Almost as soon as he arrived yesterday for a broker open house at 108 Ocean Ave., Realtor James Smith says he "got an eerie feeling." But it wasn't until he went into the basement of the so-called Amityville Horror house that, he says, he got goosebumps and the hair stood up on the back of his neck.
"You felt like something was there," says Smith.
He says he asked two other agents in the basement with him, "Did you feel that?" Then, he says, "We took off and got out of there."
One of the agents works in Smith's office, he says, but she could not be reached for comment; he says he did not know the name of the other agent with them yesterday.
The five-bedroom, 3.5-bath 1927 Dutch Colonial, known as High Hopes, is on the market for $1.15 million. The .28-acre property has a newly renovated boathouse (seen here), as well as a new bulkhead, central air conditioning, a gas heating system, roof, windows, sprinkler system, central stereo system, deck and patio.
In 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot six members of his family at the house as they were sleeping. The next family to move in, the Lutzes, says they were chased out of the house by evil spirits after 28 days. Their experience was turned into a bestselling book and a slew of horror films.
The house has been owned by three other families since then.
Smith, 36, says he had been to the house before -- when he was 5 or 6. Living in Amityville at the time, he says he was there for a children's party. "I didn't feel anything then," says Smith, the broker-owner of Holbrook-based Plush Properties, Inc.
He says he has never read the 1977 book “The Amityville Horror: A True Story” but he did see both the 1979 movie and its remake.
"I don't believe it was a hoax," says Smith, who told Channel 4 News yesterday that he got a strange feeling at the house.
Smith's assertions contradict other agents who've been inside the house -- as well as neighbors and two of the previous owners.
Laura Zambratto of Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, who is listing the property, says she's never felt strange vibes there.
"The house is so spectacular -- the warmest, most beautifully done, charming house I've been in," Zambratto says. "There's not one thing about the house that makes you feel uncomfortable."
Listen to Newsday's Valerie Kellogg talk to BBC Radio about the 'Amityville Horror' house for sale.
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