Amityville Horror House for Sale: Murderously Good Deal?
But in Amityville, N.Y., local realtors aren't keeping mum about the house at 112 Ocean Ave. -- where six members of the DeFeo family were murdered in 1975 -- going on the market for $1.15 million. In fact, according to one media report, they're touting the freakiness factor to help sell the the five-bedroom Dutch Colonial, known as one of America's most infamous real-life haunted houses.
The property became notorious through the Oscar-nominated 1979 film called "The Amityville Horror," which portrayed the blood-curdling experience of the subsequent owners, the Lutz family, who moved in a month after the gruesome tragedy.
Is that worth more money, or less?
The new owners, the Lutzes, were reportedly haunted by demonic images and supernatural occurrences, and abandoned the home after living there for only 28 days.
The DeFeo family's eldest son, Ronald Jr., who had confessed to the killings, was convicted in December 1975.
This case is a rare exception of a murder so famous that a potential home buyer would know about it. In most instances, the prospective owners would not know if a murder or crime has taken place in a property. As HousingWatch has reported, that's because only about half of the states in the U.S. have formal seller-disclosure laws. Many sellers and representing agents do not have to reveal if there was a murder on the premises, unless the buyers ask.
And if the crime happened more than a year ago, the sellers are not legally required to disclose that information.
In most cases, it would not be regarded as a selling point.
But with Amityville's most notorious home rising to prominence as a legendary haunted house, there's no way to keep its past a secret.
Neighbors say that on Halloween the house at 112 Ocean Ave. (changed from its original address of 108 Ocean Ave.) still attracts spectators. Meanwhile, those who took ownership after the Lutz family have not complained of strange activity, leading some to be skeptical of that family's accounts.
So if the house suits your needs and price range, there's probably nothing to be afraid of. Just imagine the costume parties you could throw.