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Thursday April 18th 2024

The Amityville Horror | 1979

The Amityville Horror film location: Brooks Road, Toms River, New Jersey
The Amityville Horror location: the possessed house in ‘Amityville’: Brooks Road, Toms River, New Jersey | Photograph: Google Maps

The absolutely true, and not at all exaggerated, story of a family hounded out of their 'Long Island' home by apparently supernatural phenomena. The lesson for potential housebuyers is to make sure that a) the previous owner was not your double and responsible for slaughtering his entire family, and b) that your house isn't built over a festering pit of demonic slime.

The home of the real George and Kathleen Lutz at 112 Ocean Avenue, opposite South Ireland Place, Amityville, on Long Island’s southern shore, proved such popular attraction for tourists that the local mayor imposed a parking ban on the street. The town of Amityville has not embraced its fame, or notoriety, and permission was refused to film at the real location. The house has also been remodelled and the iconic ‘eye’ windows changed to boring old squares.

The movie, and its first two sequels, were filmed in New Jersey, at 18 Brooks Road, in Tom's River, a riverside house on the Garden State Parkway, Ocean County, about 20 miles south of Asbury Park on the coast. Disappointingly, this house, too, has been changed. It’s not only been remodelled (presumably to discourage film fans), it’s been moved slightly closer to the river.

And the town hall, where George Lutz (James Brolin) stops off in town, is the real Tom’s River Town Hall, 33 Washington Street.

‘Our Lady of Sorrows’, the church of Father Delaney (Rod Steiger) is St Peter’s Church, 406 Forman Avenue, in Point Pleasant, about 10 miles north of Tom’s River. The priests’ house is 405 Forman Avenue, next door.

Just west of Point Pleasant, the grounds, where Father Bolen (Don Stroud) visits the ailing Father Delaney, are the Sunken Garden of Georgian Court University, 900 Lakewood Avenue, on the shore of Lake Carasaljo, in Lakewood. Once the winter retreat of millionaire George Jay Gould, the estate was built by New York architect, Bruce Price, who designed the three gardens that remain on the campus today – the Italian Garden, the Sunken Garden, and the Formal Garden. The bridge seen in the film is where North Lake Drive crosses a small inlet from the lake.