The Amityville Horror is a book that was written in 1977 by Jay Anson. You’ve likely seen the movie by the same name that was filmed as a result.
It was in the late 1970s that Janet Hodgson and her family claim to have experienced the Enfield haunting. But, like the Enfield haunting, the Amityville horror story has dubious origins.
Who were the players in the Amityville horror? Who is the Lutz family, and where are they now? Did the Amityville horror really happen? Here’s all you need to know about the characters made famous by the Amityville horror.
The Amityville Horror: The Haunting
On November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed his mother, his father and his four siblings. DeFeo was ultimately sentenced to prison, and the house at 112 Ocean Avenue on Long Island was sold.
Just a little over a year after the murders, the Lutz family moved into the house. The realtor, in full disclosure, informed George and Kathleen about the murders which had taken place there. Unfazed, the family went about daily life in the home.
Of course, the rest is history. George and Kathleen, along with their five young children began to claim bizarre experiences. George would wake at 3:15 each morning, the exact time the DeFeo murders took place. Kathloon claimed to have seen cloven hoof prints in the snow outside the home. And even the kids were in on the action. Missy, the 5 year old, met an invisible friend named Jodie – Jodie was a demonic pig.
Was the Amityville Horror Real?
You can read more in detail about the Amityville horror elsewhere on the Enfield haunting site. But, to make a long story short, the haunting was exposed as a hoax by many investigators. While the DeFeo family was, indeed, slain at the home at 112 Ocean Avenue, the haunting was completely fictional.
It got good press, though! In a time period where exorcisms were the norm (think Enfield haunting and the Annabelle doll), the media quickly latched on to the Lutz’s story.
So did pop culture. In 1977, Jay Anson wrote an account of the fictional story. The story was filmed and released under a title of the same name. And many, many adaptations of and sequels to that movie were filmed.
So what about the Lutz family? Where are they now? What’s happened to the characters in the Amityville story now that that story has been revealed as a hoax?
George Lutz was, perhaps, the most eager to move into the home at 112 Ocean Avenue. See, he was a filmmaker. As noted, the Lutz family were informed of the events which occurred at the home just a year prior to their arrival. That information was ignored, and the family moved in.
Family members say that George Lutz was the first of the Lutz family to initiate talk of hauntings. He, at the advice of a friend, hired a priest named Father Ralph J. Pecoraro (Mancuso in the book) to bless the house. And it was after that blessing that the “haunting” began.
George Lutz is now deceased. He died on May 8, 2006 of heart disease. While he was born on Long Island where the haunting hoax occurred, his place of death was Las Vegas, Nevada.
George and Kathleen Lutz divorced in 1988.
Kathleen (Kathy) Lutz
Kathy Lutz, George Lutz’s wife, perpetuated the myth of the Amityville haunting. As the only other Lutz family adult in the residence, it was her imagination that spawned a few of the more bizarre occurrences at the home on 112 Ocean Avenue.
Kathy Lutz claimed to have frequent nightmares about the DeFeo murders. She said she dreamed of the murders, in order that they occurred, and bore witness to the DeFeo children being shot.
She also claimed that she’d been “embraced” by an unseen force. Welts were supposedly seen on her body in the mornings, and she claimed to have levitated.
Most notable of Kathy Lutz’s imaginative tales was the tale of the cloven hoof prints. As mentioned, these were found in the snow outside the home. However, upon further investigation, there was no snow on Long island at any point during the Lutz family’s residence.
Kathleen Lutz is also deceased. She passed away just before her husband on August 17, 2004. She was confined to a wheelchair for the last few months of her life.
Daniel Lutz was 9 at the time of the Amityville haunting, and he didn’t tell too many stories at the time. However, he’s quite vocal about the events now, and it would seem he’s sticking to his story.
Daniel Lutz in 2013 released a documentary. He called it My Amityville Horror, and he’s the only of the Lutz family to star in the film. Of course, his parents are deceased. But his siblings declined the “opportunity.”
Interviewers described Daniel Lutz as an “angry man” who chain smokes and sulks about the past. Apparently, this is normal in children who have parents like George and Kathy Lutz.
Daniel Lutz is still alive and continues to perpetuate the Amityville story in the absence of his parents.
Missy Lutz and Siblings
Daniel Lutz is alone in maintaining that the Amityville horror was true. In fact, even the stepsiblings clain it was a hoax.
Three of the five children in the Lutz family were Kathy’s kids from a previous marriage. One of those “kids” was Christopher Quaratino. Quaratino was 7 at the time of the “haunting” and he’s had a few choice words for his stepfather. Christopher Quaratino said:
So far there’s been three representations of what happened in that house, and not one of them is accurate.
It went so far that George Lutz actually sued Quaratino in court for trademark infringement and fraud. Lutz had been planning another Amityville movie.
Missy Lutz, who was 5 at the time, says that yes, the experience was traumatic. But she’s referring to the Lutz family feud that followed the fabricated events, not the haunting itself.
You can expect more pop culture references to the Amityville haunting, as almost every one of the Lutz children is planning to film a movie or write a book.