Fact or Faked Paranormal Files5 Historic - and Spooky - Hoaxes

5 Historic - and Spooky - Hoaxes

The Amityville Horror

The Set-Up: After buying a house at a price that they believed was a steal, George and Kathy Lutz, along with their children, were terrorized by paranormal activity in the house. Examples of such activity given by Jay Anson, the author of "The Amityville Horror: A True Story," include Kathy feeling a loving embrace from an unseen force, receiving red welts on her body and levitating two feet above her bed, and her daughter developing an imaginary friend named Jodie, a demonic porcine entity. The family left the house after 28 days. Films based on the Lutz's story have been extremely popular.

The Facts: Thirteen months before the Lutzes moved in, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murdered six of his own family members in that house, and this type of activity often leads to complaints of paranormal aggression. Jay Anson has gone on record as saying that he fabricated the events in the book in collusion with the Lutzes. George and Kathy denied this, though George partially recanted his denial toward the end of his life. The priest called in to bless the house delivered reports on his experience that contradicted each other.

The Verdict: Although the author of the book on which two films were based states that the Amityville events were fictional, independent eyewitness reports - including the confidential proclamations of a priest - state that extreme paranormal activity occurred at the house in Amityville. Undoubtedly, unexplained events are responsible for the Lutzes leaving their new house less than a month after moving in.

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