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Where did the Lutzes flee to?
After fleeing their Amityville home, the family lived briefly with Kathy's mom. Later, they moved across the country to San Diego, CA and have since lived in various places in California, Nevada and Arizona.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Magick Mind Radio, 2005; ; Lou Gentile Show radio program, 2002

Didn't the Lutzes come back and hold a garage sale?

No. There was an auction of their belongings, but the Lutzes did not attend and it was by no means a "garage sale." Looking back on it, George believes they netted around $1,600 (the low amount was mainly due to repairs that had to be made to their boat, the fact that they still owed over $10,000 on it and that the auctioneer had a 10% take on the auction).

The leftover food was donated to the Salvation Army. They gave one of their last office cars to a person at the JFK ticket counter. They got rid of the van due to mechanical problems. They left another car at Father Ray's rectory and were able to salvage one of their motorcycles.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; The Amityville Horror Conspiracy (book), 1995; Our Haunted Lives (book), 2005

Why did they not take more of their belongings with them?

Initially, when the Lutzes left, it was meant to be temporary – perhaps a night or two – so they only took a few changes of clothes and very few possesions (like what you'd take on an overnight trip). While away, they tried to think of how to "fix" the house – who they could call in and what they'd have to do. Soon it became clear that it would take longer than just a few days to sort this thing out. Eventually it became clear that the family just simply could not return – that there was no guarantee the house could be cleansed. And during that time, simply put, the family did not want to step foot back on that property.

When the Lutzes realized they'd have to move elsewhere, they were advised not to retrieve their personal property (except for items made from wood). Some friends went in and retrieved a few items, including a large cedar chest that George's grandfather had made (and which George kept with him for the rest of his life).

source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Magick Mind Radio, 2005

Why did they give the house back to the bank? Why not just resell it?
They didn't feel right selling it to another family. They didn't want the responsibility if anything tragic were to happen to the next family living there.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

Did the Lutzes record their story onto tape after fleeing the house?

After fleeing the house, they were trying to piece together what had been happening to them over the past month. They recorded their thoughts and remembrances onto tape as a sort of self-help therapy, in the hopes of un-doing the effects of the house.

It was during these "sessions" that they really began to see for the first time everything that went on around them during the past month. This is when they realized how everyone was experiencing different things in the house – different events in different rooms at the same time.

These tapes were strictly made for themselves, and were never intended to be heard by anyone else. This enabled the Lutzes to speak freely – unafraid of what others might think. Sometimes a bit too freely, as the tapes reportedly contain some very choice language.

Later these tapes were given to Jay Anson and formed the basis of his book. According to Anson, there were some 35 hours of tapes. Apparently they were given back to the Lutzes at some point, but have since been reportedly lost.

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

Who is William Weber?
William Weber was Ronnie DeFeo's court-appointed attorney. He took over the case in July of 1975 after Ronnie tried to assault his 3rd lawyer, causing him to quit the case.
source: The Night the DeFeos Died (book), 2002; High Hopes (book), 1981

Why did the Lutzes contact William Weber?
After fleeing the house, George and Kathy felt the events they experienced might have also influenced Ronnie DeFeo in 1974. They knew a sane person wouldn't kill their whole family, and felt Ronnie needed some sort of help. They told William Weber of their experiences in the hopes that DeFeo might possibly get some sort of psychiatric care.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

Was William Weber planning on doing a book?

Yes, after being contacted by the Lutzes, Weber informed them that he was planning to do a book on the trial. And after hearing the Lutzes' story, he wanted them to be a part of the book venture, with their story being one of the chapters. And in the end, the reader would be left to decide if Ronnie was a cold-blooded killer, an insane figure, or possibly possessed by demons.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Why did the Lutzes go public and hold a press conference on the haunting?

According to Kathy, William Weber phoned the Lutzes, saying he wanted them to do a press conference about the haunting (which would also serve to wet the public's interest in Weber's upcoming book venture). Kathy didn't feel like doing it, and Weber warned that if they failed to turn up, the reporters might go to their children's school to get the story directly from the kids. The Lutzes felt as if they didn't have a choice but to do the event.

The press conference took place at the offices of William Weber on February 16, 1976.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Our Haunted Lives (book), 2005

Why did the Lutzes refuse to do the book deal with William Weber?

Apparently there were a few different reasons – the main one being the contract which Weber sent to the Lutzes to sign. The contract stated that a company would be formed for this book venture, consisting of Weber, the Lutzes, two of Weber's associates, writer Paul Hoffman, and Ronnie DeFeo, himself. George & Kathy didn't want to be involved with Ronnie DeFeo, and didn't think it was right that he'd be profiting from his murder spree.

The contract also stated that any and all artifacts pertaining to the haunting would now be solely owned by "the company." The Lutzes felt this would include the house, itself. Further on, the contract stated that the Lutzes must submit to any and all publicity interviews as deemed fit by the company, and that failure to do so may result in their loss of participation and equity in the company. Furthermore, it required the Lutzes to submit to a polygraph test relating to the haunting which, if they failed, also would result in their loss of participation and equity in the company.

The way the Lutzes saw it, they'd be virtual slaves for William Weber. They had already been bullied by him with regards to the earlier press conference; they saw how he was more interested in making money off this case rather than getting his client the kind of help the Lutzes felt necessary; and this sucker contract was the clincher. Weber didn't hear back from them after that.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

How did the Lutzes meet Jay Anson?
A friend of George's saw the contract William Weber wanted them to sign. Thinking the Lutzes were looking for a book deal, he warned George not to sign this contract. George said they had no intention of doing the deal with Weber, and this friend put him in contact with Tam Mossman – an editor at Prentice/Hall. Tam in turn recommended Jay Anson to them.
source: Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Who came up with the title "The Amityville Horror"?

Apparently, according to the History Channel documentary, this was Jay Anson's idea. George says Jay took it from "The Dunwich Horror."

Most likely unrelated, but interesting to note that "The Amityville Horror" appeared as a headline in the New York Times on May 31, 1876 (for an article about two strangled infants).

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; personal email, 2006; New York Times, 1876

Why did they agree to let Jay Anson write a book on their experiences?

There seem to be a few different reasons. For one, they agreed to do the book so they wouldn't have to keep retelling the events, themselves. Also, there were many rumors that started to circulate about their experiences. The Lutzes wanted to set the record straight, and they saw the book deal as being a way to accomplish that.

Also, after the Lutzes fled Amityville, they didn't really know where to turn. Its not a subject that you can speak of easily with people – they tend to view you as a loony. The Lutzes felt that this sort of thing needed to be brought into the open and talked about. They knew they weren't the only ones who have experienced this sort of thing, and it helps to know you're not alone. That if these things weren't talked about, they'd never be understood.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Merv Griffin Show, 1979; Good Morning America, 1979; Lou Gentile Show, 2003; Clam and Chainsaw, 2005

Did Jay Anson interview the Lutzes for the book?

No, the Lutzes did not want to relive those events again, and felt they had enough material to give to Anson for him to write his book. They gave him their audio tapes, on which George and Kathy discussed, in depth, their experiences in the house; along with the research papers the Lutzes had done on the house. They told Jay that he can make what he could from those materials, and they would try to correct what they could later.

Besides not wanting to relive the horrible experiences again, the Lutzes still had lives to lead, and a house they were still trying to get "fixed" or "cleansed."

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

When did they sign the book deal with Anson?
The book deal wasn't signed until August 20, 1977, shortly before the book was released, and after the first edition was already printed.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

Did the Lutzes realize what they were getting themselves into when they decided to do the book deal?
Apparently they did. George has stated that he and Kathy agonized over their decision to do the book. They realized there could be a lot of ridicule directed towards them.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Did anything strange happen to Jay Anson?

In a 1977 interview, Mr. Anson described a couple of events connected to people he had given copies of "The Amityville Horror" manuscript to.

Jay's editor took one copy to bring back to the offices of Prentice-Hall, and his car caught on fire.

Jay gave a copy of the manuscript to a friend. During a rain storm, his friend accidentally drove into a giant pothole which wrecked his car. The only dry thing in the car, reportedly, was the manuscript.

Jay gave the first two chapters of the book to another friend, who took it home with her. That night she was killed in a fire with her two daughters.

Jay Anson died at the age of 59 from a heart attack on March 12, 1980 – shortly after completing his next novel "666."

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Internet Movie Database website

Did the Lutzes experience strange things after fleeing the house? Did the evil follow them?

After fleeing the house, the Lutzes stayed at the home of Kathy's mother. While there, the Lutzes experienced another incident where they both levitated from their bed. They felt this was a pleasant experience – it did not terrify them.

Jodie followed the family to California. According to George, "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..."

They still felt the forces were following them until they got help from the exorcist for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who performed a separation or "release" from the effects of the house. He noticed Kathy was still affected at the time.

While it didn't entirely stop after the Lutzes fled Amityville, George feels like it had a half life – as time went on it got less and less. According to George, "Over those years, there were many, many times that we thought the activity had stopped. But just as many times, we came to believe otherwise."

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; ABCNEWS internet chat, 2003

Why did the Lutzes call in all the psychic investigators?

When the Lutzes fled their house, they wanted to get the house "fixed." They wanted whatever evil force that was in there to be gone so they could move back in and continue their lives. They still loved their house.

The psychics and paranormal researchers were called in to try and accomplish this task – to rid the house of the evil and make it habitable once again.

source: Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

Who is Stephen Kaplan, and how is he involved in all of this?

Stephen Kaplan referred to himself as a parapsychologist. He was one of the first people George contacted, hoping he could help them in their efforts to rid the house of whatever was there.

Kaplan apparently told the media that he was to become involved with the Amityville case. The Lutzes were angered about the unwanted publicity, were leery about him referring to himself as a "vampirologist" (as that didn't sound like someone who could help "cleanse" their house) and were suspicious when Kaplans credentials didn't seem to check out. Because of all this, the Lutzes decided to pass on Kaplan's offer to help.

Kaplan, on the other hand, said the Lutzes were afraid of his claim that he would expose them if he found out their story was a hoax.

Immediately after being turned down by the Lutzes, Kaplan told a Long Island newspaper that he believes the haunting was a hoax. He released a book some 20 years later titled "The Amityville Horror Conspiracy." Unfortunately he suffered a heart attack and passed away shortly before the book's release.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

Who is Laura DiDio, and how did she become involved in all of this?
Laura DiDio was a reporter for a local TV station who befriended the Lutzes. To the Lutzes, she seemed more interested in helping the family rather than just exploiting them for a news item. She offered to help the Lutzes check out the people who were involved in the investigation of the house.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

Who are the Warrens and how did they become involved?
Laura DiDio introduced the Lutzes to Ed and Lorraine Warren – a husband and wife demonologist team from Connecticut who were soon allowed to investigate the Amityville house. Ed was a demonologist while Lorraine was a light trance medium and clairvoyant (meaning she can hear, feel and sense things psychically). After meeting with the Lutzes, the Warrens were invited to investigate the house.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005; New England Society for Psychic Research website

When did the Warrens investigate the house?
The Warrens first investigated the house on February 24, 1976, and returned on March 6, 1976.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

What did the Warrens find?

Lorraine described an overwhelming sense of sadness and depression soon after she entered the house, and continued to receive nonstop "clairvisual and clairaudial messages." Ed felt a powerful presence in the basement area, as if he was standing under a powerful waterfall, and saw strange shadows and pinpoints of light.

Two seances were held – one of them at 3:15am in the sewing room.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; New England Society for Psychic Research website

Was there a picture taken of a little "ghost boy" during these investigations?

Yes and no. No one knows for sure who or what the figure is. Some say it looks like a little boy with glowing eyes – others say it looks like a woman with glasses.

During the March 6th investigation, an automatic infrared camera was set up on the 2nd floor landing area by Gene Campbell, a friend of the Warrens who ran his own camera store in Connecticut. The camera took random pictures during the night, including a few shots of some of the investigators.

The picture in question shows a figure peering out from the doorway of Missy's bedroom. It wasn't noticed at first, but was eventually found a few years later by George's secretary, as she went through the photos looking for ones to include in a book they were preparing. The secretary was pregnant at the time, and each time she picked up this one particular picture, her baby would jump. She took the picture to George and asked who this person was. George didn't know, but Missy said it looked like the little boy she used to play with in the house.

Low-resolution copies of this photo have appeared here and there on the Internet, and was shown on the Merv Griffin show and on the History Channel documentary. A high quality copy of this image should be included in the upcoming Amityville Horror Picture Book that George is currently working on.

Ed Warren has stated that the face appears as the face of a child, and admits the "luminescent eyes" could be eyeglasses. Lorraine adds that a demonic spirit can appear as anything it wants.

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

What was the result of the investigations?
The Lutzes were told that to cleanse the house they would need to call in an Anglican exorcist or a Roman Catholic exorcist to come and say mass in the house. They were also told it would be very dangerous for this priest to perform the ceremony, and might, in fact, be life-threatening. The Lutzes felt that was too much to ask someone – to risk their life in order to save a house – so they decided to give up the house and move to California.
source: Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

When did they move to California?
They landed in San Diego, CA, on Mother's Day of 1976.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

What happened to George's land surveying business?
George sold the business when they decided to move to California.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

How did Hans Holzer become involved?

Hans was the first person the Lutzes wanted to bring in, but was unavailable at the time.

A few years later, Hans Holzer was brought in by William Weber, Ronnie DeFeo's attorney. Hans claims that he was brought in to support a possible appeal of the DeFeo case, based on Holzer's findings. Mr. Weber seems to deny this.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

When did Hans Holzer investigate the house, and what was his findings?

Hans Holzer investigated the house on January 13, 1977. He brought with him Ethel Myers, a deep trance medium who sensed that the house was built on a sacred Indian burial ground. In addition, Hans claims photos taken during that investigation show evidence of paranormal activity, including a white cloud of "ectoplasm" which Hans says clearly looks like a man on a horse.

Upon visiting the Amityville Historical Society, Holzer claims he was told the skeleton of an Indian Chief was unearthed on Ocean Ave. in the early part of the 20th century.

Hans believes that Ronnie DeFeo was "under the power and the influence of the Indian" during the murders.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Did any of the family members ever return to the house?

Yes. George went back with a psychic named Dr. Hefferin, who claimed the house was now cleared. He went into a trance and said they would smell violets as a sign that the house was cleared. George didn't smell any violets and wasn't convinced. He never returned.

Reportedly both Dan and Christopher have visited the property in later years.

source: Lorraine Warren interview, 1977; Amityville Truth forum (archives)


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