True, the house had been the scene of a horrible multiple murder a little over a year before, when 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo went from room to room methodically shooting his parents and his four brothers and sisters in their beds. But the Lutzes sat down with their three young children and agreed the family could handle it.
Just in case though, the day they moved in they had a priest, Father Ray Pecoraro, bless the house. According to Lutz, the priest said he felt an unseen hand slap him in the sewing room and heard a voice say “Get out.” Then, Lutz says, Pecoraro became ill with flu-like symptoms and his hands began to bleed.
“I was blessing the sewing room,” says the priest. “It was cold. It was really cold in there. I’m like, ‘Well, gee, this is peculiar,’ because it was a lovely day out, and it was winter, yes, but it didn’t account for that kind of coldness. I was also sprinkling holy water, and I heard a rather deep voice behind me saying, ‘Get out!’ It seemed so directed toward me that I was really quite startled. I felt a slap at one point on the face. I felt somebody slap me, and there was nobody there.” The family moved in anyway, but within days they began to notice strange phenomena. “There were … odors in the house that came and went,” Lutz says. “There were sounds. The front door would slam shut in the middle of the night…. I couldn’t get warm in the house for many days.”
After fleeing the home in January 1976, George and Kathy Lutz, with the assistance of Channel 5 news assistant, Laura DiDio, contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren, a husband and wife team of self-proclaimed demonologists. The Warrens first entered 112 Ocean Avenue on February 24, 1976. Lorraine Warren described an “overwhelming sense of sadness and depression” throughout the entire home. After entering the basement, Ed felt a powerful, inhuman presence. “It was if I were standing underneath a waterfall.”, Ed recalls in a later interview. “And the pressure was driving me down to the floor. And I commanded, in the name of Jesus Christ, what was there to reveal it’s identity…I understood right at that point that what we were dealing with was no ghost. This was no ordinary haunted house.”