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Old 04-02-2012, 06:56 PM
 
11 posts, read 20,092 times
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Hey Sheena,

As one of the Admins at Amityville FAQ - Home Page I was very interested in your post, as much of it was new to me.

Yes, the original book was exaggerated by Jay Anson, even the Lutzes - and Anson himself - admitted to this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
She told me, under no uncertain terms that her husband's ancestor had been a practicing "black sorcerer" as had is ancestors in England. He was also an ordained minister in the Puritan Church (later Congregational) He and his family were expelled from Connecticut for these practices, and arrived on Long Island via the LI Sound.
Would this be the Ketchem's?


Quote:
HOWEVER, just because somethings had been made "more interesting" and the Lutz family were involved in a sort of a scam,does not mean that the house is normal and the whole story was confabulated. The Lutz's were scared out of the home, and they could not fulfill their contractual agreement, which was to live there for one year, because of disturbing paranormal events in the house. (I'll explain what the agreement was)
Yeah, if you could explain this "agreement" - first I've heard of it!


Quote:
In early September, the would be author of this book, a life long boater, fisherman, former lifeguard and college swim team member, took his boat out on the Peconic Bay.

He never returned to shore alive.

The manuscript and other supportive documents, some originals dating back 300 years, were never located.

I saw some of them and he told me the story and the background. I still have a signed copy of his first book, which was about ghosts.
What was the book called?

Anson claimed similar events happened with his manuscript - people he lent it to had accidents, yet the pages survived each time - including a house fire!

Hope to hear more on your story.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:36 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
20,834 posts, read 26,204,707 times
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WOW! Yes, she was a Ketcham, or I should say a Kectham by marriage. Her huband backed up her story when he pivked her up from work one day in his pick up truck. They were really nice normal people, and snice this has been a very long time, I didn't remember if the last name was public or not. I didn't want to slander their family, but I guess it's public knowledge and part of folk lore, urban legend (not so urban out there) or haunted history.

I remember the first day working there seeing "Mrs. Ketcham" on her desk. I don't remember the fist name. Back in the 70s we called everyone older women "Mrs"then, but I know I heard my uncle address her by her first name. She would be in her late 70s know. That is if she's even alive.

As far as the book that the English teacher was writing, I don't know the name. Only that he taught my cousin's English at the local high school, he was a writer and a lecturer at the community college. His death was a shock to everyone because he knew the waters so well and was a proficient swimmer.

Again, all of this was after the publication of Jay Anson's book. When the entire case came under media and public scrutiny.

The man alleged that the Lutz family did not just happen to see the house was for sale for a very low price, as the book alleges, but that there was an offer made to them. The original offer, according to what this man told me, was that they would buy the house. The people would hold their mortgage for a year because George Lutz had gone bankrupt. They had nowhere to live at the time.

The Lutzs' were supposed to live in the house for one whole year, after which it, they would flee the house claiming that they were tormented by the ghosts of the DeFeo family. They would tell their story, there would be a movie and a book. Every one would be rich and live happily ever after. Thatt didn't happen and the Lutz's luck was not that great after all of this. I know they both died pretty early and I think they divorced.

According to what this would-be author said, because of disturbances in the house and paranormal manifestations, George and Kathy Lutz were unable to fulfill their contractual agreements with the original investor. At the time George and Kathy Lutz and the person or people who concocted this scheme were all skeptics. The Lutz's did not really want to live in a house where a murder had taken place forever. But they didn't believe in ghosts, and they figured that they could stick it out for a year and then cash in.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:22 PM
 
11 posts, read 20,092 times
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So they did a deal to pretend the house is haunted - and it just so happened it WAS haunted?

And who would have made such a deal? William Weber, DeFeo's attorney? He was the one who broke the Lutzes story to the press...
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:12 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
20,834 posts, read 26,204,707 times
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That's what I heard.

I don't know who concocted the deal. I've never known the name William Weber, and from what I DO remember, it had nothing to do with the defense of Ronald De Feo. It was a scheme to make money and they were looking for a young photogenic family with a few kids and a dog that people could relate to, and who would be agreeable to this particular deal.

The thing was, the general consensus on Long Island, and I would guess anywhere, weather you believed in the supernatural or not, was that no average normal American family would buy a house for any price and attempt to raise children there. That blew there credibility factor and "family next door" thing. It just made people uneasy.

It wasn't even as though this had happened 100 years ago - it was the same decade. And children were among the murder victims. I mean how creepy is that? What ever they did, and you know what I think, they could not have cared much about the emotional and psychological well being of their children, to move into a home where such a violent crime had taken place, and later to subject the whole family to this hoax that was for monetary gain. I am pretty sure that they even used a lot of the same furniture that the De Feos left behind. Childrens beds! Ones they were killed in. Who would do that? People with no money who are skeptics out to make a buck I guess.

According to the decedents of the original owners, that land was "bad ground," Local native Americans didn't like it and used it as a place of last resort. It attracted the DeFeos, and they were by all accounts, not a nice, normal family. They were violent, plagued by mental health issues,involved with drugs, and by some accounts, involved in organized crime.

Mrs. Ketcham also said some things about the then current residents and their history on Long Island as well as their reason for wanting to live in that house. They were also an old LI family.

It was last sold a few years back. I saw pictures of it on the internet under Multiple Listing Service of Long Island (MLSLI) and I have to say the interior was gorgeous and not at all gloomy. It was professionally decorated and very bright and cheerful.

I would still not live there for a million dollars, and I certainly would not pay upwards of that to buy it, no matter how pretty it is.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:11 PM
 
11 posts, read 20,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
As far as the book that the English teacher was writing, I don't know the name. Only that he taught my cousin's English at the local high school, he was a writer and a lecturer at the community college.
Why don't you dig out your signed copy of his first book?
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:24 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
8,712 posts, read 10,641,423 times
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Being from NJ there were always lots of theories about this story/movie. The main 'theory' I've heard is that the house was built on some kind of Indian burial ground thus causing the 'haunting.'....But MTV did a big story about this a few years ago, when they did that remake with Ryan Reynolds (hot!)....the conclusion seemed to be that they made this story up in order to move out of the house and not take some kind of a hit to their home owner's insurance .... I'm not sure of the specifics but pretty sure you can look it up and find this information. I also beleive one of the last families that lived there, had no problems to speak of, remember reading that somewhere online as well.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
8,825 posts, read 6,691,838 times
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I agree with the fact that you'd have to be a "special" person to bring your kids into such a violent environment, whether it be for financial gain or just to prove there are no ghosts...many legends and folklore is based on some reality and we don't understand everything about what is called ghosts, it could all be explained in the near future...
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:12 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
20,834 posts, read 26,204,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherbetbizarre View Post
Why don't you dig out your signed copy of his first book?
I have honestly not seen the book for several years. I have moved perhaps 20 times since then. I may still have it and it's possible that I don't.

This was the book he wrote previous to the one about the Amityville house, that he was working on at the time of his death.

I am not even sure if it's in print anymore, and now that I think about it, I wonder if it could have been self published.

At the time, a person who was the author of a book would have automatically impressed me. Now, as a writer; I'm aware that there are many ways to get a book published, and that having a book with your name on it does not mean that the book is credible or scholarly.

What I can do, is ask my cousins who knew him a lot better than I did, if either of them have copies of the first book. I am pretty sure one of them might. Since they had him as a teacher, and he lived in their area; I am sure that they will at least remember his name, and perhaps some more information about it.

One of them is not interested in this sort of thing, The other is, but no where near as much as I am.

You sent me a direct message about my post, and late last night I looked at your web site. It appears to be thoroughly researched, and contains information that is consistent with what I know. And much more.

I am by no means a scholar on this subject. I posted to give a view point and perspective that is different from the two prevailing ones. One that it's all crap, and two, that it's completely true as told by the Warrens, Jay Anson, and The Lutz family.

When I worked at the office, I was in my late teens. I guess on some level I thought it was "cool" that I was working with a Ketcham.The woman shared additional information with me, and some of it jives with what is on your web site, some does not. The woman was not an academic or a scholar, she was a part time office manager, house wife and mother. She seemed to have a fascination with this too.

While working there, I did not interview her, tape her, or take notes. I was interested but not wildly obsessed. It was a pretty average, routine summer job; and the "Amityville Connection", both through the office manager, and the writer, made the whole thing more interesting.

When looking at the website, I perused the names of the previous owners. The owner of record that you have listed Cromody (sp) was the same name she had mentioned. She had some opinions about that family as well.

The recent asking price of the house was somewhat more that the selling price, but the time frame is correct.

It seems as though you are challenging me, or that you do not believe what I am saying, since you have asked me to find the signed copy of the book. The tone in which you asked, also sounded a little sarcastic or skeptical. You may believe what you wish about my story, and I myself do not know if the information that I was given was 100% correct. It seemed then and now, like a possible angle. However in reading your information, the idea that the house was bought as part on a failed plan to make money from a book and movie deal, does not seem to fit in. Unless this dead teacher was privy to some information that no one else has ever mentioned.

The Teacher/ Writer was a bit of a conspiracy theorist. He did think that "Newsday", Long Island's news paper, The Catholic Church headquartered in Rockville Center, and the village of Amityville all conspired together to keep the case quiet and to discredit the Lutz's story and the media frenzy that followed. I do not remember exactly all of the reasons these three entities wanted it kept quiet, but I do recall the general idea. It didn't look good for Long Island, might effect real estate prices, and the Lutz story served to keep the DeFeo story alive, which no one wanted; particular the people of Amityville.

As far as the Catholic Church, I think that they have always wanted to distance themselves from this sort of thing, and in the 1970s in the wake of the" Exorcist", this was yet more bad publicity. I am not Catholic, and I don't want to say anything bad about the Catholic Church. I will say that this Diocese is a powerful presence on Long Island, and at least half of all Long Islanders are Roman Catholics - at least on paper. "Newsday" is now the only daily paper on Long Island, and as such, wields a great deal of power in that region.

I am not an authority on this case by any means, and never meant to present myself as such. I was just relaying what my experience was and what I had heard, one Summer, many years ago.

I will always believe that what ever went on exactly, that there was a paranormal, and perhaps demonic element to the whole this. This does not for me rule out the possibility that events were exaggerated, or that some people, perhaps several different people, wanted to earn money from this. Similarly it does not, at least to my mind exclude the possibility that is was to the advantage of others, to keep the whole thing quiet.

All that I know is that I do not want to delve too deeply into this topic. I'll leave that to others.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:56 AM
 
11 posts, read 20,092 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12
When looking at the website, I perused the names of the previous owners. The owner of record that you have listed Cromody (sp) was the same name she had mentioned. She had some opinions about that family as well.
Yes, the Cromarties bought the house a year after the Lutzes abandoned it. They were related to one of the cheif of police, so it's thought they may have ben put to the head of the queue to buy the house, as they wouldn't prersent any trouble.


Quote:
It seems as though you are challenging me, or that you do not believe what I am saying, since you have asked me to find the signed copy of the book.
Not at all! As your first post said "I still have a signed copy of his first book, which was about ghosts" it surprised me when you said you had forgot his name.


Quote:
However in reading your information, the idea that the house was bought as part on a failed plan to make money from a book and movie deal, does not seem to fit in. Unless this dead teacher was privy to some information that no one else has ever mentioned.
Any theory, or new angle is welcome on the website, so it doesn't have to "fit in" with what has gone before. I personally wouldn't believe this "one year plan" to create a hoax without seeing the details (now lost) but it's fascinating nonetheless.

I look forward to hearing if your cousins have any additional information!
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:24 AM
 
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The Lutzes recounted their story and took a lie detector test with a dr. that died in Omaha. A friend of mine bought the recordings and paperwork that went with it at the estate sale. Very creepy stuff. He put it on ebay and G.Lutz contacted him and they made a deal. Shortly after G. Lutz passed away. The story was sensationalized but George never denied that.
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