Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

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Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Faeowyn » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:49 pm

So...we had a weird thing happen to us a few nights ago. It was around 2 a.m. and we were in our bedroom with the windows open when we heard an odd electric kinda crackling noise outside. We looked at each other with a 'WTF was that' look and booked it outside with the flashlight. About 30' to the east of our window is an old security light hung on a Hickory tree, left over by the previous owners. When I bought the house, almost eight years ago, we couldn't figure out how to shut it off so my son shot the light bulb out with a bb gun, so it hasn't worked since then. So imagine our shock when we went to investigate our noise and found it humming with a weird kinda noise. Needless to say we were freaked the heck out. How does a light that hasn't worked for almost eight years suddenly come back to life? Fearing it might cause an electrical fire, we shut the breaker off in the garage until we can have an electrician come have a look at it.

We get the breaker shut off and the noise stops and we're standing around looking at this light, still wondering WTF when we start talking about having an electrician out. While we have him here, why not just take the old light down, put in a post and put our squirrel lamp in its place? We already had a list of parts and stuff we were going to need to fix it up and we'd put restoring it on our 'list of things to do.' We plopped it down where we wanted it to go and you can see it at the base of our Oak tree, where it has sat for the last four or five years..

Image

Now the idea of putting up the light is fresh in mind and next morning I hop on the internet and start doing some research...looking for a glass eye to replace the one that's missing and trying to figure out where who might have made this light. So imagine our shock when we found a photo of the Amityville horror house with this lamp in the yard!

Image
Image

Now we're really freaking out because after doing a bit of reading about the whole Amityville Horror story we think it's entirely possible this is THE squirrel lamp shown in the photos with the "high hopes" sign beneath it. And what is really interesting is where we acquired the lamp.

I got a call from my Mom who was at her hairdresser having her hair cut when the hairdresser made mention that she'd been cleaning out an old house of a shut-in who was now in hospice. He was a hoarder and they had tons and tons of stuff for sale, including many old books that Mom thought I'd be interested in purchasing. They'd had a yard sale already, but still had lots of stuff left over and they wanted to know if we'd be interested in purchasing any of it. So made the hour and a half trip to this creepy looking old two-story, brick Victorian house to see what we could buy. After arriving, we started going through the boxes on the porch and seeing what things they'd still had left over from the yard sale and not really finding much, so we were told we were more than welcome to go through the rest of the house and see if there was anything else we might be interested in.

The state of this house was appalling! Even after several ladies had done their best to rid the house of all the stuff, it was it's own horror. The house reeked of feces and urine and we had to wear masks just to get into the house without retching. Evidently he was could no longer make the trek to his bedroom upstairs, so he'd been living downstairs and using his big deep freezer as a toilet. We went through all the rooms and found some interesting items that led us to the conclusion that this person had been a practicing satanist or at least dappling pretty seriously in the occult. That was enough for us to decide it was time to leave; we'd found all we were going to find so we went back to our truck. It was then I noticed the squirrel lamp. It was on a really tall lamp post. I immediately wanted it! I asked if that too was for sale and I was told it was, but they'd never had a way to get it down, so if we could get it down, it was ours. We pulled the truck up beneath the light and stood on the roof..just high enough to get it! And that's how we came about having the squirrel light.

Now after visiting these boards and trying to find what info I could about the light, I'm even more freaked out. There's been speculation about satanism being practiced at some time at the Amityville horror house; witches visiting the place etc. and here our guy is dabbling in this stuff? He was never married (we're pretty sure with the manuscripts and stuff we also found in the house...written by our guy...that he was gay) and had been a shut-in for many, many years. But he was also apparently very wealthy too. We found an entire suitcase (which we're just now going through) of old slides dating from 1959-1967...photos he'd taken from all around the world...and we even found correspondence between him and a famous Hollywood star.

What we don't know is the fellow's name and who exactly he was, where he came from and how he ended up in this house, in this tiny town. But my auntie lived across the street from him for many years, so I'm trying to get in touch with her so I can research this fellow a bit further. Did he purchase this light from the auction that was held after the Lutz's moved? Is this the squirrel light shown in the photos? Is it just coincidence that our old, non-working security light went wonkers with the squirrel light being right there beside it ? Could be...but after everything I've read...I'm really wondering.

So what do you think?
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby # 13 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:15 pm

Welcome to the board!!!

Your story is a trip. I don't know if that is the exact same lamp or not but it's definitely a spittin image of it. You will have to do more research to find out more about the wealthy gay hoarder shut-in guy. Please let us know what you find out. If I may ask, what city or town was his house in and who was the Hollywood star he was writing letters to?
"Either the most complex and sophisticated hoax in the history of Anthropology has continued for centuries without being exposed or the most manlike and largest non human primate has managed to survive in parts of North America and remains undiscovered by modern science."
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby kathyM » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:17 am

If you put it on Ebay I would buy it! :)
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Rokiisun » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:16 pm

I have checked the crime scene photographs and it is most definitely
the same make of lamp (I'm a photographer).

I did this by comparing the original photograph to that of yours.

1) The shape of the squirrel is the exact same.
2) The shape of the bottom of the lamp (which attaches to the post) is the same.
3) The dynamics of the lantern, design and the way it points away from the squirrel is the same.
4) The colour of the lamp

The only thing I cannot source is the actual colour of the squirrel. The original 1974 photograph is
overexposed (the flash has bounced off the lamp enhancing it's white colour).

I would find out more information about the lamp such as:

1) The location of the hoarder's home/where they lived previously and how far from Amityville this is.
2) More about the company who made these lanterns. How many were made in entirety? (e.g - 2,000 units)
3) Check the lamp over thoroughly for any signs (or engravings) which would suggest this was the original lantern from 1974.
(is the squirrel maybe brown because a child, or adult tried to colour it in?)
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby # 13 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:04 pm

kathyM wrote:If you put it on Ebay I would buy it! :)


If Faeowyn puts it on Ebay I will outbid you LOL ;) :lol:

It does look just like the "original"............................OR is the "original"!!!
"Either the most complex and sophisticated hoax in the history of Anthropology has continued for centuries without being exposed or the most manlike and largest non human primate has managed to survive in parts of North America and remains undiscovered by modern science."
Prof G.W.Gill - President of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Tim » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:50 pm

You could sell these lamps light hotcakes all day long on this board!
"Things of this nature happen quite frequently,and when they happen to families, they usually close the door and they don't talk about it; and unless these things are talked about, they'll never be understood." - Kathy Lutz
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby VintageBoy91 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:28 am

I would buy it too! :)
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby t00nCiNaToR » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:23 am

Did ya ask the Giant creepy spider in the lamp?
"It happened so quick. I mean, it was boom, boom, boom. From the first killing to the last, it never took any longer than seven seconds,
it would be alot, that would have been alot. Seven seconds." - Ronald J. DeFeo Jr.
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby t00nCiNaToR » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:15 am

I see there's a little plaque on it, can you still read what it says?
"It happened so quick. I mean, it was boom, boom, boom. From the first killing to the last, it never took any longer than seven seconds,
it would be alot, that would have been alot. Seven seconds." - Ronald J. DeFeo Jr.
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Faeowyn » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:42 am

Howdy! Thanks for the welcome and all the replies to my post.

The gentleman's name is Aryan W. Hastings. The address for the house is 328 E. Main Street, Knightstown, Indiana.

The Social Security death index shows he was born 26 January 1936 and died 2 February 2008 (in Greenfield, Indiana). Unable to find a birth record under this name.

There is a great deal of mystery surrounding this fellow. He reportedly holds a few Ph.D's (one in Psycology); was a professor in both California and Pennsylvania and was a principal in an all Spanish speaking school in Mexico. Based on the slides we purchased from his estate, he was a world traveler. I spoke with both the ladies who cleaned out his house and found more questions than answers, but there sure are some really intriguing questions!

He knew Doris Day; several letters between them confirm that. But did he also know her son, Terry Melcher? (If you don't know about Melcher's ties to Charles Manson, wiki him).

There's been mention that he knew / was friends with...Charles Manson.

He was heavily into the occult, satanism and Allister Crowley.

He lived on the east coast and did a play in New York. He could've attended the Amityville auction and purchased this lamp there.

He claims to have had a terrible fight with his father and hated him so much that he changed his name. Is that really why he changed his name?

I found divorce records for him... April 30, 1984 in Clark, Nevada...to a woman named Erlinda Voy...His letters state that he married her to keep her from being deported.

I show he lived in Hacienda Heights and Pico Rivera, California...both places not so very far from Manson's Spahn Ranch and the house where Sharon Tate and the others were murdered by the Manson family.

Reports are, that he was so terrified of going to church, he would wet himself. But he'd go to church with wet pants rather than go home and change. A fact which I think might read a little differently...rather than fear...might he have purposely done it to defile the church?

Knightstown is home to the "Pest House"...and his home wasn't far from it. Numerous of his photos from around the country were buildings with this same type of architecture.

Found a reference to a book he wrote with Jeannette Randall entitled, "Astronomical Cartoons" by Mount Olympus Press in 1982.

Right now, that's what I know about the man. Working on learning more.


Didn't notice the nasty spider in the lamp, but yeah...yuck! The lamp does have a badge on the lower portion but the wording can't be made out. It also has a "Made in Italy" stamp on the 'branch' but it looks backwards / upside down. Not sure about the paint job either, but it looks old. I have failed to find any other references to this cast metal lamp anywhere else.

:)
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Faeowyn » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:45 am

Also meant to mention that he owned a house at 1306 F Street, in Bedford, Indiana. In 2007, it was evidently seized by police as a clandestine drug lab / dumpsite.

And, that the house in Knightstown is apparently not currently being lived in.
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Rokiisun » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:28 pm

'Made in Italy' you say?

Weren't the Defeos from an Italian background? Very uncanny indeed. :think:
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby AmityPhotos » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:27 am

Nice Find!

Google image search immediately pulls up a few, so I would guess they were mass produced. Now to find one!
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby # 13 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:13 pm

Faeowyn wrote:Howdy! Thanks for the welcome and all the replies to my post. The gentleman's name is Aryan W. Hastings. The address for the house is 328 E. Main Street, Knightstown, Indiana. The Social Security death index shows he was born 26 January 1936 and died 2 February 2008 (in Greenfield, Indiana). Unable to find a birth record under this name. There is a great deal of mystery surrounding this fellow. He reportedly holds a few Ph.D's (one in Psycology); was a professor in both California and Pennsylvania and was a principal in an all Spanish speaking school in Mexico. Based on the slides we purchased from his estate, he was a world traveler. I spoke with both the ladies who cleaned out his house and found more questions than answers, but there sure are some really intriguing questions! He knew Doris Day; several letters between them confirm that. But did he also know her son, Terry Melcher? (If you don't know about Melcher's ties to Charles Manson, wiki him). There's been mention that he knew / was friends with...Charles Manson. He was heavily into the occult, satanism and Allister Crowley. He lived on the east coast and did a play in New York. He could've attended the Amityville auction and purchased this lamp there. He claims to have had a terrible fight with his father and hated him so much that he changed his name. Is that really why he changed his name? I found divorce records for him... April 30, 1984 in Clark, Nevada...to a woman named Erlinda Voy...His letters state that he married her to keep her from being deported. I show he lived in Hacienda Heights and Pico Rivera, California...both places not so very far from Manson's Spahn Ranch and the house where Sharon Tate and the others were murdered by the Manson family. Reports are, that he was so terrified of going to church, he would wet himself. But he'd go to church with wet pants rather than go home and change. A fact which I think might read a little differently...rather than fear...might he have purposely done it to defile the church? Knightstown is home to the "Pest House"...and his home wasn't far from it. Numerous of his photos from around the country were buildings with this same type of architecture. Found a reference to a book he wrote with Jeannette Randall entitled, "Astronomical Cartoons" by Mount Olympus Press in 1982. Right now, that's what I know about the man. Working on learning more.


Thanks for the reply and the information. I bet you could write a pretty interesting book on this guy based on the information you have. However, I do agree with you; I would feel a little uncomfortable approaching the subject of the occult, satanism and Allister Crowley.
"Either the most complex and sophisticated hoax in the history of Anthropology has continued for centuries without being exposed or the most manlike and largest non human primate has managed to survive in parts of North America and remains undiscovered by modern science."
Prof G.W.Gill - President of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby hardluckboogie » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:59 am

Great photo and not saying its not the same one But I found this at the start of the video and it appears to be all black but whos to say that it has not been painted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7PQnOIE3UE
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Faeowyn » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:39 am

Cool video! But if you pause it on the lamp, you can see that the lower portion appears to be white...so perhaps it's just a trick of the light that makes it appear so dark.

I want to sell it. The flies have only gotten worse. Make me an offer.
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby kathyM » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:10 pm

You should put it up on Ebay. There could be a bidding war! :)
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby lostinthe50s81 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:44 pm

wow, i didn't know terry melcher was doris day's son. to avoid confusion, the manson murders and his connection to manson are not what he is known for. he is known for being a member of the ripcords, the group that had the song hey little cobra. he was also known for his involvement with the beach boys. although what's creepy is that dennis wilson of the beach boys also was friends with charles manson for a short time and even had the beach boys record a couple of songs manson wrote. and as far as this guy whose house you got the lamp from, his story is just as interesting as amityville itself!!!
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Faeowyn » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:06 am

His story IS interesting! But I've hit a brick wall. I haven't been able to find out any more information on Mr. Hastings and I probably won't until I can uncover his birth name.
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby High Hopes » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:24 am

If it's still available I'm iterested in it.
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Re: Is this the famous squirrel lamp post?

Postby Whaoo2024 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:38 am

Here is my story,

I went to an auction that sold lighting equipment and fixtures. I won a bid for an entire shelf of inventory holding about a thousand boxes of different light fixtures, lamps, and other electrical appliances.

After unloading all of the items in my garage, I started to go through all my inventory. It was mainly full of old style lighting and outdated light fixtures. After hours of sorting, I came across a box with the company name, Dinico printed on it. This was the only box that came from that company. I opened the box and pulled out the squirrel lamp. The piece looked very interesting, was beautifully made, and I have never seen one like it. I put it to the side and finished sorting my inventory that ended up being a bunch of the same types of items in mass quantity. There was only one squirrel lamp fixture.

Having no knowledge on the squirrel lamp, I typed into Google images "squirrel lamp fixture" and I found only one picture that looked like the exact squirrel fixture, that image directed me to this forum. I was wondering if this was the famous squirrel light post that sat in front of the Amityville House. The fixture was found in its original box with original newspaper packaging, which was the "New York Times" from 1981. If it is the light post from the Amityville Horror House, could this be the last one that is in Perfect condition and still in its original box?

Image
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