Lorraine Warren

Yesterday marked the passing of one of the most well-known paranormal icons, Lorraine Warren. She was 92. Her husband Ed Warren, also her partner in investigations, passed in 2006.

Although the Warrens began the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952, they shot to fame with their investigation of the infamous home in Amityville, New York. Their other two major investigations in the years just prior to the Amityville case were of the Ragedy Ann doll Annabelle, haunting two roommates in 1968 and the Perron family whose Rhode Island home was haunted by a witch.

The Warrens were a part of other famous paranormal investigations, including the Enfield Poltergeist in North London as well as many cases of alleged demonic possession.

In the last decade, many movies have been made based on the lives of Ed and Lorraine and their more famous investigations. They wrote many books in the course of their lifetimes, in addition to the investigations, and ran an Occult Museum.

That fateful day… November 13, 1974

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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.

Murderous May: Family Murder

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This story begins in a small sleepy village on the south shore of Long Island, New York. A place which was officially incorporated in 1894, though it was the home to Montaukett Indians long before then. In the early 70s, this seaside village was turned on its head and thrust down a road of infamy few residents appreciated.
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Why, why, why??

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I’ve been sitting here reading newspaper clippings about the infamous house in Amityville, Long Island, New York (link on the right over there). The particular clip that prompted this post was written in 1978 about the Cromarty family who moved into the house 2 years after the Lutzes moved out. While the experiences of the Cromarties is hardly unique, it’s something that completely boggles my mind.

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