THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
Updated: Mar 23, 2022
EASTERN NEW YORK CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
DATE(S) VISITED: JUNE 13, 2021
The Eastern New York Correctional Facility is a state prison for men in Napanoch, Ulster County, New York. Eastern is one of the oldest prison facilities in the state and it has been a maximum security prison for men since 1973. The imposing main building, with medieval-style turrets and long green copper roof, was designed by architect John Rochester Thomas. Photo's taken June, 2021.
This prison housed Ronald DeFeo, the man convicted of slaughtering his parents and four siblings in a home that later inspired the The Amityville Horror book and movies. He was serving a life sentence of 25 years to life for the 1974 killings in Amityville, on suburban Long Island. DeFeo had pursued an insanity defense at his trial, saying he heard voices that drove him to kill his family. He unsuccessfully sought a retrial in 1992, claiming that his 18-year-old sister killed the other five family members and that he then shot her.
The home became the basis of a horror-movie classic after another family briefly lived there about a year after the killings and claimed the house was haunted. A book and two movies — the 1979 original, starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Rod Steiger, and a 2005 remake — portrayed a home with strange voices, walls that oozed slime, furniture that moved on its own, and other supernatural features.
DeFeo died on Friday February 2, 2021 at Albany Medical Center, where he was taken from prison. The cause of death has not been released and is still to be determined.