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.
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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