The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson


The shocking true story of an American dream that turned into a nightmare beyond imagining…

In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their new home on suburban Long Island. George and Kathleen Lutz knew that one year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers, and sisters in the house, but the property – complete with boathouse and swimming pool – and the price had been too good to pass up. Twenty-eight days later, the entire Lutz family fled in terror…

This is the spellbinding, bestselling true story that gripped the nation – the story of a house possessed by spirits, haunted by psychic phenomena too terrible to describe.

This is a classic horror novel that’s always been faintly on my radar as something I’d like to read but it was recently mentioned in another book I was reading and I was reminded how much I enjoyed the film (largely down to Ryan Reynolds’ existence) and inspired to pick up a copy.

First off, this book was written in 1977 in partnership between the author and the two main characters of the story, George and Kathy Lutz always claimed everything in this book to be true and this was the telling of their experience in their house on Ocean Avenue.
I’m a complete sceptic and was in it for the entertainment rather than to be persuaded of the legitimacy of their claims (just as well really because I wasn’t persuaded!).

George and Kathy Lutz bought a murder house abou a year after the previous inhabitant shot dead both his parents and his four siblings. The Lutzes spent the last of their money on this house while George’s business was in dire straits, but within 28 days they were so badly haunted that they simply had to leave and have press coverage, a book and two films of their hardships…

Some aspects of this book really haven’t aged well- particularly the child beatings (seriously, not just a spanking but actual beatings) and George Lutz’ behaviour in general.

The haunting is reasonably spooky and suspenseful by today’s standards, with lots of doors randomly opening and a bit of night-time levitation from Kathy. I’d recommend this book to any fans of classic horror and also people who fancy playing the ‘which bits might be real’ game.

2 thoughts on “The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

  1. The Book Spine says:

    I was captivated by this book and the original movie in my early teens (I didn’t know it had been remade). Used to like to scare myself to death. I wonder how it would hold up for me thirty years on. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

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