In 1974, Ronald DeFeo was accused and convicted of six life terms for the gruesome murders of his family members. Ideas of evil, or demonic possession circled furiously, especially after "The Amityville Horror" hit the theaters, featuring the strikingly similar paranormal experiences of George and Kathy Lutz at 112 Ocean Avenue.
Enthusiasts of the paranormal watched breathlessly last evening as renowned psychic medium Jackie Barrett placed herself in the midst of the danger and confusion surrounding the Amityville murders. Some viewers, however, were left displeased with the presentation and apparent "staging for effect" to match the magic and mysticism surrounding the evening of Halloween.
In the special, "Amityville: The Final Testament", which aired October 31, 2010 on A & E, Barrett was supposedly summoned and guided by Ronald DeFeo himself. His hope, before his (self-proclaimed) impending death, was that Barrett would be able to put to rest the demonic forces he claimed to have been a victim of, before they could either collect his soul, or infect the lives of others through "possession", continuing their cycles of destruction.
Ron DeFeo's father was portrayed as an evil man who had not only beaten his son, but shamelessly took part in murdering and disposing of men through supposed connections with the mob. Ronald said that as a child, he had been forced to assist his father in some of his heinous acts. Barrett concluded, through her extensive research and gifts, that Ronald had intended to shoot his father in an effort to end the abuse upon him, and that his sister had murdered their younger siblings. In the end, Ron then shot his sister for what she had done to the innocent younger children. There remain a couple of unanswered questions (in my mind), however, in regard to the "names" that were "bleeped out" during the show, who or what the dark human form was, and whether someone (or something) was trying to instigate the deaths either Mr. DeFeo, his son Ron, or the entire family...and why.
As Jackie Barrett performed one final exorcism at the gravestone of Ron DeFeo's parents, she was inundated with spirits - perhaps the spirits of those who died at the hands of DeFeo senior - before she was able to put all of them to rest once and for all.
Skeptical thinkers continue to be left dissatisfied and critical. The mode of delivery and apparent "staging for effect" borders on being insulting. The introduction to the special promised solid answers to lay the Amityville mysteries to rest, yet strayed off course several times by presenting things like the unexplained "demonic voice" threatening Jackie while she spoke with Ron DeFeo over the phone. Even Jackie's script and demeanor appeared "hyped" to assist with interjecting the feeling of a sense of danger.
In regard to ghosts, however, we can't say with any scientific certainty exactly what "ghosts" are, or whether they truly exist. Throughout the centuries, innumerable people have had paranormal encounters and experiences assumed to originate from the spirits of those who have left their bodies upon physical death. It is doubtful that EVERY ghostly tale would have been fabricated or would have originated from misunderstood natural occurrences. Considering the photographic evidence, unusual sound and visual recordings, and personal accounts, I have to conclude "something" is with us - though I don't have the personal experiences, knowledge, nor resources to make a case for my conclusions at this time. While I continue to indulge in some of my favorite television series, such as "Psychic Kids, Children of the Paranormal", "Ghost Hunters", and "Paranormal State", folks much more educated than me will hopefully delve further to find the underlying truths in the mysterious realm of ghostly accounts.
Perhaps ghosts are with us everywhere, all the time. Just as a dog can hear pitches of sound that humans cannot, maybe all of our senses are incapable of detecting spirits, unless we are psychically gifted. If that is the case, then wouldn't it be possible for anyone to develop these unexplained gifts in order to experience the things mediums regularly wrangle with? What makes one person more clairvoyant, empathic, or sensitive than another?
Several theories exist in relation to the unexplained paranormal and the abilities which allow some to experience it. It is my opinion that many factors will be found to be interconnected as we gain greater understanding of these anomolies. First and foremost, I believe that we somehow share a sort of "unity" which goes much deeper than sharing genetic DNA code. I believe these bonds link us permanently along many "planes of existence", regardless of conscious knowledge, distance, or apparent "differences". Second, I think that Electromagnetic Fields, Metaphysics, and the Earth's Natural Energy Fields (Ley Lines, etc) play a major role in unexplained phenomenen. Finally, I believe all of these things are glued together with Parapsychology - working together in a complex system.
Have you experienced hauntings, ghosts, or possessions? Do you "get a feeling" about objects, places, people, or things? What are your thoughts and ideas with regard to this topic? Are residual hauntings nothing more than a recorded "memory" of a repeated noise or action - such as during the settling of a building sounds may be "recorded" within the building's walls, similar to the way sound is recorded within the grooves of a record? Are you satisfied that the mystery of the "Amityville Horror" has finally been laid to rest?
Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA. She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.