Amityville Horror Murderer Dies

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Ronald “Butch” DeFeo, Jr. is dead at the age of 69. On November 13, 1974, DeFeo murdered his parents and 4 siblings. One of his defense theories was that he was possessed at the time. The Court did not entertain the idea. Instead, DeFeo was sentenced to serve 25 years to life. On February 2nd, he was transported to the Albany Medical Center, and his death was reported on March 15.

The combination of a horrible crime coupled with the farfetched defense theory spawned one of horror movie genres most successful and lucrative franchises. However, it was build upon a hoax. (See my blog from 2014: https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2014/03/19/amityville-horror-hoax/)

Prison officials nor the hospital provided a cause of death stating that one would be released only to immediate family. We may never know how he died. Honestly, I’m okay with that. Let’s focus on the victims instead.

R.I.P. Sabrina Hatfield

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Tonya Webb and Sabrina Hatfield celebrating the filming of the Old Hospital on Destination Fear.

The paranormal community lost one of our own on February 28, 2021. Sabrina Hatfield, age 54, recently purchased the abandoned hospital and nurses’ college buildings in Williamson, West Virginia. She co-owned the property with Tonya Webb, who together were making improvements and recently re-opened the Old Hospital on College Hill for events. Sabrina will be missed.

Last week, Tonya appeared on my radio show, The Haunted Librarian Show, and discussed the duo’s plans for the properties. Tonya spoke so highly and compassionately about Sabrina that I was looking forward to meeting her when I travel up there this summer. Tonya’s love and admiration for Sabrina was evident.

Sabrina was a local businesswoman in Williamson. She was excited to realize Tonya’s vision for the properties. As Tonya stated: She had the business savvy to make the endeavor profitable. And this project will be successful. Listen to the broadcast for free here: https://www.patreon.com/TheHauntedLibrarian.

I’m planning to visit the hospital later this summer. The drone footage of the two buildings shows the beauty and mystery contained within the grounds. Initially, I thought the small tower was a bell tower. Tonya explained how that was the chimney from the basement where the dead were cremated, and the smoke was able to escape.

Currently, the nurses’ college is off limits. A large portion of the roof has collapsed. However, Tonya and her crew will be working to update and eventually open once the hospital events are fully functional.

I sincerely admire both Tonya and Sabrina. It takes a great deal of vision and money to save historic buildings like these. Sabrina saw the potential and believed in her friend. She took a chance. I am prayerful that she will be able to rest in eternal peace knowing that she left the properties and the histories contained within in the capable hands of Tonya. Rest in Peace, Sabrina.

View the article discussing the plans here: https://www.mingomessenger.com/news/article_a9b708a6-361d-11eb-b32f-e76e610906aa.html

The Old Hospital on College Hill, Williamson, WV

Join me tomorrow night as I chat with the new-ish owner of the Old Hospital on College Hill in Williamson, West Virginia. Tune in at 9 PM EST on http://www.Midnight.FM or listen to the archived show at https://www.patreon.com/TheHauntedLibrarian.

Seeking New Patients: Old Hospital atop College Hill (WV) Re-Opens

Sitting atop College Hill, Old Hospital closed for patients in 1988. New owners re-opened the facility for “new patients” who desire historical or paranormal tours today, February 5, 2021. The hospital was purchased by investors last year in order to preserve the stories of the City of Williamson and surrounding area of West Virginia. The hospital was featured in the Season 2 Episode 14 finale of Destination Fear, which originally aired in December 2020. Visit www.collegehillhospital.com for more information.

Plagiarism in the Paranormal Community

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Tonight, one of my friends posted a concerning update on his social media. One of his books was plagiarized, repackaged, and published on Amazon. Further, it appears that the author is a pseudonym. Authors spend a great deal of their own money to research and to write books. Few achieve financial success from their endeavors. Richard Estep is well known in the paranormal community. For an unknown, self-published thief to steal his work and publish as his own would not go unnoticed.

Richard Estep has written several non-fiction books on paranormal phenomena and appeared on various TV shows discussing his experiences. As a paramedic, Richard is especially interested in paranormal activity in and around hospitals. For Haunted Healthcare: Medical Professionals and Patients Share their Encounters with the Paranormal, Richard interviewed medical personnel and patients to obtain personal stories. The book was published in 2018 and is available in paperback or as an ebook. His extensive research landed him a guest role on Haunted Hospitals.

Let me be clear: His work was stolen. A person claiming to be Hugo Sulin published The Haunting of The Healthcare: A Collection of Ghost Stories Related to the Medical Professions: Haunted House Mystery Books on January 9, 2021. It appears on Amazon.com. “Sulin” reduced the page count by 2 pages and slashed the paperback price. But make no mistake. This is not his work. It belongs to Richard.

Once the crime was discovered, Richard acted. He alerted Amazon, which has not removed the fraudulent work (as of 11:22 PM on January 28, 2021). Friends and readers pointed the plagiarism out in reviews. Ultimately, Amazon disabled commenting due to the increase in activity. One would hope that they would have responded as quickly to the theft.

The paranormal community is small. Some profess “paranormal unity” but merely give it lip service. This is different. Tonight, the paranormal community stands firm in exposing this crime. Don’t support plagiarism. It is a crime.