for news.com.au on June 2, 2010
PETA wants to lease the Amityville murder house for a temporary exhibit depicting a "slaughterhouse of horror."
THE animal rights group PETA has set its sights on leasing the notorious Amityville murder house on Long Island, which it plans to turn into an exhibit to scare people off meat and dairy products.
In a statement released on May 28, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said it wanted to convert the house into a temporary 'slaughterhouse of horrors' the NY Daily News reported.
A letter has been sent by the group to the current owner of the Long Island, New York home making the request and suggesting it may even attract more potential buyers to the Dutch Colonial which is on the market for US $1.5 million ($1.77 million).
Rather than the usual ghosts and malevolent spirits associated with the house, the group said it wanted to depict "the horrors" experienced by animals who are raised and killed for meat, milk, and eggs, and must endure on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, such as intensive confinement, filthy conditions, mutilations and neglect.
"The supernatural haunting that some people believe occurred in this building is legendary, but many people don't realize that if they are eating meat, eggs, and dairy products, they are getting their food from real-life horror houses - factory farms and slaughterhouses," stated the letter.
"In our horror house, the sound of slaughterhouse blades whirring while animals scream for their lives would play over loudspeakers. Visitors would be able to see animatronic hens struggling for space inside tiny battery cages and lifelike "fish" gasping for air as they slowly suffocate on the deck of a fishing boat."
Visitors would be able to touch actual instruments used in the food industry, including branding irons that inflict third-degree burns on cows and electrified prods that are used to force animals to walk to their deaths at slaughterhouses.
They would also have the opportunity to be "locked" in a tiny metal-and-concrete gestation pig crate, and kids would receive a doll that resembles a crazed, knife-wielding Ronald McDonald as well as information on PETA's McCruelty campaign. The on-site Cruelty-Free Cafe would feature delicious vegan food, such as protein-packed mock chicken and faux ribs.
The house has been the subject of countless books and films after Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed six members of his family in 1974, most recently in a 2005 movie starring Melissa George and Ryan Reynolds.
PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said the group hoped the fame of the notorious house would help publicise the groups fight against animal cruelty.
"While some question the authenticity of The Amityville Horror, factory farms and slaughterhouses are all-too-real houses of horror," she said.
"Witnessing the cruelty that is inflicted on farmed animals could haunt visitors for life, so we'll also make sure that they know how to help stop these abuses by simply choosing humane and healthy vegan foods."