What Do You Think Of This? [snopes.com entry]

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Britty88
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What Do You Think Of This? [snopes.com entry]

Post by Britty88 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:29 am

I found this article online and I don't know weather or not this is real, because it completly discridits everything that I have heard about Amityville.



The Amityville Horror


Claim: The Amityville Horror is based on a true story.

Status: False.

Origins: Some horrors just won't die, and The Amityville Horror is a case in point. The tale of a reportedly demon-infested house in Amityville, New York, became a best-selling novel in 1977 and a hit horror film starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder in 1979. Several inferior movie sequels followed in its wake (including a 3-D version), and 15 April 2005 saw the debut of a remake, this one starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George.

Scary films are a dime a dozen, but what initially drew the public's interest to the original version of The Amityville Horror was the claim that it was based on real events. The producers of the 2005 remake were also intrigued by the Amityville case not so much due to the horror film's scary details, but because the tale was allegedly true. "We were looking for truth in horror," co-producer Andrew Form told Fangoria magazine. "I grew up in Long Island, so I was familiar with this when I was a kid. I remember going by that house and how scary it was."

Co-star Melissa George was attracted to the role because, she said, "If you're going to do a scary movie, you might as well do The Amityville Horror, a true story, a famous book, a well-known moment in American history." A famous book, yes. A moment in American history, perhaps. But a true story? Not.

The history of The Amityville Horror, as with The Exorcist, began with a best-selling novel. A book entitled The Amityville Horror: A True Story, written by Jay Anson, was published in 1977 and quickly scaled the sales charts. Anson was not a resident of the infamous possessed house, but a professional writer hired to pen a book based on supposedly "true events" that had taken place there several years earlier.

The story behind the story began on 13 November 1974, when six members of an Amityville, New York, family were killed. The parents, Ronald and Louise DeFeo, were shot in bed while they slept, along with their two sons and two daughters. The sole remaining family member, Ronald Jr. ("Butch"), was arrested for the crime, convicted, and sentenced to prison. With the family dead (and Butch in no position to inherit the place), the house went up for sale. The horrific nature of the massacre unnerved the otherwise quiet Long Island neighborhood, though no supernatural activity was associated with the house at 112 Ocean Avenue.

The following year, a new family, the Lutzes, moved into the house. George and Kathy Lutz, along with their three children, said that shortly after they moved in, their six-bedroom abode became a Hell house. It seemed that perhaps the demons that drove Butch to slaughter his family were not in his head but in the house. An unseen force ripped doors from hinges and slammed cabinets closed, noxious green slime oozed from the ceilings, a biblical-scale swarm of insects attacked the family, and a demonic face with glowing red eyes peered into their house at night, leaving cloven-hoofed footprints in the morning snow. A priest called upon to bless the house was driven back with painful blisters on his hands, famously told by a demonic voice to "Get out!" And so on.

A local television crew did a segment on the house, bringing in several self-styled "ghost hunters" (including Ed and Lorraine Warren) and other alleged psychics. All agreed that a demonic spirit was in the house, and that an exorcism would be needed to stop the activity. The Lutzes left the house and took their terrifying tale with them, collaborating with Anson on the book The Amityville Horror. And, as William Peter Blatty did when he promoted The Exorcist, Anson vouched for the truthfulness of his fantastic tale: "There is simply too much independent corroboration of their narrative to support the speculation that [the Lutzes] either imagined or fabricated these events."

Many people expressed doubts about the events in the house. Researcher Rick Moran, for example, compiled a list of more than a hundred factual errors and discrepancies between Anson's "true story" and the truth. The 2005 remake promises to mine Anson's book more deeply than did the previous screenplays, including background about early Indians (whose vengeful spirits may lurk nearby) and devil-worshipping early settlers of the area. Yet, Moran explains, "Experts told me that the tribe mentioned was not from the Amityville area at all (actually, they had inhabited the eastern tip of Long Island, 70 miles away) and that the settlers mentioned were never local residents either. Anson's tactic was clear ? when strapped for good material for a book, pad it with quasi-factoids." And Father Pecoraro, the priest who was driven from the house by demons? According to Moran, who interviewed Pecoraro, "He said he never saw anything in the house."

Joe Nickell, author of Entities: Angels, Spirits, Demons, and Other Alien Beings (and who personally visited Amityville and interviewed later owners of the notorious house), also found numerous holes in the Amityville story. A few examples of these discrepancies:
The Lutzes could not have found the demonic hoofprint in the snow when they said they did, because weather records showed there had been no snowfall to leave prints in.

Though the book details extensive damage to the home's doors and hardware, the original locks, doorknobs, and hinges were actually untouched.

The book and film show police being called to the house, but, Nickell writes, "During the 28-day 'siege' that drove [the Lutz family] from the house, they never once called the police."
Over and over, both big claims and small details were refuted by eyewitnesses, investigations, and forensic evidence. Still, the Lutzes stuck to their story, reaping tens of thousands of dollars from the book and film rights.

The truth behind The Amityville Horror was finally revealed when Butch DeFeo's lawyer, William Weber, admitted that he, along with the Lutzes, "created this horror story over many bottles of wine." The house was never really haunted; the horrific experiences they had claimed were simply made up. Jay Anson further embellished the tale for his book, and by the time the film's screenwriters had adapted it, any grains of truth that might have been there were long gone. While the Lutzes profited handsomely from their story, Weber had planned to use the haunting to gain a new trial for his client. George Lutz reportedly still claims that the events are mostly true, but has offered no evidence to back up his claim.

The Lutzes account was likely influenced by another fictionalized story, that of The Exorcist. In fact, it is not much of a stretch to suggest that The Exorcist strongly influenced The Amityville Story: Recall that The Exorcist came out in December 1973, and demonic possession and hauntings were very much in the public's mind when the Lutzes spun their stories of diabolic activity a year or two later. The revelation that the story was based on a hoax has led to embarrassment, especially among the handful of "paranormal experts" who "verified" the fictional tale. The Lutzes must have had a good laugh at the expense of the mystery-mongering ghost hunters and self-proclaimed psychics who reported their terrifying visions and verified the house's (non-existent) demonic residents.

To this day, the fact that The Amityville Horror story was an admitted hoax is still not widely known ? as we often say, the truth never stands in the way of a good story. Though the story was made up by the Lutzes and further sensationalized by Anson, there were real victims of The Amityville Horror (the film, not the demons). In addition to the murdered DeFeo family, the subsequent occupants of the Amityville home have suffered a continual stream of harassment by curiosity seekers, horror fans, and gawkers who want to photograph and tour their infamous house. Then there are the people who, fooled by the films' and book's tagline, think they are partaking of works based on true events.

(This article © 2005 by Benjamin Radford)

Last updated: 15 April 2005


The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/amityville.asp

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BillyCigars
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Post by BillyCigars » Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:28 pm

Hi Britty,

Welcome to the forum!

We had a thread discussing this very topic. Check out the link below for a great discussion about the Snopes.Com article.

Grrr. "Mr. Lutz admitted it was all a hoax..."
"The old man's still an artist with a Thompson."

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BillyCigars
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Post by BillyCigars » Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:45 pm

And here's a great post by Sherb on the Snopes.Com message board where he refutes the Snopes article:





quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by MisterGrey:
I'm interested in Butch DeFeo's lawyer being cited as the "final word" in it being a hoax. He's admitted to it being all made up, but has George or any of the kids?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, they've never recanted their story...

And one of the worst offenders for bad information happens to be the page up on snopes.com.

Its sources are so one-sided.

- Ronnie DeFeo

Yes it's likely he made up "hearing voices" on the advice of his lawyer, William Weber, but that was a very small part of the trial anyway...

The press magnified it in hindsight after the haunting story broke.

And Ronnie is a guy who's claimed over the years either a hit man, his mother, his sister or his wifes brother done most of the killing that night. So no-one should really care what he says.


- William Weber

Yes, he claimed he helped the Lutzes concoct a hoax in 1979 - when he was in litigation with them!

The Lutzes refused to sign his book contract in 1976... he saw Anson's book go on to sell millions... so I think it's entirely plausible he cried hoax.


- Joe Nickell

Does a good job of debunking the book.

The book that the author publicly admitted he embellished.

Involving the police and the front door flying off being two examples.


- Stephan Kaplan

Was called by George Lutz to investigate the house, then dumped when his credentials never checked out.

His book if full of attacks on newspaper articles written by 2nd or 3rd parties.


- Rick Moran and Peter Jordan

See Joe Nickell.

Also Moran's FT article was a farce and a half. You do not run a cover story on this famous case going by your dodgy 25 year old memory... his basic errors bordered on outright lies!


--- Even if you believe it was a hoax, Snopes should revise their page and considor watching Histories Mysteries on the DVD of the old movie, and check out these websites for balance:

http://www.amityvillefaq.com

http://www.amityvillehorror.com

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2005/04/24.html

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longi ... ws-utility
"The old man's still an artist with a Thompson."

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tallman
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Post by tallman » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:03 pm

i like snopes, but i think they werent very nice to the proven facts....


looking at other entries in the section, it appears the makers of the site arent fond of the paranormal at all.
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Post by Dan the Damned » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:24 pm

I don't expect snopes to label Amityville as "true," but I am rather disappointed they labelled it "false." It should have been labelled "undetermined."

Benjamin Radford, who wrote this article, is managing editor of The Skeptical Inquirer.

I found the following at http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa? ... &start=120
"...Dr. Benjamin Radford, is actually a freind of David Mikkelson, who co-owns www.snopes.com."

...so who knows if we'll get snopes to change their entry...

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Post by radiomixer » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:27 pm

Dan the Damned wrote:I don't expect snopes to label Amityville as "true," but I am rather disappointed they labelled it "false." It should have been labelled "undetermined."

Benjamin Radford, who wrote this article, is managing editor of The Skeptical Inquirer.

I found the following at http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa? ... &start=120
"...Dr. Benjamin Radford, is actually a freind of David Mikkelson, who co-owns www.snopes.com."

...so who knows if we'll get snopes to change their entry...
Do you think a letter-writing campaign would help?

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Post by tallman » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:40 pm

good idea!
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Post by Dan the Damned » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:52 pm

I think someone should write a thorough rebuttal to each and every point in the Snopes.com entry before starting a letter-writing campaign. They aren't going to change their entry based on popular opinion - they'll need some facts to back it up with...

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Post by tallman » Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:22 pm

yeah do you want me to do that? i have alot of time on my hands
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Post by tallman » Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:53 pm

i did a rough idea of what we can send. We can work on it for a while until we have a strong case

all of which thats in bold is from the Snopes Entry

all of which is normal is my own notes on it

Many people expressed doubts about the events in the house. Researcher Rick Moran, for example, compiled a list of more than a hundred factual errors and discrepancies between Anson's "true story" and the truth. The 2005 remake promises to mine Anson's book more deeply than did the previous screenplays, including background about early Indians (whose vengeful spirits may lurk nearby) and devil-worshipping early settlers of the area. Yet, Moran explains, "Experts told me that the tribe mentioned was not from the Amityville area at all (actually, they had inhabited the eastern tip of Long Island, 70 miles away) and that the settlers mentioned were never local residents either. Anson's tactic was clear ? when strapped for good material for a book, pad it with quasi-factoids." And Father Pecoraro, the priest who was driven from the house by demons? According to Moran, who interviewed Pecoraro, "He said he never saw anything in the house."
Well the reason that Anson had so many ?factual errors? is that he had practically nothing to go on. The only thing he had to write the novel was a few audio tapes that the Lutzs made for themselves. The tapes weren?t much more than just ramblings of their emotions of what went on in the house, and it really wasn?t made with any intention of it being heard by any body. It was just so they can clear there head, so it wasn?t very good to write a book on. Anson had to piece the things together, and with that, cannot have all the weather and small little details correct. Most of the ?factual errors? didn?t make that much of a difference any way.

The Lutzes could not have found the demonic hoofprint in the snow when they said they did, because weather records showed there had been no snowfall to leave prints in.Like in the last statement I made, not all the weather facts can be correct, cause Anson had little to go on. The actual date that is said in the book likely isn?t the correct date of what really happened. So, any day that it snowed the hoof prints could?ve been found.

Though the book details extensive damage to the home's doors and hardware, the original locks, doorknobs, and hinges were actually untouched.
They had them repaired.
? The book and film show police being called to the house, but, Nickell writes, "During the 28-day 'siege' that drove [the Lutz family] from the house, they never once called the police."
The film shouldn?t even be taken into consideration when dealing whether or not that the real events were false. Don?t bring in factual errors from the movie into the mix, since some of it is just a creation of Hollywood.
Over and over, both big claims and small details were refuted by eyewitnesses, investigations, and forensic evidence. Still, the Lutzes stuck to their story, reaping tens of thousands of dollars from the book and film rights.Even though they were ?refuted? by eyewitnesses, the Lutzs have had no inconsistencies with their story. And since that the dates of what happened aren?t to be taken as for real, how can eyewitnesses be credible since things happened different than when they said that they were.
Many members of the Amityville Horror Truth Forum have tried to find one bit of inconsistency, but to no avail.
Even though they had witnesses against them, they also had many witnesses supporting their claim.
The truth behind The Amityville Horror was finally revealed when Butch DeFeo's lawyer, William Weber, admitted that he, along with the Lutzes, "created this horror story over many bottles of wine." The house was never really haunted; the horrific experiences they had claimed were simply made up. Jay Anson further embellished the tale for his book, and by the time the film's screenwriters had adapted it, any grains of truth that might have been there were long gone. While the Lutzes profited handsomely from their story, Weber had planned to use the haunting to gain a new trial for his client. George Lutz reportedly still claims that the events are mostly true, but has offered no evidence to back up his claim.Weber isn?t reliable, since they came out with their story before even talking to Weber.
The Lutzes account was likely influenced by another fictionalized story, that of The Exorcist. In fact, it is not much of a stretch to suggest that The Exorcist strongly influenced The Amityville Story: Recall that The Exorcist came out in December 1973, and demonic possession and hauntings were very much in the public's mind when the Lutzes spun their stories of diabolic activity a year or two later. The revelation that the story was based on a hoax has led to embarrassment, especially among the handful of "paranormal experts" who "verified" the fictional tale. The Lutzes must have had a good laugh at the expense of the mystery-mongering ghost hunters and self-proclaimed psychics who reported their terrifying visions and verified the house's (non-existent) demonic residents.
Just cause they came out near the same time, doesn?t mean that they have anything to do with each other.
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i think that is good tallman

Post by hsmith2002 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:01 pm

there are so many ppl out there that just go by what they hear without looking in to the facts.

i believe it cuz in my childhood home, early in the morning when it was just me and mom, we heard the sounds of a dresser being slid down the hall. she also heard several times footsteps walking down the hall and into my room(i was sleeping)

another time i stayed with my grandparents, i got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, as i walked out of her bedroom and into the hall, there stood a white figure. i rem just standing there looking at it. that same night my mom and dad were goin down the road headed home and a white figure flew into the hood of the car. i know many of you probably wont believe it but it happened. there have been several occurances to happen on my grandmothers land.
my uncle use to see a little girl standing in his hallway at night.

one night i was just laying in bed trying to go to sleep(this was a couple of months ago) i went into my sons room, he has a toddler bed with the sides, there i saw a shadow of a little boy sitting on the side. it scared me, i grabbed my son and put him in bed with me, i felt safer that way.


there have been other things happen when someone in my family would pass away.
when my grandpa was in the hospital, there was a dry erase board hanging in his room. my mom, aunt and uncle all wrote their cell numbers on it for the doctors to get in touch with them if anything happened.
after he died, we were sitting at my aunts, her cell started to ring, it was from my uncles cell but his cell was locked in his truck. that was kinda strange
another thing my grandpa would watch the three stooges while he was in the hospital before he passed. one day we were in the living room, the tv was off and then all of a sudden it came on and a three stooges commercial was on.

we have had several things like that happen. scares me everytime.
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Post by radiomixer » Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:19 pm

Hi HSmith

I have lived around haunting too before, we should start a thread and get everyone to tell their scares! You want to start one, or one of us?

About the Snopes rebuttal .. I think people here have given some very good explanations why the weather report/prints in the snow issue can be explained.

We're here in Georgia and even here where it seldom snows (south of Atlanta), we've been insituations where the report did not match what the weather actually did. We had a light snow (inch and half maybe) and NOAA said it wouldn't stick etc, but in yards where sunlight was blocked by trees (lotsa evergreens down this way), the snow did remain on the ground two days later, yet the news was saying it had melted two days ago and was now raining (no rain whatsoever, clear as a bell).

Any time someone makes a prediction for a very large area, there will be anomolies, due to openness or shade, being in valleys or on hills, shape of the land itself (mesa, plain) proximity to water (lake effect snow) etc. It can be affected and vary by so many different factors.

Another thing that concerns me is if the actual date was put with the event correctly, if I understand right, at one time George and Kathy got together and tried to remember which events happened on which date?

Dan and Sherb, I'm confused, didn't Sherb send Snopes a rebuttal already?

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Post by theplayer01 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:46 am

I think someone should write a thorough rebuttal to each and every point in the Snopes.com entry before starting a letter-writing campaign. They aren't going to change their entry based on popular opinion - they'll need some facts to back it up with...
I had several weeks ago seen this post on snoops. At that time I wrote a three page e-mail detailing all the sides of the story that I have seen so far. As of this post I have not received any response even though I have sent several e-mails inquiring about my original e-mail.
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Post by Dan the Damned » Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:57 am

I don't know if Sherb sent an email to snopes, but he did post his concerns on their forum.

I emailed snopes, telling them I felt they should mark the case as "undetermined" instead of "false." I, too, didn't get a response.

I felt if I made a replacement entry and sent that to them, that maybe they'd consider changing it. I began working on it some months ago, but then got busy with work. Also, there were some aspects I wanted to clarify before I could finish it (which I still haven't gotten round to clarifying for myself).

I wanted my entry to address the various reasons why people think the story was a hoax, then give the rebuttals to those reasons. At the end, it would say "there is no proof that the haunting really happened, but likewise, there is no proof that it was a hoax. Therefore we must mark this one as "undetermined."

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Post by tallman » Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:50 pm

what can i add to mine?
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Dan the Damned
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Re: What Do You Think Of This? [snopes.com entry]

Post by Dan the Damned » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:10 pm

from an article on the husband/wife team who run Snopes.com:
It is not just the naïveté of Web users that worries the “Snopesters,” a name for the Web site’s fans and volunteers. It is also what Mr. Mikkelson calls “a trend toward the opposite approach, hyper-skepticism.”

“People get an e-mail or a photograph and they spot one little thing that doesn’t look right, and they declare the whole thing fake,” he said. “That’s just as bad as being gullible in a lot of senses.”
And yet, isn't that what they've allowed to happen in regards to the piece their pal Benjamin Radford wrote? Saying for a fact that the case is a hoax despite the lack of proof? Hyper-skepticism? Radford is the f*ing editor for the Skeptical Inquirer for Christ's sake! :doh:



full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/techn ... nopes.html

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Re: What Do You Think Of This? [snopes.com entry]

Post by Jamalbi » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:20 pm

Many feel the haunting the Lutzes claimed to have experienced was just a hoax they came up with. Snopes.com is of the same line of thought.

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Dan the Damned
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Re: What Do You Think Of This? [snopes.com entry]

Post by Dan the Damned » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:27 pm

Hi and welcome to the board.

The problem with the snopes entry is not their opinion, but the way that they are pushing their opinion on this case as fact.

There is no proof that the haunting was a hoax. Therefore the entry should have been marked not as "false," but as "undetermined." Simple as that.

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Snopes site claims Amityville a hoax

Post by msammons » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:47 pm

You all may know this and there may be a thread on here already somewhere but I was on snopes a little while ago looking something up and came across Amityville. They state the Lutzes made up the haunting and reference all the typical stuff, money problems etc. I think at the very least that it should be left as undecided.
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Dan the Damned
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Re: What Do You Think Of This? [snopes.com entry]

Post by Dan the Damned » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:29 pm

I agree. [threads merged]

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Re: Snopes site claims Amityville a hoax

Post by Grim_Reaper » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:30 pm

not the first time ive seen that snopes got somethign completly wrong. they pretty much based that claim of it being a hoax on the word of William Webber who himself is a very dubious source to rely on.

http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/amityville.asp

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