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The Amityville Horror

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  65,064 ratings  ·  1,124 reviews

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 th
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Hardcover, Large Print, 378 pages
Published June 1st 1979 by G.K. Hall (first published August 1st 1977)
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Jennifer
Oct 24, 2008 Jennifer rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
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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
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Becky
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
Nishat
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
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Marvin
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
Chris
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
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Dick Baldwin
Jul 28, 2008 Dick Baldwin rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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 or ...more
Nathaniel Brehmer
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
Sarah Sammis
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
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Jason P
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
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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
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Brandon Burrup
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 w ...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.
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Sumit Singla
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
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Michael
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 bo ...more
Melissa
Wow, what an awful book. I'm not even sure what possessed me to read it (godawful pun intended), but it's a sorely regretted decision, let me tell you. The writing is atrocious, and I lost count of how many chapters ended with an exclamation point. Perhaps the fact that I already knew that nothing in the story has been substantiated beyond the DeFeo family murders had something to do with my cynical attitude, but the paranormal occurrences were so ridiculously over the top that it was difficult ...more
Dan C.
I read this book probably a hundred and fifty times when I was a kid (only a slight exaggeration). The first time was when I was 10. I was so creeped out by it I couldn't sleep that night. Over the years, as the hoax behind the horror has been revealed, it has lost some of its punch, but still, it was one of the first ghost stories/haunted house stories I ever read. From a nostalgia perspective, it still gets points for that.

However, this is truly a horribly written book. The overuse of exclamat
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Arturo Macias
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
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Rebecca McNutt
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.
Stefan Yates
One of the worst books that I've actually read from start to finish. The only thing that kept me going was finding out what happened to the family. The author writes in a way that is very amateur and there were many times where I simply did not want to go on anymore. But I powered through and finished it after many months of struggling to pick it back up. Watch the movie, even if it's not much better, it's at least blessedly less of a time commitment.
Aric Cushing
Great book for the spookiness, but many will find the writing lacking in detail. But still, a fast, and fun read which horror readers should put on their shelf. For a sense of nostalgia, this book is great.
Shandra
Initial thoughts: The creepy factor here was decent. Review to come.
Kirk
It's been a while since I read this, close to five years. I had just moved into a new house, and the description of the locale in the text reminded me of my new home. I read this under the premise that it was based on a true story. I was not familiar with the challenges to this claim. And I'm glad I read it in the context I did. It made the book a bit more chilling.

That being said, there are some books that I know aren't great, for one reason or another. But I read them at the right time, a tim
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Kascha
The story is not true of course. I read this book very young, and although it claimed to be true on the cover that sort of went in one ear and out the other while I was having the bejesus scared out of me by the story.

I literally became so frightened at one point that I threw the book in the trash without finishing it, only to be terrified even further when it was back on the table the next morning. It never occurred to me that a family member could have taken it out thinking it was in there by
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Shaun
Some reviewers say this book sucks because obviously it never happened. They astutely point out that it was all a hoax (you know, a money making scheme), and they seem somewhat miffed by the gullibility of the average reader. Really? Demons/spirits who appear in the form of a talking pig?

I say, you're right...but who cares. The Amityville Horror was and remains one of the spookiest movies I've even seen, and the movie carefully followed the book. I even got a few chills while reading it (real or
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Laura Elisabeth
Read this book years ago and enjoyed it, however this time round I guess it just didn't seem as creepy. I wasn't overly keen on how the book was written either. 3 Stars, Im afraid.
Carolyn
Oh my, this was such a piece of garbage. Never mind how incredulous the story is....The writing was terrible, it felt more like a very rough draft for a movie script. The author spent NO time trying to be accurate regarding Long Island geography (i.e., the fastest route from Amityville to Astoria was the Sunrise Hwy?? Seriously???) and logistics (the "city of Amityville" plowed the streets, but Amityville is a village in the town of Babylon). The author couldn't even keep the address straight, a ...more
Ashley
More like a 3.5. George and Kathy Lutz move into a new house, and you know what comes next! It has all those beloved haunted house tropes lke moving objects, disembodied voices, a ghostly hand on your arm, secret rooms, and creepy pig demons! This style of horror is very effective and had me looking over my shoulder afraid of the boogeyman during the final act.

Not a perfect five because there was plenty of build up and only a brief resolution. It was still an exciting ending, but after everythin
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Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)
Bleh.

Bleeeeeeh

You know what a really convincing true-life horror story should do? Well, me neither, but it certainly shouldnt make me go "I dont buy any of this"

Its scary-ish and entertaining enough, but not something I can see actually happening. Boo.
Angelina Mazza
Just singing Florence...."And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back, So shake him off".

18/60 GoodReads Reading Challenge 2015
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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
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More about Jay Anson...
666 666 - O Limiar do Inferno The Amityville Horror.

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