History of 112 Ocean Avenue

On January 14, 1924, the Ireland family sold the Ocean Avenue property to the John and Catherine Moynahan, a family of six. During the period the Dutch Colonial was being constructed, the home that originally stood on the property was relocated down the street.

After her parents passed away, Eileen Fitzgerald (Moynahan) moved her own family into the house and resided there until October 17, 1960, when John and Mary Riley purchased the home for a reported $35,000.

Within five years, the Rileys divorced and sold the home to the Ronald and Louise DeFeo on June 28, 1965. The DeFeo family lived in the house for over nine years until six of the family members were murdered on November 13, 1974.

In December of 1975, George and Kathleen Lutz moved their family into the house, only to move out twenty-eight days later. The house remained vacant until March 18, 1977 when Jim and Barbara Cromarty purchased the property.

Due to the Lutz’s claims of the house being haunted, the Village of Amityville became synonymous for its “house of horrors”. During this time, the Cromarty family changed the address on the house to confuse the hordes of tourists and ghost hunters who lined up by the dozens to take photographs of the infamous property.

After the relentless wave of publicity proved unbearable, the Cromartys moved out of the house and left Frank Burch, a family friend, to tend the property while they were away. After the house had been on the market for some time, the Cromartys decided to move back into the house. They remained there until 1987 when Barbara’s son, David Roskin, passed away.

Peter and Jeanne O’Neil purchased the home on August 17, 1987. The O’Neils also made many alterations to the property, such as changing the famous eye-windows to square ones.

In 1997, Brian Wilson moved into the house for a reported $310,000. Along with every subsequent owner of the property since the Lutzes, Wilson claims he has never experienced any paranormal phenomena while residing there.

The Village of Amityville

First settled in the 1600's, it was not until March 3rd, 1894 that it became the Incorporated Village of Amityville. In its infancy, the "friendly bay village", as it has come to be known, was primarily a farming community that had strong ties to the fishing and boating industries. Salt hay was an important agri-product that was grown to feed livestock. But the farms and marine industries slowly gave way to the needs of summer visitors in search of comforts afforded by the cool breezes and beaches of the Great South Bay. Hotels, long since gone, supplanted the farms and marine industries that were located along the waterfront. The hordes of summer visitors that discovered early Amityville included stage and theater personalities, prominent members of society including businessmen, artists, writers and the so-called "rich and famous" Manhattanites.
-courtesy Amityville.com

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