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Life After Amityville - An Interview with George Lutz

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10/28/2005 02:07 AM
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Life After Amityville - An Interview with George Lutz
Everyone, at some point in life, will experience an event that drastically alters the sense of the things that they believe in. Events like this can utterly destroy a person, change someone forever and even build a greater faith in things we once took for granted. In the end, it is simply a matter of what we do with our trials. For the Lutz Family, this life-altering occurrence happened at 112 Ocean Avenue in the little town of Amityville, NY. Last Halloween I was able to speak with George Lutz - who happened to be in the area at a haunted trail. Since then, I have had the pleasure of corresponding with him via the Internet, and he gracefully agreed to answer some questions for me. So, without further adieu - I offer a two-part interview on the man who lived the actual events, which we all have come to know as - The Amityville Horror.

First of all, let me say that the short time we were able to chat back in October was a real pleasure. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to answer a few questions for the Focus.

That´s really nice of you to say...but the whole purpose of this is not to allow the disinformation that exists about The Amityville Horror to continue...and "nice" has really nothing to do with it.

When I met you last Halloween, you were in the area with a friend doing some research. What exactly brought you to our neck of the woods?

You will have to forgive me...but I met so many people in North Carolina that I really cannot place you at the moment...if you are referring to my visit to Hickory and Deadly Shoals...the research there was the possible confirmation of previous events that closed a school back in the 1960s.

We were able to reconstruct much of the historic data and obtain quite a few photographs that confirmed the strong residual energies still inhabiting the area. This is all being complied for the folks at Deadly Shoals for their own website and use...all of this was sort of secondary to a lecture presentation Mary Downey and I gave about the house in Amityville. Mary is actually one of the investigators originally involved with documenting the existence of the "presence" in the house...back in 1976. This was only the second time in 25 years that she has appeared publicly to do this and it was quite an honor to be sharing the same venue with her.

Most people seem to think that they would have immediately gone running and screaming into the night.

This is quite an understandable reaction...with the hindsight of knowing what even some of the events that took place...were to happen in the last days we were there.   However, I believe that once you understand this was a progression of events...sporadic and so often accompanied with doubt and confusion...then you can begin to understand that this was more of a tempo that was rather meant to break down our communications with each other...out trust in ourselves and each other and truly meant to isolate us from choosing possible courses that would bring help and understanding.

Kathy and I came to the conclusion that if we did not have such a strong relationship from the start...things would have been most likely to have been much worse. In many instances ...we later discovered when trying to remember and recall all that we were able to...different things happened to us alone...individually...we were separated and even isolated from each other over time...and this created personal issues and confusions that took years to understand.

How were you able to stay strong and was there a major reason why you stayed in the house as long as you did?

Part of this is certainly a non-belief in the supernatural...we were quite skeptical that this house held any such problems just because of the events a year earlier...and part of this is because this was our house MY house...what ever was going on I believed it could be repaired and fixed...and, if you will, in the end cleansed so that we could move back in and start over...we learned from people like Mary Downey, Ed and Lorraine Warren and Father Ray...that such was not to be the case.

After this experience, did your views on Heaven and Hell make any considerable change?

Yes I would say so...but not in an easily explained way that will fit into a few nice neat sentences.

In the years following Amityville, I spent...or rather invested...huge chunks of time in personal research via books. I read and reread and then again...various books about religions and beliefs and philosophies...these helped me to understand things in ways I had never considered. I converted and became a Catholic by choice.

Since 1977 I have continued to try to personally resolve the seemingly endless conflicts that various belief systems hold...just for myself as a person...not as an expert or an authority...but as maybe someone that can help understand some of these things when asked.

Do you feel, after all this, that you have been left with a heightened sense of paranormal induced activity affecting everyday life - things that most people would never normally notice.

This is a difficult question to answer.

I have found that things that appear to be significant and related today will change importance and meaning with time and perspective. I believe we are all linked in ways we are only beginning to try to understand. Science offers us constant new sources for clues and answers, yet each of us has an obligation to explore our own beliefs and values for ourselves before we can make recommendations for anyone else.

I find that I pay attention today in different ways and with more...intensity...at times...to events and impressions...than I certainly ever did before. I find myself constantly vigilant not to be in some form of denial about the synchronicity of events and feelings. I find my own personal values hold for me promise rather than roadblocks...and I have come to revere that which created - all that is - as a gift of adventure and understanding and certainly new and wonderful opportunities.            

All that said...I am aware that evil exists. That it is real, intelligent and a constant threat to anyone that would remind you about its purpose - it is insidious and relentless with its assault on all that is good and right. Its nature is to control and it does this with confusion and conflict. What Father or Mother does not freely forgive? And what... user... does not remind you of faults and failings?

I was impressed with the fact that you seemed to have recovered well from your experience, and was able to make light of it, to my friends and I, with some lightheartedness and a little humor. What would you suggest to people that have been through a traumatic event that would help them recover and move on with a normal life?


Traumatic events feed on us. They replay themselves over and over like the evening news until we are able to find a way get past them to be "done" with them. Bad experiences, just like the great ones we have...have the power we give them...yet the hurt that the bad ones have can be replayed by hitting the button that reaches back to them. You cannot escape them...but you don´t need to. They are a part of life that make for an enrichment of experience that can only be understood by the one that goes through it personally. In so many ways they (traumas) are our own and cannot truly be shared...and that is probably a really good thing...but in all this is growth and understanding when even passively sought.

The path to survival in the end is humor. It is the only real prescription because all else fails if humor is lost or set aside. There is a time for serious and sacred...but the guarantee to success with trauma survival and progress past and through it is humor...just as confusion is the absence of God ´ s presence. Humor is the absolute guarantee of the absence of that which would devalue and demean the human spirit. Personal growth and understanding cannot be found without a sense of humor about the trek involved.

This all from Grace. It is unknown how many kinds of Grace there really are...but it is in Grace and Through Grace and Of Grace and With Grace and only because Grace EXISTS that we survive and even begin to prosper. And only and because of Grace does anyone find and hold...Faith.

Hollywood Undoes Amityville

When it comes to Hollywood, filmmakers love to twist stories around to sensationalize them - therefore the term "based on a true story" means very little these days. When it comes to the Amityville story, producer Michael Bay (known for his big budget action films) was not exempt from this process in remaking the story for 2005. You may be surprised at just what "liberties" were taken. George Lutz, the man who experienced the all the horrific events with his family takes time to express his thoughts and insights in the second part of this two-part interview. Enjoy.

You exhibited some dismay when you stated they were remaking the Amityville Horror movie. Is there something important that you feel filmmakers have left out of the story or unnecessarily added for the sake of Hollywood sensationalism?

I am dismayed and certainly...MORE than dismayed at this "remake" of the original movie. This is in part due to various contractual agreements that we believe have been disregarded and violated. One particular clause in the original agreement that allowed the original movie to be made includes the following provision:

5.2 (partial) (c)

For the purposes hereof, the term a "Remake Motion Picture" shall be deemed to mean either a Theatrical Motion Picture, other than a First Theatrical Motion Picture, or a made for Television Feature Motion Picture, other than a First made for Television Feature Motion Picture, which shall depict the same characters participating in the same or substantially the same events as shall have been depicted in either a First Theatrical Motion Picture or a First Made for Television Feature Motion Picture, as the case may be, previously produced hereunder.

To understand the importance of this and how this relates to this "remake," it should be noted that MGM sued me after we questioned them by letter about what they intended to do here.

We were not asked to participate in this production and from what we have learned of its content, we can now understand why.

There is no relation to what has been portrayed here to my family and our experiences. This movie is a fabrication. Any resemblance to what truly happened appears to be done to unfairly exploit my family and our experiences in connection with even calling this a remake and the use of the name, "The Amityville Horror."

One can only guess at why this was done this way and because of this production, I have had a most difficult task to even begin to separate my anger from my responses to questions like this. The MGM lawsuit about this movie continues to be a source of distress and emotions that do not always serve well to answer questions about all that has happened in a fair and reasoned light.

From what I have been able to determine so far, the following list contains the items within this "remake" that are true and factual:

1. Kathy and George Lutz bought and moved into a house in Amityville, New York.

2. Kathy had three children from a previous marriage that moved with them.

3. The house was the scene of an entire family being murdered there a year before.

4. The Lutz family had a dog named Harry.

5. The house was on the water and had a boathouse.

6. The Lutz family had a phone.

What has been newly created for this "remake," bears no relation to either the original book or the first movie. I will say that none of these as listed below are based in truth. They bear no resemblance to the true events we experienced. I have put together a brief list from clips about this version from the internet, television and a few other sources that are reflected in the following.

It Is Not True That:

anyone walked around stalking anyone shooting a shotgun or any gun off while we owned and lived in the house

there were attempts, let alone at least four separate attempts, to murder my family by me or anyone

that Harry (our black lab.) was hacked to death with an axe by anyone

that any events ever took place on the roof of the house

that the children tied me up

that anyone fell off   the roof of the house

that the children´s father had previously passed away

that the priest was involved with the funeral of the children ´ s dad

that the priest that helped us came after we moved in and not to bless the house

that we had no money

that we lived in any kind of substandard house previously

that we only had one boat and it was an outboard

that we had a construction company

that I was not the sole owner of my Land Surveying Company

that we had financial difficulties in buying the house

that I had an axe and cut wood constantly

that we tortured and abused the children

that I built coffins for the kids and Kathy in the basement or anywhere

…that any events with a babysitter and drugs and hospitalization or emergency services ever occurred

that Jodie was the ghost of a little girl, or demonic

that the house was on a lake

that escape in the end from the house was in a boat

This list is only partial...yet it speaks for itself of what has been done here. I have learned that the characters and events portrayed in this movie are fictional and that while the movie uses Kathy and George Lutz as the names of the individuals portrayed...any similarity to us seems to be accidental.

Is there anything that weighs on your heart that you feel people should know about the Amityville story that has been completely misconstrued?

It would serve no real purpose to try to undo here what a few others have fabricated as their own "proofs and truths."

I have learned that living through these events does not begin to equip you to explain them...instead you must first learn all over again who and what to trust. You will eventually learn, through trial and error, how to begin again with a life and knowledge that you had never considered even remotely probable or possible for yourself and those you love. Yet this is not unique. We all go through events and experiences that change us. This is not profound or even unusual, yet it is how we treat these changes that is important. When Kathy and I decided to "go public" with this, it was only after much discussion and what we thought of at the time as well reasoned and with the best of purposes to inform. We learned that people go through hauntings and supernatural experiences...and...never speak about them because of the ridicule involved as well as the distortions that seem to naturally attach themselves to even trying to do this. We are not sorry we did this, yet we would not have been "brave" enough to have even considered going public if anyone had been able to explain to us some of the things that would happen and be said.

Today as I write this, a number of motions await ruling in the court case, The "remake" has an announced April 15th release date, secret previews have been screened for invited guests to this film...I was not invited...go figure.

We continue to explore making the original text of "The Amityville Horror" available. We have been given to understand that because of MGM´s interference with our publishing rights it cannot be reprinted at this time.

I know what we lived through in that house and what went on afterward. I was there when Kathy...(though divorced from me then for more than 11 years)...sat through more that 8 hours of video taped interview, side by side with me as a co-witness while hooked up to an oxygen bottle just for her to able to breathe...it was her last on camera interview and her passing this last year created a loss to all that knew her that will not heal.

In all the history of this there have been lawsuits and allegations that would make anyone wonder why we continue to speak about this and try to protect the right to tell even one day of our story. I have often thought about this and the answer continues to remain a question that answers itself:

How do you take anything more seriously than your own life? - it would only be the life of your children and your loved ones...and this did not happen to just me.

The Amityville Horror is a true story. It is my family´s story.

The only hoax ever involved with Amityville Horror...is any person that says it was a hoax.

For more information and documentation on the Amityville story and George Lutz, log onto www.Amityvillehorror.com and www.amityvillehorrortruth.com and you can ask questions.

Thank you again Mr. Lutz for your time - please visit our area again when you can.