By highlighting the most interesting stories behind strange artifacts in museums across the country, it’s no wonder that Mysteries at the Museum has become one of the Travel Channel’s most beloved shows. Now, after fifteen seasons, the popular television series has decided to investigate the most iconic haunted house tale of all time, and they’ve turned to the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult to help tell the tale.
On Thursday, February 9th, Mysteries at the Museum returns to the Travel Channel for season sixteen, premiering with “The Amityville Haunting”, an episode which sees host Don Wildman investigating an artifact from 112 Ocean Avenue, the site of America’s most infamous haunted house. The featured piece comes from the private collection of the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & the Occult, the world’s only mobile museum full of haunted, cursed, and supernaturally-significant artifacts.
The museum’s director, paranormal investigator Greg Newkirk, was enlisted to help recount the Amityville tale for the series premiere.
“Mysteries at the Museum has always been one of my favorite shows, so when they reached out about filming at our museum, I was ecstatic,” Newkirk said. “The fact that they wanted to investigate the Amityville haunting was just icing on the cake.”
In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the iconic house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. After just 28 days, the Lutzes left the house, claiming to have been terrorized by supernatural forces during their stay.
The haunting was recounted in the book The Amityville Horror, which was later adapted into a Hollywood film, and in the surrounding buzz, the house was investigated by famed paranormal researcher Hans Holzer and ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Amityville Horror has since become the most iconic American haunted house tale, but to this day, doubts about the case’s authenticity linger.
The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult has its own connection to the Amityville tale: a plank of wood that came from the very house itself. The artifact doesn’t appear to be anything special, but according to the museum’s curators, it seems that some of the Amityville Horror still lingers in its splintered wood and peeling paint.
“Late last year we were presenting a lecture about six of the items in the museum, one of which was the Amityville Plank,” Newkirk said. “We thought the plank would be worth featuring because the lecture scheduled just before us had a large portion dedicated to the Amityville Horror. We already had the artifacts on stage, and while we watched the opener begin to show slides about the investigation, the lights above him began to swing and the Amityville Plank started to rattle so violently inside its case that the crowd could hear it. It didn’t stop until the presenter moved on to another topic, which he did – quickly.”
Visitors to the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult regularly report their own strange encounters with the Amityville Plank ranging everywhere from feelings of dread to ghostly images captured in photographs of the artifact.
The season premiere of Mysteries at the Museum, “The Amityville Haunting”, airs this Thursday night at 10:00PM EST on Travel Channel. For more information about the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult, where you can hold and investigate the Amityville Plank yourself, check out the museum’s membership page.