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Stephen Kaplan
Born Stephen Kaplan
September 19, 1940(1940-09-19)
Bronx, NY
Died June 9, 1995 (aged 54)
Cause of death Heart Attack
Education City College of New York, Pacific College
Occupation Teacher, Parapsychologist
Home town Bronx, NY
Height 5'10½"
Known for The Amityville Horror Conspiracy
Spouse(s) Roxanne S. Kaplan
Children Victoria L. Kaplan
Liam Kaplan
Brian Kaplan
Stacie Kaplan
Parents Sol Kaplan
Shirley Karron Kaplan

Dr. Stephen Kaplan (September 19, 1940 – June 9, 1995) was a noted paranormal investigator, vampirologist, and founder/director of the Vampire Research Center and the Parapsychology Institute of America, both of which were founded in Suffolk County, New York and subsequently relocated to Elmhurst, NY. He was a popular author and radio commentator, best known for his vocal skepticism of the alleged Amityville Horror hauntings. Kaplan lived in Suffolk County, New York and worked for the New York City Board of Education. [1] [2]

Contents

Education


City College of New York: BA in Sociology.
City College of New York: MS in Education.
Stony Brook University: MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)
Pacific College: Ph.D. in Sociology (1977.)

Reputation & Recognition

Kaplan enjoyed a reputation as a dedicated and skilled researcher, with great integrity.

Bibliography

Kaplan, Stephen. In Pursuit of Premature Gods & Contemporary Vampires. Self published, (1st Edition 1976).

Kaplan, Stephen. Vampires Are. Palm Springs: ETC Publications, 1984. ISBN 0-88280-103-1 / ISBN 9780882801032

Kaplan, Stephen and Kalpan, Roxanne Salch. The Amityville Horror Conspiracy. Toad Hall, (1st Edition 1995). ISBN 0-9637498-0-3 /ISBN 9780963749802

Awards

AAPHR (Association to Advance Parapsychology and Hypnosis Research) Appreciation Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the First National Parapsychology Convention, October 14, 1978.

The American Biographical Institute recognition award for distinguished service to Parapsychology and Psychical Research

The Rev. Dr. Montague Summers Memorial Award, Ct. Dracula Society, 1977

Dudley Wright Commemorative Award for special achievements in promoting the field of Vampirology, Journal of Vampirism, 1978

Albert Einstein Award, Success, Inc., PA

Parapsychology Hall of Fame, 1982

AAPHR (Association to Advance Parapsychology and Hypnosis Research) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Award for outstanding research, October 21, 1983

Hypnosis Hall of Fame, 1987

Certificate of recognition to those having demonstrated outstanding achievement in their own fields of endeavor and who have, thereby, contributed significantly to the betterment of contemporary society, certified by The Marquis Who's Who Publications Board (founded in 1898), 1989/1990

An Overview of the Amityville Horror Dispute

The picturesque home known as the Amityville Horror was made famous in 1974 when Ronald "Butch" DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed his parents and four younger siblings there. On November 21, 1975 DeFeo was sentenced to serve six sentences of 25 years to life. George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house on December 18, 1975. They remained in the house for one month before fleeing, citing hauntings, demons, and other unexplained disturbances.

Jay Anson’s 1979 (this is actually the year of the movie) novel, The Amityville Horror, chronicles the paranormal events leading up to their departure from the Lutz perspective. The book became a runaway bestseller, and was made into a popular movie starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Rod Steiger.

Kaplan's The Amityville Horror Conspiracy counters Anson's work, and argues that Lutz deliberately defrauded the public.

According to Kaplan on February 16, 1976, shortly after the Lutzs abandoned the house, Dr. Kaplan received a phone call from George Lutz. At the time, Kaplan was the executive director of the Parapsychology Institute of America, based on Long Island and a frequent guest on the popular WBAB radio program "Spectrum with Joel Martin". Kaplan was seeking fame and notoriety through involvement with paranormal cases though the Amityville case is the only one he is really known for.

Lutz requested that Dr. Kaplan and his associates at the Parapsychology Institute investigate the home. As Dr. Kaplan recalled in his account of the incident, The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, this initial conversation immediately aroused his suspicions as to the validity of George’s claim that the house was haunted. [3]

Kaplan claims when Lutz asked about a fee for the group's services and Kaplan told him that they did not charge for the investigation but that "if the story is a hoax...the public will know." Shortly after, Lutz called and canceled the investigation.

George and Kathleen Lutz claimed that Kaplan's credentials did not check out and that his claiming of himself as a vampirologist made them leary of any involvement with the case. http://truelegends.info/amityville/kaplan.htm http://www.ghostresearch.org/articles/amityville.html

Much of the claims and debates between the Kaplans and the Lutz family can be viewed in a documentary entitled "Amityville: Horror or Hoax" distributed by the History Channel. Both sides can be viewed and heard as stated by the actual people who were involved. http://shop.history.com/detail.php?p=68751&v=history_show_historys-mysteries

The Warrens resolutely supported the Lutz claims of the house being haunted, or possessed, by evil forces and began a campaign to discredit Stephen Kaplan much the same as the Kaplans were claiming about them. To this day, in spite of a confession from DeFeo's attorney, who was also cut from any profits made from a book or movie deal about this case, and in the face of claims to the contrary, the Warrens still maintain that the house was haunted.

The problem with this case is that all people involved have trouble with their credibility. The public was also reluctant to give up the sensational story, and the house became a landmark and tourist attraction so popular that future owners Jim and Barbara Cromarty sued the hardcover and paperback publishers of the "Amityville Horror", as well as Jay Anson and George and Kathy Lutz. They stated that the entire case had been a put-on from the beginning and it had "blighted their lives".

For a detailed look at the controversy surrounding the haunting, please see The Amityville Horror article under the heading "Criticisms".

Much of the staying impact of this story, whether true or hoax would be attributed to some stylish film making. There were four theatrically released films that included a remake, which started with the 1979 original, "The Amityville Horror". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078767/

References

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