Inside the Amityville house of horrors: Real estate photos show home 45 years after family murder


The ‘Amityville house of horrors’ is back in the headlines following the death of convicted killer Ronald DeFeo. 

The five-bedroom property – located 40 miles from New York City – was where DeFeo murdered six members of his family back in 1974. 

The cold-blooded killings shocked the nation, but the home gained even more notoriety three years later when its new owners were forced to flee, claiming they were terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there. 

The events inspired a slew of books and films that have made the home one of the most infamous in the United States. 

But today, the picturesque property shows no sign of the horrors that occurred there. 

The Dutch Colonial home, which is positioned on the waterfront in the affluent coastal village of Amityville, was built back in 1927. 

Set across three levels, the 5,000-square-foot residence has been tastefully updated and was last sold in 2017 for the sum of $605,000.  

The ‘Amityville house of horrors’ is back in the headlines following the death of convicted killer Ronald DeFeo last week

Set across three levels, the 5,000-square-foot residence has been tastefully updated and was last sold in 2017 for the sum of $605,000

Set across three levels, the 5,000-square-foot residence has been tastefully updated and was last sold in 2017 for the sum of $605,000

The property's formal dining area is pictured in a 2017 listing photo. The bright and airy home shows now indication of the horrors that occurred there more than four decades ago

The property’s formal dining area is pictured in a 2017 listing photo. The bright and airy home shows now indication of the horrors that occurred there more than four decades ago 

Ronald DeFeo's cold-blooded killings shocked the nation, and inspired a slew of books and films that have made the home one of the most infamous in the United States

Ronald DeFeo’s cold-blooded killings shocked the nation, and inspired a slew of books and films that have made the home one of the most infamous in the United States

DeFeo, who was 23 years old when he slaughtered six of his own family members, died in prison on Friday. He is pictured in 1974

DeFeo, who was 23 years old when he slaughtered six of his own family members, died in prison on Friday. He is pictured in 1974

The affluent waterfront community of Amityville is located 40 miles from New York City on Long Island

The affluent waterfront community of Amityville is located 40 miles from New York City on Long Island 

Photographs from the time of the sale show that the home features a comfortable and cozy lounge room complete with a grand fireplace. 

The home’s kitchen has been remodeled, as has its formal dining room. 

Meanwhile, a sun room features sweeping views out to the nearby waterfront. 

Upstairs, there are five spacious bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as a deck which looks out over the tranquil surrounds. 

The property additionally boasts a boat shed and a swimming pool, making it a bargain for the family who snapped it up for just over $600,000 four years ago. 

They managed to secure the property for well below the $850,000 asking price.  

The Dutch Colonial home, which is positioned on the waterfront, was built back in 1927

The Dutch Colonial home, which is positioned on the waterfront, was built back in 1927

The five-bedroom property - located 40 miles from New York City - was where DeFeo murdered six members of his family back in 1974. Today, the picturesque property shows no sign of the horrors that occurred there

The five-bedroom property – located 40 miles from New York City – was where DeFeo murdered six members of his family back in 1974. Today, the picturesque property shows no sign of the horrors that occurred there

The home's kitchen has been remodeled, and features  stylish stainless steel appliances

The home’s kitchen has been remodeled, and features  stylish stainless steel appliances

A sun room boasts sweeping views out to the nearby waterfront

A sun room boasts sweeping views out to the nearby waterfront

The home's entryway - which comes complete with a grand sweeping staircase - is pictured

The home’s entryway – which comes complete with a grand sweeping staircase – is pictured

Upstairs, there are five spacious bedrooms and three bathrooms. Each of the rooms has been freshly painted and the floorboards have been polished

Upstairs, there are five spacious bedrooms and three bathrooms. Each of the rooms has been freshly painted and the floorboards have been polished 

A large bedroom on the floor's third level is pictured. The home was redecorated prior to its sale in 2017

A large bedroom on the floor’s third level is pictured. The home was redecorated prior to its sale in 2017 

A deck features views out over the water. The home is located just an hour's drive from New York City, in the waterfront village of Amityville

A deck features views out over the water. The home is located just an hour’s drive from New York City, in the waterfront village of Amityville 

The property additional boasts a boat shed and a swimming pool, making it a bargain for the family who snapped it up for just over $600,000 four years ago

The property additional boasts a boat shed and a swimming pool, making it a bargain for the family who snapped it up for just over $600,000 four years ago

In November 1974, Ronald DeFeo used a .35-caliber Marlin lever-action rifle to slaughter six members of his family, who were found lying face-down in their beds on November 13, 1974.

Father Ronald DeFeo Sr., 43, and mother Louise DeFeo, 43, were both shot twice. Siblings Dawn, 18, Allison, 13, Marc, 12, and John, 9, were each shot once.

DeFeo’s attorney mounted an insanity defense, claiming he heard voices saying his family was plotting against him.

He was convicted in 1975 of six counts of second-degree murder and received six sentences of 25 years to life.

A year after the killings, George and Kathy Lutz purchased the house, but left 28 days later after reporting paranormal activity. 

The events reported by the couple after they moved in served as the inspiration for the 1977 book and 1979 cult classic film of the same name starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Rod Steiger.

George Lutz told ABC News in 2006 that some of the reported events such as the green slime were embellished, while insisting the book and movie were based on events that truly happened during the family’s 28-day stay.

DeFeo, at right, with his siblings in an undated family photo. The then-23-year-old shot his two brothers and two sisters dead

DeFeo, at right, with his siblings in an undated family photo. The then-23-year-old shot his two brothers and two sisters dead 

Ronald DeFeo, Jr., is led from the Suffolk County Police Headquarter on Nov. 14, 1974 in Hauppauge, New York after being booked for six counts of homicide in the shooting of his family the day before

Ronald DeFeo, Jr., is led from the Suffolk County Police Headquarter on Nov. 14, 1974 in Hauppauge, New York after being booked for six counts of homicide in the shooting of his family the day before

An ad for the classic 1979 film The Amytville Horror, which became a cult hit

An ad for the classic 1979 film The Amytville Horror, which became a cult hit 

The family still moved in, but within days they noticed strange occurrences including ‘odors in the house that came and went,’ Lutz told ABC in 2006. 

‘There were sounds. The front door would slam shut in the middle of the night,’ Lutz said. ‘I couldn’t get warm in the house for many days.’ 

The family kept the fireplace burning constantly in a futile attempt to stay warm, while also finding gelatinous drops on the carpet when they woke in the morning, he said.  

Lutz claimed he woke at 3.15am almost every day, which was about the same time the DeFeo murders are believed to have happened. 

The 1979 film spawned several spinoff versions, including a 2005 remake of the original that starred Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George and Philip Baker Hall.

Other movies based loosely on the crimes and the paranormal claims include Amityville: The Final Chapter; Amityville: The Evil Escapes; The Amityville Curse; Amityville: The Horror Returns; Amityville: The Nightmare Continues; and High Hopes: The Amityville Murders.

DeFeo died Friday at the age of 69 while serving a sentence at Sullivan Correctional facility in Fallsburg, New York, officials said.   

The Albany County Medical Examiner’s Office is expected to perform an autopsy to determine an official cause of death.

The 1979 film spawned several spinoff versions, including a 2005 remake of the original that starred Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George and Philip Baker Hall. Reynolds is pictured in that film

The 1979 film spawned several spinoff versions, including a 2005 remake of the original that starred Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George and Philip Baker Hall. Reynolds is pictured in that film 



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