Popular Science

AMITYVILLE

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In 1979, before TV shows like Ghost Hunters, paranormal investigat­ors Ed and Lorraine Warren captured America’s imaginatio­n when they took a deep dive into the Amityville haunting. It was a gruesome incident wherein an allegedly possessed Long Island man murdered his parents and siblings. The couple’s welldocume­nted coverage of the case, which led to a storm of credulous media attention, went on to inspire nearly two dozen films, including the wildly popular series. But the Conjuring Warrens were never able to produce evidence of the encounters. In the 1990s, Steven Novella and Perry DeAngelis, a neurologis­t and a podcaster, respective­ly, scrutinize­d artifacts, such as cursed dolls and demon masks, in the Warrens’ Connecticu­t-based Occult Museum and dismissed them as blarney. The Warrens may have believed they were talking to spirits, but no one else should.

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