Amityville Horror, NY – Some Thoughts About It

Artistic rendering of the Amityville Horror house, based on a photo by Seulatr.

Was the Amityville Horror real?

Without a doubt, parts of the story are entirely true.  In fact, reports may have understated the severity and scope of what happened at that house.

The current owners of the home insist that the house is not haunted.  Since I’ve seen how some people can — without any effort — counteract even the most intense paranormal activity, I believe the house may not seem haunted right now.

I’m equally convinced that, based solely on the murders, it’s unlikely that the house is clear of residual, ghostly energy.

Did the house retain potential ghostly or malicious energy?  Were the Lutzes telling the whole story?  I’m not sure.

This week, I watched a documentary questioning the hauntings at the ‘Amityville Horror’ house.

On one hand, I try to be very respectful of researchers’ subjective and psychic experiences.

On the other… Well, several years ago, I explored another classic “ghost story,” the Ocean-Born Mary tale, supposedly haunted by Mary Wallace.

My extensive research is described at The Truth about Ocean-Born Mary’s Ghost. Some of the historical information was true, but most of the hauntings cannot be attributed to Mary Wallace.

(That said, I’ve heard from the daughter of the psychic who went to Henniker, NH with Hans Holzer. She is confident that something haunts the famous house. I haven’t done enough research to identify who that spirit might be. We only know that it’s probably not Mary Wallace.)

Since that Henniker, NH research, I tend to be extra skeptical about sensational hauntings.

The Amityville documentary was inconclusive. Each side — believers and skeptics — maintain the truth of their claims.

I’ve been skeptical ever since I read that the Lutz family let their children sleep in the same beds where the previous residents’ children were murdered.

Was that true?  I don’t know.

As a parent, I can’t even think about doing that… even under the most compelling financial circumstances. But, it certainly increases the horror level when the story is told.

That possibility (if it is true) makes me question whether the Amityville “horror” was planned as a hoax from the start.

Oh, the interviews with Mr. & Mrs. Lutz seemed sincere and compelling. They probably believed the story (or most of it) as they told it. And, it’s a very good story.

I also believe that they could have been working with false memories, which are a volatile area of psychological study; I’m reluctant to say that anyone is lying.

Also, during the show, Ed Warren commented that ghosts are seen telepathically. I want to clarify what he was probably talking about:

In most cases, it’s rare to see a full figure, solid-looking ghost. Most of our perceptions aren’t visual… not in the way we usually see the world around us.

However, many of us have seen ghosts and briefly confused them with actual, living people. For example, I’ve seen two ghosts that looked like real people at Gilson Road Cemetery in Nashua, NH.

One of our team researchers — with a third-degree Black Belt in Karate — was so convinced that one of the Gilson Road Cemetery figures was real, he tried to physically block the figure from attacking me.

So, that ghost was not seen telepathically, but in real life and by several of us at the same time.

The Amityville documentary emphasized the importance of physical evidence. While no proof will be enough to convince a determined skeptic, it can tilt the scales when someone isn’t sure about a haunted site.

I’m still not sure about the Amityville house.   Even the police reports raise questions.

(For some time, it seemed that there was an unreported body among the victims. Later, the police said it was a filing error. That kind of dramatic mistake – in the records of an infamous case – is an anomaly in itself. I don’t know what to think of it, but it’s odd enough to be significant.)

Ghost hunting remains a subjective study until we have more proof. When the Amityville house was a sensation, ghost investigations were handled very differently from today’s research.

Although paranormal studies can be fascinating and personally meaningful, researchers should always collect as much evidence as possible. From EMF to EVP to ‘ghost photos’, it’s key to document everything that provides proof of anomalies in haunted settings.

As the Amityville house reminds us, there may not be an opportunity to collect additional data, later.

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