• The Amityville Horror

  • By: Jay Anson
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (6,806 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their new home on suburban Long Island. George and Kathleen Lutz knew that, one year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers, and sisters in the house, but the property - complete with boathouse and swimming pool - and the price were too good to pass up.

Twenty-eight days later, the entire Lutz family fled in terror.

This is the spellbinding, best-selling, true story that gripped the nation - the story of a house possessed by evil spirits, haunted by psychic phenomena almost too terrible to describe.

Jay Anson began as a copy boy on the New York Evening Journal in 1937 and later worked in advertising and publicity. With more than 500 documentary scripts for television to his credit, he was associated with Professional Films, Inc. He died in 1980.

©1977 Jay Anson; published in arrangement with Lesia Anson (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A fascinating and frightening book." ( Los Angeles Times)
"This book will scare the hell out of you." ( Kansas City Times)

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What listeners say about The Amityville Horror

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So good, it’s scary.

I was never a big fan of the movie but I have to admit, this book scared the hell out of me. Very intense and spooky. In addition, the narrator keeps the listener on the edge of their seat with every word. If looking for a horror book, look no further! Great stuff….

42 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Winning author and narrator pair!

Not at all comfortable with horror but decided to give this book a listen even if I had to stop and delete it because I became terrified.
Well-researched book read by a perfect narrator. If I could, I'd abduct this narrator and drop him into nearly every book I've ever read.
HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

41 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Maybe, Maybe Not

Where does The Amityville Horror rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was a fast, creepy read. The happenings at the Amityville house have been hotly debated for many years, but I couldn't care less. I loved it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Amityville Horror?

The sick priest and all that befell the colleagues who tried to help him.

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Absolutely. The narrator brings you into the events like reading alone never could.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and I think I managed it in 4 or 5.

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Ditto, Flavius

If it was true, it would be scary. It is written as if it is true, yet you know it is not. I have read plenty of made up stories that were scary, see: J.A. Konrath, Stephen King, Blake Crouch or Dean Koontz.
How many times do you have to find your wife floating out the window before you leave the house? For this guy it was more then once. It was very convenient that no one had to go work. Are all priests this big of a coward? What kind of parent subjects their three kids to this for so long?

You want scary seek out the authors listed above.

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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True story? Fiction? Whatever, it's awesome.

Where does The Amityville Horror rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's not the best but it's somewhere between the middle and the best. It's a very well done book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Amityville Horror?

Probably the general existence of the red room. I want to know more about that!

What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

There wasn't anything I didn't like. For some reason I feel like whenever he read the new chapter titles he sounded really creepy. Maybe it had to do with me being caught up in the story, but either way I loved it.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

That pigs can be creepy? I'm not sure if that counts.

Any additional comments?

I know that this story is a controversial one, and that people will probably be debating whether it's true or not forever. Personally, I don't care. Enough of it rings of truth that I could believe it, even though at times I found myself thinking that little parts just seemed way too weird. (Hoof prints in the snow? That's bizarre, but it creeped me out.) Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good horror story. Don't get hung up on whether it's true or not.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Disappointing

I was excited to listen to "Amityville" because I'd read a small portion of the book as a child, and seen enough of the movies to know what kind of haunted house book this would be--much more "active" than the classic haunted house. In this, the book does not disappoint--there's a good deal of creepy, even scary stuff. I enjoyed that aspect of the book, and there is a great deal of it.

However, the book suffers from trying to portray itself as "true." The writing is detached and investigatory, which would work better if were truly reporting, but as some of the subject matter deals with intimate or personal events which do not bear directly on the ostensibly documentary elements of the story, it doesn't work. Partly because of this "distant" style, the individual members of the Lutz Family aren't remotely realized as characters. Moreover, there's something 'wrong' about them, something that not only doesn't ring true in their characterization, but also in their basic humanity. There's very little likable about these characters beyond that they are also of our species.

The book has a few high points, but I left feeling a bit cheated.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • CC
  • 03-29-11

The Amityville Yawn...

I was surprised at how much I didn't like listening to this book. At first I thought that it was because I didn't like the narrator, whose voice barely fluctuated throughout the book, but digging deeper, I truly feel that the writing itself lacked something. It seemed to me that it was just a mere telling of the story that never brought the reader/listener into the world that the Lutz family was living in.

Normally when I read/listen to a book I am drawn into that world and hate to stop reading/listening. When I do stop, I count the minutes until I can once again enter that world. In this case I mostly thought to myself, "How much longer before this book is over?"

Disappointed.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Solid and unsettling

It's hard to say for certain since I never read the text myself, but I felt like the writing was a bit dry.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the narration here. It gave me a sense of the steady escalation of horror experienced by those in the house. It was eerie in the methodical terrorizing of family and visitors. Like they must have, I felt like maybe it wasn't really happening -- as if maybe it was all just a misinterpretation of events as they slowly unfolded.

"The devil's best trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist!" - Baudelaire

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A bore.

I thought this book would be scary, or at least a little creepy since all I've ever heard about the series was good things, and the movies were also good. But I don't know if it was the narrator or the book itself, I just couldn't get into it. It seems to me to be more of a drama than something that's meant to shock or scare. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who was looking for a good scare.

10 people found this helpful

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Silliest thing I ever heard

This story is absolute Dixon (admitted by DeFeo's lawyer who was hoping for a retrial when he helped come up with it).The language is passive and the premise is just silly.
The house was built on an unconsecrated Indian burial ground... Which was also where they put their mentally ill and terminally ill... Oh! And a Satanist from Salem lived there and was buried in the lit. Oh! And the wife is clairvoyant. OH! The catholic church supports science and never sends out exorcists. I forget what all else. None of the "facts" presented were accurate (the tribe mentioned want even from that area and no confirmed satanic activity was ever performed in the historical Salem).

Reading between the lines, you see a dysfunctional family that bought a house the couldn't afford and started falling apart conveniently when the IRS looked at George's business...which he sold off as soon as he could given that he was running it into the ground.

It's just silly that anyone buys into this story.

The reader was fairly good but seemed bored by the whole thing...i don't blame him. I zoned out several times.

9 people found this helpful

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  • DM
  • 06-02-19

Hmmm

Well-narrated but the book itself is tiresome rather than frightsome. Often it feels like ten hours of a man running round his house in the dark closing windows which have spookily opened themselves. The style aims at authoritative reportage but none of it feels real and I never engaged with any of the characters in it. It's like a written account of every bad horror film you've ever seen - unsurprising since it inspired a bunch of them.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Griff.81
  • 02-12-12

good

i really enjoyed this book, its well worth a listen if you like the paranormal.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tony O
  • 12-28-15

a real chiller<br />

a very thought provoking and compelling story..surprising powerful in its effects.well delivered by the narrator Highly recommended but maybe not for those of a nervous disposition..

3 people found this helpful

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  • K. Harvey
  • 11-08-15

Loved this book!

Where does The Amityville Horror rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is my favourite audio book so far

Any additional comments?

I haven't seen the film and a friend recommended this audio book. I really liked the narrator and thought his voice suited the story well.

I listen to audio books in the car and could wait to finish my appointment to get back in the car to pick up the story again.

If the account t is true then I cannot understand why the family stayed in the house so long at put their kids at risk. The first occurrence would have had me running for the hills!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Charlotte Constantine
  • 09-07-22

A bit of a let down

When listening to novels that were made into movies, I usually try to seperate the two and judge them equally. I won't let my thoughts of the movie cloud my judgement of the book. However I must say I was expecting something and left feeling let down by expectations. I found the events either to boring or awaiting something big to happened but it never did. The narration felt like that of a textbook reading, no emotional or personality given. Inthe end I would reccomend this to movie buffs to see how much Hollywood can twist stories to fit their will. Otherwise I wouldn't pick this up again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kayleigh McLeish
  • 08-02-22

horrible narration

I literally could not get past the first 10 seconds of this book. The narration is so wooden.

1 person found this helpful

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  • shane
  • 04-28-15

Awesome

Awesome and very interesting i believe everything happened in that house. ghosta and demons are REAL.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Glezza
  • 08-26-22

I really enjoyed this book

I remember being scared by the film so I thought I’d give the book a try but never got round to buying it and reading it then I saw it was part of my audible membership and I instantly downloaded it and thoroughly enjoyed it the performance was great!
Thoroughly recommended!

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  • Eilidh Crawford
  • 08-23-22

Don't worry, the dog will be fine.

The Narrator was really good and made it very enjoyable. But the entire story can be a little flat at times. Still an enjoyable audio book if you're into this kinda stuff.

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  • T Jarvis
  • 07-28-22

ENjoyable nonsense

This really isn't scary in the slightest and it's difficult to believe anyone took it seriously, but it's an easy listen, well performed and pretty fun.

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  • rosewart
  • 10-27-16

What should have been a wonderful scare...

Has been a major disappointment.
The narration by Ray Porter was so void of voice expression that I actually could not finish listening to the first chapter.
In fact I go further to say that a computer generated voice would have more expression.

I love this story. I first read it over 35 years ago. This narration has stripped it of all the scariness that the book is famous for.

Excessively disappointed. If I had have been able to get a refund I would.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-20

Unoriginal

Taking into account the time this book was written, I still found The Amityville Horror book rather dull and unoriginal.

This book has been written to manipulate the reader into fully believing what it says by questioning your intelligence at the very beginning. Saying that everything written has been authenticated and researched empirically.

This book has been debunked by multiple authorities since its publication and has trivialised the original murders that occurred in the home.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rheannen
  • 04-14-16

Less of a non-fiction - more of a good horror story

I came into this with a fairly open mind as to what happened at Amityville. At this stage I feel relatively unconvinced but entertained by a good story nonetheless.
The writing style of the book doesn't lend itself well to the non fiction category it's in, told in a very subjective first person way. It is an interesting and enjoyable story, however, I found the reading of this story overly dramatic at times.
Overall I enjoyed but am not convinced of it as a nonfiction.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nadya Safira
  • 08-26-22

Could not continue

The narrator voice is horrible I couldn’t continue despite wanting to know more about this story :( might have to buy digital book instead

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  • Jane
  • 07-15-22

Cheated

My expectations were too high I think so I felt somewhat letdown by the book, I was expecting more drama.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-22

Seen the movies? This is better!

Frightening, factual feeling account of paranormal dealings.
Brilliant book that stands alone compared to the movie, well worth the listen/read if you are a horror fan.

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  • Angela
  • 01-31-22

A must....

Great book to listen to if you'reinterested in the paranormal. The narrator did a great job.

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