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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)

Featured Article: From Page to Scream—Spine-Chilling Listens that Inspired Horror Movies


Even though your popcorn might end up on the floor at the first jump scare, there’s something inherently satisfying about scary movies. Many standout suspenseful flicks have distinguished literary roots—based on books written by some of the best authors in the genre. These terrifying tales—all of which were adapted for the big screen—offer plenty of frights. Here’s a spotlight on terrifying tales that will have you sleeping with the lights on.

What listeners say about The Amityville Horror

Average Customer Ratings
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Murder for profit profited on by scam artists

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is a thoroughly debunked tale sold as a true story. An actual murder was used by the scam artists behind this book, clearly using the popularity of the Excorcist film released in 1973, to sell a haunted house story. Even if you don't research the facts, the human reactions to supernatural events in this book are completely unrealistic. "Hey, unseen hands keep grabbing me & I saw a pig head in my kids room... Hmmmm, I wonder if something is wrong with the house? ... Nah!"

19 people found this helpful

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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….

40 people found this helpful

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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

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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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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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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boring

that was incredibly boring, I kept wondering when it was going to pick up and then it just ended

4 people found this helpful

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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.

13 people found this helpful

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Great performance on a horror classic.

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

Somewhere in the middle- it definitely is not life-changing literature, and you do not really grow from reading the book (unless your house is haunted?). However, it was definitely a quick and fun read, and it gives you context to some of the true elements of the book, such as the DeFeo murders and the 28 day stint of the Lutz family. It is up to you to decide what else to believe.

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

Good narrator and I would definitely listen to other books he has narrated. He gave the narration a "60 Minutes" vibe that made the book that much more believable.

If you could give The Amityville Horror a new subtitle, what would it be?

Don't buy a house that was the site of a mass murder, not matter how good the price is.

2 people found this helpful

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Better then the movie or at least the remake

Whether it really happed or not doesn't change the fact its a pretty good story. I like the style the novel was written in. Anson calls it a documentry not so sure about that but its a good story. Some parts gave me chills and made the book well worth the credit.

5 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.

4 people found this helpful

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    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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  • 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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  • James
  • 12-02-21

well read

Story about a guy with money problems, who has a mental breakdown maybe maybe not

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  • Arctic Fox
  • 12-02-21

Solid horror classic

The Amityville Horror is a well known classic. Most people will know it from the film and the fact that it is based on real life events. I have not seen the film. However I can say I really enjoyed the book. Ray Porter gives a really good reading of it. Its not too long and it is well paced and precise. It was creepy and immersive and I would highly recommend this audible version.

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  • joanne howard
  • 11-27-21

Good read, felt like I was there.

Really involved book, loved it. Felt the tension of the situation with every word. Recommended!

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  • Daniel Lee
  • 11-23-21

Very enjoyable…

Very creepy, and preformed very well. I finished it all in one night shift at work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-21

A bit of a hard slog…

I abandoned my usual author of first choice, Stephen King, when I chose this book. I have seen the film which is based on this book so I wanted to hear the actual novel itself… Firstly I’ll heap much well deserved praise on the book’s narrator, his was one of the best narrations I’ve heard in quite some time. Sadly IMHO an excellent narrator was somewhat let down (and also possibly hindered) by a novel that I can only describe as very, very slow to gather momentum which then gathered speed, only to go back to chugging along towards its less than exciting end… Or to put it another way, I nearly stopped listening a few chapters into the book but held on hoping it would eventually spark my imagination which thankfully eventually it did. When the excitement narration was approx ten chapters from the novel’s end it seemed to run out of steam and began barely chugging along again. I honestly think that had this book contained even one stand out character that injected a bit more life & possibly more evil, this novel would have had more momentum to carry the listener along (my usually very active and capable imagination received hardly any stimulation. Only a few times did I picture a scene in my head, whereas my imagination is constantly being stimulated when listening to my favourite Stephen King novels being read by Stephen himself…). Overall I’ll award this experience 7 out-of ten based mainly on the narrator’s stirling attempt to inject life into what IMHO is quite a lacklustre novel which could easily have been much more hard to stop listening to, the audio equivalent of being “unputdownable”. Now which Stephen King novel in my collection will I listen to (and experience again…).

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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