Ed and Lorraine Warren’s most famous case by far is their investigation of the home which was the subject of The Amityville Horror. The Warrens were 2 of 9 people who investigated the home. Even now, 24 years later, the Amityville investigation is their most requested lecture topic. We’ve included some photos here on the website, but to see the most shocking, revealing, and interesting photographs, you’ll need to attend one of the Warrens’ many lectures.
Over the years, rumors have abounded which claim to prove the Amityville case a fraud. How these rumors started and how they became so ubiquitous is unclear. What is clear is that the Warrens saw the house for themselves, and experienced some of the phenomena which occurred. They have photographs and reports which show remarkable proof of the existence of very remarkable phenomena in that house.
It’s believed that the hoax rumor began with a man who called himself Dr. Steven Kaplan, although he held no doctorate degree from any university. This fact was exposed on several occasions, yet that never stopped Mr. Kaplan from making these claims. He was the self-proclaimed president of the Parapsychology Society of Long Island and some other related societies, presumably founded by himself. As far as the Warrens can tell, he hated them because Mr. Lutz, the owner of the Amityville Horror home called Mr. Kaplan prior to calling the Warrens, and asked him to investigate the situation. Mr. Kaplan came to the home to “investigate” with 6 witches and the Channel 7 news team, and Mr. Lutz threw Mr. Kaplan off the property – and then called the Warrens. This started a 20 year vendetta of Mr. Kaplan against the Warrens.
The basic claims of Mr. Kaplan insisting Amityville to be a hoax were discussed with Ed Warren and Mr. Kaplan on a Long Island radio show. Kaplan insisted that Amityville was a hoax because Jay Anson’s book, The Amityville Horror, has some inconsistencies in it, and it was not 100% accurate. The Warrens felt that Mr. Anson’s book was not 100% accurate as well, but only because Mr. Anson was unfamiliar with the terms of art of the field of demonology, not because of any purposeful error on his or Mr. Lutz’s part. Apparently Mr. Kaplan simply could not let go of the idea that he had ruined his chance to become involved in what may be the world’s most famous paranormal investigation, and therefore started the rumor that it was all a hoax.
Mr. Kaplan wrote a book concerning the Amityville story, called The Amityville Conspiracy, and one week before the book was published he died from a heart attack. The book contains far more contradictions and mis-stated facts than The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. Kaplan was never even inside of the Amityville house (except to attend a party–not as part of an investigation), despite his claims to the contrary.
Kaplan nevertheless swore that he had photographs and investigative materials. Ed Warren offered him $5000 to show him the hoax evidence, yet Kaplan declined. When Ed Warren asked how Kaplan had conducted his investigation, Kaplan couldn’t even specify what equipment he’d used. Somehow, he managed to lie his way out of every possible detail.
Ultimately, a Babylon, NY radio station made Mr. Kaplan apologize to the Warrens because they’d uncovered that Kaplan had fabricated the hoax rumor. Kaplan said on the radio program, “I will never go against the Warrens again.” Given his health, he was never able to try, although his apology was short- lived.
The Warrens found that Mr. Lutz’s descriptions of the paranormal activity in the home were very accurate for a case of demonic possession, although the Lutz’s had never studied demonology – they would not have know how to fabricate the story that they told.
But why is the hoax story so popular? Part of the reason was that the chief of police’s son was a newspaper reporter, and the police hoped to get vandals out of the area – since the story had broken, the traffic in the area had been nonstop. An erroneous story was printed in Newsday about how the Amityville case was a hoax, and that helped to perpetuate the hoax myth.
But who would have profited from fabricating such a story? The Lutzes received little or no money from the books and movies. Jay Anson, the author of The Amityville Horror surely profited from his book, but it seems that no one else did. Another rumor persists that the Lutz’s lawyer, Attorney Webber, fabricated the story with them over several bottles of wine. Truth be told, the Lutzes didn’t drink and had only a bottle of blessed wine in the house given to them by Father Pecoraro. Rumor has it that Webber wanted to write his own book, but Jay Anson simply beat him to it.
Jay Anson, author of The Amityville Horror had a heart attack while he was writing the last chapter of the book. He recovered from this heart attack but had a second, fatal heart attack while writing his second book “666” on the anti-Christ. These are only two of the many “coincidences” that plague the Amityville story.
What follows is a short version of the Warrens’ own story about their Amityville investigation. This was compiled from their oral history taken during a NESPR meeting in October, 1997. We’ve included it here to help dispel the rumors that Amityville was a hoax. The New England Society for Psychic Research strongly believes that only through dissemination of accurate information concerning paranormal activity can the public be informed that such activity really exists – and that evil is among us. It is not until the public understands that this is so that we can begin to combat such forces in our midst. As long as fraud stories persist, and as long as people who experience real such trauma are ridiculed, Satan and evil forces can continue to do their work here on earth. It is only through information and understanding that good can prevail.
History of the property: The property was used as a sort of insane asylum for Native Americans who were sick and dying. There had been an enclosure on the property, where the patients were housed. Inhuman spirits revel in such suffering and are able to infest the graves of those who were buried in unconsecrated ground.
Background: The problems at the Amityville house seemed to stem from the Ronald DeFeo murders on November 13, 1974. Mr. DeFeo hated his father and had plotted to kill him–he’d even worked out a scheme by which he could do so. Mr. DeFeo was on drugs, and his father knew about it. Later he said that there was a shadow ghost alongside of him during the killings which compelled him to shoot his two brothers and his sister at 3:15 am on November 13, 1974. Although the houses in this quiet Amityville neighborhood were only 40 feet apart, no neighbors awoke during the shootings. All of the victims were found on their stomachs. The Warrens believe that the victims were in a state of phantomania, which in effect paralyzed them, making them unable to cry out for help.
How the Warrens became involved: Ed and Lorraine Warren met with a priest, Father Pecararo, and the Lutzes when they were first called in to investigate. The Lutzes were living at Mrs. Lutz’s mother’s house in Deer Park, NY because they were too afraid to go back to the house to live. They were all but afraid to even speak of the phenomena, so deep was their fear. They’d even left all of their furniture and possessions behind, not daring to return to move out–it simply wasn’t worth the risk.
The first time the Warrens went to the house it was with an anchorman from the Channel 5 news, a professor from Duke University, and the president of the American Society for Psychic Research. That first day was horrifying. Lorraine received nonstop clairvisual and clairaudial messages about the phenomena which had occurred.
Anxious to see for himself whether or not the phenomena was real, Ed, who normally experiences little clairvoyant feelings at all, went into the cellar. The cellar is typically where evil spirits spend their days, and Ed therefore felt that would be the best place for him to start. Despite his usual immunity from witnessing phenomena, Ed saw shadows along with thousands of pinpoints of light. These shadows attempted to push him to the ground. Ed used religious resistance and commanded the evil spirits to leave. He immediately got the sensation of something attempting to lift him off of the ground, and he knew then that this was truly a house of evil. Although he knew that this was serious case, he had no idea how severe it really was. He has never been so seriously affected in any case before, or after, the Amityville Horror case.
Lorraine’s Experiences: Lorraine was frightened even before she’d entered the house. She’d contacted some priest friends in advance and asked them to accompany her in spirit into the house. She took relics with her of Padre Pio which she’d received in a letter from a total stranger earlier in the week.
As she went to the stairs to go to the 2nd floor landing, she felt as if there was a huge force of rushing water against her, and the atmosphere around here was solidifying. On the second floor, Lorraine went into the sewing room. Marvin Scott, the Channel 5 anchorman, told Lorraine, “I hope that this is as close to hell as I ever get,” as they went into Missy’s room. Lorraine immediately clairvoyantly knew that Missy’s room had the same furniture as it had when the DeFeo girls were murdered. Mr. Lutz had let his children sleep in the DeFeo children’s death beds.
In the master bedroom, one wall was all mirrors. Lorraine sat on the bed where the DeFeo parents had been shot. Only the mattress on the bed had been changed. The feeling in the rooms was that of absolute horror, and going from room to room did not dissipate the feeling at all. One just seemed more horrible than the next.
On the third floor, Lorraine clairvoyantly encountered Ronald DeFeo. This encounter was so awful, and he was so sinister, that she felt there was absolutely nothing she could do to help–or eject–his spirit from the house.
Once she was downstairs again, she was asked to do something she had never wanted to do after entering the house–she was asked to communicate with the spirits in the house and ask what had really happened. All of the investigators were in the room. The investigator from Duke University actually passed out cold from fear! Two of the other investigators complained of heart palpitations and had to rest on the floor. The house seemed to have the most dire effect on men. Mary Pascarella, the Director of a prominent psychic research group in New Haven, actually became so ill that she had to be taken outside and from that moment forward she never entered the house again.
Ed and Lorraine Warren left a 1:00am. Both were so affected that they vowed they’d never go back into that house again. But they did… .and the Amityville Horror story was born.
This article contains some of the only photos ever taken inside this house. There are more in the photo gallery.
Amityville Photo Gallery
The House on Ocean Avenue Amityville, NY
Lorraine Warren, Dr. Brian Riley and Marvin Scott. Lorraine has communication with the entities, observed by Dr. Riley, a British parapsychologist and Mr. Scott, a NYC TV newsman.
This lion “came to life” and walked around during the phenomena
Mr. Lutz’s and Mr. Defeo’s study -much of the furniture belonged to Mr. DeFeo
Lorraine Warren is so badly affected she nearly collapses – holding a relic in her hand.
This area (now a swimming pool) was where sick and dying Indians were housed.