Permission has been granted by the author to post this letter on the GRS site. He has requested that I remove his name due to an incident of harassment from an Amityville believer.
I've noticed some discussion here from time to time concerning the "Amityville Horror" case and Ed and Lorraine Warren, a pair of would-be investigators of the paranormal. I discovered their website the other day (www.warrens.net) and found it's "Amityville" section a shocking collection of outright falsehoods. While I have been interested in the subject of the paranormal for over 20 years, I don't believe that they or the "Amityville Horror" are honest representations of this field.
So, I sent them an e-mail discussing the subject, which I don't flatter myself into thinking they'll bother to read, just as professional magicians would certainly not study any material explaining why their orchestrated tricks were impossible. I wrote it out of respect for the late Dr. Stephen Kaplan, who sought to illuminate deceptiveness such as theirs, and whom they criticized in such a nasty display on their web site, which exists mainly to huckster people, I suspect.
I also sent this letter for the benefit of anyone interested in the subject who might want some more information. Because of this, I thought members of this group might like to read this message as well, and I encourage discussion of the contents should anyone care to do so. If someone would like to argue the Warrens' position for them I'd find that quite appealing, so long as evidence to support their claims accompanied this debate.
Thank you, Scott X. (email@example.com)
June 11, 1998
The New England Society for Psychic Research P.O. Box 41 Monroe, CT, 06468
To whom it may concern:
I recently discovered the Warrens' website on the Internet, and being familiar with their notoriety - so to speak - in the field of parapsychology I perused it with analytical interest. I am writing to take issue with the Amityville section of this home page. Having studied all available material concerning this subject - both "pro-haunting" and "anti-haunting" - I have remained comfortably familiar with it even years later. I have no affiliation with anyone connected to this subject and therefore consider myself quite the impartial observer. While I was aware that the Warrens participated in this case, I did not think it probable or possible that they - or anyone else - could continue to insist that this known hoax had any veracity, especially after it was laid to rest eons ago. I am therefore reproducing pertinent paragraphs from that section of the website here in order to respond point by point to what I feel is a deliberate, objectionable concoction of deception and misinformation.
"Over the years, rumors have abounded which claim to prove the Amityville case a fraud. How these rumors started and how they became so ubiquitous is unclear; what is clear is that the Warrens saw the house for themselves, and experienced some of the phenomena which occurred. They have photographs and reports which show remarkable proof of the existence of very remarkable phenomena in that house."
In the first place, the Warrens boast that their pictures are "the only pictures ever taken inside the house." Why they would make such a claim is beyond me, given that pictures of the interior are readily available from other sources.
Secondly, the photographs provided on the Warrens' home page offer nothing in the way of proof, and it is ludicrous that anyone would attempt to make a statement such as this. Several pictures of the property, individuals inside the house, and a ceramic lion reputed to be involved in this "haunting" bear no resemblance to actual evidence.
As for the "reports" provided, they consist of nothing other than claims by the Warrens themselves and incorrect statements concerning the various roles other parties allegedly played in this embarrassing fiasco.
"It's believed that the hoax rumor began with a man who called himself Dr. Steven Kaplan, although he held no doctorate degree from any university."
This is a lie. Dr. Kaplan obtained his PhD in Sociology from Pacific College.
"This fact was exposed on several occasions, yet that never stopped Mr. Kaplan from making these claims."
Because that "fact" was mere baseless slander. I see the Warrens are utilizing an old but favorite trick from the political scene: when you can't meaningfully discuss or respond to what your opponent says, engage in character assassination against him, no matter how vile or untrue.
"He was the self-proclaimed president of the Parapsychology Society of Long Island and some other related societies, presumably founded by himself."
Given that your very own website declares: "NESPR is a theological society founded by Ed and Lorraine Warren in 1952," I find this quizzical attack quite hypocritical. Are we therefore to assume that people who found their own research organizations have no credibility, and group the Warrens in that assessment?
" As far as the Warrens can tell, he hated them."
Dr. Kaplan hated nobody. To imply he had some type of "personal vendetta" against the Warrens is ridiculous. He merely sought the truth, and when he found it he did his best to broadcast his discoveries and inform the public. It's quite clear that some people were obviously threatened by his work, seeing as how they gained quite a bit from the perpetuation of this third-rate fiction.
" because Mr. Lutz, the owner of the Amityville Horror home called Mr. Kaplan prior to calling the Warrens, and asked him to investigate the situation. Mr. Kaplan came to the home to "investigate" with 6 witches and the Channel 7 news team, and Mr. Lutz threw Mr. Kaplan off the property---and then called the Warrens. This started a 20 year vendetta of Mr. Kaplan against the Warrens."
More lies. Dr. Kaplan was asked by George Lutz to investigate the so-called "haunting." When he agreed to do so, he warned Lutz that if a hoax was afoot he would expose it. This is what sparked Lutz's decision not to retain the assistance of Dr. Kaplan on this matter, and why Lutz subsequently gravitated to individuals of less credibility and character to support his asinine story. Furthermore, Dr. Kaplan never appeared with any "witches" and certainly did not enlist any members of the media to accompany him. Lutz was the one who wanted to "go public" with the story, despite having told Dr. Kaplan he wanted to keep the entire issue under wraps and out of sight. I distinctly recall that the Warrens, and NOT Dr. Kaplan, were televised in 1976 holding a sťance in this house, so they couldn't have been too adverse to that news team, incidentally.
As for Dr. Kaplan's interaction with the Warrens, it seems to have been more a case of him defending himself from their onslaughts and accusations, rather than his targeting them in any way. He was not fighting against them, but rather their claims of the accuracy of this story.
"The basic claims of Mr. Kaplan insisting Amityville to be a hoax were discussed with Ed Warren and Mr. Kaplan on a Long Island radio show. Kaplan insisted that Amityville was a hoax because Jay Anson's book, The Amityville Horror, has some inconsistencies in it, and it was not 100% accurate."
A thoroughly ridiculous straw man with no basis in fact. Dr. Kaplan provided much more information to debunk the Amityville myth, such as contradictions between the hardcover and paperback versions of "The Amityville Horror," suspicious claims, actions and admissions on the part of George Lutz himself, supporting statements from other people involved in this case, and eventually a full disclosure by Ronald DeFeo's lawyer, William Weber, that this entire charade was indeed a fabrication. These are just a few of the issues, all of which I'm certain the Warrens are familiar with, but have curiously elected not to address on their web site.
"The Warrens felt that Mr. Anson's book was not 100% accurate as well, but only because Mr. Anson was unfamiliar with the terms of art of the field of demonology, not because of any purposeful error on his or Mr. Lutz's part."
Anyone can see that the inaccuracies of Anson's book are not exclusively based in the field of demonology, but span a variety of topics. Weather and lunar cycles described therein, for instance, were completely debunked by meteorologists. Individuals such as police officers, reporters and priests did not say or do various things that are attributed to them. The book even disagrees with other versions of the story put forth by the Lutzes, such as various newspaper accounts and interviews. And it most certainly flies in the face of further tales by the Lutz family set forth in "The Amityville Horror II," in which they claim some sort of force battered their van as they drove away from the house, but yet "forgot" to cover this rather significant detail at the close of the previous novel. It's quite a confusing snarl of contradictions. One account or the other has to be incorrect, and yet both were approved for publication by the Lutzes, whose reliability the Warrens have sought to fortify. The term "guilt by association" comes to mind here.
And furthermore, Anson himself admitted before his death that he merely compiled the story >from tape recordings given to him by the Lutzes, that he did not verify any of the data, and that it was arranged to be more "interesting."
I could go on and on, but one can get the point quite easily: this is all hardly the trademark of a "true story."
"Apparently Mr. Kaplan simply could not let go of the idea that he had ruined his chance to become involved in what may be the world's most famous paranormal investigation, and therefore started the rumor that it was all a hoax."
This is further meaningless slander of a qualified investigator of the paranormal, capable of discerning fact from fiction and determined to explain the difference to anyone who cared to listen. Obviously the Warrens profited greatly from their involvement in "the world's most famous paranormal investigation" and feel quite threatened by individuals who attempt to explain why it was not true.
"Mr. Kaplan wrote a book concerning the Amityville story, called The Amityville Conspiracy, and one week before the book was published he died from a heart attack. The book contains far more contradictions and mis-stated facts than The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. "
If the Warrens truly believe this, then they should utilize the rather one-sided forum they enjoy on their web site to discuss these "mis-stated facts" in Dr. Kaplan's book, rather than expecting the uninformed visitor to rely on their version of the story. The paranormal is a field which quite clearly needs to build on solid proof in order for people to believe in it, and those who relay these findings to the general public.
"Kaplan was never even inside of the Amityville house (except to attend a party--not as part of an investigation), despite his claims to the contrary."
This is yet another lie. He was inside the house on several occasions. He examined the interior and exterior of the house and found nothing amiss, nor anything to even support the Lutz's' mythology. For instance, the front door, which had supposedly been torn off its hinges, was still in place, with no sign of any damage (and Lutz later admitted that it was actually the screen door which was broken, and the front door was never affected). The quarter-moon shaped window on the 3rd floor, which had allegedly been cracked, also showed no such evidence, nor any indication of repair. The pathetic "red room" was revealed as nothing more than a plumbing access space, contrary to the sinister little secret hideaway described in Anson's book. These are just a few of the revelations that discredit the Lutzes. "Kaplan nevertheless swore that he had photographs and investigative materials."
Why would Kaplan offer up photographs in which nothing supernatural was occurring as evidence of his claims? That seems to be an undertaking the Warrens themselves chose in the construction of the Amityville component of their web site.
"Ed Warren offered him $5000 to show him the hoax evidence, yet Kaplan declined."
Impossible. Why would Dr. Kaplan write a book about the subject to decry the hoax and yet fail to perform even this most perfunctory step of the process?
"When Ed Warren asked how Kaplan had conducted his investigation, Kaplan couldn't even specify what equipment he'd used. Somehow, he managed to lie his way out of every possible detail."
This reeks of being yet another lie, without any foundation in reality. Having researched this, I have been unable to ascertain any source for this statement other than this website. I am aware, however, that Dr. Kaplan challenged the Warrens to take a lie detector test regarding their "findings" in the Amityville case. He was willing to take one as well. Whoever lost, he declared, would therefore have to resign from the field. The Warrens, strangely enough, declined this test, which would have not only verified their statements but resulted in the departure from their profession of an opponent they quite clearly loathed. Assuming they were being honest, of course.
"Ultimately, a Babylon, NY radio station made Mr. Kaplan apologize to the Warrens because they'd uncovered that Kaplan had fabricated the hoax rumor."
Yet another lie, miraculously reported only by the Warrens. I'd like to see them describe which station supposedly reported this, which members of their staff uncovered this information, and on what date this "revelation" was aired.
"Kaplan said on the radio program, "I will never go against the Warrens again." Given his health, he was never able to try, although his apology was short- lived. "
Again, this is the first time I've heard such a claim, after having reviewed all the materials. Dr. Kaplan would never have apologized for exposing a fraud, nor would he have stated that he would "never go against the Warrens again." Unless perhaps it was in the context of discussing their blatant dishonesty, poor character, and lack of professionalism. Once more, I request that the Warrens provide the radio station and date on which this statement was supposedly made.
Furthermore, this pointed jab at Dr. Kaplan's health and his alleged "short-lived" apology is disgusting and childish, and reveals quite a lack of dignity on the part of the Warrens. To mock a man who passed away three years ago due to heart problems is abhorrent and inexcusable. Were I an uninformed visitor to your web site, with no knowledge of the Amityville case, this puerile attack on Dr. Kaplan would certainly persuade me to have no further interest in any matter in which the Warrens were involved.
"The Warrens found that Mr. Lutz's descriptions of the paranormal activity in the home were very accurate for a case of demonic possession, "
Despite the fact George and Kathy Lutz were the only witnesses. All other individuals mentioned were either fictional or misrepresented, and the Lutzes themselves later recanted certain details of their story.
And furthermore, the Warrens claim to support all of the information contained in the novel "The Amityville Horror," with the exception of the demonological aspects which even they admit are not completely trustworthy. So how can they say the tale is now "very accurate for a case of demonic possession" when they just finished conceding the opposite?
Can't the Warrens keep a consistent story even on their own home page?
" although the Lutz's had never studied demonology--they would not have know how to fabricate the story that they told. "
In the book, "The Amityville Horror," George is explicitly described as studying this subject before telling his story. Once more, the Warrens have stated that Anson's book is reliable. Therefore, if we are to assume such a thing, then we can only conclude that the above statement is a lie. There seems no third alternative.
"But why is the hoax story so popular?"
As I'm sure the Warrens can attest, some people love a good ghost story. But more people are interested in truth over fiction, or so I would hope. Add that to the fact that multiple sources revealed this fable as a hoax, and only the Warrens attempt to contest the proof, and you have your answer.
"Part of the reason was that the chief of police's son was a newspaper reporter, and the police hoped to get vandals out of the area--since the story had broken, the traffic in the area had been nonstop. An erroneous story was printed in Newsday about how the Amityville case was a hoax, and that helped to perpetuate the hoax myth."
This seems a rather lukewarm reason for why people would allegedly create the "hoax myth." To reduce the amount of traffic in Amityville?
Not only that, but there were many stories about the hoax, that were very much accurate, printed in many other publications besides Newsday. To purport there was but one is less than honest.
And furthermore, many other factors perpetuated that "hoax myth." Factors such as William Weber's radio confession almost twenty years ago that the Lutzes concocted this "ghost story" after discussing the DeFeo murders. Factors such as George Lutz admitting that various details of the story were untrue, such as their son being treated at a certain hospital for a hand injury they claimed he suffered, and Kathy's alleged "two feet" levitation really being "two inches." Factors such as the Catholic Church saying that, contrary to the Lutz story, they were NOT involved in the case. Factors such as Father Pecoraro, referred to as "Father Mancuso" in novel "The Amityville Horror" coming forth to state that he never suffered any such "demonic afflictions" described in that claptrap. Factors such as members of the media contradicting their role in these events as described in the book "The Amityville Horror."
The fact that the Warrens conveniently leave all of this information out of their discussion of the subject says far more about them than any attempt they could make to address it.
"But who would have profited from fabricating such a story?"
The Warrens, for one. Attaching their names to a subject even they admit is one of their most frequent lecture topics and "what may be the world's most famous paranormal investigation" would be a great way to increase their publicity and prestige, and of course augment their income, through tours, membership contributions, and other sources.
"The Lutzes received little or no money from the books and movies."
Another complete lie, and quite an ostentatious one at that. Are we truly asked to believe that the people who concocted this fairy tale would have received nothing from these literary and cinematic releases, and would have allowed all of the tremendous profits to go to the publishers and filmmakers?
I'm not sure from which segment of the population your organization is attempting to draw members, but with a statement such as this it cannot be from any of the well-educated members of our society.
"Jay Anson, the author of The Amityville Horror surely profited from his book, but it seems that no one else did."
Putting aside the Lutzes, the Warrens, American International Pictures, the actors from the film, "The Amityville Horror," various talk show hosts, radio stations, magazines, and newspapers, what about John G. Jones, who picked up the "Amityville" reins by writing further ridiculous chapters in that saga? (As an aside, I must say my favorite moment from the third novel is when the Lutz family stomps to death a physical, monstrous manifestation of the "entity," which conveniently disintegrates without a trace).
"Another rumor persists that the Lutz's lawyer, Attorney Webber, fabricated the story with them over several bottles of wine."
That "rumor" was corroborated by Weber himself on live radio. You forgot to mention, additionally, that Mr. Weber successfully sued George Lutz on the basis of this fabrication.
"Truth be told, the Lutzes didn't drink and had only a bottle of blessed wine in the house given to them by Father Pecoraro."
Oh, really? In the book "The Amityville Horror" George not only gets up late at night to visit a local tavern (referred to as "The Witches Brew," despite the fact no such bar ever existed) and consume beer, but is described as having cans of beer in his very own refrigerator. Once again, either the book the Warrens insist is accurate really is not accurate, or this is another lie. Either way, deception abounds.
"Rumor has it that Webber wanted to write his own book, but Jay Anson simply beat him to it."
Again, this is a substantiated fact that Weber himself described. He DID intend on writing a book about the murders, not ghosts, and this was long before the Lutzes took their story public.
I simply cannot fathom why the Warrens would attempt to infer that greed might be a motive for people on the other side of the argument to lie about this case, when it is quite obvious they themselves have profited greatly from their association with it.
"Jay Anson, author of The Amityville Horror had a heart attack while he was writing the last chapter of the book."
He had a heart problem long before he ever heard of the Lutzes.
"He recovered from this heart attack but had a second, fatal heart attack while writing his second book "66" on the anti-Christ."
As an FYI, that second book was as fictional as the first. The only difference is that it was packaged and presented honestly when released. Trying to instill fear in the readers by insinuating Mr. Anson's demise was caused by his investigation into the unholy is a tactic that authors of old "penny dreadful" novels of the 19th century would have been proud of.
"These are only two of the many "coincidences" that plague the Amityville story. "
Is it honest or accurate to attribute bad luck and poor health to supernatural beings?
Furthermore, families have lived in this house since the Lutzes moved out, and none of them have ever reported anything out of the ordinary. Are we expected to believe that a man who never met the Lutzes, who took their tapes and wrote a book based on the material they contained, would be "targeted" by any supernatural forces which for some reason decided to ignore subsequent residents of this "haunted house?"
This is a leap in logic the likes of which I rarely come across. For that I'm quite grateful.
"What follows is a short version of the Warrens' own story about their Amityville investigation. This was compiled from their oral history taken during a NESPR meeting in October, 1997 (these classes are open to the public--details on how and where to attend are included elsewhere in this web site) We've included it here to help dispel the rumors that Amityville was a hoax".
I think actual facts and legitimate, rational discussion should be employed in place of the speculation and theory provided instead, if the Warrens truly wish to "dispel the rumors that Amityville was a hoax."
"The New England Society for Psychic Research strongly believes that only through dissemination of accurate information concerning paranormal activity can the public be informed that such activity really exists--and that evil is among us."
A very good intention, and I fully agree. Yet it seems quite ironic given the amount of inaccurate and calculated deception offered on this section of your web page. And elsewhere on your site, I must conclude, if the rest of the "cases" are as realistic as this one.
" It is not until the public understands that this is so that we can begin to combat such forces in our midst. As long as fraud stories persist, and as long as people who experience real such trauma are ridiculed, Satan and evil forces can continue to do their work here on earth. It is only through information and understanding that good can prevail."
More agreeable remarks which few might care to contest. Yet this is a familiar lead-in for individuals such as the Warrens to create a defensive wall to shield them from any criticism. By portraying themselves as agents of "good," they can therefore point fingers at all who question or disagree with their statements, inferring that such opposition is in league with "evil." The world is not divided into such safe, clearly delineated segments of black and white. Furthermore, delivering acerbic vitriol against one's human enemies hardly marks a person as a representative of that which is good. "History of the property: The property was used as a sort of insane asylum for Native Americans who were sick and dying. There had been an enclosure on the property, where the patients were housed. Inhuman spirits revel in such suffering and are able to infest the graves of those who were buried in unconsecrated ground. "
Yet another in a string of lies. There is no information available on that particular piece of property, and the Amityville Historical Society has repeatedly confirmed this.
"Background: The problems at the Amityville house seemed to stem from the Ronald DeFeo murders on November 13, 1974. Mr. DeFeo hated his father and had plotted to kill him--he'd even worked out a scheme by which he could do so. Mr. DeFeo was on drugs, and his father knew about it."
I think it's quite interesting that even the Warrens admit that Ronald DeFeo was a known drug user, but then proceed to rely on ridiculous claims such as the following:
"Later he said that there was a shadow ghost alongside of him during the killings which compelled him to shoot his two brothers and his sister at 3:15 am on November 13, 1974."
You will pardon me, I trust, if I do not rely upon the word of a murderous heroin addict whose motive was based on money. Furthermore, DeFeo has also scoffed at the notion of this so-called "Amityville Horror."
"Although the houses in this quiet Amityville neighborhood were only 40 feet apart, no neighbors awoke during the shootings. All of the victims were found on their stomachs. The Warrens believe that the victims were in a state of phantomania, which in effect paralyzed them, making them unable to cry out for help."
Mere speculation. Heavy sleepers, particular positions in which the bodies were found (who is to say DeFeo himself did not turn the victims over, sickened by the sight of what he'd done?), and the fact nobody awoke during the shootings is hardly proof of the paranormal. I understand DeFeo was accused of drugging his family during dinner, which would explain their lethargy if this were the case.
As for the nearby neighbors, I wouldn't expect them to awaken from the state of REM sleep that they'd surely have been in during the time the murders were committed, on the basis of six muffled gunshots emanating from a house with all the doors and windows closed. Movies tend to depict guns being discharged with a thunderous, cannon-like roar. That's not always the case, depending on the type, model and caliber. "How the Warrens became involved: Ed and Lorraine Warren met with a priest, Father Pecararo, and the Lutzes when they were first called in to investigate.
Was it before or after that investigation that Father Pecoraro revealed he'd never suffered any "demonic afflictions," contrary to what Anson and the Lutzes claim in both the book and film version of the "The Amityville Horror?"
"The Lutzes were living at Mrs. Lutz's mother's house in Deer Park, NY because they were too afraid to go back to the house to live. They were all but afraid to even speak of the phenomena, so deep was their fear."
How strange, then, that they found the time and opportunity to speak of this "phenomena" when a book deal was presented.
"They'd even left all of their furniture and possessions behind, not daring to return to move out--it simply wasn't worth the risk."
Or perhaps because sacrificing their furniture and possessions in order to lend credence to their tale was a sound financial investment of sorts. Did it not occur to the Lutzes that they might hire a moving company to retrieve and relocate their items?
"The first time the Warrens went to the house it was with an anchorman from the Channel 5 news, a professor from Duke University, and the president of the American Society for Psychic Research. "
And one of these individuals - Marvin Scott - said the Lutz family misrepresented his role in the story by casting him as adversely affected during his presence in this house. He sued the publishers of the book. Contrary to their claims, Mr. Scott observed and felt nothing out of the ordinary there.
Furthermore, other people implicated by the Lutzes, who used them to their advantage by attributing false statements and activities to them, were similarly outraged. Steve Bauman, a reporter, also sued the publishers of "The Amityville Horror" for this reason. They said he uncovered information that almost all the families who lived in that house, as well as another built on the site, suffered tragedy, and it simply wasn't true.
It gets worse. Sergeant Pat Cammaroto of the Amityville Police Department angrily contradicted the hardcover version of "The Amityville Horror", which had him coming to the house to investigate during its so-called period of "haunting." For them to drag the name of a police officer in on this silliness was purely idiotic. They conveniently changed his name and district in the paperback edition of their story to avoid further repercussions and embarrassments such as this. And again, despite what the Lutzes said, Father Pecoraro had no ill experiences with any "demons."
And speaking of the ASPR, a representative of that organization stated that the Lutzes had already signed a book deal before their house was even investigated. I'm not sure why they would have hurried to secure a contract such as that if, as the Warrens claim, they stood to make "little or nothing" from such an endeavor.
"That first day was horrifying. Lorraine received nonstop clairvisual and clairaudial messages about the phenomena which had occurred."
I see nothing here in the way of proof, and we have only Lorraine to attest to this. It would be very different if she were able to extract verifiable information in this manner that she could not possibly have known except through psychic sources, but that is not the case here.
"Anxious to see for himself whether or not the phenomena was real, Ed, who normally experiences little clairvoyant feelings at all, went into the cellar. The cellar is typically where evil spirits spend their days, and Ed therefore felt that would be the best place for him to start."
"The cellar is typically where evil spirits spend their days?" That's quite strange. Having studied the subject of the paranormal for over two decades, I can't concur that the majority of "hauntings" seem to be focused in the basement of the houses involved. This sounds to me like an attempt at corny dramatic effect. What if the building has no cellar? Must the spirits then relocate to another house that does?
"Despite his usual immunity from witnessing phenomena"
An immunity shared by everyone else involved with this case as well.
"Ed saw shadows along with thousands of pinpoints of light. These shadows attempted to push him to the ground. Ed used religious resistance and commanded the evil spirits to leave. He immediately got the sensation of something attempting to lift him off of the ground, and he knew then that this was truly a house of evil. Although he knew that this was serious case, he had no idea how severe it really was. He has never been so seriously affected in any case before, or after, the Amityville Horror case."
The Warrens own words in another part of their web site contradict that last sentence. And as in the case of Lorraine's claims of clairvoyant messages, we have only Ed's word that this event actually occurred. "Lorraine's Experiences: Lorraine was frightened even before she'd entered the house. She'd contacted some priest friends in advance and asked them to accompany her in spirit into the house. She took relics with her of Padre Pio which she'd received in a letter from a total stranger earlier in the week. On the first floor, there was a wet bar room where Padre Pio appeared in a photograph taken of Lorraine."
How odd that this photograph was not offered on your website. I'm beginning to suspect that Harry Houdini would have greatly enjoyed meeting Lorraine and Ed.
"As she went to the stairs to go to the 2nd floor landing, she felt as if there was a huge force of rushing water against her, and the atmosphere around here was solidifying."
Yet more speculation and opinion, with no evidence to accompany it.
"On the second floor, Lorraine went into the sewing room. Marvin Scott, the Channel 5 anchorman, told Lorraine, "I hope that this is as close to hell as I ever get," as they went into Missy's room."
This is another lie. Like the Lutz family, the Warrens are using Mr. Scott for their own ends by attributing remarks to him that he never made and filed lawsuits over. People went to court over this charade.
"Lorraine immediately clairvoyantly knew that Missy's room had the same furniture as it had when the DeFeo girls were murdered. Mr. Lutz had let his children sleep in the DeFeo children's death beds. In the master bedroom, one wall was all mirrors. Lorraine sat on the bed where the DeFeo parents had been shot. Only the mattress on the bed had been changed. The feeling in the rooms was that of absolute horror, and going from room to room did not dissipate the feeling at all. One just seemed more horrible than the next."
Quite an eerie description, but once more we have only Lorraine's statement that this occurred.
"On the third floor, Lorraine clairvoyantly encountered Ronald DeFeo. This encounter was so awful, and he was so sinister, that she felt there was absolutely nothing she could do to help--or eject--his spirit from the house."
Ronald DeFeo, alive and well, is sitting in prison, not haunting a house in which he committed six grisly murders. The concept of a living person infesting a house in this manner is, I must admit, a first.
"Once she was downstairs again, she was asked to do something she had never wanted to do after entering the house--she was asked to communicate with the spirits in the house and ask what had really happened. All of the investigators were in the room."
Yes, Lorraine's statements about the origins of the "entity" are quite cryptic and dramatic. Strangely, despite her claim that nobody could live in that house until it was exorcised, families have happily existed there in the 22 years since this hoax was perpetuated on the public. The only disturbances they have suffered have been from thrill seekers and rubberneckers "haunting" the area.
"The investigator from Duke University actually passed out cold from fear!"
Another bold-faced lie. That investigator must have hit his head when he passed out and suffered a memory loss of the incident.
"Two of the other investigators complained of heart palpitations and had to rest on the floor."
And these same investigators later stated that these heart palpitations were of no supernatural origin whatsoever, but the result of stress, a late night, and too much coffee. One again, random health issues are laid at the door of paranormal beings, without any regard for fact.
"The house seemed to have the most dire effect on men."
The only man who states he had a negative experience there seems to be your Mr. Warren. The rest have strenuously objected to having been cast as affected or terrified by their bland, uneventful investigation in this house.
"Mary Pascarella, the Director of a prominent psychic research group in New Haven, actually became so ill that she had to be taken outside and from that moment forward she never entered the house again."
Are you sure you're not continuing to blame evil spirits for normal physical problems and fatigue?
"Ed and Lorraine Warren left a 1:00am. Both were so affected that they vowed they'd never go back into that house again. But they did"
Do the Warrens regularly break their vows so deliberately? And can we therefore take that as a sign of their "honesty?"
"and the Amityville Horror story was born."
And it spawned a multimillion dollar industry that everyone involved in the "case" - with the exception of Dr. Kaplan - tried to profit from. And meanwhile the house has been occupied over twenty years without any reoccurrence of these events.
I write this response to your organization not for the edification of the Warrens, who are obviously very well acquainted with the truth about this truckload of hogwash. I am quite aware that there is nothing here I could point out to them that they do not know, or that they would pay any attention to, of course. Nor would I request or expect that the Amityville component of the website be removed. It does serve a purpose by demonstrating the deception and convenient omissions one must rely upon in order to insist that this obnoxiously absurd hoax truly occurred.
Rather, my rationale for composing this correspondence is threefold. In the first place, I find it absolutely disgusting that the Warrens would so shamelessly slander Dr. Stephen Kaplan, simply because he did not concur with their assessment of this case and sought to educate the public on the truth. Making up nasty accusations and gloating over the unfortunate demise of an opponent is abominable, particularly from a couple that purports to do the work of Jesus Christ, whose teachings would hardly encourage such a ghoulish display. Rather than attempting to impugn the character of this good man, the Warrens might try to honestly address the dozens of points he made about this case, rather than brushing it all off and misleading their readers in order to solicit membership donations.
Secondly, as members of a field that is already viewed with a certain degree of skepticism, it is incumbent upon "professionals" such as the Warrens to engage in and report the results of their investigations with integrity and accuracy. They made quite a good speech of this sort, but provided nothing to contribute to it. I find it sad they fell prey to the money-based siren song of the Amityville case and chose to use it for their own ends, to capitalize on the gullibility of the foolish and easily led. Obviously the Warrens helped substantiate this story so long ago when it was first released, and were forced to continue the pretense long after it messily collapsed, lest they risk their credibility in all other matters. Ironically, they have directly guaranteed the eradication of that credibility by continuing to cling to a fictional fraud.
Lastly, I discuss the subject of the paranormal as a hobby with a smart, informal group of other interested individuals, both in person and via the Internet. Clearly the Warrens have discovered what a great tool the Internet is for attracting attention and prospective clients. Since they choose to host the Amityville matter on their website and claim it is a "true story," rest assured that my group and others like it will be equally adamant about educating all interested individuals as to the real aspects of this story, for however long the subject continues. We will do this not with lies, not with generalizations, not with slander, not with opinions or innuendo, but with the facts. I will be sharing the contents of this letter with my group for our discussions and will provide it to anyone else, present and future, who might find it worthy of perusal. I believe the inevitable lack of any meaningful response from the Warrens (whom I realistically do not expect will lay eyes upon this document; at least not after the first paragraph) will nicely verify the points covered herein. Judging their hostility towards Dr. Kaplan, they seem to have a knack for going after their opponents in a rather cruel and nasty fashion that completely disregards any of the topics of conversation at hand - and with obvious reason. To be honest, I feel pity for them. They should be enjoying their golden years someplace warm like Florida, engaging in worthwhile and productive hobbies such as bridge, fishing, and gardening, instead of trying to bilk susceptible people with this sort of bunk.
In closing, the Warrens seem delighted that Dr. Kaplan is no longer present to combat their deceit in the Amityville case. I would like to remind them that his work will not only not be forgotten, but is still being performed, and will continue forward. Thank you for your time.
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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