Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The ‘Real’ Amityville Horror

There was a programme on Channel 4 last night about the 'real' Amityville Horror. All well and good, I thought. The horror being that Ronald DeFeo, a paranoid schizophrenic with a history of alcohol abuse, shot and killed all six other members of his family whilst they were sleeping, in what could fairly be called a massacre.
It was indeed a tragedy. And horrific.

But no, I was mistaken.

After some vague mentioning of 'voices of demons in his head' and so on, there was an advert break. And afterwards, it went straight into the story (and I use that word with good reason) of the Lutz family, who were the people featured in the book. Now, people have known for quite some time that most of the 'information' given out by them was a web of lies, misinformation and exaggeration in order to get themselves the publicity and riches they wanted. Well, bingo. It worked.

Some of the people they relied on for 'proof' were members of such prestigious career groups as 'psychics' and 'parapsychologists'. The latter later turned out to be a 'vampirologist' too.

Ok. Some other 'proofs'. Ummmmm... some 'psychics' went to the house after all the 'hauntings' had happened, and took lots of photographs. They showed them to an assistant who was pregnant, and she felt jumpy when she looked at them. Seriously.

Hans Holzer, (Not-so-coincidentally the author of two books on the subject. Murder in Amityville is a reasonably interesting report of the court proceedings following Ronald DeFeo's arrest. The Amityville Curse is the worst fiction book I've ever read. More on that in a later update.) professional ghost hunter (Yup! None of those useless amateurs for this case), announced that the house had been built on an ancient Indian burial ground.

What is this, Scooby Doo?

In 1977, Ethel Johnson Myers, a 'medium' (verging on small, I'd wager), announced that there had been violence and death in the house. You could have knocked me down with a feather! That's concrete proof positive of the existence of psychic powers RIGHT THERE!

Oh. Wait. The case of the DeFeos had been massively publicised. Gosh, is my face red.

Anyway, she muttered something about a man being hanged, then said that the men who lived there would be forced to do anything the 'Indian' wanted them to do. Uh-huh.

So. Investigators have discovered that the 'mysterious noises' were the pipes creaking; that the 'room full of flies' was due to the room being warm, and the bodies not having been taken away immediately and therefore having time to... seep a bit; that the window which 'spontaneously' opened and closed was reacting to weight on a specific floorboard; that the 'ghost pig' floating by the window was the massive cat that lived next door jumping up to the window ledge. Apparently, it was called 'Pig' because it was so fat.

They then spoke to the author of the book, who freely admitted that 90% of it was entirely... I'll be polite here, and say 'fabricated out of whole cloth' instead of 'shite', which is what I mean.

Now, this programme both annoyed me, and confused me. They had no cohesive structure, they veered wildly between sceptical and credulous viewpoints, they presented unconfirmed 'evidence' by 'psychics' as fact...

But what worried me most about this whole sordid episode is the effect growing up with this sort of drivel, manipulation, lies and downright greed had on those poor children of the Lutz family.

When everyone involved with them has admitted to the lies and trickery, isn't it time that Kathy and George Lutz grew up, got over themselves, and trundled off into the sunset with their money?

This website is a good resource if you are interested in the REAL horror that occured in that house.


At 1:41 pm, Blogger ScarletManuka said...

You tell em Boo!

At 1:42 pm, Blogger Mort said...

I watched most of it too, but switched over to 2 to watch that jungle adventure thing with the disabled people.

I thought that at one point they were trying to say that his sister killed the family before the brother shot her? I must say that (if) the evidence that they posted was quite interesting.

At 2:01 pm, Blogger Hieronymus Anonymous said...

Yes, I should have said that I actually found that part quite interesting. You know, the stuff that wasn't 100% fiction. Shame they skipped over it.

At 9:51 pm, Blogger Camille Moriarty said...

It really is tragic how people will believe such utter trash. What's even sadder is that it used to be considered valuable evidence in a court of law. Reason #451 to dislike the Puritans.

At 9:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever lived through a haunting? Did you know that George an d Kathy Lutz fled the house after 28 days and gave the house back to the bank that was bought by them for $80,000.Greed,they lost everything while film maker jumped on the band wagon and made millions from the movies...get your facts straight.




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