The late 1980s were a vast empty wasteland for Amityville fans. It had been five long years since the last film, Amityville 3-D, which hadn’t been very good and didn’t do well at the box office. It had also been three years since a book about the house had been released. I’m sure the current owners were happy about that but I was NOT! All Hail John G Jones, the official “chronicler of the horror” who answered our prayers with the next installment in the series, 1988’s Amityville: The Evil Escapes.
This wasn’t Jones’s first dip in the Amityville well. He also wrote The Amityville Horror 2, Amityville: The Final Chapter and Amityville: The Horror Returns, all books about the Lutzes and their ongoing ordeal and all touted as non-fiction. I can see why his publisher annointed him the Official Chronicler of the Horror. Even Hans Holzer only had 3 books under his belt on the story by then, and he had actually investigated the house in an offical capacity. All signs point to Jones being a pseudonym, some even suspecting that DeFeo lawyer William Weber wrote these books. I don’t believe that, but whoever Jones is certainly he has certainly made a career out of writing about Amityville.
This installment is his first to leave the Lutzes and look at the effect the house had on the community of Amityville through short stories that touch on various items acquired during the estate sale that followed the Lutzs sudden departure in February of 1976. In the foreword Jones tells us that the stories that follow have been fictionalized for dramatic effect but that there is “some truth here”. Tudor Publishing classifies this as non-fiction but I suspect that the only truth in these 420 pages is that an estate sale was held and that items were sold but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun right?