Episode 98. House Warning: The Amityville Horror (1979) and Poltergeist (1982)

Call your bank and pack the moving truck because we’re uprooting everything we think we know about home ownership. From the Lutz’ mortgage with Devil to the skeletons in the Freelings’ closet (and backyard), Andrea and Alex unearth what lies beyond and beneath the white picket fences of American suburbia.
Salem Horror Fest 2021 – tickets and info now available!


The Amityville Horror. Dir. Stuart Rosenberg, 1979.
Poltergeist. Dir. Tobe Hooper, 1982.


Gaylords of Darkness Amityville 4 episode. The incomparable Stacie and Anthony tackle one of the strangest movies ever made. A must-listen!
Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. King’s non-fiction treatise on all things horror.
Romance and Real Estate, Walter Benn Michaels. Michael’s chapter on the emotional ties to owned property.
Owning Up: Privacy, Property, and Belonging in U.S. Women’s Life Writing, 1840-1890. Katherine Adam’s book about the rise of individuality, property and women’s relationship to owning a home.
In the Nation, Why Owning a Home is Still the American Dream. A history of status, taxes and the uses of home ownership.
Digging Up the Indian Burial Ground Trope. Shea Vassar’s breakdown and history of the trope which includes Terri Jean’s 5 reasons for the trope’s enduring popularity.
The Terrifying True Story that inspired Poltergeist. A look at Amityville‘s neighbours that inspired Poltergeist.
Reaganomics killed America’s middle class. An examination of Reagan’s economic policies and their lasting effects.
Half-True Crime: Why the Stranger-Danger Panic of the ’80s Took Hold and Refuses to Let Go. A deep-dive into the 1980s moral panic and its after-effects.
Cursed Films: “Poltergeist”: The Shudder series by Jay Cheel tackles the many urban legends surrounding the Poltergeist franchise.


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2 thoughts on “Episode 98. House Warning: The Amityville Horror (1979) and Poltergeist (1982)

  1. I really enjoyed both the “economic” and “American Dream” theses in your dialogue. As I watch “capitalism” rot my country, you hit a lot of the main points that are happening now. When Americans lost interest in building houses to focus on flipping them it was just a matter of time. Hedge Funds buying up properties may as well be the Poltergeist or the “ghosts” from Amityville. A side note about “cursed films,” I heard the actor who portrayed the older daughter in Poltergeist was murdered by a stalking ex-partner. The actor portraying Carol Ann died from a misdiagnosed abscess. Give me the ghosts anytime! Wonderful work as always!

  2. PS: I am super-bummed that I am presenting at a conference in Atlanta OCT 5-9 and cannot get to Salem Horror – will try for next live gig!

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