Who was the Amityville ghost boy?

New information comes to light on the creepy ghost photo taken in the supposedly haunted house in Amityville, NY.

Ghostly Pics: Amityville Ghost Boy | News From The Spirit World.

The Amityville Horror haunting is still a very popular subject both inside and outside the circle of paranormal researchers and enthusiasts.

One of the most popular has to be the Amity ‘Ghost Boy’ photo, which has sparked debate in the Amityville and paranormal worlds for some time now.

It is also one creepy photo.

The picture, which appears to be of a small boy with glasses or a man kneeling on the floor with glowing eyes, has been called everything from one of the dead DeFeo children to a demon, first turned up in the collection of photos George Lutz had from an investigation into the haunting in 1976, led by infamous Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Despite the tale of the unsettling discovery of the photo and the photo itself, some people on the Amityville Truth Board believe it could simply be the picture of one of the investigators working with the Warrens that night: Paul Bartz.

The theory states that Paul Bartz bears a resemblance to the ghost boy and is wearing a similar shirt. Meanwhile, the ghostly glow that radiates from the eyes would be due to the infrared film.

Tip: Anomalist.com

This photo has been called some of the best ghost evidence ever. The boy is commonly thought to represent the youngest DeFeo family member who was murdered in the house.

Ghost boy

But is it instead, Paul Bartz. The shirt seems to resemble his. Hmm.

Paul Bartz

First, we know that the Amityville Horror story is a hoax. It’s well established that this was a concocted story with GLARING inconstancies and NO physical evidence. And, the Warrens, demonologists, were less than credible investigators producing low quality “evidence” who intended to supplement and subsequently preserve their unique reputation. This photo has been a long standing mystery. One member of the Amity Truth Board has put up the idea that it is Bartz (previously suspected) and even says he received an email back from Bartz who will not deny it.

Is this mystery solved? Well, which is more plausible? The photo accidentally captured someone in the house at the time? Or, a shape-shifting demon never before seen on film? You decide.

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  24 comments for “Who was the Amityville ghost boy?

  1. Mike S
    April 10, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    There was flash photography in 1976, you know.

  2. Kenny B.
    April 10, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    It’s also been speculated that the boy is John Zaffis, nephew of Ed & Lorraine. He has admitted that his aunt and uncle had taken him along when they “investigated” the site. And he does wear glasses.

    • April 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      Excellent! Are there any pictures of him there?

      • April 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Unfortunately for John Zaffis (and he has said this himself) but he did not attend the investigation with his uncle to Amityville in March 1976. At the time Zaffis was only a teenager and somehow I don’t think he would have been allowed to attend as at the time he was too young. It was not until later in life that Zaffis became involved in the paranormal.

        As before, John has said in interviews that he wished he went with them to the Amityville case, but it just wasn’t so.

        • April 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

          Oh. That would explains no pictures of him there if so.

  3. Ryan
    April 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    My father actually lived in Amityville as a child and my mother was raised near by. She even knew the Defeos (My uncle briefly hung out with Ron Defeo before he became addicted to drugs). I grew up in the general area as well. Can’t tell you how sick most of the locals are of this coming up constantly. Almost everyone there at the time knew the Warrens were hoaxers, and that the Defeo murders had more to do with Ron Defeo’s heroin addiction and need for money than anything occult.

    • April 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      I have heard similar. Thanks for your comment.

  4. April 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    There has never been any strong evidence proving the Amityville case a hoax. It has been, at best circumstantial.

    Chris Quaratino (formerly Lutz) has never said it was a hoax, just that aspects were embellished by the media via the Anson book and the two movies (1979 original and 2005 remake), and allegations that his stepfather George Lutz was involved in the occult.

    Throughout the years leading up to their deaths there has been opportunity for both George and Kathy Lutz to come forward and admit it was a hoax, but they maintained it happened and took this standpoint to their graves. They even took polygraph tests, conducted by Chris Gugas, in 1979. Both George and Kathy passed.

    Even though Kathy had distanced herself from the case in her latter years before her death, George had more involvement. When challenged by a naysayer, in response to their claims a person can cheat on a polygraph, George offered to take another test. This does not strike me as a person hiding something. Majority of liars or perpetrators of fraud do not put themselves in a situation where they might be caught out.

    And when you think about the money the Lutz’s made from the whole thing, they made nothing compared to author Jay Anson and the movie industry. Majority of their money they did make went to lawyers and various lawsuits throughout the years.

    The major naysayers throughout the years have done so with ulterior motive: the lawyer William Weber had obvious financial motive, wanting to write a book and use the Lutz’s experiences in the house as part of that book; the late-Stephen Kaplan was spoiling for an opportunity to make a name for himself as a paranormal researcher, and although he had the opportunity to do so, it was alleged he went to the media despite George’s wishes he be discrete in the investigation. As a result he was dumped by Lutz and this made Kaplan angry enough to turn around and say it was a hoax, that Lutz severed ties with him because he had something to hide.

    Many people throughout the years have come forward wanting to attach their names to the case, either to make a name for themselves, for financial gain, or for both. Unfortunately money being a malignant motive can create ugliness in people, and Amityville is a good example of how ugly it can be. It also produced pathological liars coming out of the woodwork.

    I am not really a believer of the Warren’s, like I used to be. Although I do respect John Zaffis’ work, and although he is related to Ed Warren, I do not regard John as someone who would lie or manipulate vulnerable people as it was alleged his uncle did.

    This case has produced an assortment of characters from both sides of the fence, has created a lot of ugliness and pain, and has been grossly misrepresented by the media and said characters either maintaining it was a hoax, or supporting the haunting with their own agenda in mind. The story is not black and white, and unfortunately we cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that the haunting happened in the conventional hard scientific approach. I do however, have no doubt that Christopher Quaratino is telling the truth in the haunting being real.

    I enjoy a good debate on this topic. I respect the opinions of those who say it was a hoax, however as much as I can understand how they might think it is one, unfortunately a lot of things are overlooked while attention is given to media exaggerations and misrepresentation. All in the name of money.

    • April 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      Thanks for the comments, Brendan. I’m interested in your viewpoint. I don’t disagree about the hoax being circumstantial evidence but it is a better fit than that the events occurred as stated or close to stated. There was obviously exaggeration. There were many inconsistencies in the story and nothing else was ever documented in the house.

      This is why I’m more convinced by the hoax explanation. We may never know more because not only are people gone, but memory is so fallible, which is why I can’t accept Christopher’s story at face value.

      Do you have any good links you can provide that we might look at for more?

      • April 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        This is a good site with a lot of Amityville info you may find helpful. http://www.amityvillefaq.com/

        • brittany dao
          April 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

          how old is the little boy if he were a live today? i am shocked by the boys appearance i have nightmares that he is watching me what caused him to haunt the house is he able to talk to you at all?

          • April 13, 2012 at 5:56 PM

            WHAT? You might want to reread the above a bit more slowly.

            This is a site that does not promote a supernatural/paranormal viewpoint because that has never been shown to be valid.

      • April 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM

        I can understand how people may think it is easier to accept it as a hoax than something possibly real, even if it is not what has been represented. We have to remember that everyone involved and who experienced it, or anything for that matter, has a different memory to others. Different experiences, sensations etcetera. Over time details become faded, sometimes distorted (that is distorted without the intent of malice).

        From the beginning it has been easy for naysayers to accept it as something untrue rather than entertain the possibility that something beyond the normal bounds of logic took place. I believe we as a society have been conditioned to only believe in what we see rather than trust our instincts – given that there are experiences easily credited to some rational explanation.

        When someone tells me that they experienced something I take into consideration several things – are they reliable? Do they have an obvious motive besides possible an obvious financial gain? I also take into consideration that the people telling me might not be given to flights of fancy or making up stories for fear of ridicule.

        A lot of people who experience these things, particularly those who really experience something, do not wish to tell anybody as they may be regarded as crazy, and rather than face ridicule they keep silent.

        When asked whether he regretted going public with the haunting, I believe that George Lutz replied something along the lines that he would have thought longer and harder, and probably would not have gone public, if he had the knowledge of what pain it brought him and his family. With the naysayers, the lawsuits and the constant ridicule from others.

        What gives Christopher credibility to me is that despite the opportunity to discredit his stepfather, he also did not exactly agree with George’s version of events. Chris did however agree with George in that something did happen. I can tell from interviews that discussing the haunting still affects Christopher deeply, and it goes beyond friction with his stepfather but can be pinpointed perhaps to the events in the house during those 28 days.

        His brother Daniel, who also lived in the house will be appearing in a documentary about the Amityville case, called
        “My Amityville Horror”. The documentary is still in production and it will be the first time Daniel has gone public about his experiences in the house. I expect the documentary will be released in a few months. This will be an exclusive opportunity to listen to Daniel’s telling of his experiences and am looking forward to it.

        • April 16, 2012 at 6:02 PM

          Reliability is subjective. Because even a known liar can be telling the truth sometimes. So, I guess history would play a role here but we just aren’t very good at judging that.

          “A lot of people who experience these things, particularly those who really experience something, do not wish to tell anybody as they may be regarded as crazy, and rather than face ridicule they keep silent.”

          Yeah, I can understand that. But what they are REALLY telling is their version of the story. I don’t think most people can be objective about it, as in “something unusual is going on – here are the facts”. Instead, they tell their story through their lens, “my house is haunted”.

          When asked whether he regretted going public with the haunting, I believe that George Lutz replied something along the lines that he would have thought longer and harder, and probably would not have gone public, if he had the knowledge of what pain it brought him and his family. With the naysayers, the lawsuits and the constant ridicule from others.

          Couldn’t that also apply had he perpetrated an exaggeration or hoax?

          What gives Christopher credibility to me is that despite the opportunity to discredit his stepfather, he also did not exactly agree with George’s version of events. Chris did however agree with George in that something did happen. I can tell from interviews that discussing the haunting still affects Christopher deeply, and it goes beyond friction with his stepfather but can be pinpointed perhaps to the events in the house during those 28 days.

          I’m not surprised all the stories don’t match. In fact, I’d be more surprised if they were all exactly the same, since that sounds like a script. I have terrible mistakes in my childhood memories. I KNOW I do. I would never tell a story as it happened but only as I remember. But, most people still have a false idea about how memory works today.

          I guess I JUST can’t distill how this story was SO extreme but no good evidence was ever produced before or after and the house had no further problems (when much of the cause was attributed to the history of the house).

  5. brittany dao
    April 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    wow that sure is scary but im looking for one in the middle school of saint Helen have you been there before i saw a shadow that was out on the track this year and it followed me to the inside of the school me and my old boyfriend hope that this may be a case that the saint Helen middle school is in fact haunted the same with my house laity even right now i feel cold temperatures occasional once in a while but last night i heard a mans voice that was in my room it was dark but i know there was some thing in my bed with me breathing is there a solution? also please don’t mail the email a post back i will check here ok thanks you guy’s are my gig

    • April 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      Brittany:

      I have no idea what you are talking about. Sorry, but if you want to be noticed and taken seriously, you need to use punctuation, present your point and/or question clearly without rambling details and try researching your own stuff first.

  6. Open mind required for truth
    November 7, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    Totally creeped out every night by this. I am an intense skeptic. I feel much better now though. Look at the picture closely. The glow is coming from a pair of glasses. Thin framed glasses. Spectacles. Eye pieces. You can see the frame if you examine it closely. Got to keep an open mind to find the truth about matters, even if you are a skeptic. Creeped me out so much. I just had to find out why this was. Glasses. Check it out!

  7. April F
    November 17, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    While I do not believe it to be a ghost, I also do not believe it to be Paul. His eyebrows are rather dark and ghost boy’s are light. I wonder who it could be.

  8. December 14, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I have my doubts about the events in Amityville being an outright hoax. Sure, paranormal events were the fashion of the day, but if you think about the facts, the idea of a hoax seems hard to swallow.

    Try to imagine yourself (as George Lutz) doing this:
    1). Getting married and inheriting a family.
    2). Being the owner of a successful business (that’s documented).
    3). Buying a house for your new family by throwing in a large chunk of cash (most of what you have)
    4). Upon moving into the house you begin to allow your established business to fail.
    5). 28 days later you remove yourself and your family from the house and allow the bank to foreclose (and keep your money)
    6). You move to opposite end of the US
    7). You pass a lie detector test given by the foremost authority in the country at the time (Chris Gugas). Yes lie detectors can be beaten… but by two people telling the same lie? The odds go down astronomically.

    … because you thought it might be a good idea to move into the old DeFeo house and gamble everything you’ve just acquired on the remote possibility that you might be able to sell a ghost story to the public?

    I think the Lutzes had an experience ranging from freaking themselves out (which I suspect is part of it due to the stress of all of the above) to perhaps some things they’d never experienced before being in a new place. The actual story they initially told was far tamer than what came out in The Amityville Horror.

    Also, the parts of it that are ‘debunked’ are mostly found in the book The Amityville Horror which Jay Anson took much artistic license with (he admitted that freely).

    All that said, there was a crew there that night. The ghost boy image was snapped by a camera set to take pics at intervals. Laura Didio (who was a reporter there that night) said she thought the pic was of one the crew (can’t remember who she said it was, a woman who wore glasses).

    • December 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Never underestimate the ability to hoax. It may have grown organically. But the “facts” as it were, is that the house was not haunted or infested by demons. We don’t have all the information and never will but what I can reasonably conclude is that the Amityville Horror as it is known in the public, is fiction.

  9. Meghan Vaughan-Strauss
    December 27, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    I’m sorry if I missed it, but has anyone else ever noted that the person in this photo is wearing eyeglasses? I didn’t notice myself until I watched “My Amityville Horror”, and saw it big and clear on the TV. The glasses are what the reflections are from; they’re not “eyes” at all, and you can see the metal of the frames (though they’re mostly “frameless”). Thanks to anyone who can answer that for me!

  10. Danny Hill
    May 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Really dont understand your viewpoint, idoubtit. You came across as making your decisions on the data, but then you come out with this: “But the “facts” as it were, is that the house was not haunted or infested by demons.” That is entirely your opinion, and not a fact. You then follow this up with “We don’t have all the information and never will” so how can you say it was a fact the house was not haunted? Remember, the absence of evidence is not proof of absence, and whilst you cant always prove a negative, in the case of the ‘Amityville Horror’ as it is known by the media, rumour and hersay have taken the place of facts on both sides of the argument.
    What is definitely a fact is that a horrific multiple homicide of 6 members of the DeFoe family took place in the house in very strange circumstances before George Lutz and family moved in (All six of the victims were found lying on their stomachs in their beds with no signs of a struggle. The police investigation concluded that the rifle had not been fitted with a sound suppressor and found no evidence of sedatives having been administered, leading to speculation that someone in the house should have been awakened by the noise of the gunshots. ) and 28 days later, that family abandoned their dream home and its entire contents in terror and never returned. If this was a long winded attempt to make fame and fortune, it was at best misguided and pretty unlikely, as it certainly never made them rich, and seemed to bring them nothing but misery.

    • May 8, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      We don’t know does not therefore equal demons (or supernatural, etc.) Their stories has been factually decimated. Things DID NOT occur as they recalled or reported. So, the events are in question. There is no logic in assuming a demonic conclusion.

      We hear several similar accounts and none are ever well documented. Why is that? Instead we have the media spinning a tale into something larger and more marketable.

      YOu are connecting links in a chain in an overly simplistic way. I beleive there is a lot more to the Amityville story that we will never know but those things have nothing to do with DEMONS or haunting.

      Always check out the skeptical literature on such topics to see the problems with the paranormal explanations. The paranormal proponents are not at all careful in their work.

  11. Tina
    May 9, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Ummmm. Not a ghost.

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