Jay Anson - The Amityville Horror (Pan, 1978; originally Prentice Hall, USA 1977))
Blurb `THIS BOOK WILL.SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU' KANSAS CITY STAR
On December 18th, 1975, George and Kathy Lutz, with their three children, moved into their new home at 112, Ocean Avenue, Amityville. Twenty eight days later, they fled from the house in terror. Plagued by extreme cold and strange unearthly smells, by clouds of flies in the dead of winter, by voices and music that came from nowhere, by green slime that came from the walls ... by unspeakable phenomena inconceivable this side of the gates of Hell !
'A FASCINATING, FRIGHTENING BOOK... THE SCARIEST TRUE STORY I HAVE READ IN YEARS' LOS ANGELES TIMES
On November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr wiped out his entire family as they lay in their beds at 113 Ocean Avenue, Amityville. He claimed the voices in his head put him up to it. The Lutz's, George, Kathy and their three children moved into the house on December 23rd 1975 .....
..... but it was haunted by a demon and they fled for their lives 28 days later!
According to Jay Anson, it began even before their furniture arrived, as the Lutz s's friend, Catholic Priest 'Father Mancuso', went about blessing the house, only to be ordered by a chilling disembodied male voice to "get out". That was just the Amityville Demon warming up. Christmas and the New Year were rough. Swarms of flies infested the sewing room. The toilet turned black. The house was either too hot, too cold or reeked of excrement. Kathy had nightmares about the murders, levitated, and was fondled by a spectre which probably wasn't so bad seeing as how the formerly level headed, impeccably groomed George had by now degenerated into a violent slob and frequenter of local bar, "The Witches Brew", previously the favoured hang out of Ronald Defoe! Was George fast becoming demoniacally possessed by the murderer? Other manifestations included half of the Devils head (the rest looked like it had been blown away with a shotgun), a flood of "greenish black slime" and several manifestations of their little daughter's 'invisible' friend, a demonic pig named 'Jodie'. There were other unpleasant incidents but that's plenty to be getting on with for the time being.
The Amityville Horror was a massive hit with the book-buying public, but success breeds envy and even when Jay Anson sportingly died in 1980 - a victim of the curse !! - this failed to halt accusations that "The Amityville Rubbish" was a massive hoax. This should come as no surprise to us. There are always mean-spirited non-entities waiting to crawl out of the woodwork with their pesky criticisms and unreasonable demands for at least an atom of solid evidence. As a result, in the years following the books publication, the Lutz's became increasingly litigious and filed (doomed) lawsuits against, among others, the makers of Amityville 3D, showbiz 'vampirologist' and author Stephen Kaplan, Ronald DeFeo's lawyer, a pair of clairvoyants and just about anyone who disputed their version of events (in the interests of fair play and to prevent yet more busy-bodies getting their facts all wrong, George Lutz, now sadly a widower, registered "The Amityville Horror" as a trademark, so now we have to say "The Amityville Horror™" when we want to show we are in full agreement with his testimony), although onside ghost-busting demonologists of impeccable repute like Ed & Lorraine Warren were still welcome to investigate the property ....
All that stuff above is from a bunch of old notes for some awful vampire 'zine "article" i mercifully failed to write, probably jumbled up with misremembered bits from the film. Truth be told, i'm only up to page 17. Bad news for you, as you may well have another Godawful "review" of the same book to ignore shortly ...
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.