Lord only knows where they're all
KEVIN MEARS: George, out of curiosity a lot of
people in chat are asking and I've been wondering myself, did
you have any experiences after you left the house?
KEVIN MEARS: Would you talk about them please?
LOU GENTILE: (laughing) He told you!
KEVIN MEARS: Okay, fair enough!
Umm, I kinda segway into this for you. When years later, in 1979,
we were given the opportunity to take some lie detector tests,
and they were given by a fellow by the name of Chris Gugas who
was at that time considered the number two or number three man
in the Country to give such a thing. Among other things, he was
accepted in California courts as a witness. He wrote a book called
uh, (pause) I'm sorry, I can't think of the name of it at the
moment. I'll make sure that I do remember the name of it tomorrow.
But I did bring the, I'm not at home right now, but I did bring
the results of the tests with me tonight and one of the questions,
I'll read it for you, that we wanted to have established in this
Kathy took a test and I took a test Final Witness was the
name of the program it was the name of the book, I'm sorry.
"After leaving Amityville did both you and Kathy levitate at your
Mother-In-Law's house?" And we answered "yes" to that and we passed
the test, um, without any questions about that. But the hard part
was for people to understand that we were serious when we said
that, that that happened. This was within weeks of leaving the
house in Amityville and moving in with Kathy's mom. And during
that time we were trying to get what we called at that point,
the house "fixed." We were trying to find reputable people like
the Warrens to come in and tell us what was wrong and tell us
what needed to be done so we could move back in. Um, that's an
example if that's the kind of thing you were looking for.
LOU GENTILE: Does that answer your question Kev?
KEVIN MEARS: Yeah.
LOU GENTILE: We're taking your calls (reads number)
John, does this sound classic of a lot of the homes that you encountered
in your twenty-eight years and if it does, does it sound like
it was accelerated for some reason?
JOHN ZAFFIS: It's very, very classic. Just listening
to everything that George is explaining that transpired in that
home, I've heard it time and time and time again from thousands
of different people. So for me to listen to it, I can understand
it and I can comprehend what the entire family went through once
they moved into their dream home. So yeah, I can understand all
of this. Classic? Yes. Escalated today to the point where thinking
about it, when Father came in and he did the blessing, which was
a very standard thing many years ago, Lou, where they, you would
automatically call your priest in to bless your home everybody
had that done. Today it's not even almost heard of anymore. But
at that point in time it was a very good thing to do. What I think
is another good possibility is when George was explaining that
when Kathy and him had walked through the house and they were
doing a blessing, that also is a form of provoking so that could've
also caused things to accelerate a little bit faster and this
could be why things escalated. George, did things actually occur
more rapidly after these two, or I should say, after you and Kathy
went through the house doing the blessing again. saying a few
They got worse then. They got worse very rapidly after that.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Right. Sometimes when this is done
it brings it forward a lot more faster than when somebody won't
do anything at all, and they're just trying to piece together
what the heck is going on in the house.
Well that's actually how that came about that we did that. One
of my tenants in my office building in New York um, she had a
friend who had had a similar experience years earlier and he explained
that he had had to go through the house himself and do a house
blessing. You just go into each room, you open a window slightly,
and you say the Lord's prayer and command whatever is there to
leave in the name of Jesus Christ. We had been in the house at
that point over two weeks and that seemed to be a very reasonable
kind of thing if that was going to work. That was like, "Okay
great, if it worked for you we'll try that."
ZAFFIS: With the situation with the one person, what
they had tried in their home when they were doing that, might
have been something that was very very low level. Whereas with
George and Kathy at that point they weren't even sure what was
there and what it actually did was, you know, was provoke it
and that's what brought it, you know, even stronger in at that
point and made things start to really happen.
Well we were really grateful that he would even come over and
sit there in the kitchen and listen to some of the things we
would hear at night and then he would explain from his point
of view what he had experienced and his take on it. That was
an answer for the moment. I guess as it turns out, it was a
good answer because it actually got us out of there quicker.
It got us out in one piece.
LOU GENTILE: Alright, let's go to the phone
lines. You're on The Lou Gentile Show.
CALLER: Hi, my name is Mike I'm calling from
LOU GENTILE: Yes, hi Mike what's your question
for George Lutz?
CALLER: Well George, apparently you had appeared
on In Search Of in 1979 and you said in regards to the haunting
that "for us it is over." Now, you went on to these further
book sequels and you say that the evil apparently followed you
across the country. Do you have an explanation for that statement
I'm not sure I understand what the question is.
CALLER: Why did you say on In Search Of that
the haunting was over?
As I recall that show today, that time, that moment when we
had been asked what it was like for us then that was
in La Costa, California when that show was done, in our minds
it was over. Nothing was the same or as bad or anything near
what it had been like in California, I'm sorry, in New York
CALLER: But you said that you...
We always looked at it that there was a...we came to believe,
and we've always looked at it since, that there was only a half-life
to this. Sort of like as time went on the attachment to it all,
either psychologically or emotionally would remove itself and
would become less and less. That doesn't mean that even today
the memory of it doesn't affect us in some way. It will always
color the experience in the house will always color how
we think of things or how we approach certain things in our
lives it's not something you just throw a switch off
with. But no way at that time was it anywhere near what it had
JOHN ZAFFIS: I'd like to also add to that,
what you gotta remember Mike, is with situations like this,
once with any individual, it's not just Kathy and George
once they left that home you have a situation where things,
like George was saying, they change. They quieted down. A lot
of people will experience this. You have to also remember that
within any length of time, it could be two weeks, it could be
two months, two years, something can kick things back up again.
So probably, you know, in a statement when somebody says "it's
over" at that point in time, twenty-eight some odd years ago,
it could've been a situation where everything was extremely
quiet at that point.
Well one good example of that would be June 22, 1979. I'm sorry,
I think it was a little bit earlier than that June 19,
1979, was the day that we took the polygraph test. That same
day is the day that we did the TV show with Jim Brolin and the
um, I'm sorry, my memory is failing me tonight. I haven't thought
of this for quite awhile. We did a TV show that Rod Steiger
was on and we were asked early on in the show how things were
for us now and Kathy's response was "fine, much better, things
are Okay now," and yet when Rod Steiger spent some time with
her he looked at her and said "you're still frightened by all
this." And Kathy was very reluctant to admit that. That's not
the kind of thing that you even want to give credibility to
the idea that there's still a part of this that, there's still
a part of this that um...is, is able to bother you or to reach
into you emotionally and, and you don't want to admit it. But
Rod Steiger saw it in her right away.
CALLER: Okay. Can I ask another question George?
CALLER: Now, your book Amityville: The Final
Chapter this is one of the series that you wrote after
the original book. I believe that was with John G. Jones?
I didn't write them. John Jones wrote them.
CALLER: You didn't write them?
CALLER: But your name appears on the copyright
Yes, that's correct.
CALLER: ...that's where I'm confused. Is this
an accurate representation of your story or is it fictionalized?
They were to be they were originally supposed to be published
as "fiction based on fact." They were not supposed to be published
as "non-fiction." I'm not sure how some of those did end up
as being published as "non-fiction."
CALLER: Okay, so your name is on the copyright...
CALLER: ...but he was just using your name
as artistic license or...did you receive any profits from these
We received no accounting of ever, of any of those books, and
no royalties on any of those books. We did receive on some of
them, and not all of them, we did receive advances on some of
them. The advances I believe totaled less than eight thousand
LOU GENTILE: Alright Mike, thanks for the call.
CALLER: Thank you very much, goodnight.
LOU GENTILE: Goodnight. [gives toll free number]
George, do you think a lot of what surrounds Amityville is what's
written in these books? A lot of people look at the books as
being 100% die hard, you know, "fact." And I mean, is that a
misconception that people are using that as a basis to say that
Amityville could possibly be a hoax?
Well I think Roxanne Kaplan, for all for the incredibly terrible
things she's had to say, said something rather intelligent,
and that is when you buy something that says it's non-fiction
than it ought to be. But with any book if you're not the writer
and I take, I personally take responsibility for the
contents of The Amityville Horror just as Kathy does.
But we didn't write the book and we understand the conditions
that Anson was in to put the book together. We had the opportunity
to do corrections on the galley sheets. What most people don't
understand is that we didn't even have a contract for that book
signed until, I believe it was the end of September, early October
of 1977. So we had been away from New York over a year and a
half at that point.
The corrections we did, most of them were put into the book
and um, then more corrections were needed. Father Ray evidently
got corrections and changes put into the books also on his own.
I was not aware of some of the things that he had suffered and
some of the things that Anson was putting in until Anson had
actually written the book and sent out the galleys Prentice
Hall had sent out the galleys for us to look through. And I
assumed, and I actually should not have, but I assumed that
if Anson wrote this, and I knew that he had met with Father
Ray one of the conditions for him to write the book or
for him to consider it, was that Father Ray would be willing
to sit down with him and talk with him about what he had experienced
and his point of view about it all. I just assumed that all
of that was done with permission and with Father Ray's blessing
and...evidently there were some things in there that, that caused
all kinds of problems for him with the church. There were things
that Anson had been told in, on a confidential basis, in privacy,
and were not supposed to be in that book. I was not privy to
those conversations I was in California at the time. It doesn't
excuse my involvement or my responsibility ultimately for how
the book came out but I understand the process of how some of
the things got in there did.
The bigger problems are I have always though, came about
with the movies. Kathy and I did manage to do a rather extraordinary
thing and that was that we ended up with the sequel rights.
The right to tell any future stories about what happened to
us after the movie rights were sold to American International
Pictures. Most people never find themselves in a position where
they have to deal with a movie company and their lawyers and
all of the contracts that are involved with that, but, um, what
happened in our case was that we had an agreement with Anson
that if Anson did not dispose of the movie rights within a certain
period of time, then they would be ours to dispose of. Well
um, Anson sold the rights to CBS. He didn't ask us whether we
wanted that to happen or not. He just went ahead and did it.
AIP found out about that and they tried to get the rights from
CBS and they put together a deal with them so that they could
then do the movie. Then they came to us and sent us contracts
and said "We're going to do your movie" and we said "well, that's
very nice, but you don't have a contract with us and we have
a problem with you trying to do that." That became a very messy
situation it was quite intense and very costly with a whole
bunch of lawyers. In that process alone we learned a great deal,
and one of the things we got as a result of that mess and the
pressure that was put on Anson to complete his part of the contract
which he had signed, was we got assigned to us, released to
us, all of the sequel rights, all of the subsequent ability
to tell the story or have any commercial involvement if you
will. Uh, with The Amityville Horror. So then that
came back to Kathy and I that never happens, that's not
the kind of thing that they ever give back or they let you do.
Well, we then took that money that we got from the movie
we had no control over what they did with the movie in terms
of creative control. We couldn't tell them "no, the walls didn't
bleed." You know, you could tell them that the walls didn't
bleed, but they were still going to do it their way. No, there
wasn't a black pit like that in the basement but they were still
going to do the movie, whatever they want.
Well in that process, the movie was successful.
We got paid. We spent the money that we made from the book and
from the movie to go back and interview all the other people
who had helped us and been involved with us while we were in
the house and afterwards, and we interviewed them and we got
affidavits of their stories and we were going to do a sequel
to The Amityville Horror since we owned the rights,
we were going to do a second book absolutely non-fiction,
do it our way with no other, um, no one else to say "no you
gotta do it this way" or whatever. So we thought we really had
control over all of that. We hired a writer to work for us.
He wrote a book tentatively called Campaign of Terror.
One day we went down to see him and he had taken the furniture
and all of our materials and moved back to New Jersey. So, we
had to start over.
the process of starting over, we found another writer to work
with, and that one didn't work out, and eventually John Jones
came along. John wrote a book, it was going to be called Amityville
Horror II. When he did that, at that point, that book was
ready to come out and Dino DeLaurentiis put out a movie called
Amityville Horror II which they eventually changed
to Amityville II and did it without our permission,
and that became a twelve, thirteen year lawsuit. So even if
you have the rights, even if you're trying to do this the best
way you possibly can and fix the stuff that's been wrong or
been said wrong, things will come along and keep you from doing
LOU GENTILE: George, do you have a little bit
LOU GENTILE: Okay, because I have to take a
short break and I know the lines are lit so I'm going to take
a short break, and John do you have some time?
JOHN ZAFFIS: Yup.
LOU GENTILE: Okay. We're going to take a short
talk excised break]
GENTILE: And we're back to The Lou Gentile Show.
[off-topic talk excised] And let's take a call. Caller, what's
LOU GENTILE: Okay, what's your question for
CALLER: I was just wondering, you were talking
earlier before about the sounds that you were hearing, like
the thumps and stuff. If there was actually any recordings taken
of the sounds.
LOU GENTILE: George?
LOU GENTILE: [laughs] Okay, go ahead, ask that
question again, Kevin.
CALLER: I was wondering, you were talking about
earlier before about the sound that you heard in the house,
if there were actually any recordings made of the sounds.
LOU GENTILE: Does that answer your question?
LOU GENTILE: Alright thanks.
CALLER: Bye bye.
LOU GENTILE: [off-topic talk excised] John,
why do you think that this particular house was so accelerated
into driving these people out of it?
JOHN ZAFFIS: Lou I think it was a combination
of different things. I think it had a tremendous amount to do
with the tragedy that transpired in the house. I think that
when Kathy and George had purchased the home I feel that there
was some residual things that were tied-in, and it was just
sitting there waiting to be tapped into. Do we know that if
somebody else purchased the house that they have the same types
of experiences? No, we don't know that. But George and Kathy
had purchased it and they were basically the victims to the
So I feel that the intensity of what was built up in there from
the prior experiences, this escalated and George and Kathy were
just there, you know, unfortunately at the right time for what
was bottled-up there to really let loose. And it just actually
played out. Lou you know as well as I do that a lot of times
in these situations you hear that there are certain individuals
that are attracted to certain homes. And you'll hear "Gee, I
have to have this home, this home is perfect" and a lot of times
it's what we refer to as actually being set up by the demonic.
And it's a whole string of events that take place and unfold
as its going. And basically I feel that this is what happened
LOU GENTILE: Now George I'm sure that there
have been a lot of people that you know, bring up this thing
about, you know, Amityville being a hoax and whatnot, what do
you say to...
I've never heard such a thing!
LOU GENTILE: (laughing) Oh yeah, Okay. Alright,
whatever! But um, what do you say to those people? I mean I
can understand where you're coming from, and I'm sure John can,
too, because there's people that call me up from hotels as well
as they've called John up from hotels, that are going through
the same kind of situation, but not as accelerated as it was
with you. But, you know, what can you tell these people that
say, "Well Amityville was a hoax I don't care what you say"?
I don't have an answer for such a statement. I know what I lived
through. I know what we went through as a family. I know what...the
people that tried to help us, um, one example that comes to
mind is Mary Pascarella. She was so affected by the March 6th,
1976, investigation that she went home, she closed up her Psychic
Research Institute in Connecticut. She, her husband quit his
job, or lost his job, I'm not sure which, and she moved to Florida.
She was so moved by that one night there and so affected by
what went on for her afterwards that it literally uprooted her
life and changed it in ways that I wish I could undo and can't.
We know what happened to us, but that doesn't mean that because
we tell our story that we expect everyone to just accept it.
I would have never accepted such a thing myself before this.
LOU GENTILE: So it doesn't really matter what
other people think. You know what you went through...
It's not that it doesn't matter, it's that we made the choice
to try to explain what happened to us. That was a free-will
choice. But, no one's under the obligation to accept every word
of it or to believe us just because we say so. That would not
be reasonable on our part at all.
LOU GENTILE: No. ( giving toll free number
again ) What do you think was in the house? What do you personally
think was in the house?
I'll go back to a little bit of what John was saying. Most people
don't realize that the family before us that were so tragically
murdered there they had gone and put statues up of the holy
family and built a grotto in the back to the blessed virgin.
And the front of the house had these statues that they had gone
and had bases built for, and when we saw the house, those were
still there. We asked that those be taken down, and they were,
before we moved into the house. Those were just put up before
the murders. If we hadn't had the house blessed, I don't know
how things would have turned out or what would have happened.
LOU GENTILE: So in other words you think that
it was because of the house blessing you may have provoked something?
One of the things we did was...yes, I do. And that's always
been something that I just can't get around. I always thought
that was something triggered, challenged, what was there at
that point and made it changed things. But, that's never been
people that have owned the house have always spoken of it
in terms of and we did in terms of "loving the house." With
this great deal of enthusiasm and passion "we love this house."
Well we were so happy to get that house, we really wanted to
live there. It was such a desire on our part to move-in and
be a family there. And we didn't want to leave it. We didn't
want to go out.
We found ourselves inviting people over instead of going out
to see people while we were there. Sure, part of that was the
excitement of having a new house and wanting to invite people
over to see it, but the end result when we looked at it later
was that, once you got in there you didn't want to leave, you
didn't want to go out. You didn't want to leave the house, you
wanted to stay right there. There was just something so attractive
to it, it was "charming," was the way that Kathy would describe
it. There was just a charm to it. It was such an attraction,
so overwhelming, that you become protective of it in a sense.
You wouldn't want anybody to say anything bad about it or think
anything bad about it.
I don't know if that makes a whole lot of sense, but when you
look back to the history of different people that have lived
there, there are no happy marriages in that house except um,
the Cromarty's eventually got divorced, they bought the house
after we did after we gave it back to the bank. The O'Neill's
that moved-in after the Cromarty's, they lost their business
and became divorced from my understanding, and I may be wrong
about the divorce part, but I know they lost their business
so money has always been a problem there. The original builders
of the house, the Moynahans, its my understanding is they both
died there but under natural conditions, and then the Fitzgerald's
that moved in after them were divorced and had money problems.
The Riley's who moved in after the Fitzgerald's were divorced
and the DeFeo's were murdered.
This is a house that I consider, personally I consider divorce
a tragedy, and Kathy and I were divorced as well. So when you
look back at the history since the house has been, was built,
this has not been a place that people can say "oh yeah, when
I lived there it was just plain great life was wonderful."
What does all that mean? I don't know, but it is an awful lot
of divorces for one house.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Well, what's interesting abut
that George is, doing research like I do and being involved
with so many different cases and hearing you explaining what
I've heard many many other times from other people that have
purchased homes that once they started checking into the different
families that have purchased these properties, they ended up
with financial devastation, they all ended up in divorces and
this is family after family after family. So you have certain
houses that have what we call a bad aura to it. Also where these
things just keep occurring and they keep happening to each family
that moves into the home. So it's not unusual to hear how you
just described the history of what some of the individuals went
though with that particular home.
LOU GENTILE: well that makes sense John.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Yes. Yes Lou, I've heard it time
and time again. Where they'll say, "we've heard different things,
we thought different things, you know, hearing from what people
would tell us." But they don't feel that it would have affected
them. But like I said, there are certain types of homes that
have a very bad aura to them and sometimes people are drawn
to them just like Kathy and George were drawn that particular
When we moved in there my business was fine. My grandfather
had established the business in 1906 and my Dad had worked it
until he died and then I took it over. The business was fine.
We had credit to go to one bank and say "we'd like a mortgage
for this" and they gave us a mortgage. I had two virtually brand
new boats and what I wanted. And I don't know how many cars
I owned then, I think it was at least five.
The what happened in that 28 days with my finances was extraordinary.
Kathy's brother was going to get married and the money was lost.
We don't know we don't blame that on the house, it was just
another thing that happened during that time. He went to go
pay the caterer and he didn't have the cash that he had at the
house before we went to the...pay the caterer, so I had to write
two post-dated checks to pay the caterer for that. And that
came at a bad time. That was Christmastime and just moving into
a new house and all of that. But we had sold two homes that
were valued at more than the cost of that house. We had got
rid of the two mortgages there and we had saved the money that
we were spending on the boat storage. So financially it should
have been a breeze. And yet in that 28 days my business, which
was a land surveying business a civil engineering land surveying
business, what we were licensed to do it slacked off to the
point where it was very, very slow which was not unusual for
the winter in New York, but it was more severe than it should
have been or should have been expected would have been normal
for it to happen.
I had an audit by the IRS that uh, was just one of those things
that happened during that time. I don't remember what it actually
cost me to get rid of the fine that we had to pay, or the deficiency,
but it was less than a thousand dollars. I mean it wasn't a
big deal audit, but it was just one of those things that was
a pressure that came up during that time.
Uh, yeah, finances changed, and then we left there and things
got better. And they continued to get better. Um, living at
Kathy's mom's house, um, even though all of our things were
in that house, we went out and, I bought a we got rid of the
van that we had had there and I bought another car. And then
my grandfather had died and the furniture that he that, that
estate did not want, we were given that and we took that, some
of that furniture with us to California, so we had some furniture
to take with us. We left everything there and it was eventually
auctioned off. We didn't go back for the any of the things
that we had there. Some friends of ours did go in on Easter
Sunday and get some personal papers out and a chest that I still
have that my grandfather had made. But otherwise everything
else was left there including the boats and eventually that
was all auctioned off.
LOU GENTILE: Alright George, I want to save
the rest of this for tomorrow night um, because I got so many
e-mails here and I don't really want to go to the phone lines
while we're discussing that. But what I want to do is, I want
to leave off there and come back tomorrow night. We'll speak
with Lorraine and we'll go into more detail about everything,
about how they investigated it and how you got involved with
Ed and Lorraine and we can talk a little bit about Kaplan and
things like that. I'm going to wrap it up because I do have
to get out of here. So, I want to thank you George for the honor
of coming on and ...
You're quite welcome Lou. Glad to have the opportunity to be
on your show and to speak about these things and I appreciate
it very much the way you've let me rattle on at times.
LOU GENTILE: Well, you know, I think people
need to hear the George Lutz, I mean what I'm hearing is somebody
who is still emotional about this thing. It's not like you're
just talking about it like you're sensationalizing it. You can
tell that there's something there that's emotional, its attached
to you, you know what I mean? It's difficult to go through and
talk about it again, and I do thank you for coming forward.
There's real reasons why I don't do that.
LOU GENTILE: Well I can understand that. And
John, I think you can sense that as well.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Absolutely.
LOU GENTILE: And for what they went through,
I don't blame you, George.
KEVIN MEARS: I have to agree. I can definitely
hear sincerity in your voice when you talk about this.
LOU GENTILE: Alright, well I want to thank
you very much George and John, for being on the show and I will
speak with both of you tomorrow night 10:00 Eastern Standard
JOHN ZAFFIS: Okay have a good night.
LOU GENTILE: Alright goodnight guys.
[off-topic talk excised end of show]