112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville-the story behind the Amityville Horror.

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Ronald Joseph “Butch” DeFeo Jr. (born September 26, 1951) is an American mass murderer. He was tried and convicted for the 1974 killings of his father, mother, two brothers, and two sisters. The case inspired the book and film versions of The Amityville Horror.Ronald_defeo

DeFeo’s trial began on October 14, 1975. He and his defense lawyer William Weber mounted an affirmative defense of insanity, with DeFeo claiming that he killed his family in self-defense because he heard their voices plotting against him. The insanity plea was supported by the psychiatrist for the defense, Dr. Daniel Schwartz. The psychiatrist for the prosecution, Dr. Harold Zolan, maintained that although DeFeo was an abuser of heroin and LSD, he had antisocial personality disorder and was aware of his actions at the time of the crime.

The book, purportedly based on a true story, describes the house at 112 Ocean Avenue as remaining empty for 13 months after the DeFeo murders. In December 1975, George and Kathleen Lutz bought the house for what was considered to be a bargain price of $80,000. The five-bedroom house was built in Dutch Colonial style and had a distinctive gambrel roof. It also had a swimming pool and a boathouse, as it was located on a canal.

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George and Kathy married in July 1975 and each had their own homes, but they wanted to start fresh with a new property. Kathy had three children from a previous marriage: Daniel, 9, Christopher, 7, and Melissa (Missy), 5. They also owned a crossbreed Malamute/Labrador dog named Harry. During their first inspection of the house, the real estate broker told them about the DeFeo murders and asked if this would affect their decision. After discussing the matter, they decided that it was not a problem.

Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot  them all with a .35 Marlin rifle and each victim was found face down in their beds inside the home. DeFeo Jr., who was 23 years old at the time, was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder in November 1975.

The murders have gone on to inspire several books and movies like “The Amityville Horror,” which tells the story of the Lutz family who moved into the home 13 months after the murders. They left the house 28 days later, claiming they were haunted by paranormal activity.

On the anniversary of the start of DeFeo’s trial, here are somethings you may not know about those 1974 killings in Amityville.

DeFeo killed all six of his family members — dad Ronald Sr., 44, mom Louise, 42, and siblings Dawn, 18, Allison, 13, Marc, 12, and John Matthew, 9 — around 3 a.m. on Nov. 13, 1974.

The Lutz family claimed George Lutz woke up around this time every morning when they moved into the home. He would go out and check the boathouse at the same time DeFeo carried out his murders.

After the murders, DeFeo went into Henry’s Bar in Amityville where he shouted for help and claimed someone had shot his parent,He then returned to the home with a group of people where the bodies of his family members were found.

Police were then notified and eventually DeFeo confessed after authorities grew suspicious of his account of what happened.

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Why DeFeo decided to kill is family remains unclear.

Some believe he did it to collect life insurance policies on his parents because after the killingsAmityvillecover he asked police what he needed to do to get his hands on his father’s policy.Of course, there’s also the highly talked about idea that some kind of force inside the house made him do it, which played a big part in the horror movies and the Lutz’s story.

The Lutz family moved in December 19, 1975.[a] Much of the DeFeo family’s furniture was still in the house, because it was included for $400 as part of the deal.[3] A friend of George Lutz learned about the history of the house, and insisted on having it blessed. At the time, George was a non-practicing Methodist and had no experience of what this would entail. Kathy was a non-practicing Catholic and explained the process. George knew a Catholic priest named Father Ray who agreed to carry out the house blessing.

Some of the experiences of the Lutz family at the house are described in the book as follows:

  • The house was plagued by swarms of flies despite the winter weather.
  • Kathy had vivid nightmares about the murders and discovered the order in which they occurred and the rooms where they took place. The Lutz children also began sleeping on their stomachs, in the same way that the dead bodies in the DeFeo murders had been found.
  • Kathy would feel a sensation as if “being embraced” in a loving manner, by an unseen force.
  • George discovered a small hidden room (around four feet by five feet) behind shelving in the basement. The walls were painted red and the room did not appear in the blueprints of the house. The room came to be known as “The Red Room.” This room had a profound effect on their dog Harry, who refused to go near it and cowered as if sensing something ominous.
  • There were cold spots and odors of perfume and excrement in areas of the house where no wind drafts or piping would explain the source.
  • While tending to the fire, George and Kathy saw the image of a demon with half his head blown out. It was burned into the soot in the back of the fireplace.
  • The Lutzes’ 5-year-old daughter, Missy, developed an imaginary friend named “Jodie,” a demonic pig-like creature with glowing red eyes.
  • In the early morning hours of Christmas Day 1975, George looked up at the house after checking on the boathouse and saw the pig standing behind Missy at her bedroom window. When he ran up to her room he found her fast asleep with her small rocking chair slowly rocking back and forth.
  • George would wake up to the sound of the front door slamming. He would race downstairs to find the dog sleeping soundly at the front door. Nobody else heard the sound although it was loud enough to wake the house.
  • George would hear what was described as a “marching band tuning up” or what sounded like a clock radio playing not quite on frequency. When he went downstairs the noise would cease.
  • George realized that he bore a strong resemblance to Ronald DeFeo, Jr., and began drinking at The Witches’ Brew, the bar where DeFeo was once a regular customer.
  • When closing Missy’s window, which Missy said Jodie climbed out of, Kathy saw red eyes glowing at her.
  • While in bed, Kathy received red welts on her chest caused by an unseen force and was levitated two feet in the air.
  • Locks, doors and windows in the house were damaged by an unseen force.
  • Cloven hoof prints attributed to an enormous pig appeared in the snow outside the house January 1, 1976.
  • Green gelatin-like slime oozed from walls in the hall, and also from the keyhole of the playroom door in the attic.
  • A 12-inch (30 cm) crucifix, hung in the living room by Kathy, revolved until it was upside down and gave off a sour smell.
  • George tripped over a 4-foot-high (1.2 m) China lion ornament in the living room and found bite marks on one of his ankles. Later this lion would reappear in the living room after George had moved it back upstairs into the sewing room.
  • George saw Kathy transform into an old woman of 90, “the hair wild, a shocking white, the face a mass of wrinkles and ugly lines, and saliva dripping from the toothless mouth.”
  • Missy would sing constantly while in her room. Whenever she left the room, she would stop singing, and upon returning, she would resume singing where she left off.
  • On one occasion Kathy heard what sounded like a window being opened and closed through the sewing room door even though she was sure no one was in there.

By mid-January 1976, after another attempt at a house blessing by George and Kathy, they experienced what would turn out to be their final night in the house. The Lutzes declined to give a full account of the events that took place on this occasion, describing them as “too frightening.”

DeFeo is still alive to this day and remains at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Beekman, New York.

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After receiving six 25 years-to-life-sentences, it’s no surprise parole hasn’t been an option for the murderer. All of his appeals and requests have been denied by the parole board.

On the night of March 6, 1976, the house was investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren, a husband and wife team self-described as demonologists, together with a crew from the television station Channel 5 New York and reporter Michael Linder of WNEW-FM.

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During the course of the investigation Gene Campbell took a series of infrared time-lapse photographs. One of the images allegedly showed a “demonic boy” with glowing eyes who was standing at the foot of a staircase. The photograph did not emerge into the public domain until 1979, when George and Kathy Lutz and Rod Steiger appeared on The Merv Griffin Show to promote the release of the first film. 112 Ocean Avenue was also investigated by the parapsychologist Hans Holzer. The Warrens and Holzer have suggested that the house is occupied by malevolent spirits due to its history.

In May 2010, the house was placed on the market with an asking price of $1.15 million. In August 2010, the house was sold to a local resident for $950,000.On August 21, 2010, the departing owner held a moving sale at the house, and hundreds of people turned up for the event. They were allowed to go inside the house, but not to visit the upstairs rooms or the basement.

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Happy 122nd Birthday,Count Dracula.

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When I was a young boy, Count Dracula scared the crap out of me.Having an older brother pretending the Count didn’t help either. The fear was so real that to this day I still have a phobia for Bats.

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Little did I know then I would end up living in the country where the legend of Dracula was created, Ireland.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, on November 8, 1847, Bram Stoker published his first literary work, The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, a handbook in legal administration, in 1879. Turning to fiction later in life, Stoker published his masterpiece Dracula, in 1897.

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On 26 May 1897,Stoker published his masterpiece, Dracula. While the book garnered success after its release, its popularity has continued to grow for more than a century. Deemed a classic horror novel today, Dracula has inspired the creation of numerous theatrical, literary and film adaptations. Among them are the 1931 film Dracula, starring actor Bela Lugosi, and F.W. Murnau’s 1922 film Nosferatu, starring Max Schreck.

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Dracula is literally translated in Gaelic as Drac Ullah (or Droch fola) meaning bad blood.

Count Dracula, a fictional character in the Dracula novel, was inspired by one of the best-known figures of Romanian history, Vlad Dracula, nicknamed Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), who was the ruler of Walachia at various times from 1456-1462. Born in 1431 in Sighisoara, he resided all his adult life in Walachia, except for periods of imprisonment at Pest and Visegrad (in Hungary)

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Although he never traveled to Romania, Stoker crammed his book with descriptions of many real locations that can still be visited in present-day Romania. They include the most important historical places associated with Vlad Tepes, such as the 14th century town of Sighisoara where you can visit the house in which Vlad was born (now hosting a restaurant and a small museum of medieval weapons).

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Other Dracula sites include: the Old Princely Court (Palatul Curtea Veche) in Bucharest, Snagov Monastery, where, according to legend, Vlad’s remains were buried; the ruins of the Poenari Fortress (considered to be the authentic Dracula’s Castle); the village of Arefu where Dracula legends are still told, the city of Brasov where Vlad led raids against the Saxons merchants, and, of course, Bran Castle.

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“Vlad the Impaler” is said to have killed from 40,000 to 100,000 European civilians (political rivals, criminals, and anyone that he considered “useless to humanity”), mainly by impaling. The sources depicting these events are records by Saxon settlers in neighbouring Transylvania who had frequent clashes with Vlad III. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero by Romanians for driving off the invading Ottoman Turks, of whom his impaled victims are said to have included as many as 100,000.

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The story of Dracula has been the basis for numerous films and plays. Stoker himself wrote the first theatrical adaptation, which was presented at the Lyceum Theatre on 18 May 1897 under the title Dracula, or The Undead shortly before the novel’s publication and performed only once, in order to establish his own copyright for such adaptations. This adaption was first published only a century later in Oct 1997.[49] The first motion picture to feature Dracula was Dracula’s Death, produced in Hungary in 1921.

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F. W. Murnau’s unauthorised film adaptation Nosferatu was released in 1922, and the popularity of the novel increased considerably, owing to an attempt by Stoker’s widow tried to have the film removed from public circulation.

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In 1958, British film company Hammer Film Productions followed the success of its The Curse of Frankenstein from the previous year with Dracula, released in the US as The Horror of Dracula, directed by Terence Fisher. Fisher’s production featured Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, but it diverged considerably from the original novel.

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It was an international hit for Hammer Film, however, and both Lee and Cushing reprised their roles multiple times over the next decade and a half,

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concluding with The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (with Cushing but not Lee) in 1974. Christopher Lee also took on the role of Dracula in Count Dracula, a 1970 Spanish-Italian-German co-production notable for its adherence to the plot of the original novel.

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Many adaptions have been made over the years, The one truest to the novel is probably the 1992 adaption directed by Francis Ford Coppola,Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with Gary Oldman in the role as Dracula.

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Nearly as popular as the main character is  the main protagonist,Professor Abraham Van Helsing.He is an aged Dutch doctor with a wide range of interests and accomplishments, partly attested by the string of letters that follows his name: “MD, D.Ph., D.Litt., etc, etc,”[4] indicating a wealth of experience, education and expertise. The character is best known throughout his many adaptations as a vampire hunter and the archenemy of Count Dracula. The character is been portrayed in most of the Dracula movies but also in other fictional Gothic  stories. In 2004 he was the main character in the movie “Van Hesling” played by Hugh Jackman.

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After 120 years the story of Dracula still captures the imagination of many and  is as popular as ever(if not more) it really has stood the test of time. Happy Birthday Count Dracula.

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Eerie but good Music

I might be ahead of the posse on this one but since Halloween is drawing near I was thinking of songs and pieces of music which would be perfectly suited for “All Hallows Eve”. This way you can have at least one playlist ready for the event.

Starting off with a classical piece.

Flower Duet

The “Flower Duet” is a famous duet for sopranos from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, first performed in Paris in 1883. The duet takes place in act 1 of the three-act opera, between characters Lakmé, the daughter of a Brahmin priest, and her servant Mallika, as they go to gather flowers by a river.

 

Gymnopédie No. 1

The Gymnopédies are the first compositions with which Erik Satie tried to cut himself loose from the conventional 19th century “salon music” environment of his father and stepmother. In September 1887, Satie composed three sarabands (Trois Sarabandes), taking a quote from Contamine’s La Perdition by way of introduction.

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Your Ghost

Your Ghost” is the first track from Kristin Hersh’s debut solo studio album Hips and Makers. It features additional backing vocals from Michael Stipe of R.E.M..

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Where the Wild Roses Grow

Where the Wild Roses Grow” is a duet by Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and pop singer Kylie Minogue. It is the fifth song and lead single from the band’s ninth studio album, Murder Ballads (1996), released on Mute Records.

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Gonna Get Close to You

Gonna Get Close to You is a song by Dalbello that first appeared on her album whomanfoursays, while an extended version was released as a single.

However in 1986 the Seattle based Heavy Metal band covered the song on their album “Rage for Order”.

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Their version is actually better and creepier, it is one of those rare occasions where a cover version is better.

 

How You Gonna See Me Now”

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How You Gonna See Me Now” is a song written by Alice Cooper, Bernie Taupin, and Dick Wagner, performed by Cooper and produced by David Foster. It was released on Cooper’s album, From the Inside.

If this song was sung by any other artist it would have been one of the most romantic ballads. But this being an Alice , the Prince of Darkness,Cooper song it becomes clear that the song is actually but a mental patient being released from the mental hospital.

 

 

Tubular Bells

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Tubular Bells is the debut record album of English musician Mike Oldfield, recorded when he was 19 and released in 1973 when he was 20.

It was the first album released by Virgin Records and an early cornerstone of the company’s success. Vivian Stanshall provided the voice of the “Master of Ceremonies” who reads off the list of instruments at the end of the first movement. The opening piano solo was used briefly in the soundtrack to the William Friedkin film The Exorcist (released the same year), and the album gained considerable airplay because of the film’s success.The 1st time (and only time) I watched that movie I stayed awake for two nights afterwards. The music still brings back that uncomfortable feeling I had then.

Finishing off with a classical piece.

O Fortuna, this must be one of the creepiest pieces of music ever recorded, together with Tubular Bells.

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The music composed by Carl Orff was the soundtrack to one of the all time classic Horror movies “The Omen”

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It really is the perfect music for the movie.

This version is performed by the Andre Rieu Orchestra.