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Kathy Lutz on "The 700 Club" (circa 1994)

Kathy shares some very personal moments during this interview, which aired sometime between 1988 and the early 1990s.


The 700 Club
(circa 1994)

HOST: Plus in the early 1980s, this film made the Amity Horror – The Amityville Horror – a household word.

[clips from In Search Of and the movie with Kathy's voice-over]

KATHY LUTZ: We had substances seeping out of keyholes; toilet bowls that turned black; furniture that moved; windows that blew in; flies that appeared out of nowhere...

[back to host]

HOST: Well how much of the movie is Hollywood, and how much is real? The real Kathy Lutz answers that question on today's 700 Club.


PAT ROBERTSON: Well for 28 days, the woman in our next story lived a non-stop nightmare. You've heard it in a movie called The Amityville Horror. But for years after that, she and her family endured the torment of relentless publicity. Now for the first time in nine years, Kathy Lutz separates fact from fiction in this exclusive interview with reporter Paul Petitte.

[segment starts]

PAUL PETITTE: It's the story of a modern day haunted house, that in 1979 caught the nation by storm. To Kathy Lutz, it was a real-life nightmare that pushed her to the edge of insanity. A nightmare that came to be known as The Amityville Horror.

Kathy and ex-husband George Lee Lutz say their Long Island home was cursed with an inexplicable evil. The Amityville Horror is the story of their terrifying experience. But just how much of the film is true and how much is Hollywood? Kathy Lutz, in her first interview in nine years says it was frighteningly all too real.

KATHY LUTZ: The extremes of some of the happenings, like the substance coming from the keyholes, was not to the extent that they portrayed it. The finale of the movie, where you have all this gunk coming out – that's not accurate. But as far as experiences, we had substances seeping out of keyholes; toilet bowls that turned black; furniture that moved; windows that blew in; flies that appeared out of nowhere – and not one or two. We're in the month of January – it's ice outside – and you've got thirty, forty houseflies on one window. Things of that nature, yeah, they did a good job.

And each night something terrifying took place. The front door, which is, well, it's an oversized solid wood door, blew-out. Not blew-in, it blew-out. And there was no physical explanation for it. That was checked-out by the police, that was checked out by a repair man. We wouldn't explain it. I thought I was losing my mind.

PAUL PETITTE: After a 28-day long nightmare, the family literally fled their home with only the clothes on their back. Parapsychology experts later documented many of the phenomenon. What followed was a flood of unwanted publicity. In order to dispel false rumors and set the record straight, the Lutzes sold book rights to their story, which was later made into a movie. Soon Kathy found herself trapped in a promotional glut, that refused to allow her to escape her horrifying past.

KATHY LUTZ: Yeah, sometimes I've said it's like an operation that left an ugly scar. And if you keep picking it open, it's not going to heal.

PAUL PETITTE: The Lutzes moved to San Diego, and then Phoenix – but by this time the stress of the public eye had taken its toll. Kathy's relationship with her family weakened as she tried harder and harder to come to grips with her past.

KATHY LUTZ: As a kid I used to lay out; and I'd look at the clouds and I'd talk to God. I could see God in the clouds. I was involved in the choir at church. And I'd just bellow out. I remember how I felt with that. Always talked to God. And then as I got older, I moved away. And now I was – I didn't know where I was. And I didn't know how to get out of where I was. I was losing... I was living [with/for] my kids. They were doing all right. But I was losing the relationship with them. I didn't feel like I was a plus in their life, any place.

PAUL PETITTE: It was seven years after the Amityville encounter, Kathy sat on her bathroom floor with a drink in her hand and a bottle of pills by her side. Perhaps, she thought, her family would be better off without her.

KATHY LUTZ: [I had] a bottle of pain-killers sitting there, and I was planning this thing for hours – how I was going to do it. And I was thinking, well, what's it going to be like; who's going to find you; and was it going to be one of the kids or was it going to be Lee. And I had turned the television on in the adjacent room. And TBN was on. And I couldn't tell you who was speaking – and I don't even know what he was speaking – but all of a sudden he was talking about how you could be healed; how you could have that abundant life. And it was like he was on a megaphone, right in my head. And he began to pray a prayer of salvation, and the words were just spinning out of me. And I asked Jesus in. And the peace that overtook me was just something that I had never experienced. I mean, I thought I knew God when I was a kid, but I had never known this.

PAUL PETITTE: Whether you believe in the accounts of The Amityville Horror or not, Kathy Lutz knows that for 28 days, she and her family experienced a living hell. But today, she's happy to tell everyone that years of fear, frustration and torment are gone.

KATHY LUTZ: [unintelligible] to God, I know Jesus. Before I was in turmoil, and it was turmoil that was inside of me. There was no peace. And now the turmoil is on the outside – the peace is on the inside. And I know who I am, and whose I am.

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