I first read the book, "Amityville Horror" when I was twelve or thirteen. It scared the bejesus out of me. I was always a somewhat timid kid, but this knocked me right over the edge. I wasn't comfortable being home by myself anymore(which I rarely was, maybe a couple hours once a week). I eyed our poor old toy collie suspiciously, looking for red eyes and porcine features. I inspected the walls for suspicious green slime, which would never have dared appear in my mother's pristine house, supernatural or not. Since we didn't have a boathouse, I'm pretty sure I developed my insane fear of the basement about this time. (I still don't like basements and was convinced Jame Gumb was living in ours as of quite recently.)
This book absolutely scared the hell out of me as a kid. Why? Because it was supposed to be true.
Thanks to Scott over at www.findadeath.com, I know now for sure that the whole Amityville Horror book was a total hoax by the Lutzes, the family who bought the house after the tragic murders of six of the seven DeFeo family members. Scott's site pointed me to a great website called www.amityvillemurders.com, which not only details murders that took place at 112 Ocean Avenue in 1974 but also details the criminal case of Ron DeFeo Jr, and debunks the whole myth of the "haunting."
Another one of my childhood dreams dashed.