‘The Amityville Horror’ Jay Anson


The classic and terrifying story of one of the most famous supernatural events–the infamous possessed house on Long Island from which the Lutz family fled in 1975.



Okay, so this was meant to be my Halloween special review (you can check out last year’s here), but because I’m shit, I’m 11 days late (doing the review, not that kinda late. Don’t worry, there’ll be no baby Jazzs, thank God). Better late than never, though, right?

So The Amityville Horror was gifted to me on my birthday way back in early October and I was super excited to get stuck in. My favourite kind of horror stories are the kind that are supposedly built upon a foundation of truth (and I use the term ‘favourite’ very loosely here because how can something that scares the metaphorical shit out of me possibly be my favourite? Some mysteries will have to remain unsolved).

The book begins in December 1975, with the Lutz family moving into their new home at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville. However, just over one year prior, on 13th November 1974, the spacious family home bore witness to a grisly mass murder at the hands of Ronald DeFeo. The Lutz family aren’t superstitious, though, and while they think the crime tragic and unfortunate, they’re nonetheless excited to move into their new home with their three children.

112 Ocean Avenue was to be their home but for a mere twenty eight days.

What I found chilling about The Amityville Horror is that it doesn’t play out like your stereotypical, run-of-the-mill horror. The events described within it predate horror tropes that began to creep into movies and books of the same genre in much later years (like the green Jel-o type substance seeping down the walls, which instantly put me in mind of Slimer from Ghostbusters, a movie which was released in 1984, seven years after this book). There were also some events – like the black water in the toilets and the front door being violently warped and ripped off its hinges – that I have yet to read of in other books and its the originality of these events that add an air of authenticity to this book. I found myself reading The Amityville Horror and thinking “This sounds pretty convincing” and when you can actually imagine those types of events happening to yourself and your own family, that’s when the chills really begin to seep into your bones.

The horror is a slow-burner. There are multiple occasions when the Lutzs dismiss their experiences as tiredness or their imaginations and what makes for a real edge-of-your-seat horror story is that by the time they realise that something quite other is at play, it’s too late.

What I find most interesting about this story, outside of Jay Anson’s book, is that subsequent owners have reported no such events as the Lutz family described. What do you think? Do you think the Lutz family simply wanted their 15 minutes of fame? Do you think their prior knowledge of the house’s history influenced their perception of otherwise natural occurrences? Did the entities that DeFeo claimed ‘spoke’ to him see something of DeFeo in George Lutz? Let me hear your ideas in the comments below!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Song: Roger Daltrey’s Don’t let the sun go down on me (because who’d want to spend a night in that house?)


This book is available on Amazon in a shit ton of different formats (okay, like five)





25 thoughts on “‘The Amityville Horror’ Jay Anson

  1. You’re not shit just coz the review’s late Jazz!

    Interesting review. I remember watching the movie but I bet the book is better 😀 it’s interesting that subsequent owners haven’t had any disturbances…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps we should watch the movie when you’re here! On my teeny tiny TV and we can have shots every time that there’s a jump scare 😛
      You should definitely read it! Why do you think the subsequent owners haven’t had any disturbances? What are your theories?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also LOVED this book, and it was made even more scary/enjoyable because it’s based somewhat on a real tale! I’ve driven past the original Amityville house, but someone definitely remodeled it to look different. This is a perfect Halloween read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps they remodeled it because of all the media attention? I can imagine when your address is published across the globe you must receive a lot of unwanted visitors of the not-so-supernatural kind!
      That’s what made it so scary for me too…the idea that something like that COULD potentially happen!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s never too late Jazz! I read this back in 1978 when I was 13 and holy you know what, did it give me nightmares! We’re talking waking up screaming night terrors. “Jodi” and the red room wigged me out the most.😱

    While I believed for years that what the Lutz family experienced was reall, too much has come out debunking their claims. I will say though, even though none of owners since have experienced anything, just knowing the DeFeo family were killed there would put me off buying it. And of course there’s those creepy windows!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh god, that sounds horrific! Especially when you’re that young! Thankfully I didn’t have any nightmares like (mostly because I refused to read it at night, hence why it took me so long :P). The whole ‘Jodie’ thing was really creepy! The bit where George Lutz looked up at Missy’s room and saw him behind her in the window…eugh! No thank you!
      I know, right? Regardless of whether or not the Lutzs faked their story, a crime of that magnitude is bound to leave some sort of negative energy behind.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, because I’m a quarter of a century!! Unless you mean actual baby Jazzs and I somehow didn’t notice them!?
      I recommend the book. I was on Goodreads and it’s got a whole host of mixed reviews. Lots of one star reviews mixed in with five star reviews so it’s certainly a subject that divides opinions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review, Jazz! I never actually watched the movie because horror usually doesn’t do it for me.. same with books. There are only a select few that have managed to really make me pee my pants 😀 not literally…
    However, this–> “Do you think their prior knowledge of the house’s history influenced their perception of otherwise natural occurrences? ” is an interesting question to ask. Even more so that the next family never reported the same… Do you ever think, that you see and hear things because you expect them to be there? It’s one of those questions that is impossible to answer because there will never be a scenario where you can replicate it to get an answer… pfft, I’m rambling but I think you get my gist here 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❤ Oh wow, I wish I could be that badass…I'm the literal opposite. I watch horror on occasion because literally any type of horror scares me 😛 I was watching this collection of eight short horror movies on Netflix a couple of weeks back, each one themed on a specific holiday, and the Easter one made me scream out loud at 2am! I had to switch it off and then I was too scared to go to sleep 😛 I wish I was somewhat desensitised to horror like you 😛
      I definitely think you can see and hear things if you expect them to be there! I'm currently hooked on this podcast series called Astonishing Legends and that's something they always talk about; your expectations can influence what you see and hear. If, say, you're outside an abandoned house and someone says it's haunted by the ghosts of its past residents who died horribly, regardless of what its actual history is, you go in believing that to be true so any noise you hear – perhaps the clanking of pipes – gets interpreted by your brain as being something 'other' because that's what you've been told. I think perhaps with the Amityville Horror, regardless of how much the Lutz family tried to stress that they weren't superstitious, I think it would only be natural for the fate of the previous residents to play on their mind.
      Another interesting avenue to explore is the notion of something called 'thoughtform', where if a number of people focus their energy on an idea it manifests. A lot of people think this happened with Slenderman…so many people thought about him, crafted artwork and literature about him and all of that energy caused him to become a reality. What if that happened here? One or two weird, but explainable, things happened and the family became fixated on the idea of the house being haunted, so much so that they created a haunting?
      I could talk all day about this 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love this comment because there’s so much here that interest me! Thoughtform is a cool idea.. I have to check it up a bit more but I can totally see how it could work… I used to believe I believed things into happening… have quite a few examples and I can see how I willed something into happening because my desire or passion of wish for that something was so great and consuming!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think it’s totally a thing. There’s this whole notion that what you put into the universe, you receive in turn. So if you project into the universe, say, a desire for a new job and truly believed it would happen, then it would more than likely happen. I don’t know how much of it is mind over matter – like if you believe a new job is on the horizon, you might work harder towards getting it – but’s an interesting idea nonetheless 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you nailed it with this review! It has been years since I last read this, but the story of Amityville has been one that always fascinated me. I am also a huge fan of Lorraine and her late husband Ed Warren who investigated this home. I feel the book certainly held an air of originality that made it all seem possible. Anson did a superb job capturing this story as you did with this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Didn’t Lorraine and Ed Warren investigate the haunted Annabelle doll? Or was that solely for the movie? They were quite prolific in the world of paranormal investigation from what I’ve heard so I definitely need to check out some of their cases!
      I’m pleased that you enjoyed my review ❤ It's quite unlike any book I've read before so I'm pleased that my love for it came across. It's a case I would like to read into a little bit more…I was quite intrigued by the ending where whatever was in the house appeared to have followed them. I would like to know how it all ended!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They did! And the haunting in Connecticut. I plan to read some of their books in the future. Their work has fascinated me for years. She still has a museum of haunted items she has collected in her home I believe. Not sure I would want to inherit that haha 😉


  6. Anson’s book is definitely quite scary, whether or not one accepts the story as true. I read and re-read it many years ago and always got the creeps! Great review!


  7. I love this story, in the way that you can love a tragic and horrible story. I realized I haven’t read the book, which is crazy! I guess I have one more to add to my reading list.


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