He is known today as Christopher Quaratino, but in the 1970s he was Chris Lutz, a member of the family that moved into the so-called "Amityville Horror" house after Ronald DeFeo Jr. had murdered his parents and sibilings.
Although the family lived there only 28 days, his late mother and stepfather's tale of supernatural terror became the basis of the bestselling Jay Anson book “The Amityville Horror: A True Story," which was turned into the blockbuster 1979 hit movie. Quaratino, now 42 and living in Arizona, changed his name from Lutz in the 1980s while serving in the U.S. Army. The Gulf War veteran says he wanted "to escape public scrutiny" and not "be a part of the freak show."
Now Quaratino says he wants to set the record straight about what really happened while living as a child at the 1927 Dutch Colonial on the canal. (It has since been renovated, is now on the market for $1.15 million and is on its third owner since the Lutz family lived there.) Quaratino, who rehabs foreclosures, is writing his own book about what happened in the house.
Quaratino, who has not been to the neighborhood since 2005, says that while living at the house he saw a shadowy figure come to him and that his bedroom window opened and shut repeatedly one night. "There were things that took place, not as described in the book," he says, adding that George Lutz was into the occult and that this "brought up spirits."
"That stuff [spirits] followed us for years," he adds. "It's not because of the house."
His estranged brother, Daniel, is making a documentary about his experience titled "My Amityville Horror."
After the property came on the market this week, Quaratino saw the photos online. "The house looks beautiful," he says. The owner, he adds, "did a fantastic job on the remodel. It looks a hell of a lot better than when I lived there. He did an excellent job."
LISTEN: Hear Newsday's Valerie Kellogg talk to BBC Radio about the "Amityville Horror" house for sale