In September of 2004, I was on an epic road trip back east with my (good) college roommates. Three of us were bridesmaids in a fourth roommate’s wedding. After a week doing wedding activities, after our newlywed friend absconded on her honeymoon, the three of us toured the east. We saw a lot of things and had a lot of fun. We each picked a main place to visit and planned a trip around that place. One of us REALLY wanted to go to Cape Cod, so we did.
Earlier that day– Wednesday, September 21, 2005– we’d been in Salem, and then we’d eaten dinner at the Outback Steakhouse near Salem. By the time we got out to the cape, it was really dark. We randomly selected a place to stay from a AAA book. The place we chose was really nice. We really loved our stay there. It’s a charming, well-priced, friendly location on the cape. As we pulled up to the motel, we drove by a cemetery. As we were checking into the room, I jokingly said, “I’ll bet the neighbors are quiet.” The owner gave a chuckle and handed us the keys.
The following is a story one of my new coworkers has shared with me. I’ve been given a written copy to share, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. Enjoy!
I met Todd Apel upon my return to Phoenix from Louisiana in April of 1964. We met in 4th Grade and were fast friends until his very early and untimely death on Christmas Eve in 1969. His father was driving and rear-ended a big truck. Todd and his sister Debbie were both killed instantly.
The years passed and I was working the swing shift at Arizona MVD. I returned home at 1 am on Wednesday morning. I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk. I sat down on the living room couch to eat and relax, when I saw a dim light down the hallway. I thought one of my parents had awoken and went to the bathroom, but I heard no sound. The light slowly grew brighter and moved towards me as it did so. I began to get concerned as to what this was all about– maybe a bad guy was sneaking back out after doing something he should not have done. The light got brighter but still no sound at all.
Then it happened– I saw what was causing the light– it was a pair of feet and lower legs that were glowing with a bright white light. I saw the feet and legs first because I was looking at the floor when they first appeared in the hallway. The legs were very slowly approaching me in a manner which indicated a reluctance to be seen. Then I saw the hips and the torso come into view. The “image” was stopping and then slowly advancing again. He was very reluctant to come into full view.
Forty 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.
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?
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:
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:
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: