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Ghost Boy in Amityville Horror House Photo?

by Timothy Rawles

“The Amityville Horror’ is one of the most famous haunted house cases in American history. Speculations about the validity of the haunting have both believers and skeptics wondering if George and Kathy Lutz had made the whole thing up. Famous demonologist Lorraine Warren also got involved with the investigation and concluded that the haunting was very much real and the house was home to malevolent forces and should be avoided.

In 1976, a paranormal investigation was conducted inside the house where an infrared camera was placed on the landing of the second story. The camera was on a timer and would snap photos periodically during certain times of the night. Upon development of the film, the picture below was discovered and the mystery of the Amityville house continued. There were no children present in the house that night. The eyes seem to be “glowing”, perhaps a result of a flash, but when using infrared film, does one use a flash? Remember too that this photo was taken in 1976, long before Photoshop and photo editing computer software:

“Ghost boy” upstairs at the Amityville house.

Could this be the deceased John Matthew DeFeo? Or just an investigator caught on camera?

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DeFeo boys family portrait (via AmityvilleFiles.com)

Photo taken of the same landing, at a different time

In the photo, it appears that a small male child is peeking his head out of the room and into the direction of the camera. Some speculate that if it is a ghost, it is the spirit of John Matthew DeFeo; a victim of his brother Ronald Jr., who went on a shooting spree in  1972, killing his entire family while they slept. The Lutz family moved in 13 months later.

Skeptics think that the photo actually shows Paul Bartz, an investigator who was there that night. Bartz was wearing a similar shirt to the one the boy is wearing in the picture. For this to be true, Bartz would have to been on his knees or crouching down because the height of the ominous face in comparison to the doorway and banister would make the entity about 4 feet tall. Also Bartz is not wearing glasses in the photo below, and his shirt, although a close pattern seems to be in contrast with the one on the “ghost child”. Bartz has never gone on record to either confirm or deny that the camera focused on him that that.

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Paul Bartz: Could this be the person in the photo?

The whole story was a media masterpiece, generating fame for everyone involved. Jay Ansen wrote a very liberal book about the haunting which made its way to Hollywood producers and ultimately a successful 1979 movie of the same name, starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder.

No matter what you believe, The Amityville Horror is one of the most famous cases of a demonic haunting in the United States. The photo only helps to procure what believers think, and what skeptics already know. Perhaps we will never truly understand what went on in that house, but 112 Ocean Ave. will certainly live on in the history of paranormal investigations.

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