Catch A Glimpse Of The House That Inspired A Popular Horror Movie At This New York Town

Whether our protagonists are haunted by masked killers, demonic possession, or malevolent ghosts, a horror movie is often only as good as its location. Some iconic sets are built especially for the film, such as the Bates Motel and family home in "Psycho," which were constructed on a Hollywood studio lot. Others are real-world locations, like the infamous "Exorcist Steps" in Georgetown, Washington, or the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, which provided the exterior for the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining."

Another movie location with a diabolical reputation is the house from "The Amityville Horror," a private property in the Long Island, New York, village of Amityville. The house has a dark history — on the night of November 13, 1974, a young man named Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered six members of his family while they slept. In December 1975, thirteen months after the grisly crime, George and Kathleen Lutz moved in with their family. Life in their new home lasted less than a month before they fled the house, citing supernatural phenomena. The case entered the public consciousness in 1977 when author Jay Anson published his book, "The Amityville Horror," which stirred up controversy regarding its veracity.

Horror fans are still drawn to Amityville to check out the house that inspired the classic movie. If you want to catch a glimpse for yourself, it's important to remember that it was the site of a real crime, and you should take the utmost care to respect the privacy of the owners.

Visiting the real Amityville Horror house

The original house where the Lutz family supposedly fled from malevolent forces was located at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York. The address was later changed to 108 Ocean Avenue to throw sightseers and horror movie buffs off the scent. Since it found infamy in the '70s, the property has undergone major changes. Most significantly, the creepy quarter-moon windows that are such an iconic piece of "The Amityville Horror" imagery have been replaced with more typical square windows.

Understandably, the locals resent the publicity the book and the film have brought to their village. They definitely don't encourage people to stand around on the pavement outside the house gawping and taking photos, and knocking on the door is an absolute no-no. Every effort has seemingly been made to respect the victims and the privacy of the current occupants. The street has no parking, and there is a sign warning "No Stopping or Standing" outside the house. The property is even blurred out on Google Streetview.

That isn't to say you shouldn't take a look — as long as you keep a low profile. You can either check it out while driving along or park nearby and take a stroll down Ocean Avenue. Photography isn't prohibited, but it is best to be as discreet as possible.

Visiting the filming locations of The Amityville Horror

After the bestselling success of "The Amityville Horror" book, a film version was inevitable — especially after box office hits with supernatural themes like "The Exorcist" and "The Omen." Initially, the filmmakers wanted to use the real house in Amityville, but the local authorities understandably denied them permission. Instead, the production team found another Dutch Colonial-style home a few hours away in Toms River, New Jersey. The house was leased for the film and converted to look more like the original, including one key feature: The spooky quarter-moon windows that made the property look like a jack-o'-lantern and helped it become one of the most iconic haunted houses in horror movie history. The property was moved in 1981 and looks almost nothing like the house in the film, but you can still check it out at 18 Brooks Road in Toms River.

"The Amityville Horror" spawned several sequels and received a remake in 2005 starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. Horror fans will need to travel to 27618 Silver Lake Road, Salem, Wisconsin, to take a peek at the property used in that movie. Again, the exterior was altered during the shoot to give the house its signature creepy look. Nowadays, both filming locations are just regular homes, but completists will have fun checking a little bit of horror history off the list.