Review: The Amityville Horror (book)

“Get OOOOOOUT!”

When blessing the house (which is the real main character in The Amityville Horror) a priest hears this declarative command coming from a room covered with flies, inexplicably alive in the New York winter season. Yeah, you wouldn’t have to ask me twice. “Can I pick up a few things? No? Well, then, I’m out. You enjoy your house, and I’m sorry for the small pile of excrement I have just shaken out of my pant leg.” *sprint*

I would punt one of those bratty kids toward the fly room on my way out. “Take this, Great House Demon. They are crunchy and best served with ketchup!” Bleeding walls? Door blown out from the inside? Levitating above the bed? Fuck it all, every last bit of it.

These are just a few of the supernatural things that supposedly happened to the Lutz family when they moved into 112 Ocean Avenue in the mid-seventies.What happened to them is debated widely, and many call it a hoax. I don’t know that everything adds up, but there are holes. And I don’t care one way or the other. It’s a good story, and fits the “rules” of haunting (or infernal infestation), and it doesn’t matter for our purposes. It’s a good, scary story, and based  around a very true, very tragic event.

A little over a year before, the entire DeFeo family had been murdered in their sleep by the oldest son/brother. He claimed that he had heard voices telling him to do it; granted, he was a drug addict and likely insane. However, all the family members were murdered with a shotgun, each happened to be laying on his/her stomach, none woke up at the sounds of shotgun blasts, no neighbors heard anything, and none of the family had any traceable drugs in their system which would account for this. These are facts.

The book itself is scary, and that’s what we paid admission for, isn’t it? Remember when The Blair Witch Project first came out? It was a good, effective movie, and made roughly eleventeen trillion dollars, even once everyone realized it was a movie and nor real. Why? Because it’s a good story. Same with The Amityville Horror.

The writing is a little amateurish, and there’s a profligate number of exclamation points which eventually become like little daggers inserted directly into the corneas. But read it with dim lights in a quiet house…or with a playlist of horror movie themes. Read it with your back exposed or in a chair which is not against the wall. You’ll see what I mean. It’s still frightening. You feel like something is watching you, usually from behind. You open doors, expecting something to be behind them, grinning at you with gentle, murderous malice.That sound you just heard from the other room…what was it? The house settling? Someone outside your apartment? Or some wretched, demonic thing coming for you when your belief and fear are blown wide open? Who can say?

Regrettably, the book is not yet available on Kindle, so you can’t read it in total dark with a gently glowing Kindle. But that might not matter.

The haunting at 112 Ocean avenue progressively got worse and worse, eventually driving the family out after a mere 28 days. If you can get a copy (the paperback is still available for about $6 from Amazon). I have the book and the audio book. While the audio book is acceptable, the true experience is had by reading it. If you don’t like it (or if you do), I’m sure I’ll be here before long with better recommendations.

In the meantime, hope you enjoyed my first rather scattered review.

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~ by Darren Endymion on October 26, 2015.

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