The HouseThe MurdersThe HauntingThe FilmsThe HoaxWho's Who The InterviewsThe Archives

Home > The Haunting index > The Haunting p1 > The Haunting p2 > The Haunting p3


How long were the Lutzes married for before moving into the house?
George and Kathy met in 1974 and were married the next year. The 3 children were Kathy's from a previous marriage.
source: Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

Did George and Kathy have any children together?
Yes, in later years (after leaving Amityville) they had two daughters together.
source: Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

What were the ages of the Lutzes at the time of the haunting?
Kathy and George were both 29; Danny was 10: Christopher was 7; and Melissa was 5.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Was this the first house the Lutzes looked at?
No, George and Kathy looked at numerous houses before being shown the old DeFeo house. They were in the market for a house approximately $60,000 – $70,000. They made an offer of $80,000 for the DeFeo house, which was accepted. They justified the extra expense due to the boathouse (which would save on marina fees for their boat), the basement (which could serve as George's office), and the fact that it was a beautiful dream home in a beautiful location with a heated swimming pool and located right on the water.
source: Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Did the Lutzes know the house was the site of a mass murder before they bought it?
Yes, they were told by the realtor about the house's history. The Lutzes discussed it amongst themselves to make sure everyone in the family felt okay about living there. The family felt it was a terrible tragedy that occurred, but they were not superstitious – they did not consider that the house might be haunted.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Did the Lutzes notice anything weird about the house when they were first shown it?
No. It was a lovely house. They didn't notice any flies or smells or anything else out of the ordinary.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Did the Lutzes believe in ghosts or the paranormal?
George described himself and the family as being skeptics before the haunting, adding, "I don't think we would have bought the house if we weren't."
source: Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; ABCNEWS internet chat, 2002

Did they keep all the old DeFeo furniture?

Yes, the Lutzes bought most of the DeFeo's furniture. They did so because it was very good – they liked it better than their old furniture – and it was offered at a price the Lutzes felt they couldn't refuse.

Looking back on it, this may sound strange; but remember the Lutzes were skeptical of the paranormal at the time. George considered himself a "realist"; they didn't think the house was haunted; and no strange events had taken place yet.

It wasn't like the furniture was soaked in blood or anything. Obviously the mattresses were ruined and were taken out of the house prior to it being on the market. George & Kathy kept their own old bed, as did the children. Apparently they bought the old bedframe that once belonged to Dawn, and moved it to Missy's room.

source: Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

When did the Lutzes move into the house?
Thursday, December 18, 1975.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Did the Lutzes get to know their neighbors?
Not really. George met his next-door neighbor once across their back yards. He introduced himself, but other than that there was no real connection with the neighbors.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977

When was the house blessed?

The house was blessed by Father Ray on the very first day, as the family was moving into the house.

Later, on the advice of a friend (after the strange events had started), George & Kathy re-blessed the house a 2nd time on their own, and again shortly thereafter.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Why did the Lutzes want the house blessed? Were they very religious?

Upon hearing the Lutzes bought the DeFeo residence, a friend of George strongly recommended that they have the house blessed, as a personal favor to him. George didn't know much about that custom, but he talked it over with Kathy and she agreed – they should have the house blessed.

George asked the only priest he knew to perform the blessing – Father Ray.

The Lutzes were not very religious when they first moved into their Amityville home. George was a non-practicing Methodist and Kathy was a non-practicing Catholic. After the haunting, George became a Catholic and was very religious, even becoming a Eucharistic Minister in San Diego. Kathy, likewise, became very religious, and had a ministry that fed thousands of homeless people in Phoenix, AZ.

source: Coast to Coast radio program, 2002; Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Why did George convert to Catholicism?
Unknown, but three of the main investigators in this case (along with Father Ray, of course) were all Catholics with a strong faith – Ed & Lorraine Warren and Mary Downey. George could see how their faiths seemed to be an essential factor in them getting through this. This may have been a major factor in George's decision.
source: Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

Was the priest who blessed the house a personal friend of the Lutzes?
Yes. The priest who blessed the house was known by the Lutzes as Father Ray. Father Ray was not simply a local priest, as the movie makes him out to be, but was in fact the Ecclesiastical Judge for the Diocese of Rockville Centre – a very prominent position in the Church. George met Father Ray during the annulment process of his first marriage and found him to be quite an extraordinary man. They became good friends that afternoon.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

What happened during the house blessing?

Father Ray has stated that the "sewing room" felt unnaturally cold, even for winter. As he blessed this room, he heard a very deep voice behind him saying "Get out." Even though there was no one else in the room with him, Father Ray also felt someone slap him across the face.

After the blessing, Father Ray asked the Lutzes not to use that one particular room as a bedroom, and that they should not spend too much time in there. That was no problem to the Lutzes, as they planned to use the room in question as a "sewing room." Father Ray had asked this in a manner which did not seem alarmist, and which did not seem like any big deal to the Lutzes.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; In Search Of documentary, 1979

What was the Lutzes' reaction to the priest being attacked during the blessing of the house?
Father Ray didn't tell them about his experiences in the sewing room. They didn't find out about this incident until much later – after they had left the house.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Coast to Coast radio program, 2002

Did the Priest experience blisters on his hands, like in the movie?
Yes, according to his appearance on the 1979 episode of "In Search Of." Father Ray told how he went to the doctor, and was told it might be caused by anxiety. However he didn't feel he was given over to psychosomatic responses.
source: In Search Of documentary, 1979

Did the Priest experience any other weird events connected to Amityville?
After the haunting, Father Ray told the Lutzes of an incident where he was in the Chancellor's Office, discussing the possibility of helping the Lutz family in some way. During this conversation, there was an incredible cold that flooded the room.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000

Where is Father Ray today?

This is unclear.

In 1979 Father Ray was tracked down and interviewed by the crew of the TV show In Search Of. His interview was shot in back-light, protecting his identity – obviously showing that he disliked the media frenzy surrounding the case, but also just as clearly showing that he had a strong desire to inform people of his true experiences while in that house.

Some say Father Ray has passed away. George doesn't know for certain. All he knows is that the publicity surrounding the case turned Father Ray's life upside down, and that because of it, he moved to another state and got a degree in forensic psychiatry.

In a letter to Ric Osuna, a Church official from the Diocese of Rockville Centre (where Father Ray once worked) said they lost contact with Father Ray and that they heard of his death in 1987. So it really seems unclear if Father Ray's death is fact or rumor.

source: The Night the DeFeos Died (book), 2002; ABCNEWS internet chat, 2002; In Search Of documentary, 1979

Did the Lutzes' dog hang himself?

Within the first few hours after moving in, Harry, the Lutzes' black lab, was chained up in a "dog run" area near the boathouse. He jumped over a nearby fence and was hung, because of the short length of the leash. Fortunately Harry survived.

This is possibly the first "odd" happening for the Lutzes in Amityville, but it apparently didn't seem odd until after the haunting and after the family fled to Kathy's Mother's house, where they regrouped and discussed what happened.

source: Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

Is it true the Lutzes found a bunch of pills on the floor when moving in?
Yes, when the Lutzes moved into the house, they found "hundreds of pills" strewn about the second floor. George says they were all sorts of different pills, and that it was strange they weren't cleaned up or even noticed before they moved in.
source: Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

When did the Lutzes first notice things were "not right" in their house?

This is hard to pinpoint, but it seems to be after Christmas when the family stared to notice things were a bit odd. That's when Kathy first mentioned how the noises in the house changed, becoming ugly and disturbing. She talked of scrapings, bangings, footsteps on the floors above (when the children were fast asleep) – very similar to what Ronnie DeFeo once talked about (something Ronnie most likely denies today).

For George, it came later. It seemed to be when Kathy first told him about being embraced from behind when she was alone in the house. George knew it wasn't like her to be subject to hallucinations and the like. George remembers her being very serious about explaining this experience to him, and how she found it very difficult to do so.

source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

What exactly did Kathy feel?
There was an odor of a very sweet/cheap perfume, and the sensation of a woman coming up and embracing her from behind. She was confused, but it felt more like a comforting gesture than one meant to terrify – like it was one mother trying to communicate to another.
source: Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

Did the family all experience the same thing, living in the same house?
Not really. George has said each family member could see things drastically different then the person right next to them. Kathy described it as a 3-ring circus, with each ring being a separate area of the house. For instance when George would hear the "marching band" sounds from downstairs, Kathy could sleep right through it.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003

What did the "marching band" sound like?

It has been referred to as a "marching band," but that's not totally accurate. George described it as "a whole bunch of musicians going – each one in their own direction, playing their own song" – like an "unorganized musical sound." The sounds were coming from downstairs.

At first George thought it might be a clock radio that went off downstairs – perhaps tuned slightly off-station. But he could distinctly hear the sound of many feet stomping around. The floor downstairs had carpets, but the sound of the marching feet George heard sounded like they were on a hard floor, not carpet. Some people mistake this for the carpet being rolled-up.

When George got downstairs to check it out, there was nothing out of order. The sound had stopped. The carpet was in place, and Harry, their dog, was sound asleep at the foot of the front door.

source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

Did anyone else hear the marching band sounds?
No. George was the only one.
source: Ghostly Talk radio program, 2005

Besides the "marching band," what other strange sounds did the family hear?

George heard the front door slam during the middle of the night. It had a very distinct sound, and was very heavy, so you could hear it throughout the house. When he went down to investigate, he found their dog sound asleep at the base of the door, making it impossible for the door to have been recently opened.

George says he heard just about every door in the house slam shut at various times with no explanation.

Kathy has spoken of scrapings, bangings, and footsteps on the floors above when the children were fast asleep.

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

In the movie, George is seen always at the fireplace. What was that about?
George became obsessed with keeping the fire going. He felt as if he could never get warm enough, and worried that they might not have enough firewood. This was just another personality change for George while in that house. Keeping the fire going had become the most important thing to him.
source: History's Mysteries documentary, 2000; Lou Gentile Show radio program (Penn State), 2003; In Search Of documentary, 1979

Did George ignore his business while living in Amityville?
To some extent, yes. Both George and Kathy felt an unnatural urge to never leave the house. Kathy signed up for an upholstery class (to reupholster the old DeFeo furniture) but never went. She also didn't want to go Christmas shopping – an activity she used to love. George would normally go to the office six days a week, but while in Amityville he'd be lucky to go 3 times a week. Everyone's priorities changed. The world in the house became very small. George was mostly concerned with the fireplace and checking the boathouse.
source: Lutz-Warren interview, 1977


< < BACK TO HAUNTING INDEXFORWARD TO HAUNTING PAGE 2 > >

The Amityville FAQ • ContactAmityville Truth ForumLinks