State Unicon II / Lou Gentile
GENTILE: And welcome back to The Lou Gentile Show.
Now, so that everyone knows, we're going to be speaking with George
Lutz in just a few moments. And then coming up at 11:00pm to 1am
you're going to be hearing The Best of Lou Gentile Show
live from Penn State University this past weekend's live show
on the road at Penn State University's main campus and University
Park, PA, or State College, PA.
Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, without any further adieu, Mr George
Lutz. Welcome to the show, my friend.
Lou, how are ya?
LOU GENTILE: I'm doing very good, how are you?
Long time, no see.
LOU GENTILE: Yeah, it was almost like a dream
or an out-of-body experience.
I was so tired when I got home yesterday.
LOU GENTILE: Well you were a trooper – you really
were. I thought you would be completely passed out.
I don't blame John for going back and going to bed for a couple
of hours. But I just couldn't take the chance. I got an earlier
flight – I forgot to tell ya.
LOU GENTILE: An earlier flight?
Yes, they let me go at 6, so I didn't have to wait around for
an extra hour.
LOU GENTILE: Oh really? Oh, that was pretty good.
That worked out well.
LOU GENTILE: Geez. What time did you get home?
[unintelligible] ...touched down, and we were early – we were
like a half an hour early. But there was a problem out on the
tarmac. There was a... the fires in California are causing all
kinds of backups here. There are people stuck here for 24/36 hours
trying to get, just back to LA. So we had to sit on the tarmac
and wait for a gate.
LOU GENTILE: Huh. Incredible. Well I'll tell
ya what, I like that Penn State airport. It was pretty nice and
Yeah, they were very nice there. The whole college was great –
the people and everything. We had a good time.
LOU GENTILE: I'd like to thank George Lutz personally,
as well as John Zaffis, Lonefeather, and Penn State University
main campus, and all the people who were a part of that as well
as Ryan Buell and all the listeners and the fans and just general
people wanting to ask questions. A lot of good questions, George.
I was so honored that people would come – and some people drove
more than ten hours to come there – one way – to see me. And I
just... That just flabbergasts me. I don't even know how to react.
Its such an incredible thing to me to have time with people that
are that interested in this. It really was wonderful.
LOU GENTILE: Well that's what I found to be pretty
neat because there were people there from Kentucky and Oklahoma
and all kinds of different places. And that's just pretty neat.
We had a guy come down that's been on some of the boards that
are on the Internet for years – and I never met him – and I knew
him only as his screen name, and he came up and introduced [himself
to] me and I was just so pleased to be able to see him and say
hello. Its amazing all the people we know now that came to that.
LOU GENTILE: Oh yeah. And our friends Justin
GEORGE LUTZ: They were terrific, as usual.
LOU GENTILE: Yes they are. So you have some big
news for us tonight.
Actually I have some – what I consider to be very good news. I
don't know how to start this. A year and a half ago, Dan Farrands
and I were approached to sell the rights for a sequel for an Amityville
movie. And the process to negotiate just that part of an option
was a little over six months, and it was really a lot of work.
And the people we worked with were great. And the problems that
we all needed to overcome and look out for and be agreed about
just took a lot of time. I mean, sometimes I said that Amityville
is a full-time job just to keep track of a number of different
things that are important about it.
And then about – then when that was signed they had six months
to go ahead and put that together as a real production, and either
pick up the option or just let it go by the wayside. Well, they
decided that they needed an extra bit of time – another three
months – to put all of that together. And they did, and they found
a way to do that. And these guys were actually serious enough
and believed in the project enough to put up their own money,
which is just extraordinary – people don't do that with movies
anymore. They look for everyone else, to use everyone else's money,
and never put their own up. And when they did that we were so
very pleased that along the path here – along the year and – over
a year then at that point – a year and three months that we had
known them, that they had become that enthused and that educated
about it all and they really wanted to make as good a movie as
And what happened recently was they were able to put the financing
together for that movie and actually for it to become a real project,
and go into at least a form of what's called "pre-production,"
which is when they start doing all kinds of other things they
have to get ready before they can actually start a camera and
have stars on the set, you know, filming, or telling the story.
And when they got the financing, the first part of the financing
– which was the major part – the financier got an education and
came back to us and said, "Look, we'd like to sit down with you
and turn this into a 3-picture deal. We don't want to just make
one movie, we want to make three."
LOU GENTILE: Wow – a trilogy, huh?
Well, we're not sure that would be the right or correct way to
do it. They want to get the first one up and going and then possibly
make the second two a "Part 1" & "Part 2" so to speak, or that
kind of idea. They're talking about a lot of different things,
so I honestly don't know. And I really am unable to tell you who
it is that picked this up right now only because I've agreed not
to do that; but I will tell you that its a signed deal – its a
done deal – and there will be three pictures – and they'll be
done over the next six years. And all three of them will be filmed
within the next six years and done. So its not the kind of thing
that's gonna sit around for twenty years or that we're gonna talk
about and say, "oh maybe." This was a lot of work and an incredible
thing to get done, and it was a difficult journey and its been
very exciting and now its gonna happen.
LOU GENTILE: Well George, now that you've announced
that you've basically signed a 3-picture deal, what can people
expect? Can they expect it to be fact or fiction?
LOU GENTILE: Fiction. Okay.
The problems in doing a non-fiction movie are insurmountable at
the moment. There's no way that we can do that. What we can do,
is we can do fiction based on fact; and we can do fiction that
brings you back to the truth part, which is... we can... in the
movie headers they've agreed to refer it back to www.amityvillehorror.com,
which we will have up and running then, and it will be much more
informative, but it's all a process, and it's just all pieces
that have to get done one piece at a time. And you're the first
person to know. You're the first people to hear about this.
LOU GENTILE: Well I thank you very...
I just got done last Wednesday, and I told you about it over the
weekend, and I told you that I'd be glad to come on your show
and let you be the first place to have it even known.
LOU GENTILE: Well I thank you very much, George.
I appreciate that.
Oh, I'm glad to have the opportunity for you to be the first.
LOU GENTILE: That's great – I feel like a virgin
on prom night.
I wouldn't know what that feeling is.
LOU GENTILE: Well, I mean that's pretty cool.
Now are you going to – you know, with a lot of fiction movies
I guess they – you know, like you said, they base things on fact.
Can people maybe expect more than 50% maybe in the movies?
No, I wouldn't even go that far. I make no promises. One of the
things that happens with the movie is they put up their money,
and they're the ones – with the distributors, the producers and
the distributors – are the ones that work that out. And its their
money that is on the line – it's millions and millions of dollars,
and it's an incredible investment of time and energy and money;
and one of the rights they always retain – which is the most difficult
part for any of us to deal with – is creative control. We do not
get creative control. For us to have creative control in what
they put in a movie – honest, real creative control – we would
have to put up the money for the movie and the distribution as
So its one thing to produce a movie and get that on film; its
quite another thing to get a producer – a distributor – to actually
go out and spend the money for the prints – which are millions
of dollars – and do the advertising and get it delivered and out
there and coordinated with a whole bunch of theaters. And then
you've got different markets, and the list goes on and on. So
all the people that get involved and all the money that's put
into this before the first person ever sees it.
So, no, we do not get control over that. We never would have a
chance of that. That's just not a thing that's realistic. Its
the kind of thing you want, but its never gonna happen. Its taken
me 25-26 years from the first one to get to this place – of doing
actual, real theater productions. So... Its taken a while...
LOU GENTILE: Well let me ask you this, then –
can you just, with all the power that you have invested in this,
make sure that there isn't a 3-D movie involved?
Well, yeah, I don't think that anyone's talking about anything
like that. I'm not in a position – I never will be in a position
to be able to promise that it will have certain things in it or
it won't. The story we want to tell may end up being an entirely
different thing for the first movie. And maybe that waits 'til
the second or third, or it may not happen at all. I don't know.
I really can't tell you that I have any control over that because
The fact is I still stick to the same idea, the same principle,
which is: whatever gets people back to the truth – even if it
takes fiction – that's what I will pursue.
LOU GENTILE: Well, what do you have to say to
the people that believe that Amityville was true, and not a hoax?
Do you have anything to say to them tonight?
God bless 'em. God bless 'em. They've stuck – they've hung in,
and they've wanted a movie for a long time, and we've wanted to
make one. We want to get people to at least be discussing it.
Its no different than your radio program that we just did. I'm
not here to tell people what to believe or not believe, but at
least give them the option and give them a place to go to find
out what the really true facts are, and not what other people
that weren't involved wanna say about it.
LOU GENTILE: Hmm. Incredible stuff. So over the
next six years we're gonna see Amityville – is it – what is...
I don't know what number we're at. They even made, um, they added
numbers for the documentaries that were done on the History Channel
– so I think they called those 8 and 9, or 7 and 8 – I really
have lost count with all of that. I just got my first copy of
Amityville IV the other day, given to me by Lonefeather – so I
haven't even seen that. I haven't been home long enough to stick
it in a machine and play it.
LOU GENTILE: Ah, the haunted Tiffany lamp.
I haven't seen that.
LOU GENTILE: [laughs] You gotta watch it! Too
One of the things those movies did – no matter what anybody says
– is it kept it alive.
LOU GENTILE: Yes it has. Well George I want to
thank you for coming on the show, and releasing that information
here first on The Lou Gentile Show. It was a pleasure
and an honor as usual.
Thank you for letting me. I appreciate it.
LOU GENTILE: So you have a great and safe holiday,
and I'll be in touch.
I look forward to working with you again. Any time, Lou. Anything
I can do for you. You're a terrific guy.
LOU GENTILE: All right. You, too, George.
LOU GENTILE: And thank you for not falling asleep.
All right – goodnight. George Lutz, everybody. And he is the person
who lived inside of the real Amityville Horror house – 112 Ocean
Avenue in Amityville, New York – that started the whole Amityville
Anyway, stay tuned for The Best of The Lou Gentile Show,
where we will be diving into Penn State University's Unicon II,
where The Lou Gentile Show went on the road. So I will
see everybody tomorrow night – 10pm Eastern Standard Time...
State – Unicon 2 October 2003
TIM YANCEY: Good evening everybody and welcome
to Penn State University and the Unicon II Paranormal Conference.
I'm Lonefeather – audio engineer with The Lou Gentile Show
– which just began a few moments ago in Heritage Hall, so let's
go down to the main floor and join in on the discussion with our
speakers, Lou Gentile, John Zaffis and George Lutz.
LOU GENTILE: ...as well as to tell everybody
here at Penn State exactly what happened inside of the house in
Amityville, New York. So, without any further ado, George Lutz,
welcome to the show. And I can barely hear you talk. Talk.
Hi. How's everybody doing?
LOU GENTILE: Anyway, for anybody wondering who
this is – this is John Zaffis. John, welcome to the show. John
is a paranormal investigator and a demonologist. And he is a blood
relative of Ed Warren, and welcome to the show, my friend.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Thanks for having me on.
LOU GENTILE: Let's just go right off into it.
The first hour of the show I'm gonna be talking to George. The
second and third hour, anybody at any particular point, I'm gonna
have Tim come around. He's over here. Tim, step out over here
for a second. Tim is also from a radio show on the IBC Radio Network
entitled Encounters. You can catch that basically every night
from 7 to 8 pm Eastern time. But Tim's gonna be walking around,
and he'll be asking if anyone has any questions you can just give
him a tap.
Anyway, so George – I'd like you to tell me first when exactly
did you buy the house, and how did the transaction go?
GEORGE LUTZ: We looked at about 50 houses before
we found this one. And the realtor told us that the house was
in estate. And eventually she told us what happened in the house
– that the six family members had been murdered there – and she
asked us if that made a difference – if we were still interested
in looking at it. We looked at the kids. We had Kathy's three
children with us, and they didn't seem to have any reservations
about whether to at least look at the house. And so we went through
Afterwards we had quite a discussion as a family a couple of different
times about whether or not we should still consider buying the
house. It was 4,000 square feet on the water. It had a boat house
and a garage. It had a heated swimming pool in the backyard. Full
basement. It was pretty much everything we were looking for, and
it was at a price that we could afford if they were to take the
offer that we were willing to make.
Eventually everything worked out. The first bank we applied at
we got a mortgage right away. We had just sold our two houses.
We each had – Kathy had one and I had one. And for us it was a
new marriage, and so we made arrangements to start moving in in
LOU GENTILE: Did you feel anything spiritually
or anything wrong with the house, whatsoever, when you pulled
up into the driveway for the first time?
No. Kathy later described it as "charming" when she first walked
in the front door. She just beamed – she was very happy. The house
was very well constructed, and everything about it spoke with
quality, especially compared to quite a few of the houses we looked
LOU GENTILE: So here you buy the house; you go
into the house; you start moving in. Did you notice anything within
the first couple of days that seems "odd"?
GEORGE LUTZ: The differences – the way you phrase
your question is a problem. The differences upon retrospect –
after you get away from it and you have some perspective on everything
that's happened and the house, itself – living around it or in
it. Then you start to notice that there were changes in our behavior
or changes in the way we would go about our lives; but during
the time, no.
I always viewed the influence of living in a property like that
as very subtle. It's not the kind of thing that you realize –
your attitude is changing, or that your sense of humor is gone,
or that you're very tired and you find yourself repeating things
in your actions very often... so yes and no, but only in retrospect
did we realize all the changes that we went through.
LOU GENTILE: Okay. So basically what you're saying
is that when you lived in the house, you didn't realize anything
was happening. And you wouldn't realize anything was happening
because it took time in order for things to escalate.
Sure. And there were different things that happened moving day
that individually today might, to recount them might seem to be
odd, but at the time they were just part of the confusion of moving
into a new house and all the different activity that's going on.
So you don't necessarily – and you can go all over the place to
try to explain some of this because some of its taken years to
think about, or to reason-out, and some was more apparent afterwards.
We had a friend of mine who I built motorcycles with – and he
had recommend (when he knew what house it was that we were buying)
that we get a priest to come and bless the house. The only priest
I knew was one that was – that worked in the diocese office in
Rockville Centre in New York. And Father Ray had handled my first
marriage annulment – a "marriage that wasn't," so to speak. And
I was not a Catholic, so it was a process that he took me through
to understand, and in the process of that I became friendly with
him, and then we would talk from time to time on the phone. And
when I told him we were buying a house and we wanted him to come
and bless it, at the suggestion of my friend, he agreed to. I
had no idea that he was vice-officialus of the diocese office
there. He was a judge of the ecclesiastical court, and he was
not our parish priest. He's not the kind of man that would normally
come and bless anyone's house, unless it was maybe a member of
his own family.
So as a friend he came to do that. And during that process a number
of things occurred that he did not tell us about. When he went
to leave he told us he was very uncomfortable about one particular
room on the second floor. And that was what we called the Sewing
Room. We had not planned on using it as a bedroom. And he was
glad of that. He said, "I felt something in there, and I just
wasn't comfortable, and I think that if you don't use it as a
bedroom to leave the door open, then."
We didn't really understand what he was saying, but since we weren't
going to use it as a bedroom, it wasn't an issue – it was just
another thing – a kinda thing that happened.
Harry, our black lab, who was fully mature at that time, he was
a very large dog. There was a dog run out in front of the garage/boat
house in the backyard. And the dog run was the place that we put
him so he'd be out of the way while everyone was going in and
out of the house, unloading trucks and trailers. And he had been
chained up inside there because black labs, when they decide they
wanna leave some place, they usually find a way.
He jumped over the fence and hung himself, because the chain wasn't
long enough for him to reach the ground outside on the other side
of the fence. That all happened within the first few hours of
LOU GENTILE: Geez. Alright, well let's stop you
there. John, you know growing up, your uncle is Ed Warren, who
is a demonologist and authorized by the Roman Catholic Church
and the Vatican. And growing up as a child, did you hear any stories
about Amityville? I mean, I'm sure you did, I mean...
JOHN ZAFFIS: Absolutely, I talk about that quite
often. A lot of times I would just take a spin up there and just
sit down and talk with Ed a lot of times and he was notorious
for listening to tapes over and over. And I remember this one
day he said, "Come on down and listen," and it was tapes about
Kathy and George. And we sat there for a good hour, hour and a
half, if not longer, and he would play the tapes, and then stop,
ask questions, play the tapes, stop and ask questions. And what's
very clear to me today is that 30 years ago – I've never seen
George or Kathy or anybody else from the family vary from their
original story with their facts and what they talk about.
I remember that before there was any books, any movies, or anything
was publicized at that point. At that point it was just an investigation
that the Warrens were involved with. So that lends a lot of credibility
to the Lutz family as far as I'm concerned.
LOU GENTILE: So George, you move into the house,
you have the house blessed. What happened with the priest with
the flies. I mean I'm sure a lot of people remember seeing it
in the movie and the book and everything, but what happened with
I don't know that the priest and the flies go together. No one's
ever even asked that. A first for someone to ask the question
that you just asked. That's a movie version with the flies attacking
The flies that were in that room kept coming back. It was in the
middle of the winter. It was a surprise – you would kill them
and the next day they'd be back. But that was only in that sewing
room, it wasn't throughout the house or anything like that.
LOU GENTILE: But they were constantly there?
Yes, but I don't know that it ever had anything to do with the
priest – going on when the priest was there. I don't even remember
them on moving day specifically.
LOU GENTILE: Were they black flies, green flies
LOU GENTILE: Just houseflies. Okay. John, is
that common for people who are going through a haunting to have
black flies? I mean I don't know.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Absolutely. I've seen quite a few
different cases where the black flies are very prominent. And
it ties in with telling us that there is definitely something
on a demonic level in that home.
LOU GENTILE: Okay, so its possible that it may
have had something to do with it, even though you didn't really
look at it as that – it may have. We'll just leave it at that.
That's certainly been an opinion always since then. My own is–
LOU GENTILE: Yeah, well who knows. I mean, ya
know, whatever. Umm, how did it feel to walk out the back of the
house. I mean I'm sure you went out there at night time; but how
did it feel when you were by yourself walking out the back of
the house? Did you feel anything? Did you see anything?
You mean in the backyard.
LOU GENTILE: In the backyard, yeah.
Over the time [that] we were in the house, I would wake up in
the middle of the night, sometime between three and three-thirty
– usually sometime around three-fifteen – and often I would check
on the kids or check on the doors or whatever – just walk around.
And the boathouse door, the side door, would be open. One of the
things that was important to us was our boat, you know, it was
a major investment. So I would go, I would always be sure that
it was closed, and I would go out in the middle of the night and
go down there and have to close the thing.
In the boathouse, when you walked in, there was a spot to the
right of the door as you walked in, that was always cold. It was
like a draft, but there was no wind. And there was one other spot
very similar on the way up the stairs in the house. It was dependable.
Every time you went through those two places the cold spot was
always there. No physical explanation for it, it was just something
that was. Other than that, no – for most nights or for most times
I was in the backyard I never felt anything.
LOU GENTILE: You didn't hear any whispering?
LOU GENTILE: Nothing out of the ordinary?
Nothing at all. When we heard voices in the house – when we heard
noises in the house that we couldn't explain – when we heard footsteps
overhead walking around on the upper floors – I did a search even
for speakers and speaker wires, and tore down ceiling panels.
These were not the kinds of things that made sense to me.
LOU GENTILE: When was the first time being in
the house that you actually knew something was wrong? Something
spiritually – something metaphysical – whatever. Something was
wrong in the house. There had to have been a first time where
you, yourself, said, "Okay, that's it – there's definitely something
going on here."
[There are] different answers to that – it's not a simple...
LOU GENTILE: [Not] a simple explanation?
I think for Kathy it was when her daughter Missy – our daughter
– came to her and asked her if angels talk, and started talking
about her supposedly imaginary friend.
LOU GENTILE: So did the kids first notice something
going on in the house?
Well Missy had someone that she spoke of, and she called this
entity/person thing Je-Jodie.
LOU GENTILE: Okay, is this where the "Jodie the
pig" thing comes in?
Later on. Much later on. At the time we just thought it was an
imaginary friend. Her two boys had had them, and one of them still
had his imaginary friend when we moved in the house. So that wasn't
any big surprise, it was just kind of interesting that she all
of the sudden had one that she was talking to.
And she asked at that point – and I think that for Kathy that
was a trigger – that was an alarm. For me it was when Kathy told
me about her being embraced from behind while she was home alone,
while I was at the office, at my business. Then that was too much
for me to discount or disregard at that point, that was... Because
I knew her not to be subject to hallucinations or anything like
that. And just... That was beyond anything I could explain.
LOU GENTILE: Alright. Give us a little bit of
the layout of the outside of the house. You know, was it, uh,
was the house around a lot of power lines, was there...
LOU GENTILE: In other words was there places
where maybe energy could have collected or come in?
Not that I recall, not that comes to mind at all. The house is
situated sideways on the lot. Its a narrow lot – something like
280 feet deep. It ends on the Amityville river, which empties
out into the Great South Bay, which eventually gets to the Atlantic
If you take a compass and you go across the river from the house
and you are opposite it, the compass doesn't read properly. If
you take a video camera, and you ride in a car past the house,
you will hear the buzzing in the videotape when you pass the house,
and then it goes away again. So there is something that isn't...
This is what I've been told and this is what I've seen – but this
isn't necessarily what everyone will experience every single day.
But its easy enough to find evidence of, over a period of time,
that there is some... There are things that don't work, there
are things that don't work right.
The family after us that bought the house... We eventually gave
the house back to the bank and went to live in California. And
the family after us had photographs taken and recordings done
in the house – interviews, different things. And they were in
a constant state of denial about any occurrences in the house.
Yet there are photographs that exist today that I have copies
of that show their arms transparent in one photograph. There's
another set of recordings where the – you hear different sets
of voices than what was supposed to be on the recording, itself.
Would I say that they're demonic voices? No, its not my place
to say that. They just don't belong on that recording. There were
other tapes that were perfectly normal, brand-new cassette tapes,
new batteries and all, and nothing came out. At different times...
One of their sons died there in the house, or in the hospital
in the town; and they eventually got divorced.
I've often called the house "the most divorced house that I know
of in the United States." Divorce happened, or bankruptcy, or
financial problems to just about every family that's ever lived
LOU GENTILE: Okay. John, having investigated
thousands upon thousands of cases, okay, does this sound like
something that is the beginnings or was the beginnings of some
kind of a demonic or diabolical haunting in this home?
JOHN ZAFFIS: With this type of situation, yeah,
Lou – I would definitely think that there were doors probably
open with this home. You hear histories about certain houses,
and I refer to those as houses with a disaster of an aura – people
moving in and out of them, there's been a lot of tragedies that
took place. You could have several families move in and out. And
then a lot of different problems happen, and not necessarily always
somebody will die in the home, or be murdered in the home, but
its very classic, and I've seen it time and time again where several
families will move in and out, and it will be very, very rough
on 'em. Their lifestyles change, they end up losing their job,
their personalities change – a lot of different things will end
up occurring. And that's very important for us, on a researcher's
end, to know all that information so we can kind of understand
what has taken place in that home and see what route we have to
take to be able to help them people.
LOU GENTILE: Have you ever come across a house
that may have had similar aspects to Amityville – to the Amityville
JOHN ZAFFIS: Absolutely. A lot of the phenomenon
that takes place [is] very characteristic – personality changes,
the children will have communication with a spirit within the
home. Not usually quite that fast. Its usually over a length of
time that things will develop, but I have seen other situations
where people have been in for a couple of weeks, and things start
to happen. And things will start to occur, just like with Kathy
and George. Its very characteristic with a lot of these things
that start to occur right in the beginning.
And you have to wonder sometimes when people do start talking
about the flies – and with me, its very important to me to make
sure that its true and its happening. You know, are there flies
in the home; are these things actually occurring? And once everything
is actually documented that these things are occurring, then you
move forward. But its a very classic-type situation of what George
and Kathy have gone through in that home.
LOU GENTILE: So as far as George and Kathy's
credibility is concerned, from everything that you've listened
to – the audio tapes – as much as you've seen – as far as photographs
and evidence – a lot of the talk that yourself and Ed have had
– do you find them credible?
JOHN ZAFFIS: I find them very credible.
LOU GENTILE: Okay. George, how many times would
you say people tried to get inside of that home to investigate?
Now I'm gonna remind everybody, I'm gonna get into a little bit
about what went on inside of the house, but I wanna touch on something
here, and you'll find out in a minute.
Put that in another way for me – I don't understand.
LOU GENTILE: How many people have tried to investigate
your house? Paranormally investigate your house? Psychically investigate
How many did I invite?
LOU GENTILE: How many people tried, without you
Oh, I would have no idea. One in particular, by the name of Stephen
Kaplan, who called himself a doctor, umm...
LOU GENTILE: And he just showed up? How did that
Stephen Kaplan was supposed to be a parapsychologist. Degreed.
Told me that he worked at the State University at Stonybrook,
at Stonybrook in New York. Taught there. And that he would bring
a group of people to come and investigate the house. When I went
to check his credentials, the State University at Stonybrook at
New York had never heard of him.
LOU GENTILE: Now one thing...
Apparently he had taught one seminar there one time.
LOU GENTILE: Okay, but why did you check his
Its my home. I wasn't going to just let anyone in there to verify
or not verify what was in our...
LOU GENTILE: Because you were very serious about
what was going on.
I was trying to get the house – I was trying to get the house
fixed and move back in. It was my house – everything was there.
We moved out and we're staying at Kathy's mom's house, and I had
no intention of just walking away forever.
LOU GENTILE: You just didn't want some charlatan
to come in and...
Oh, of course not. And I didn't want this to become public in
some manner. This was to be, you know, your "special plumber"
or whatever – I don't know how to describe this. I want to get
it fixed and move back in. Whatever's wrong, whatever is going
on – my best guess is that there were people out there that knew
what they were talking about that had qualifications that dealt
with this kind of thing before that could help.
This guy didn't have a PhD. I come to find out he was a "vampirologist,"
and whatever in the world that is, is not the kind of person that
you want to come in and do a paranormal investigation and document
or help you with some kind of cleansing. So I refused him entry
– I said I can't verify your credentials – you're not who you
say you are, and you'll have to go elsewhere.
At that time a cub reporter for WNEW News – Laura DiDio in New
York – called and got a hold of me and said that she knew people
she wanted to bring in that were qualified. Her first choice was
Hans Holzer, and he was unavailable. Years later Hans did go in
with Ethyl Johnson Meyers and do an investigation of the house.
And that's been a separate documentary and he has his own opinions
about that and he did verify that there was quite a bit there
– quite a bit going on. Hans is a qualified individual, I mean
he could have done the initial investigation and had his own answers.
Instead he was able to go a year later.
But the Warrens and the Riley's – Dr. Riley and his wife, he's
a parapsychologist from England – Mary Pascarella, who has since
changed her name because she's re-married. Mary is one of the
finest psychics I've ever met. She ran a psychical institute in
Connecticut, and she went in with the Warrens. The Warrens went
in first and came back with their own team to investigate it,
and they brought in Laura DiDio's news group and they photographed
and did tapes and recordings right there that night.
LOU GENTILE: Okay. John, is it common when you
have a house that has a lot of activity, that other paranormal
researchers or groups or just people in general will try to get
in the house to experience or document the
JOHN ZAFFIS: Oh, absolutely. I mean that, from
an investigator's point of view, if you're a legit investigator,
you hear about a haunting and you hear about some of the things
that take place in the home, I mean, that's your dream to be able
to get in there and document some of that stuff. And to me it'd
be very important to be able to witness some of that stuff that's
happening in a home.
With that, on the onset of going in, of bringing people in, you
do gotta be careful with some of that. And like what George and
Kathy have gone through, I've heard about more people that have
been involved with that case that weren't even born yet when the
case happened. So, I mean, with some of these things you gotta
be extremely careful with the stories that end up getting created.
Not only just with Amityville – there's a lot of cases out there
that are documented cases that people have never actually worked
on that they talk about. And they claim that they were there.
LOU GENTILE: Now George, as far as the paranormal
activity is concerned in the house, or the activity that could
not be explained – halfway through your stay would you say things
were to the point where this was starting to become a common occurrence,
or were they still escalating?
Halfway through our stay – 14 days into the house?
LOU GENTILE: Uh huh.
I don't have a timeline where all of a sudden the lightbulb goes
off, but there comes a point – and I don't really know exactly
when that would be – but its just "something's wrong here, and
this doesn't make sense." The kind of things that were going on
were, I got very sick, I lost a lot of weight there. I didn't
go to my office. I had my own business – it was my grandfather's
and then my father's land surveying business. And for me not to
go to work day after day was incredibly unusual. And I just didn't
feel like it.
I couldn't get warm. I would spend hours and hours in front of
the fire trying to get warm.
In the middle of the night you would hear the front door slam.
It was a very distinctive sound. It was the only door in the whole
house that could make that sound. And [I'd] go rushing downstairs
in the middle of the night hearing that – waking up from it or
being awake, laying in bed awake, whatever – and Harry would be,
our dog would be asleep right at the base of the door. It was
obvious that he hadn't been disturbed and that the door hadn't
been opened and closed, but we knew what we had just heard.
At one point there was a sound like a clock radio going off, off-station,
or like a marching band tuning up – I don't know how to describe
this other than it was an unorganized musical sound coming from
downstairs. And at first I thought it was a clock radio that had
gone off, or something; and you go downstairs and you would have
sworn the rug was rolled back and there was a marching band tuning
up or that kind of thing – no, nothing there – the dog still asleep.
There came a point where we would invite people over. One of the
patterns that you asked about early on was that you don't wanna
leave the house. We instead, like, invite people there. Later
on we termed it "feeding the house." We really didn't want to
go out, we'd rather have people come over. And partially, of course,
to show off our new great house – but at the same time partially
because you just – life was changed, you lost your interest in
going out and doing things. Its such a subtle change, its not
something that happened right away. And its only in retrospect,
and I can try to explain this all night and I won't be able to
communicate how many different levels this functions on that affect
you in ways you don't understand until later. Much later.
And freeing oneself from it requires a great deal of help from
others. Its not something that somebody just throws a switch and
it goes away. Just this small little idea of not wanting to leave
the house – its a change in social behavior that we weren't used
to, and we didn't even realize it until much later.
So we would have friends come over and they would sit in the kitchen,
and we would sit around drinking wine or beer, and you would hear
footsteps up overhead, walking around. And we would ask them if
they heard that, and then we'd go upstairs and the kids would
be asleep. And there was no way to explain this.
At one point, a fellow by the name of Bill Newcombe – who was
a friend of one of my tenants that rented office space from my
building in Syosset – she brought over Bill, and Bill explained
that he had had such occurrences, things like this – noises, footsteps,
feeling the presence of someone from behind – in a room, in a
house that he had had when he was a child. And what they had learned
to do was to go and open a window in each room and say the Lord's
Prayer and command whatever was there to leave in the name of
Jesus Christ. Well, it sounded like... He said it worked for him,
as a child, they had done this. And it sounded like a reasonable
explanation. I mean we had had a house blessing, he didn't tell
us – the priest didn't – Father Ray didn't tell us that he was
slapped, that he was told to get out.
So we did that. And we opened the windows in the house and we
went around and said the Lord's Prayer in each room and it didn't
work. What we heard were voices telling us to stop, and our son
Danny, his hands were flattened inside a window that was slammed
down on top of his hands. Pretty hard to do when you're closing
a window, and your hands end up being flattened. They were, you
know, we immediately got ready to go to the hospital with him,
and then by the time we got to the door with our coats on, his
hands were fine.
It was just an obvious thing to us that this had not worked –
that it wasn't – that this was not something that was gonna fix
just by telling it to leave, whatever it was, whatever was going
LOU GENTILE: Okay. John, have you ever heard
of any cases like that where, even if what he was talking about
before with the hands, you know, where somebody actually has some
kinda of a physical kind of condition where you know that they
need medical attention and ten minutes later everything's fine.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Absolutely. I've seen situations
where people have gotten scratched or they've had what we refer
to as the psychic cuts and things like that. And within hours
these things totally disappear or people will get thrown and their
arm swells up. I've seen situations like this. And within hours
later everything's perfectly fine. So it makes you think a lot
about if from a researcher's point of view when these things end
LOU GENTILE: Okay. George, getting back to your
stay in the Amityville house – at any point, being inside the
house, did you pray to God and ask maybe for forgiveness, maybe
for something that you did?
Not that way, I wasn't... I was brought up a Methodist. I believed
if you said the Lord's Prayer and meant it that the world would
be fine. Actually it was true, but it took 25 years.
LOU GENTILE: Getting back to Kaplan, why do you
think he was so hell-bent on getting into the house?
My own personal opinion was that this was – this was the kind
of case that would make someone in that business – this was the
kind of way that would have made him famous. I just wanted to
get my house fixed by a qualified individual, I wasn't looking
to go to war with someone for twenty-something years. I mean it
took him twenty years to write a book about this, and then he
died. I have nothing to do with that, either.
Its unfortunate, but it was an obsession that got involved with
him that he never broke free of.
LOU GENTILE: There are some people that say that
what went on in that house and what the book or the movie portrayed
are two separate things. Is that, for the most part, a true statement?
Its too general of a true statement. Of course its true, but no
movie is ever going to be an accurate depiction of this kind of
stuff. There are so many different reasons that will never happen.
First of all the people making the movie would have to be interested
in accuracy. And accuracy doesn't always necessarily sell well
[or] distribute well. The people that put up the money for movies
are the ones that make the decisions creatively. So I don't know
that you will ever, ever see a movie that is an accurate depiction
of these kinds of events, or anyone's, anyone that this happens
At the same time, the fact that movies get made is a big deal
all on its own, for the fact that they're based on true stories,
because that always brings people then to, back to the original
story. I should tell you the way that Jay Anson came into our
lives and how the book came about – at least in a brief manner
– so that you have a better idea of how that even happened.
When we moved into Kathy's mom's house – there came a point when
it was obvious to us we could not stay in the house anymore. At
least for that moment, for that time. We decided to try to get
a hold of Ronald DeFeo's attorney, and we believed very strongly
that there would at least be evidence and testimony from Kathy
and I that he required/needed some kind of psychological counseling.
For someone to kill their family – six members of it – and just
be convicted of the murders and be afforded no help, which is
the way we perceived it at the time. Knowing what we did about
the house and its influence and how it could change your life,
and the thoughts that could come into your mind there – that there
was some – we absolutely believed, and we still do, that there
was an influence there... [microphone cuts out] ...that he could
be helped with.
We went to his attorney, William Weber, and met with him. We got
in touch with him through a friend of mine that I built and rode
motorcycles with. His wife was a receptionist, I believe, or she
worked for the dentist that Bill Weber went to. She said she knew
him, so she got a hold of him for us, and he came out to Kathy's
mom's house and we met with him.
Well that was probably one of the biggest mistakes we ever made
– even trying to help Ronald DeFeo – because this guy was only
interested in doing books and movies about the murders, and he
was not interested in helping his client in that manner.
Eventually he came back to Kathy and I with a contract that is
about 3/4 of an inch of paper, where he wanted us to do books
and movies with him about this, and he wanted us to give him the
house – donate the house to this corporation he was gonna form.
And I still have this contract – this proposed contract from him.
He wanted us to donate the house to him and all the contents and
agree that for the rest of our lives we would appear anytime that
he decided we should appear – and we would talk about this on
cue. But also that if we at any time told – said – anything that
wasn't the truth, that we would receive no benefit from doing
So on the one hand he was making us swear to the truth, that everything
we had told him was the truth – and that was the reason why he
was interested in doing this. On the other hand, he was going
to control our lives one way or the other, either economically
or physically even. And that was just an unconscionable kind of
idea to become an indentured servant to someone who hadn't even
– didn't even know what we were talking about – who had no real
belief in anything that we had been through in terms of his own
experience – his own personal experience. He obviously believed
us, because he put this contract together in such a way that he
thought it was commercially viable.
A friend of mine who sold textbooks to colleges
looked at this and said, "I know someone who you should talk to
before you ever consider such a thing." I said, "Well we're not
even considering this – this is just an absurd idea," but he introduced
us then to Tam Mossman who was an editor at Prentice-Hall Books
– Prentice Hall Trade Division. Tam Mossman was Jane Roberts –
who did the "Seth Speaks" books – her editor. And I went and looked
those up, and bought them and read them, and learned about – even
thought there was some really strange stuff in those books, that
this was a guy who knew what he was talking about – what he was
doing – who understood the paranormal at least one particular
perspective, and I was now dealing with a credible company. He
made a recommendation of someone he knew – Jay Anson – and asked
that we meet with Jay.
When Kathy and I first moved out of the house, one of the things
we knew was that we had to undo this – we had to figure out a
way to undo the effects of this house in any way that we could
– and one of the things we did was we went and got a tape recorder
and we just sat and talked. We spoke into this tape recorder and
we started remembering things. And one of the things we learned
in that process was that we had experienced different things at
the same time in different rooms. What I mean by that is that
Kathy's perceptions of what was going on for her – some of the
events that were occurring around her or to her, or thoughts that
were going through her mind, or her feelings, both physically
and emotionally – were so varied and different from mine. So we
started to unravel some of what had gone on during the time that
we had been in the house, and it was also a therapy that I think
was probably one of the best things we did was just talking about
it and being unafraid to talk about it – it was just for us. It
was never for someone else to listen to. Some of it, we were drinking
quite a bit, and some of the language on it is very harsh. It
was not ever to be listened to by anyone else.
LOU GENTILE: For your own self-documentation.
Yes. When Tam Mossman introduced us to Jay Anson, he wanted to
do these extensive interviews with us, and we had finished that
at that point with ourselves. We weren't interested in sitting
down and answering a bunch of questions on something – we still
had our lives to get on with, and we owned a house that we had
been told could not be fixed. I'm skipping ahead, in that the
house had been investigated at that point – the psychics and investigators
had agreed at that point that there was nothing they could do
to help us. Their suggestion was that we get an Anglican priest
to come in and say mass there. Yes, it would jeopardize his life,
but that would be the only way the house would get – or have a
shot at being cleansed. And how do you go ask someone to put their
life on the line to do such a thing.
I know I'm going fast, but I'm trying to get the picture here
for you that you know how this book came about, which was – we
had already decided that we were not moving back into the house.
We were not going to ask an Anglican priest, or any priest, to
come in and say a mass there. We weren't going to take that responsibility.
I had put my business up for sale, and we were moving to California.
What we did was we said, "Look, we did these tapes – you can have
the tapes. Any specific questions, we'll deal with those. As you
write this, if you want to send it to us we'll help you correct
it." So Jay Anson had a very difficult process to go through because
this is what he had to work with. He also [unintelligible]...
Since he didn't make the interviews with us a requirement, but
instead we found a process that we could work with, he did make
it a requirement that he be given access to all of our research
about the history of the property and the other people who were
involved with us and what had happened to them – people like the
Warrens and the priest, they'd be interviewed by him – and everyone
agreed to help him in any way possible, so eventually the book
was put together by him and done.
That book didn't translate into a movie from the movie company's
point of view, so they actually went out and hired someone completely
different to go and do the screenplay and make the movie that
LOU GENTILE: George, what's you main reason for
wanting to talk? I mean you came on the radio show a couple of
years back, but what is the main reason for wanting to get the
information out about what happened to you? Is it to give recognition
to the house? Is it to tell people your story, about what really
happened, because sometimes people say, "Oh, Amityville was a
fake," but they really don't know because maybe somebody just
told them it was a fake, or a fraud?
I don't really like telling the story – I'd much rather ask questions
about... I'd rather answer questions that people that know the
story have. Telling the story has never been comfortable.
Its my prayer that everyone in this room never goes through such
a thing, but if you know someone that does – or you know of someone
that knows someone that does – the hardest thing for those people
that go through this is the loss of being able to communicate
with anyone else. The loss at being able to find someone to intelligently
help them. It doesn't mean just on a religious level or a scientific
level, but true friends – people that we thought were our friends
– true friends are the only ones who survive this stuff because
its not talked about, its not understood. It happens, and when
it does you immediately become an alien to everyone else.
LOU GENTILE: Do you think that since you talk
about it to other people, or you come on the show and talk about
it, or just in general talk to people who believe in the paranormal
that it helps you in any way? To cope with what had happened?
It took me a long time to be in a place where, for me, its more
important to be here for you guys rather than for me. I'm not
here for me. If you have stuff you want to know, or stuff that
I can help with in some manner, or answer, clear-up, whatever
– that's what I'm here for. This isn't about me, even though it
appears to be. Its not.
cuts off due to commercial break inserted into replay]
GENTILE: Anyway, what we're gonna do is pass the microphone
around and see if anyone has any questions for George. And at
the same time I'm going to ask him different questions. Now Tim.
[laughs] It's amateur night, right? There we go. Anyway, anyone
who has any questions for George you can just raise your hand.
Tim will come over to you and stick a mic in your face and you
can ask your question – you don't have to get out of your seat
or anything – you could ask Mr Lutz a question. So anyway here
comes Tim, he's walking over, and, yes – hello?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Hi. George. You had mentioned
earlier that your friends seemed, uh – you seemed alien to your
friends. Did they also paradoxically seem alien to you during
this time, and conversely did you seem alien to yourself vis a
via a disassociative type of feeling – like not in possession
of your body? Thank you.
I don't know that I'd go so far as to use the term "not in possession
of my body," but my body wasn't acting like I was used to it acting,
and it wasn't just being sick – sick to the degree that I lost
a lot of weight there, I lost a lot of energy, a lot of ambition.
What I considered myself to be wasn't the same getting out of
"Alien" is hard to describe. I was asked to write an introduction
last year for a piece, and the piece is about a particular part
of The Amityville Horror. And I started to, when I sat
down to write this, I started to try to explain to someone what
it was like to go to California, and a week after being there,
go down to a new car dealer and buy a new car – because we had
been renting one for a week and we wanted to own one instead,
we decided we were going to live there – and I'm sitting in the
showroom, waiting for the finance papers and the insurance papers
and the car to be prepped. And Kathy's there, and the kids are
there. And we have a house full of all our old stuff back in New
York. We have lived through something that we don't understand,
and all we know is that we're glad to try to start over somewhere
And the traffic – its a beautiful sunny day in Southern California.
Its springtime – its a week after Mother's Day, 1976. And the
traffic's going on in Mission Circle out on Highway 8, and the
commerce is going on inside the Chevy dealership, just like a
normal day anywhere, and I'm sitting there realizing that what
I've been through I can't explain to someone else. And if I tried
to, they would never look at me the same. I would become something
different to them – a whacko – someone who they are sorry they
started a conversation with, whatever. But I realized that I'd
been through something I really can't explain to myself let alone
And there's that feeling of aloneness or alienation, as I term
it, that as I said before, I could try to explain the process,
but it would take so long, and I'm not sure I would be able to
even communicate it so that you would have a sense of it as I
So yes. Yes and no. I don't think you realize it when its going
on until you're away from it.
LOU GENTILE: Alright, next question.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yes, my question was I was
wondering if you've ever run into any of the DeFeo's ghosts, since
they've been murdered there. I mean among other things I wondered
if they had also shown up at any point. And I also wondered if
after you moved, if anything followed you?
No to the first part. The psychics at different times have said
different things about that, and really those are their own words
and their own interpretations and that.
Mary Pascarella is a, what she terms, a time-walker – which is
a very strange concept to me – someone that can go back and relive
an event in time and document it to the point where then they
can then go and try to uncover the real history and put the facts
together. And she works with a number of universities today doing
that without anyone knowing. She doesn't look for publicity about
this, so its a very quiet kind of thing. She had quite a bit that
she told me this year for the first time in 25 years. We were
at a convention in Maryland in August, and after that I went to
see her. I did an interview last year for ABC News, and I did
a live chat on the Internet; and she was able to contact me and
leave me an email address. And I was able to get in touch with
her again, because we had lost track of each other. The last time
I had seen her was when she had moved. She sold her house and
quit her job and moved her family to Florida after this happened.
And when I visited her in Florida back in '79 and '80, and then
I hadn't seen her since. And I found her again, and we spent a
couple of days together.
We have photographs that were taken in the house during the investigation.
And I went through the photographs with her, and put her on tape,
and she agreed to sit down and talk about those impressions when
she went through the house then, and it was full of that kind
of stuff, but those are her words.
LOU GENTILE: Alright, anybody have any other
questions for George?
I might have missed a part of that question that he had – I didn't
AUDIENCE QUESTION: And nothing followed you?
Ah, yes. Okay. Yes. More my daughter, Missy. Her friend Jodie
came out to California, and the only person that could get rid
of Jodie was Missy, telling Jodie to go away. That was a drama
all on its own, and it had effects that lasted a long time. It's
not something that I talk about very often; but yes, we were.
I kinda look at it like a half-life – kinda like plutonium or
that kind of thing – where the longer and further we were away
from this, the better life got. But there were reminders along
LOU GENTILE: Okay. Now we know.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: I have a question.
LOU GENTILE: [laughs] Mr Olaf. Would that be
from www.mrolaf.com? Okay, go ahead.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yes it would. Have you ever
feared for your life during a paranormal event?
Is that to me?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: All three.
GEORGE LUTZ: Yes
LOU GENTILE: Yes [pause] [laughter] He's old,
you'll have to speak up.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Have you ever feared for your
life during a paranormal event?
JOHN ZAFFIS: I'm sorry, I can't hear him.
TIM YANCEY: Were you scared?
JOHN ZAFFIS: Of what?
TIM YANCEY: Have you ever feared for your life
during a paranormal investigation.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Absolutely. When you get involved
with this work that's one thing that you have to be prepared for
because you don't know what you're gonna come up against. Not
only do you have to fear the dead, you also have to fear the living
– and you just don't know what you're gonna get involved with.
You don't know what people will do on a human level let alone
what's gonna happen on a supernatural level.
LOU GENTILE: Alright, next question.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yeah, this question is for
George. You said before that you're not here tonight for yourself,
but you're here for other people?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Why do you think its important
to inform people about what happened at Amityville?
See, you may never go through this, but in your lifetime as this
gets talked about more and more – as we learn more and with the
change in communications since 1976 – its likely that in one way
or another you will hear of this kind of thing. If you go anywhere
else outside of the United States, and you talk with people about
this kind of thing, its much more accepted and much more open
and much more talked about than here – but that's changing.
And you have to have some sort of reference point – where to go
to, what to look for, who to ask for help, how to understand it,
whatever – and this is only the beginning. This is just a start
of that. This stuff happens. It happens every day. There are people
in this room tonight – they can tell you all kinds of stories
about things locally. But for it to get out of the realm of parlor
tricks or fantasy, and for you to have a way to understand that
its just part of reality – this is a start.
LOU GENTILE: How many people in this room have
went through a haunting of their own? Raise your hand.
GEORGE LUTZ: About one-third of the room.
LOU GENTILE: How many people here believe in
ghosts? Raise your hand.
GEORGE LUTZ: Almost...
LOU GENTILE: Now the people that don't believe
in ghosts are like... [apparently makes visual expression]
GEORGE LUTZ: I bet you raise your hand to [unintelligible]
LOU GENTILE: How many people in this room went
through a haunting, feared for their life because of what was
there? [pause] Not so many people. We'll look at that on a scale
of maybe, in the United States, there was still a couple of people
that raised their hand about that, but throughout the United States
there could be a hundred people who go through something like
that within a week. Anyway...
What distressed me about this is that I learned later that there
were homes with the same energy, with the same influence. And
they were documented and I understood why the families weren't
willing to talk about it. It was a big decision – it wasn't something
that we just all of a sudden said, "Yeah, we're willing to talk
about it." No, we really agonized over that. And we understood
– at least we thought we did at the time – the ramifications of
that. Twenty-five years later I think we're still realizing it.
LOU GENTILE: You're saying you have seen documentation
on other houses that resemble Amityville?
I've spent time with people that have been in houses like that.
One of the things that happened to us was that years later we
were driving through Coos Bay, Oregon, and we knew that there
was a house there – something – a piece of property there, I don't
even know that it was a house. We didn't go looking for it, we
just knew there was another energy exactly the same. Same intensity,
same effect on us, same nausea – same, same thing. No way to explain
to you how I know that, I just know it. Its there and I'm sure
its still there.
LOU GENTILE: Well George, let me ask you this
– do you wake up in the middle of the night after having a nightmare
about what happened in the house?
GEORGE LUTZ: No, I wake up in the middle of the
night and have a cigarette and go back to sleep.
LOU GENTILE: Are you gonna be difficult [unintelligible]?
You bet. One of the things I think I would like to add to the
alienation question – to your question – is the sense of confusion
that comes in. There have been questions about things following
us. And one of the – and I've tried to explain it as a half-life,
and tried to not cover-up, not gloss over the fact that yeah,
there have been times when we realize that there's still a residual
effect. There's a statement that I agree with that goes something
like "confusion is the absence of God's presence – God's influence
in one's life." Whatever you personally believe, I don't mean
to interfere with that. The concept is that confusion is not a
good thing, and when it creeps into your life and becomes a part
of your life, and affects, then, the other people you deal with
– there's something wrong. And it could be through dishonesty
or deceit, or something we don't understand at all, that we don't
have a level for.
One of the things that we learned over a period of time was that
when confusion comes about, it is a time to stop and really take
stock in what's going on and what we're trying to do. Very often
it involved things that had to do with exposing this case to the
public – talking about it, appearing someplace, dealing with someone
on some level about it, either business-wise or communication-wise.
So confusion is a real attribute, if you will – a characteristic
of evil not wanting to be exposed. And its something that is so
serious because it really does mess-up the process – it does keep
it from happening.
LOU GENTILE: Okay. What would be some of the
differences between the movie – the first movie – and what you
went through in the house in those 28 days.
No blood on the walls – coming down, streaming out of the walls.
No pit of, whatever that stuff was, to fall into.
LOU GENTILE: Doorway to Hell?
Doorway to Hell kind of idea. I haven't seen the movie in so long,
someone would have to ask me...
LOU GENTILE: How about the locks?
GEORGE LUTZ: What about the locks?
LOU GENTILE: I mean the locks oozing stuff out
GEORGE LUTZ: Oh, the keyholes.
Yeah, that did happen. It didn't happen in a way that's ever been
explained well in writing. While we were in the house, there –
its an older house [with] older keyholes – they had a "drip" that
would come out of some of the keyholes, second floor in particular,
that looked like a teardrop. As we lived there this got longer,
they elongated, and it was a hard substance, very much like epoxy.
No way to explain it. We would have first thought that it was
oil or something dripping out of this, but its just one of those
things that happened.
LOU GENTILE: Or maybe it was some kind of sap
or something from the wood?
GEORGE LUTZ: Yeah, that's what it looked like,
but it was black.
LOU GENTILE: Really? Hmph. So that was
one of the things that [unintelligible] the movie beefed-up a
GEORGE LUTZ: I don't recall it in the movie,
but it was still there when the investigators went into the house
on March 6, 1976.
LOU GENTILE: Well what would you say is
one of the leading reasons why skeptics say that The Amityville
Horror didn't happen?
GEORGE LUTZ: I would have considered myself a
skeptic. So, leading causes of skepticism... William Weber – as
an example – we decided not to do the contract that he proposed
when we realized that he was not going to try to help his client
get psychological help. He actually became someone out there saying
this whole thing was a hoax. That created more confusion. Stephen
Kaplan, when we didn't allow him in the house because he didn't
have credentials – same kinda thing.
So, yeah, people have had a lot to say that weren't there, and
weren't qualified experts and weren't there for the investigation,
whatever. That's the motivation, I would think – its just personal
on their part.
LOU GENTILE: Why do you think the movie
and just The Amityville Horror in general – whether it
be books or the idea – why people find it so fascinating?
GEORGE LUTZ: Because its a true story. Because
it rings true. Because they found out that we did lie detector
tests years later. They found evidence of – with the "In Search
Of" – when the priest went on and testified. With some of the
testimony from the Federal court cases. Different things.
LOU GENTILE: Sure. And it kind of hits home for
people, like "this could happen."
Oh yeah. Well I mean one of the big surprises years later we took
lie detector tests from Chris Gugas, who was considered the number
2 man in the world. One of the questions in there that we wanted
to answer straight out was "did you levitate at your mother-in-law's
house after you left the house" or "did Kathy turn into an old
woman while you were in the house?"
To pass a lie detector test, for some people, I would imagine,
would be okay, because there's a sociopathic personality that
will – they can get through such things. But for both of us to
do it from two different experts at the same time in two different
rooms by the most qualified people that could be found–
LOU GENTILE: And one of them was the person's
assistant who actually invented it, right?
GEORGE LUTZ: No, it was a student of the inventor's.
LOU GENTILE: A student of the inventor's.
Right. [unintelligible] ...taught the FBI how to use the polygraph
[unintelligible]. You can't get better. I mean, our answers and
passing that test changed his life – and for the good. He had
been a theology student years ago and went and got his Bible out
and started over again.
You don't mean to have an influence that brings people to religion.
I mean that's not what we're about. We're not trying to stand
up on some kind of soapbox and say that we know better. We really
try to avoid some kind of Messiah complex because there are parts
of this that are as confusing today as they were then. All you
just say is what happened.
LOU GENTILE: But why do you think that the word
"hoax" is associated with Amityville the way it is? Do you think
its easier for just people to accept it like that?
There's a glib answer. The glib answer is "I wish it was a hoax."
I wouldn't have had to live through things that I have lived through.
I think a lot of us that haven't had experiences like this for
ourselves would like for this to have been a hoax. Would like
for it to be. I think there are people in this room that have
seen things that wish they hadn't. And thrown up against the wall,
I think it was?
Yeah, we don't want our compartmented little lives to get disrupted
with such strange ideas. You know, it's pretty funny to have kids
with imaginary friends. It's not so funny when the imaginary friends
have things that they're trying to influence on your children,
and you're really working to undo that.
LOU GENTILE: Well that must have been hard, even
like with, I guess, Jodie the pig, as an example. Could you explain
Jodie the pig [and] what it was?
No, I can't explain Jodie the pig. Missy had a friend – she called
it Jodie. Jodie had the ability to change form. There is a picture
you will see if you stay for the slideshow tonight that was taken
inside of the house; and you'll see one possibility of what Jodie
was. Towards the end of the slideshow you'll see another possibility
of what Jodie was. For Missy, she thought it was a good thing.
We also did, too, until Jodie said that you're going to live here
forever; and that was too strange a thing to tell a little 5 year
LOU GENTILE: Alright, do we have any questions
for George Lutz? Alright, Tim wander over and...
We did you already. You had your shot. Go ahead.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: I had a question about the
photo of the ghost boy. Could you explain the history behind that
and what type of photography was used and who took it and where
is he now?
I will when we do the slide show. I'll do it briefly. The ghostie
boy, is that what you're asking about?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: I wanna know what you and
John thought about that photo.
I'm sorry I didn't understand.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: I wanna know what you and
John thought about that photo.
Is my hearing as bad as John's?
LOU GENTILE: Yeah, do me a favor – Tim, turn
the microphone volume up on that – its on the microphone, itself.
Turn it halfway.
TIM YANCEY: What he is asking is, he wants to
know what you thought – you and John both thought about the photograph
and the circumstances on how it was taken.
LOU GENTILE: Me and John?
TIM YANCEY: John and George.
LOU GENTILE: Oh, John and George. Okay.
GEORGE LUTZ: Why don't you go first, John.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Which particular photograph are
you referring to?
TIM YANCEY: The boy – the little boy photo.
LOU GENTILE: This is interesting.
John wasn't there, so he can't tell you about the circumstances
that it was taken in; but he certainly has his own opinion he
JOHN ZAFFIS: Basically my opinion is no, that
it definitely wasn't me that was in the house. There's been a
lot of things posted on message boards over the past several months
that it was me that was in the house – and no, it definitely wasn't
me. What I do feel is that it could be the spirit of a young little
man in the home. And I definitely would feel very strongly about
that. But no, definitely with that type of activity and when you
get that type of photography, that tells you that there's quite
a bit occurring in the home.
Ed and Lorraine Warren had a friend, Gene Campbell, a professional
photographer [who] owned his own store in Connecticut, near where
they lived in Monroe. He had always said that he wanted to go
on cases with them, and this is where they got their film processed.
They invited him along. He brought an infrared setup that would
automatically take pictures during the night of the investigation.
Second floor landing they set up a tripod, and they used infrared
film – black and white – and they just pointed it at the second
floor landing. They set it on the landing, I guess, and then took
pictures of the second floor.
Three years later – four years later – they sent me out the pictures,
and I was assembling them to do what I call The Amityville
Horror Picture Book – which is the photos with explanations
of what the rooms were – how we used them. And there are a series,
probably 30 or 40 photographs of the entrance to what was Missy's
room – and they're all the same because this thing is just – the
camera's going off, flashing and taking the picture – and there's
nothing there. Occasionally you'll see – occasionally during it
you'll see some investigator walking around, like someone from
Duke University, or – I think Lorraine's in one of the pictures
with one of the TV crew.
The explanations for these are being typed up by a secretary I
had. This is in California in 1979, and she was quite pregnant.
She asked me which picture to use of these 30 or 40 pictures,
and I told her just to pick a couple out – doesn't really matter,
they're all the same – we don't have to put them all in this proposed
picture book. Every time she picked up this one particular photograph,
her baby would jump. And she kept coming back to the photograph
– and staring at it – and that's how the ghostie-boy was found;
because it hadn't been found for three years ... these pictures
were taken in '76. She came in and asked who this was. I had no
idea, and I called Missy in and Missy said 'Oh, that's the boy
I used to play with in the house.' I called the Warrens – got
them to go through their set of pictures – and they found the
same thing, of course, it showed up; but no one had seen this
before that. So they did the movie, they did the book, they did
whatever, and none of that's included in that – it came up later.
I hope that answers how the picture came about.
LOU GENTILE: Alright, next question.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: [heavy accent] Hi my name
is Nelson. I'm coming from the University of Florida, and also
I represent the International Academy of Consciousness. And I
have a question for Dave. Uh, excuse me – for John. And I want
to ask you if, let's suppose there was a way to directly communicate,
observe, indirect with the source of the problem – these assailants,
let's say, to put it this way – has anyone of the specialists
looked seriously into the possibility of using, say, the out-of-body
experience or astral projection as a tool to more directly address
these entities; and perhaps through that reach some sort of healing
approach? Have you looked into that at all, and what do you make
of that approach? How likely do you think it is useful?
GEORGE LUTZ: Is that for me or John?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: That is for – for John.
TIM YANCEY: Ask him to repeat it.
Don't ask him to repeat it, John, just do it. [long silence] I
might be better qualified in one sense to at least – because you're
asking about the investigation – he wasn't involved in that. And
not that I was, but I do know some stories of what was done and
what has been done.
First of all you need to know that I only talk about it when I
owned the house, okay? There are stories about this that haven't
been told, and they may never be told. Part of it has to do with
privacy of individuals. There was a rabbi in New York that was
involved in this, also. He was visited while he was saying prayers
about this. The Archbishop of Canterbury's exorcist in England
was involved with a – what's called a "release" for Kathy and
I in his church, and that was quite a dramatic event all on its
own. Those are stories that don't necessarily end up being needed
to be known by other people.
One of the problems that you're asking for is for psychic phenomenon
to perform on cue. One of the things that's involved with this
particular case is that until there was a threat of some kind
– perceived by whatever was there – it was all very subtle, and
not something noticeable. So until the priest was personally involved;
until the rabbi was involved in his way; until Reverend Neal Smith
was involved in his way in England those were not – life was considered
normal. So you don't just push a button and make it happen and
make events there that become reportable or whatever.
Astral projection – I know nothing about anyone personally getting
involved in that, with this. I would consider it to be rather
dangerous if something is as strong as we suspect it is that can
influence someone to murder six people. So I don't know that that
would be necessarily a safe thing to do, even though what little
we know about such things, its supposed to be absolutely safe.
So I don't really know how to answer your question in a more specific
manner. There are some stories that will never be told. There
are rumors of masses that took place before the DeFeo murders
in the house with the family there and different things that happened
then. Will we ever know if those stories are true or not? No.
And they probably never should be told in a general way – in a
book or in a movie. It wouldn't be proper to the memory of the
family for one thing.
LOU GENTILE: You know, getting back to his question
with the astral projection – I particularly think that that's
a very bad idea, because any time you leave your body, no matter
what its for, you're opening yourself up to a psychic attack.
And every kind of religion around the world has used different
forms of astral projection, out-of-body experiences and things
like that – but that also puts the person at a big risk. And to
want to go out of your body and say, "Now listen, Mister Spirit,
you be a nice person – I have now gone out of my body to tell
you this," just seems [to be] not a good idea. Because you don't
negotiate with these things. This is non-negotiable.
When you're dealing with – and I'm stressing here – negative spirits
– I'm not talking about Casper the friendly ghost. I'm talking
about negative entities that can attack, that can harm, that can
possess, that can oppress, that can do a lot of different things
– its not a good idea to leave your body because you're opening
yourself up to spiritual attacks and something to come in. Next
AUDIENCE QUESTION: This question is for George.
When you did Amityville week this past year on Lou's show, you
had stated that there were some things that happened during the
last night that you were there that you had not talked about before.
Are you wanting to talk about it at this point?
GEORGE LUTZ: No.
LOU GENTILE: That's the answer I get. Maybe if
I ask the question the right way. Is that possible?
GEORGE LUTZ: Not tonight.
LOU GENTILE: Damn. Next question.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Along the lines of that [unintelligible]
with the astral projection, [unintelligible] to use like Ouija
boards or pendulums?
LOU GENTILE: Oh come on. How many times have
you listened to my show? You know what I'm gonna say. Yeah, use
a Ouija board – that's a real good thing to do.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Well what about the other
[unintelligible], the pendulum.
LOU GENTILE: Yeah, speak up. I can't...
TIM YANCEY: She's asking John and George, have
you ever had or used Ouija boards [or] any of that type of paraphernalia?
GEORGE LUTZ: I used two of 'em when I was a kid.
Have I used one since then or during then, no.
JOHN ZAFFIS: Have I played with the Ouija board
– no; have I been around when its been played with – yeah. I've
seen some really bizarre things take place when they were being
played, and I've been there at times when nothing has happened
GEORGE LUTZ: I don't wanna take issue with Parker
Brothers – they are the ones that make this thing in Salem, Massachusetts;
and supposedly a spirit is assigned to each board. That's the
LOU GENTILE: I don't allow one in my house, okay?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: To all of the panel involved
– whatever your definition is of this word, have you ever experienced
abject dread and/or sadness during the events, during your experiences
with these entities, either directly or in a kind of cleansing?
Did you experience dread – whatever you interpret that to be?
GEORGE LUTZ: Dread?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Dread, or an abject sense
of sadness. In yourselves.
Sure. There was an overwhelming sense of loss that Kathy felt
when, at one point, she – I don't know another way to say this
– my think is [laughs] my think! My thought is that, mother-to-mother,
she is a mother to Mrs DeFeo – could feel the sadness of her loss,
of what had happened there. And I don't know that I would have
ever been in the least sensitive as close to what she went through
when she felt the hurt and the pain.
LOU GENTILE: Okay. Alright. Yeah, go ahead.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yeah, you talk about other
people that moved into the house and talked about, or maybe not
talked about their experiences – I've seen a book called "Beyond
Amityville," and its supposed to be non-fiction. I don't know
how much of a press run it got.
GEORGE LUTZ: Who wrote the book, do you know?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: I'm afraid I don't remember.
I just don't remember.
GEORGE LUTZ: Are you sure its a book and not
a documentary of some kind? A [unintelligible] documentary?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: No, it was absolutely – it
was a paperback book.
GEORGE LUTZ: Really?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: And it was listed as non-fiction,
and it was A. Barn or somebody like that. And I didn't read it,
except at the end, and the husband was saying, "We're staying
here, we're not moving out no matter what happens." And then supposedly
they had to leave. I guess that was just a story. But have any
of the neighbors, or not neighbors – the people who have lived
there since – have any of them tried to get in touch with you
and say, "Gee you should have told us more strongly," or anything
No. First of all, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
if anybody knows where I can get a copy of that book.
One of the neighbors whom we met briefly back then, and was asked
by the police during the murders – one of the most astounding
parts of the murders were that the whole family was found face-down
in their beds, shot one after the other, going room from room,
and no neighbors heard the shots. And there were no drugs found
in the autopsies. She lived right next door – the closest house.
Didn't hear a word when she was questioned by the neighbors. Didn't
hear the shots or anything. And now supposedly – do the math,
its like 26 years or so later – she did hear them, but she didn't
want to travel all the way out to Riverhead to go to court.
That's one of the neighbors. We had one come and visit us – he
brought a six-pack of beer and leave – all within ten minutes
when we were moving-in. So no, we never got to know the neighbors.
LOU GENTILE: Alright one more last question before
we have to get ready to [unintelligible].
GEORGE LUTZ: There's a girl in the back, that's
the one, that's been trying to – yeah...
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Hi, I was just wondering that
once it became public – everything that was happening in that
house – how it impacted your children's lives with school and
friendships and relationships.
LOU GENTILE: Good question.
It changed everything. Absolutely everything. Privacy was no longer
going to be possible. Even after going to California, once the
kids found out there then it pretty much made it difficult for
the kids. Its not an easy thing, and even though you think you
can protect them from all kinds of things, you can't. You're still
gonna have that.
Today what happens – for example with Missy – the kids that went
to school with her in high school had never known anything about
this – and now on the Internet, with the advent of the Internet
– come on some web boards, chat rooms, and [say], "You know, I
knew Missy then – she was the kindest, sweetest thing then, and
she must still be." And she is.
We have – Kathy and I have three daughters including Missy, and
all three of them are ministers. And so – yeah, they grow up and
they do become who it is that they're gonna become no matter what.
But the process for that time was hard for her at times.
LOU GENTILE: So how are your kids today? How
are your kids today?
How are my kids today.
LOU GENTILE: How are your kids today? How are
GEORGE LUTZ: All alive and well and going about
their lives. Some just like any other family – some in better
ways than others. You know, one of the rules of life is "judge
not and be not judged," so I try not to judge my kids – what they're
doing is their lives – I'm just glad that they are still going
at it. I'm very proud of all of them. Some in more ways than others.
ends – possible partial recording]