That fateful day… November 13, 1974

article-2213078-15592C8F000005DC-404_634x347Forty years ago today in a quiet seaside village on Long Island in New York, a tragedy would occur which would be popular long after the ‘players’ were dead.

On the night of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr entered the family residence and shot his entire family where they slept. His father: Ronald DeFeo, Sr; his mother: Louise DeFeo; his two younger sisters: Dawn & Allison; and his two younger brothers: Marc and John Matthew.

But it was not the subsequent investigation, trial and imprisonment of Ronald DeFeo, Jr which truly caught the eye of the American public, but the events at the same house nearly a year later which captured our imaginations.

Nearly a year after the gruesome events at the hands of Ronald DeFeo, Jr, George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house at 112 Ocean Avenue with their three children. They remained residents for a whopping 28 days before fleeing the home for good. Why? They claimed the house was haunted by a demonic presence.

It was this story which would overshadow the DeFeo murders and come to haunt the American psyche, especially after author Jay Anson published his book The Amityville Horror in 1977. In the book, Anson lays out all of the claims the Lutzes made regarding the house at 112 Ocean Avenue. Famed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren were also brought in in 1976 to investigate the claims made by the Lutzes. Their opinions are also covered in the book.

I will admit that when I first heard this story many years ago, I too fell under it’s fearful spell. But then I discovered a website about the Amityville Hoax and after a thorough reading of that website, followed by a later viewing of an old crime investigation series City Confidential which covered in great detail the DeFeos and their subsequent murders, I became convinced that it was, in fact, a hoax.

I think what happened to the Lutzes was that despite initially stating that they’d have no problems living in a house where mass murder had taken place would be no problem, I think it got to them. There’s also the fact that a large portion of the DeFeo family furniture was still in the house; part of the deal of the sale. I know from personal experience that objects in a home which bring to mind negative memories can greatly affect you psychologically. I think it simply became too much for the couple to handle and they fled. Further adding to this is the fact that no one who has lived in the house since the Lutzes fled has ever experienced anything resembling paranormal.

This is the site which convinced me of the truth of the hoax: The Hoax in Amityville

Unfortunately, I am unable to find the City Confidential episode on YouTube.

Jadewik’s Halloween Memories

I love Halloween, and it’s rather obvious. I like to think of Halloween as kick-starting Christmas. It’s a time for giving (candy and toys), for socializing with friends and family, and also for telling spooky stories. It’s the pre-game to my Christmas “Football”. I talk about ghosts and mysteries and murder. I start planning my costume and what I’m going to do up to 8 months in advance. When I walk through a haunted house, it’s like someone else walking through a museum. I just love this holiday.

So– How did I get into this stuff?
Continue reading

Halloween Body Art

The body paint tutorials by Lex at MadeYewLook on YouTube are fantastic. Some of them are downright creepy and hauntingly fun. She has videos for everything from zombie bites, pop-culture horror characters, Monster High Dolls, and some really wickedly awesome ideas if you’re looking for some last-minute costume ideas.

While I was transfixed watching almost all her videos in a little over a week, my favorites were her Pumpkin King and Cheshire Cat from the video game Alice. Wonderful creations!

Here is her 2013 body paint tutorial playlist:

These are her 2014 body paint tutorials:

Happy haunting!

H.P. Lovecraft & E.A. Poe- Free Online

One of my new co-workers suggested that I read H.P. Lovecraft. The reason I was given was that as someone who loves horror, I just might enjoy it. Fancy that just 24 hours after this conversation, I read this article with links to ebooks and PDF files that are downloadable to read the works of this master of the macabre!

Here’s the article I found:
http://www.openculture.com/2014/10/h-p-lovecrafts-classic-horror-stories-free-online.html

Also, one of my favorite masters of macabre literature is Edgar A. Poe. His writings are also available online for free. You can find them at this link as well:
http://www.openculture.com/2014/10/download-the-complete-works-of-edgar-allan-poe-macabre-stories-as-free-ebooks-audio-books.html

Enjoy!

Witch bottle found during Newark Civil War Centre dig

I’m sharing this because I’m the witch in the group and because I love history/archaeology and also the UK. :)

For anyone interested in creating a modern witch’s bottle/ball, there’s a recipe here.

A suspected witch bottle has been unearthed by archaeologists during a dig at the site of the new Civil War Centre in Nottinghamshire.

The green bottle, which is about 15cm (5.9in) tall, was probably used in the 1700s to ward off evil spells cast by witches, researchers believe.

The witch bottles were usually filled with fingernails, hair and even urine.

The relic was found during a project to restore the Old Magnus Building for use as a museum and visitor centre.

Full story

Six Down, One to Go: the Tragic Curse of Oak Island

The mystery of Oak Island is so divinely intriguing that any soul with the tiniest sense of curiosity will be captivated by it. It’s been one of my favorite mysteries since I first read about it in junior high school. It all started one dark night back in 1795 when a teenage boy named Daniel McGinniss witnessed ethereal lights winding their way amongst the trees on a little island across the water from his family’s home in Nova Scotia, Canada. His interest aroused, he rowed out to the island the next day to try to figure out the source of the lights. He may not have not found that, but what he did find was a circular depression in the ground, about a dozen feet across. And above the depression were indications that a pulley system had been used in the trees. Daniel was excited by his find for good reason….a hundred years earlier in that very location, it was well known that pirates had used the scantily populated shores of eastern Canada to hide their illicit treasures. Continue reading

Haunted Happenings at Work: Largo, Florida

My sister Reenie is a mammogram and x-ray technician in a facility in the Largo area of Florida.  Reenie has had her own personal experiences with the paranormal, so while she isn’t a gullible sort, she does keep an open mind.

One of her co-workers, Maddie, started complaining during the down time in their work day that she thought her adult son, from whom she is estranged, was breaking into her home and moving her things around to mess with her. My sister and the other technicians pooh-poohed this idea and told Maddie that she was probably moving the things herself and just not remembering where she put them.  Maddie was adamant, however.  She lived alone, without even any pets, and she was a  bit OCD about putting things back in their assigned places throughout her house.  For instance, her remote control went on a small end table that was between her sofa and her recliner. Her keys were kept on a hook in her kitchen. Maddie explained that her son, a former Special Forces member, knew how meticulous she was, and that she would notice the small changes that occurred whenever she left the house. Early in their estrangement, he had broken into her previous home just to prove to her that he could. It had been some time since those days, but apparently he was back to his old tricks, she said. Sometimes, she was only gone a half an hour to run to the store, but when she returned, something was typically out of place. Reenie just told her  it sounded like she had a ghost. Maddie was not amused. She vowed to catch her son in the act. Continue reading