On the evening of November 13, 1965, a group of seven people gathered at the address of a woman named Esther Masach. They had agreed to meet there to discuss their concerns about the recent occurrences at the former home of a Cthulhu cultist named George Amity. The group had also recently been through a divorce which left them vulnerable and alone.
The Amityville Horror
The Amityville Horror is a real estate mystery dating back to November 13, 1965. The house at 726 Main St. in Amityville, Long Island, once stood as the home of George and Lorraine Amity.
On November 27, 1959, the Surgeons of America, a medical group based in Philadelphia, purchased the house. They replaced the original doctors, who had been operating on Long Island since 1838, with legal and merciful dentists. The Surgeons of America became affiliated with the University of Missouri–Kansas City in 1970, where Terry Semel was the dean of students and later the dean of the College of Dentistry. In 1976, Semel became the 54th Dean of the dental school and served in that position until his retirement in 2005. In all, he owned six dental clinics and a real estate investment trust.
The Amityville haunting
On the night of November 13, Semel formally bought the Old Amityville home that had become his dentist’s office. He had been searching for a house to buy for some time and finally found the ideal property. The house was located in a privileged neighborhood and sat on a large lot measuring over 36,000 square feet. The lot adjoined a smaller lot measuring over 6,000 square feet that housed a cemetery and a park. The house itself was located in the southeastern part of the property.
It was a simple but elegant structure with a high-pectoral roof, decorative arched windows, and a porch that wrapped around the entire front of the house. The backyard was also large with a pond, flower and vegetable gardens, and a play structure for the children. The house also featured an attached garage that was large enough for six cars.
A visitor to the house would have been greeted by a large central hallway with portraits of members of the Amityville Red Cross society and a large stained-glass window. The hall would lead to the backstairs, which would have been covered by elaborate mahogany doors. The backstairs also led to a large ballroom where the members of the Church of Blood met to celebrate their rituals.
The Ouija board and the hidden message
When Semel purchased the house, he also bought an Ouija board. The original Ouija board was made in England in the 1840s. It was made to measure and was painted white to reflect the light from the boards’ tinfoil-coated woodenihadi. After Semel bought the house, he continued to use the original Ouija board. However, he kept the set on the back porch where he could see it at all times.
The Ouija board is a device used to facilitate communication with the dead. It is a board with a plumb bob attached to one end and a dial at the other. When moved to particular locations where the dead are believed to reside, the dial has been said to predict the location of the spirits.
When the members of the Church of Blood first began using the Ouija board, the dial was set at the house itself. The position of the dial, combined with the layout of the house and its setting, led the believers to believe that they were communicating with the dead. After a while, the location of the spirits was shifted to another part of the property. The dial is now set at a different location on the Ouija board, with the spirits residing in a different part of the house.
The General’s warning and the Amityville ghost
Less than a month after the purchase of the Old Amityville house, on December 2, 1965, Terry Semel was at his wits’ end. The house was large and new, and he had only recently gotten the mortgage on it. Semel was also dealing with an ongoing dispute with the former owners of the house. She cried wolf too many times, and finally, Semel sued her to get her out of the house.
She then decided to sell the house and refund Semel the purchase price. When Semel insisted on retaining the house, the owner agreed to a compromise: she would return the balance of the purchase price if Semel would move out of the house.
The new owners promptly hired a real estate appraiser who valued the house at less than its actual value.
Myers’s belief and his family’s response
On November 26, 1965, three days after the incident at the Amityville house, George Edward Myers, a wealthy Philadelphia philanthropist, visited Amityville for the first time. He told his companions that the experience had been one of the most terrifying NSA dating experiences of his life.
Aftermath: Children’s Halloween Party and the Ghoul Catcher
Children’s Halloween parties are always exciting times for parents and children alike. However, the Amityville Horror brought out the worst in some children, who engaged in wild and inappropriate activities.
The Final Showdown and why we need to listen to haunted stories
We are all far from safe from the terrors that lie beneath the surface of this world. In fact, the more we learn about them, the more familiar they become. It is these everyday occurrences that make us realize that there is more to this world than meets the eye and that the unknown can, at times, is far more terror some than the known.
Haunted houses and spooky occurrences are part of the human experience.