Last week’s Halloween happenings got me thinking, as it does every year, about all things spooky and creepy that have happened to me in my life.
And to this day, when I think of things that have happened to me that give me the creeps, THIS is always the story that comes to my mind:
I was 6 years old in the Winter of 1975. Even though we had only been living on Long Island for a few years at that time, a common thing for my family to do was to go house hunting on the weekends. I don’t think we were really in the market to buy another house and move, but checking out other houses was something to do. Hey, it was 1975…. What hell were we SUPPOSED to be doing with our weekends….stare at my Pet Rock and Lava Lamp?
Anyway, it was a typical practice for my folks to check out the local newspaper, read of a house that was for sale, and then pack me in the car and head out to take a look at the place. Little 6 year old Slyde always thought of it as an adventure.
Except for ONE time.
We had pulled up to a house that my parents had read had recently come on the market. I remember my parents talking about being surprised how cheap the place was being sold for.
As we pulled in front of the house, I remember it being a large white house, right on the water, with 2 large windows overlooking the second floor. I remember seeing a gazebo in the backyard, right next to a dock that you could pull a boat up to.
On paper, it sounds like a great home, right?
But, until the day I die, I will remember the feeling I got when I first saw that house…..
It wasn’t excitement, or awe, or even childhood indifference….
It was fear.
Pure, unexplainable, pants-peeing fear.
I remember not being able to explain it to my mom. The house just felt…… wrong.
I got this bad vibe from every part of the house. The windows looked like evil eyes staring down at me. The gazebo looked wicked and dangerous. The quiet backyard looked like something bad was going to just pop out at any second.
I remember my father getting out to take a look around, while my mom and I stayed in the car, and I remember totally freaking out, screaming for my dad to come back inside.
In the end, my agitation got to be too much for my parents, and we ended up driving off, never having set foot inside that house.
It wasn’t until a few days later when I heard my mother talking to the real estate agent on the phone, that we learned that the house we had visited was the house that, only a few months prior, was the very home in which 23 year-old Ronald DeFeo, Jr. decided to wake up in the middle of the night and murder his entire family.
You might know the house by its more popular name……
The Amityville Horror.
Anyway, a few months later, the Lutz family famously lived there for 28 days, generating a half dozen films and making that place one of the most famous haunted houses in the world.
Now, were the Lutz’s nothing more than full-of-shit media hounds making up a story to get rich, or did they really spend 28 days in Hell in that house that, to this day, still stands not 10 miles from where I’m typing this?
I honestly don’t know, but I CAN say that here I sit, almost 4 decades later, still grateful as HELL that I never set foot in that house……
And as close as it is to where I live, I STILL have never gone back for another look……