A waterfront home on Long Island boasts a formal dining room, a heated sun room and a large boat house – and a history so terrifying that it inspired a book and horror films.
Owner Caroline D’Antonio has listed the five-bedroom, four-bathroom 1927 Dutch Colonial – better known as The “Amityville Horror House” – for $850,000.
D’Antonio and her husband, David, who died last year, purchased the otherwise charming house in 2010 for $950,000.
In 1974, the home became the scene of six grisly murders when 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed his parents and his four siblings as they slept in their beds. DeFeo is currently serving 25 years to life at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville, New York.
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One year after the murders, George and Kathy Lutz moved in. They reportedly lasted only 28 days in the house, claiming to have witnessed paranormal activity like odd noises, voices and green slime oozing from the walls. Their experiences inspired the 1976 novel The Amityville Horror: A True Story, which was turned into the iconic 1979 horror film and remade in 2005 starring Ryan Reynolds.
However, listing agent Gerald O’Neill tells PEOPLE that locally, the story is known as “The Amityville Hoax.”
“The whole story was made up,” O’Neill says. “It was orchestrated to help with a potential demonic defense for the son who murdered his family.”
(George Lutz told ABC News that some scenes in the book and movie – including the green slime – were embellished.)
O’Neill knows the house well, dating back from before the murders. His childhood friend grew up in the home and his own brother lived there for nearly a decade with his family, including three children, after the murders.
O’Neill contends the only horrors that ever occurred in the house were the murders, but he doesn’t think the home’s gruesome history will impact the ability to sell it.
[IMAGE “3” “” “std” ]”There have been four owners since the murders. None of them ran out of the house screaming, and there were no strange experiences,” O’Neill says.
In fact, he tells PEOPLE he has already found a likely buyer: A local who isn’t worried about paranormal activity.