Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Amityville Horror” as Want to Read:
The Amityville Horror
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Amityville Horror

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  77,330 Ratings  ·  1,434 Reviews
On December 18, 1975, a young family of five moved into their new home, complete with finished basement, swimming pool, and boathouse. Twenty-eight days later, they fled in terror, leaving most of their belongings behind. — The fantastic story of their experiences was widely publicized on network television, newspapers, and national magazines. But the Lutz family never ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 315 pages
Published 1978 by Bantam Books (first published August 1st 1977)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Amityville Horror, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Patwell James Technically there are only two film adaptations of this book; Stuart Rosenberg's 1979 'The Amityville Horror' and Andrew Douglas' 2005 remake of the…moreTechnically there are only two film adaptations of this book; Stuart Rosenberg's 1979 'The Amityville Horror' and Andrew Douglas' 2005 remake of the same name. Both are highly embellished, but the 1979 version is considerably closer to the book (the 2005 film only really resembles it in concept).

There are many more films based on the idea of this particular house being haunted, however. In addition to the two official adaptations, there are numerous unofficial sequels and spinoffs:

Damiano Damiani's 'Amityville II: The Possession' - 1982, based on the book 'Murder in Amityville' by Hans Holzer

Richard Fleischer's 'Amityville 3-D' - 1983, an original screenplay

Sandor Stern's 'Amityville: The Evil Escapes' - 1989, credited as an adaptation of the John G. Jones short story collection of the same name but in reality an original story similar in concept to the book's

Tom Berry's 'The Amityville Curse' - 1989, based on the book of the same name by Hans Holzer; the book was set in "the" house but the movie is set in a different haunted house in Amityville

Tony Randel's 'Amityville 1992: It's About Time' - 1992, another original screenplay in the vein of the stories from 'The Evil Escapes'

John Murlowski's 'Amityville: A New Generation' - 1993, same as above but without crediting the book

Steve White's 'Amityville Dollhouse' - 1996, an original screenplay

Geoff Meed's 'The Amityville Haunting' - 2011, an original screenplay

Andrew Jones' 'The Amityville Asylum' - 2013, an original screenplay

Mark Polonia's 'Amityville Death House' - 2015, an original screenplay that just uses the name of the town

John R. Walker's 'The Amityville Playhouse' (AKA 'The Amityville Theater') - 2015, an original screenplay

And finally, Franck Khalfoun's 'Amityville: The Awakening' which is yet to be released; an original screenplay, it was filmed in 2014 but delayed multiple times for reshoots and re-edits, and is currently scheduled for release on January 6, 2017.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 06, 2014 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
OK, folks, for the last time, here's the real story.

1. On 13 November 1974, a murder occurred in the home known as "High Hopes," located at what was then 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York. The victims of the crime were the DeFeo family: Ronald Sr., Louise, and four of their five children; Dawn, Allison, Mark and John.

2. Ronald "Butch" DeFeo, Jr., eldest son of the DeFeo family, burst into a local bar in town that night around 6:30PM, asking for help.

3. Butch DeFeo was later tried for and
Oct 08, 2016 Justin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let's pause for a minute and laugh out loud at the fact that this stupid book was in the nonfiction section of my library.




OK, I think that's good. Wait....



That's not why it gets one lousy star anyway. It gets one star because I think it was written by a twelve year old. The writing was so bad that it distracted me from the absolutely ridiculous story. There was just no life in the story at all. I mean, the gho
This "true" story is about as scary as a Ke$ha/Charlie Sheen lovechild. It's terrifying... but it's not the baby's fault. It was created out of a union of glitter-vomit and Tiger Blood. Mama SLutz is an attention whore just in it for the money and notoriety, and Daddy is a talentless hack who just spouts random words emphatically and claims they make sense. It's like it was written by a 12 year old with ADD and then edited by someone who speaks English as a 2nd language... and started taking the ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
"Do you think it's haunted?"
"No way, I don't believe in ghosts.”

It seems the reading world is clearly divided about this book.
The common question obviously being: is this actually true? I would like to add another question to the equation: does it actually matter?

To some extent, it does. The extent to which this novel will scare you correlates directly to (a)whether you believe the events depicted here are true and (b) your religious orientation. Personally, I’m still reserving judgement on jus
Aug 24, 2016 Nishat rated it it was amazing
The truth has many faces.

If the universe itself works with variable, inconsistent truths, why then should we, human beings believe that there is only one truth in our lives? And what may not be true to us, can it be true to someone else?

A family was murdered by the eldest son in 1974. He claimed to kill his family in self-defense because he heard their vicious voices plotting against him. Because when he started shooting them, he just couldn't help himself! Because the bullets went too fast, one

The Amityville Horror is a book whose reviews are all over the place. On my friends list I have ratings from 1 to 5 stars all across the board. I wasn't sure where I would fall in relation to my GR buddies.

I listened to this one on audio as it was one of the 3 books that appealed to me and was available through OverDrive. It was a quick listen and I really enjoyed the narration.

I watched the movie in my teens and there have been so many of them made I really don’t know which one I watched or h
Dec 08, 2012 Marvin rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
This is bad in so many ways. First, it is fiction masquerading as fact. The story of this hoax is out there enough so I don't have to repeat it but the evidence should convince all but the most ardent true believer that this "true story", with the exception of the original DeFeo murder, was totally fabricated. Second, it is really terrible fiction. I am convinced that Mr. Anson had some kind of encyclopedia on hauntings and as he flipped through it he said, "Swarm of flies? I'll put that on page ...more
Coos Burton
Terminé este libro anoche durante una buena tormenta, y hacía bastante que no experimentaba algo tan intenso con una historia. Puedo contar con una sola mano todos los libros que alguna vez me causaron escalofríos, y me sobran tres dedos. Literalmente, "It" de Stephen King fue el que más miedo me dio, y actualmente sumo a la lista "The Amityville Horror".

Tiene una lectura super ágil por el hecho de que narra puntualmente las situaciones, sin demasiado decorado, la forma en la que sucedieron, de
Dick Baldwin
Jul 28, 2008 Dick Baldwin rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who like a good laugh
Shelves: frauds
A family, who I shall call the Lootz family (for the sake of their privacy), moves into a house in Amityville, Long Island, where the terrible murders of the previous owners took place. Some twenty-eight days later the Lutz – er, Lootz, family flees in terror. Horrific things happened there. Blood dripped from walls; people floated about in mid air over their beds, there were flies everywhere. Worst of all, a marching band paraded through their living room at three a.m. All these horrors were ...more
May 16, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fbr-2012
This book is actually for a group challenge in April, but since I've sworn off re-reads for 2012, I decided to knock it out early.

I first read this back when the movie came out. The first movie. So I was pretty young, maybe 11 or 12. I remember liking it pretty well.

Unfortunately, on this re-read I suspected the author might also have been 11 or 12 when he wrote it. The story is excellent and very creepy. Whether a true story or a hoax, it's very compelling. The flaw in the story telling almost
Nathaniel Brehmer
Jun 28, 2010 Nathaniel Brehmer rated it really liked it
Ignore the overshadowing debate about whether or not it actually happened, and you're left with one of the most finely crafted haunted house stories ever written. The narrative is so solid, so matter-of-fact, that one cannot argue with it. This is how it happened, the book says, and what happened was horrifying. The feel is perfect, the book carries an ominous feeling from the first to the last page, much like the house on Ocean Avenue itself. Forget any of the cash-in novels or films, this is a ...more
Sep 18, 2016 Obsidian rated it really liked it
Please note that I gave this book 3.5 stars, but rounded it up to 4 stars on Goodreads.
The facts are these:

On November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed six members of his family at 112 Ocean Avenue, situated in a suburban neighborhood in Amityville, on the south shore of Long Island, New York. He was convicted of second-degree murder in November 1975.

In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the house. After 28 days, the Lutzes left the house, claimi
~♡ Unsolved Mystery ♡~

Ahh, I'll stick with the movie. It's better and scarier. =)

(The original! Not that dreadful remake.)

Martin Rondina
Dec 29, 2015 Martin Rondina rated it it was amazing
En Aquí vive el horror apenas pasemos las primeras paginas, nos encontraremos con la aclaración de que la siguiente historia que vamos a leer es una historia que sucedió realmente y que la información de los hechos fue recolectada de los mismos protagonistas que han padecido el terror que sucedió en la casa de Amityville. Nos aclara que la familia DeFeo y la familia Lutz existen y que ellos mismos han narrado estos hechos para que luego sean publicados en este libro que tenemos aquí.

En esta hist
Mar 10, 2016 Oscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En diciembre de 1975, el matrimonio Lutz y sus tres hijos se mudaron al 112 de Ocean Avenue, en Amityville, casa en la que hacia pocos meses se había cometido un atroz crimen: Ronald De Feo asesinó una noche a los seis miembros de su familia con un rifle. Pero esto a los Lutz no les importó en absoluto, ya que no eran supersticiosos. Permanecieron exactamente veintiocho días en su nueva casa. Desde el primer día empezaron a sucederles cosas inexplicables y cada vez más terroríficas, hasta que, ...more
The Amityville Horror is said to be a work of non-fiction as it is the story of the Lutz family and the 28 days they spent in what was supposed to be their dream home. The house on 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York already had a bad name when the DeFeo family was murdered there by the oldest son, Ronald “Butch” DeFeo, Jr. in 1974. In his defense he claimed to have heard voices telling him to kill his family but he was instead diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and sentenced to ...more
Sarah Sammis
Nov 15, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
The 1970s seems to have been the decade for the horror genre, especially ones focusing on demonic possessions. Mix horror genre with true crime and you'll end up in a gray area that includes The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. The book reads like a novel and the Wikipedia entry calls it a novel but the Library of Congress categorizes it as non-fiction, specifically demonology (case-studies) and parapsychology (New York) and it's call number is BF1517.U6 A57.

So what are facts? In December 1975 t
Brandon Burrup
Oct 17, 2016 Brandon Burrup rated it it was amazing
I read this a couple years ago during the summer. It only took a day or two. It wasn't so much scary as morbidly fascinating as I read it. However, after reading it, I simply could not get certain images out of my head. A white entity coming down the stairs, red eyes staring at me through a window in the dark, etc. I am forever scarred by that second image. I simply can not deal with open blinds at night. The other image... well, that summer was a hot one and my room downstairs doesn't get hit ...more
Jun 05, 2016 Osvaldo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, veamos...

Este es un libro bastante raro, primero que nada NO ES UNA NOVELA, es un libro periodístico, otros libros que a mi parecer son del mismo tipo o modelo, podrían ser A sangre fría de Capote, Felices como asesinos e inclusive El exorcista de Blatty, pero bueno a lo que vamos.

La casa maldita de Amityville es uno de esos libros en los que si ya estás acostumbrado a las películas de terror de hoy en día no encontrarás nada sorprendente, el frío en el momento de una aparición, las cosas qu
Aug 18, 2015 Shandra rated it liked it
Initial thoughts: The creepy factor here was decent. Review to come.


Actual rating: 3 I-Wanted-To-Be-Terrified stars. No spoilers.

Meh photo: meh face tumblr_lfik0ilaID1qank10.gif

Meh. The creepiness was here. It had potential to be scary. But the execution failed to make it so to me. I've seen the movie, the original. It's one of my favorite horror movies. I love it. It scares me. Every. Single. Time. I know what's going to happen. Hell, I can probably quote at least half the movie. And it still scares me. I thought the book would too
Jason P
Jan 20, 2014 Jason P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This book was hands down AMAZING!!

The Amityville Horror is not something annnnnyone would ever want to go through. EVER!
For those believers out there you will definitely agree, if you go into a house and 'things' start to occur, strange things - GET OUT!

I think Eddie Murphy said it best in his stand-up film Delirious:

"In the Amityville horror the ghost told them to get out of the house. White people stayed in there. Now that's a hint and a half for your ass. A ghost say get the fuck out, I would
Aug 23, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This book was so many things. It brought back memories of my childhood. My parents took us to see this, It came out in 1979. I was nine. We saw in strangely enough in a drive in theater in a van that reminds me of the one in the movie and the book. Creepy huh? I remember picking out this movie, it was my choice that night. And here I am reading the book and all those memories come back. My father even had the same beard and hair like George Lutz and Josh
May 24, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I have never seen so much disdain and anger directed towards a BOOK as I do in some of these reviews for The Amityville Horror. If you in no way, shape or form believe in this event or the supernatural, why did you read this book? And I love how people that have never set foot in the house claim to KNOW it's all made up. I mean, knowing things you've never seen would mean that you have the very supernatural type powers you so vehemently claim aren't real. I'm not saying all the things in this ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
I don't know if it's because I've seen both movie versions of the story, and have read a bunch of "fact of fiction" type stuff - including the various evidences that it was a hoax - or if it was the horrible docu-drama style writing (which is, apparently, a product of its time and not just a marker of bad writing) - or a combination of all of the above, but, damn, this book is boring.

I'm giving it a 1-star on the goodreads' scale for "didn't like it" as opposed to "worthless piece of crap" - tho
Sumit Singla
Dec 02, 2014 Sumit Singla rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror, 2014, opinionator
Bah, what did I just finish? A piece of utterly poor writing, publicised as a 'true' account to gain eyeballs, this story had potential but was systematically destroyed by Jay Anson.

Of course, since the story does not fit into my (nonexistent) religious or spiritual beliefs, it is probably easier for me to be dismissive of this ridiculous tale. (However, there have been horror novels about similar subjects that have creeped me out.) The book blurb thinks otherwise, but this book is nowhere close
Eric Allen
Aug 04, 2015 Eric Allen rated it liked it
It's been a while since I read this one, but reading the Demonologist made me want to pick it up again. It's nice and short and all, so I figured why not. Back in the day I did a lot of research to find out if it was, indeed, a hoax, and I'm pretty convinced that it is. There's too much evidence against it being a true story for it to be anything but fiction. It's my opinion that the Lutzes were having financial and IRS problems, saw a famous murder house up for sale at a pretty reasonable ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
As a non-fiction book we'll just say I'm a bit skeptical.

As a fiction book it was awesomely bad. I mean that with all respect. The writing could have used a lot of polishing up. To be fair I was reading an ebook version, so that could be mostly why there were lots of typos/wrong words used.

Some of these typos/wrong words verged on awkward and took me out of the story.

It was such a pulpy book. I've read a few demon possessed houses and demon possessed people books before. Some were amazeballs.
Fernanda Romo
Oct 14, 2016 Fernanda Romo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arturo Macias
Oct 02, 2010 Arturo Macias rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Was anyone else disturbed by the absolute horror the narrative presented... I'm talking about the LACK OF DESCRIPTION.
Where was the build up of suspense?
Where was the mystery?
What state of mind was the editor when he allowed this elementary story telling was released?

Don't get me wrong, the premise to the story is perfect:
* the apparition of Jodie, the demonic-pig
* the flies
* the upside down crucifix
* George's resemblance to Ronald DeFeo Jr.

...but would've easily been contempt with someone givin
Rebecca McNutt
May 01, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
This book was definitely horrific, though kind of cheesy at some parts. What I enjoyed much more than the horror itself was the vibrant imagery, and the way that this Kodak moment family's subtle trip towards insanity is described. Definitely worth reading if you're a fan of all the nostalgia of 2oth century horror such as Audrey Rose, Magic or The Shining.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Audrey Rose
  • The Omen
  • Damien: Omen II
  • Halloween
  • Haunted Heartland
  • Suffer the Children
  • 'Salem's Lot
  • The Sentinel
  • The Howling
  • Psycho
  • Creepshow
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • The Haunted: One Family's Nightmare
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • Hell House
  • The Exorcist
  • The Bad Seed
  • The Fog
Jay Anson (November 4, 1921 – March 12, 1980) was an American author whose most famous work was The Amityville Horror. After the runaway success of that novel, he wrote 666, which also dealt with a haunted house. He died in 1980.

His work, The Amityville Horror, was sold as "a true story", and it was based on the reported experiences of George Lutz and Kathleen Lutz at 112 Ocean Avenue in December
More about Jay Anson...

Share This Book