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Amityville Horror Lasts A Lifetime For Boy Who Lived In Haunted House

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Nov. 27 2012, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Reporter

The Amityville Horror has been the source of nightmares for terrified movie-watchers for decades, but for one frightened young boy, the horror has lasted far longer than the film's legacy.

Daniel Lutz and his family lived in the notorious haunted house on 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island, for just 28 days in the mid-1970s before they fled for their lives in terror, and now the then 10-year-old is finally facing his demons, reported the New York Post.

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Now 47, Lutz is revealing the depth of their nightmare in a new documentary called My Amityville Horror, which tells the true story behind the house that has been the subject of a 1977 book and a total of 10 films between 1979 and 2011.

"My job was to haul boxes inside," said Lutz, when recalling the fateful day in December 1975 that the family moved into the four-bedroom house on Long Island's South Shore. "Then I went into the house's playroom to find about four or five hundred flies buzzing about.

"I stood there with a newspaper smashing them on the walls, smashing them on the window. I killed about a hundred in five minutes. Then I ran downstairs to tell Mom, and when I came back up, the dead flies had gone. Even the newspaper had gone."

Even 37 years later, Lutz cannot escape the dark forces that he claims seeped from the house.

"I believe evil can manifest itself in any way, shape or form it chooses and that I was a victim of that," he said in the documentary that is currently doing the rounds at film festivals. "My mom used to say, 'Good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people. But sometimes, bad things happen to good people.'"

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Lutz, his mother, father and two younger siblings moved into the macabre single family home a year after 23-year-old drug addict Ronald DeFeo Jr. had slaughtered his entire family as they lay in their beds, claiming the 'voice of God' told him to kill them.

Sinister happenings began immediately for the Lutzes, who endured ghostly incidents such as levitation, visits from unseen spirits and a bedroom sighting of an angry pig with wolf-like teeth, according Daniel.


"A spirit came into the house, bumps into my mother, walks through my hands, knocks a peanut-butter knife down onto the floor and sits down… then, in three seconds, it was gone," he revealed.

On the final day before they were driven from their home for good, "My brother and myself shared a levitation experience in our beds," said Lutz. "We both woke up, and our headboards and footboards were smashing each other and banging off the ceiling.

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"Mom said, 'Go pack a bag. We're going to Grandma's. We're getting out of here.' I didn't know we were never coming back."

Even after their tales of terror became an international blockbuster, many accused the family of making up the story to get out of hefty mortgage payments, and Lutz, now a delivery driver in Queens, explained that he is tired of trying to convince doubters that they were telling the truth.

"I stopped trying to persuade people about this a long time ago," he said.


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