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'Amityville Horror' home becomes a 'dream house'
The D'Antonios cringe about what Halloween will be like at their new house in Amityville. They bought the waterfront 1927 Dutch Colonial at 108 Ocean Ave. because it's "gorgeous," says Caroline, who purchased the house with husband, David. But others know it better as the "Amityville Horror" house.
“We almost didn’t close until after Halloween,” says Caroline, adding, “It’s going to be very hard to live there for a while.”
The five-bedroom, 3.5-bath home is where Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his parents and four siblings in 1974 as they slept. Three years later, the Lutzes, who moved into the house after the shooting, claimed in “The Amityville Horror: A True Story,” that the house was haunted. That inspired a series of horror films.
When it came out in August that Caroline was buying the house, she says her e-mail account was hacked. Strangers started calling, sometimes 100 times a day. She has learned to screen her calls.
Then there are the gawkers. On Sunday when the D'Antonios visited the house, three people walked up to the front door, which Caroline says was not locked at the time. "They didn't get in," says David, a retired math teacher and immediate past president of the Amityville Historical Society.
The D'Antonios confirmed that they closed last week on the house and paid $950,000. The house went on the market in May for $1.15 million. "In this market, I think it was a very good price," says Joanne Mills of Exit Realty Premier, who represented the D'Antonios. The property was on the market only 70 days.
Laura Zambratto of Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty had the listing.
The house is in mint condition, thanks to the restoration work and professional decorating commissioned by the former owner. "We're leaving everything just as it is," except for the kitchen, which will be gutted, Caroline says.
The D'Antonios right now live closeby, in a ranch they bought 21 years ago where they often entertain. Despite their frustration with the attention their new address receives, they say they do not have any regrets. After all, they spent seven years looking for a new home.
"It is my dream house -- our dream house," says David. "There's nothing the matter with it other than the outside people."
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LISTEN: Newsday's Valerie Kellogg talks to BBC radio about the 'Amityville Horror' house when it went on the market.