On 13 November 1974, police discovered six members of the De Feo family shot dead; the father, mother and four of the five children, at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. Attention turned to Ronald, the only child to survive the ordeal. He was soon declared guilty of the murders, his motivation supposedly being that he did not get on with his father and saw the killings as retribution for the years of hell his Dad had put him through.
After the trial, a newly wed couple in search of their dream home bought the house. But one month later their dream had turned into a nightmare. The couple fled from the house claiming it was possessed with demonic spirits.
They organised for two psychics to enter the house and carry out a séance. The supposed ghosts they identified were those of Native American Indians. The piece of land where the house had been built had formerly been a place where sick and insane members of the tribe were isolated until they died. This revelation became a national story. It wasn’t long before the book Amityville Horror shot to the top of the best seller list and a blockbuster movie followed.
This alone is an intriguing story. But the next chapter – not commonly known – is a remarkable twist. Two paranormal investigators weren’t satisfied with the published version of events, and began delving into the case. They eventually revealed that the hautings were an elaborate hoax – concocted as a money making con.