Literature / The Amityville Horror

A horror novel from 1977, which chronicles the events of a family settling in a house that witnessed a mass murder, and where they eventually get caught up in supernatural shenanigans.

The novel was adapted into film in 1979 and 2005.

This book has examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: George hurts himself when he stumbles over a lion figurine that was somehow on the middle of the floor, and when Kathy patches him up afterwards, she finds teethmarks on his ankle. (And blood on the figurine.)
  • Cut Phone Lines: Every conversation involving Father Mancuso
  • Dramatic Drop: When a bartender learns that George Lutz lives in 112 Ocean Avenue, he is so shocked that he drops the empty beer glass from his hand, and it shatters on the floor.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The house is constantly cold, even as George burns through wood and oil to keep up the heat.
  • Hearing Voices: Ronald DeFeo claimed that a voice in his head told him to kill his family.
  • Identical Stranger: George comes to learn that he's a dead ringer for Ronald DeFeo.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Little Missy tells that she has an imaginary friend called Jodie, who turns out to be the pig apparition that George saw in her window.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The lion figurine mentioned above keeps getting closer and closer every time someone looks away from it until it's right there.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The pig-like demonic creature called Jodie had red glowing eyes, which Kathy sees staring at her at one point. Outside a second-story window.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The book was based not on direct interviews with the Lutz family, but on a series of disorganized audiotape recordings they'd made, for their own use, of themselves discussing their recollections of events. Author Jay Anson then had to piece together a readable novel out of this and some other research done on his part. He admitted to re-arranging, embellishing, or outright creating certain events in order to make for a coherent, scary story. As such, even he and the Lutzes admitted the book wasn't a completely factual account - though the Lutzes maintained it was the most accurate portrayal of their experiences ever published, for whatever that's worth.