I'm not even sure where to start with this...There is so much information, so many sides, so much confusion surrounding this that it's unreal. We could study, research and interview from now until forever and still not really know what happened for the simple fact that we weren't there.
Honestly, until a short while ago, I pretty much believed it was a hoax. Not by the Lutzs' exactly, but more by Jay Anson and the movie companies. The Lutz's did not write the book, so I figured that Jay Anson had simply taken a "regular" haunting and expanded on it for a good story. Most likely, in my opinion, there was a slight residual haunting, but nothing major. Given all the circumstances of the DeFeo murders, a residual haunting wasn't too big of a leap.
I read through about everything that I could find concerning the hoax. The more I read, the less sense it made. Why would this couple purchase a house (with a substantial down payment of 25% or $20,000), then risk it on the possibility that they MAY be able to write a book later on? Why would this put them into financial difficulty when they had sold two houses, consolidating their payments when purchasing the house in Amityville? George owned a surveying company that his grandfather had founded, along, I believe with rental property in New York. These were not destitute people. As a really, um, frugal, person, this didn't click. Fame? They've been laughed at, ridiculed and put down for 30 years. I wouldn't want to think about what the kids went through.
As I said in an earlier post, I ran across a chat room one night. In this room was a man called George Lutz. He talked about the haunting, the repercussions of speaking out, the book and movie, and what really happened. My first thought? Yeah, right, this is actually the real guy...After a while, it became apparent that this man REALLY believed what he was saying. He was making a charitable appearance in North Carolina (about 2 1/2 hrs from me), so I decided to take a ride that night. A friend and I went to Hickory to attend the seminar that he was giving. Again, the feeling the feeling that this man was sincere about what he was saying. Since both of us are smokers, we ended up at the outside ashtray together and had the opportunity to actually speak one on one. (and they say nothing good ever comes out of tobacco!!) Surprisingly, we never really even brought up the house. We chatted about trucks, guns, the haunted trail, and above all else, faith. He has become a very spiritual person. The best way that I know to describe him is "nice guy". The kind of person that you don't mind bringing into your home.
Also in attendance at the seminar was Mary Pascarelli, a psychic who had originally investigated the house with the Warren's. She described what she saw and witnessed in the house. It is her firm belief that whatever inhabits the house is angry, deceitful and demonic. She told us of seeing the house for the first time. When the Lutz's stated that they fled the house, they were serious. Dishes on the table and in the sink, bananas on the countertop, clothes in the laundry room floor. The rest of the house was neat as a pin. She spoke of seeing a small boy in one of the rooms (remember, this was before the picture was made) hooded figures in the hallway, odors that couldn't be explained, areas of the house that she simply could not enter for fear of her own safety.
The slideshow pictures showed the house on the day of the Warren's and Rhine Institutes investigation. It backed up what Mary had said about the state of the house. George's lecture on the events of the house were reasonable. He discussed the book and movie...in a nutshell, the book is close, the movie is stuff.
Alot has been said about the discrepancies in the book, from hard cover to paperback, even from book jacket to book. This is another point that never held alot of water with me. The Lutz's didn't write the book, any mistakes made in it weren't their fault, but the responsibility of the author, editor and publisher. Would be kind of like blaming Lincoln for mistakes in history books.
Another point that I feel needs to be made. After 30 years, the kids still maintain that this happened. Considering the normal ups and downs of family relationships, it's a little odd that none of the kids have came out and said "hoax" in all that time, if in fact that were the case. My understanding is that Missy still remembers Jodie and still maintains that he could appear in the shape of a pig "as big as a house" if he chose. Pretty convincing (at least for me) coming from a young woman who is currently a youth pastor.
Anyway, at this point I'm starting to kind of flitter around now and rambling