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The man whose haunted house story scared the pants off of moviegoers has passed away.

George "Lee" Lutz, the patriarch of the family whose short stay in Amityville, New York, became fodder for films, books, Websites and endless speculation, died Wednesday in Las Vegas of natural causes. He was 59 and had been suffering from heart disease.

The chilling story allegedly began Dec. 18, 1975, when Lutz, his new bride Kathleen and her three kids moved into a suspiciously cheap ($80,000 for 4,000 square feet) waterside Dutch Colonial house in Amityville on the southern shore of Long Island. Twenty-eight days later, they were outta there.

As it turned out, six members of the family who used to live there, the DeFeos, had been shot to death in various rooms of the house about a year earlier. The family's eldest son, 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo, was later convicted of the murders of his parents and four siblings and sentenced to life in prison. He mounted an insanity defense, claiming an evil presence in the house told him to off his family, but a jury ruled that he knew that what he had done was a bit on the horribly wrong side.

According to George and Kathy's retelling of what happened during the four weeks they lived at 112 Ocean Ave., these are some of the events that spurred them to get the hell out of there:

George would mysteriously wake up at 3:15 a.m. every night, which turned out to be the approximate time of the DeFeo murders.

Their youngest daughter, Missy, started playing with an imaginary friend named Jodie, the name of the littlest DeFeo killed that night (represented as a really freaky pig in the 1979 film, The Amityville Horror).

The priest whom they called upon to bless the house after learning about its past claimed to hear an ungodly voice telling him to "get out."

Windows and doors slammed and unlocked themselves.

And if you can live with all that, here's the kicker: Green slime supposedly dripped from the walls and ceiling.

If not demonic, that's certainly unsanitary.

The creepy travails of the Lutz family inspired a hit film in 1979 starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder as the unlucky newlyweds. A lesser Amityville Horror with Ryan Reynolds as a randomly buff George (he was a land surveyor in real life) and Melissa George as an annoyingly tolerant Kathy (hey, your husband starts swinging that ax too close to your kid's head, you get out of there) came out in 2005. The remake only scared up about $65 million at the box office, compared to the disco era version's $86.4 million.

A handful of crummy follow-ups, including Amityville II: The Possession in 1982 and Amityville: 3D in 1983 did little to further the story.

The real-life couple penned their own account of the tale in 1977 and The Amityville Horror: A True Story by Jay Anson followed a year later.

Lutz became a cult figure in his own right, attracting both the believers and the skeptics in droves. He has been accused of intentionally moving into the Ocean Avenue house to profit from the DeFeo murders. Lutz actually sued MGM last year, angry about the remake's depiction of what supposedly happened during those 28 days (i.e. he never tried to mutilate his loved ones in real life). However, in an interview last year he said that he has only made about $300,000 off of the entire affair.

"People are disrespecting a true story," he told People. "It's my family's story and it's hurtful."

Kathy Lutz died in 2004 of emphysema while the second Amityville Horror was in production. She and George divorced in the late 1980s but remained close until her death at 57.
 

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ahhh, it was ALL a crock anyways.:mad:

I remember when Kathy died, during filming of the remake, it ws suppossed to be an "Amityville" curse, like "poltergeist", or something. What a bunch of nonsense.
 

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I met him just last year at HauntCon. He was a wonderfully kind and polite man. I am glad to have actually met him.

He will be missed by many.
 

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I'm surprised I haven't seen this in the news. Where did you get this tidbit of info from. Usually this kind of stuff is on the newspage websites that I visit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My Yahoo had it. So I pasted and posted it. :D
 
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