The 'Amityville Horror House' over four decades later

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Over four decades ago, the infamous "Amityville Horror" murders took place in a little-known town on Long Island. Decades later, the town hasn't escaped the stigma.

In the early hours of November 14, 1974, a couple and their four children were found shot dead by their oldest son, 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo, The New York Daily News reports. All six victims were discovered in their beds with no sign of struggle.

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The 'Amityville Horror House' over four decades later
NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Real estate photograph of a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents of 112 Ocean Avenue, who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. The best selling novel and popular movie have marked the town as the site of the most famous haunted house in history, yet many are unaware that the true history of this house is much darker than 'The Amityville Horror's' icy drafts and bleeding walls. Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered at 112 Ocean Avenue one year before the Lutz family moved in and their tragedy haunts the citizens of Amityville to this day. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Real estate photograph of a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents of 112 Ocean Avenue, who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. The best selling novel and popular movie have marked the town as the site of the most famous haunted house in history, yet many are unaware that the true history of this house is much darker than 'The Amityville Horror's' icy drafts and bleeding walls. Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered at 112 Ocean Avenue one year before the Lutz family moved in and their tragedy haunts the citizens of Amityville to this day. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Real estate photograph of a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents of 112 Ocean Avenue, who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. The best selling novel and popular movie have marked the town as the site of the most famous haunted house in history, yet many are unaware that the true history of this house is much darker than 'The Amityville Horror's' icy drafts and bleeding walls. Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered at 112 Ocean Avenue one year before the Lutz family moved in and their tragedy haunts the citizens of Amityville to this day. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Real estate photograph of a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents of 112 Ocean Avenue, who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. The best selling novel and popular movie have marked the town as the site of the most famous haunted house in history, yet many are unaware that the true history of this house is much darker than 'The Amityville Horror's' icy drafts and bleeding walls. Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered at 112 Ocean Avenue one year before the Lutz family moved in and their tragedy haunts the citizens of Amityville to this day. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Real estate photograph of a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents of 112 Ocean Avenue, who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. The best selling novel and popular movie have marked the town as the site of the most famous haunted house in history, yet many are unaware that the true history of this house is much darker than 'The Amityville Horror's' icy drafts and bleeding walls. Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered at 112 Ocean Avenue one year before the Lutz family moved in and their tragedy haunts the citizens of Amityville to this day. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Real estate photograph of a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents of 112 Ocean Avenue, who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. The best selling novel and popular movie have marked the town as the site of the most famous haunted house in history, yet many are unaware that the true history of this house is much darker than 'The Amityville Horror's' icy drafts and bleeding walls. Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered at 112 Ocean Avenue one year before the Lutz family moved in and their tragedy haunts the citizens of Amityville to this day. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Real estate photograph of a house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents of 112 Ocean Avenue, who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. The best selling novel and popular movie have marked the town as the site of the most famous haunted house in history, yet many are unaware that the true history of this house is much darker than 'The Amityville Horror's' icy drafts and bleeding walls. Six members of the DeFeo family were murdered at 112 Ocean Avenue one year before the Lutz family moved in and their tragedy haunts the citizens of Amityville to this day. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
View of a house in a scene from the film 'The Amityville Horror', 1979. (Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Getty Images)
Reflection of a house in water in a scene from the film 'The Amityville Horror', 1979. (Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Getty Images)
View of a house in a scene from the film 'The Amityville Horror', 1979. (Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Getty Images)
James Brolin and Margot Kidder posing in front of a house in a scene from film 'The Amityville Horror', 1979. (Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Getty Images)
11th January 1979: George and Kathy Lutz, former owners of the haunted house on 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, pose during a press tour for the book, 'The Amityville Horror,' London, England. The Lutzes recounted their stories to scriptwriter Jay Anson who wrote the book. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jim and Barbara Cromarty, present owners, pose near pool of their Amityville, N. Y. home Aug. 9, 1979. The couple opened their home to newsmen to disprove stories about eerie happenings at the house where the Defeo family was slain years ago. Accounts of those happenings, whether fact or fiction, are contained in the film the "Amityville Horror." (AP Photo/Dan Grossi)
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 1974 file photo, police and members of the Suffolk County Coroner's Office investigate the murder of six people found shot in Amityville, N.Y. The house made famous in the 1979 film "The Amityville Horror" is up for sale in New York, ghosts not included. The five-bedroom Dutch Colonial went on the market Monday, May 24, 2010, for $1.15 million. The Oscar-nominated film is based on the story of the Lutz family's brief stay in the house in 1975 after six members of the DeFeo family were shot and killed as they slept in the home. Eldest son Ronald DeFeo Jr. was convicted of the murders. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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Authorities later learned that DeFeo committed the murders at three in the morning on the thirteenth and waited until that night to inform others that he had found the bodies of his parents.

DeFeo ran into a small local bar and announced, "You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!"

He confessed to the murders in the following days, Newsday reports. The 23-year-old was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder and is serving six concurrent sentences of 25 years to life.

The murders, and the family who briefly lived in the house afterwards, inspired the 1979 James Brolin film "The Amityville Horror." The film follows the Lutz family as they move into the home, only to discover it's haunted.

There have since been other "Amityville Horror"-inspired movies, including "Amityville II: The Possession," a 2005 reboot of "The Amityville Horror" and "Amityville: The Awakening" which is due to be released in 2015. If you search 'Amityville' on IMDB, you get a solid 10 titles, and a whopping 105 results.

However, to those who live in Amityville, the DeFeo murders are a source of unwanted stigma.

"You know someone isn't from Amityville when they talk about the Amityville Horror House," said 28-year-old resident Terence Krey. "I can walk past it and not even think about it. It's just a house."

Subsequent owners have changed the facing of the home and tweaked the address, but despite these alterations, there's no escaping the history.

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