Jun 3, 2018

The Corridor of Evil in Long Island

As you're driving on the Southern State Parkway through Long Island, en route to the gay resort of Fire Island, you come to the town of Babylon.

Yes, Babylon

Whose bright idea was it to name a town after "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth, drunk with the blood of saints, carrying a cup filled with filthiness"?

Or that horrifying nursery rhyme about being lost in a demonic wilderness:

How many miles to Babylon?
Three score miles and ten.
Can I get there by candle-light?
Yes, and back again

How can you pass that sign saying "Babylon Tpke" without getting a frisson of dread?  Something evil this way comes.

In New York, cities contain towns, and towns contain villages, so Babylon is the home to such villages as Amityville, Lindenhurst, Wyandach, West Babylon, North Babylon, and Babylon.

Those villages, and villages nearby in the wilds of Central Long Island, have a bloody history.

Bayshore: a child named Katie Beers was kidnapped in 1982 and kept in an underground bunker for 17 days.

Selden: In 1986, 17-year old Sean Pica, the "Homeroom Hitman," was hired to kill his classmate's abusive father.

East Meadow: Joel Rifkin, "Joel the Ripper," killed nine women between 1989 and 1993.

Of course, you can also find wholesome swimmers, divers, and wrestlers in Central Long Island.  And bodybuilders.

Like Derek Anthony, who had his own muscle-building radio program and podcast.  He favored steroid abuse -- "anything to succeed" -- which put him at odds with the natural bodybulding community.  When he died from the effects of steroid abuse in December 2013, some people on muscle boards did not honor his memory, calling him "an asshole bodybuilder who gives us a bad name."

Sounds like he listened to the voices from the dark side.

The most famous of the horrors of Babylon is the Lutz House in Amityville, site of the Amityville Horror.  On November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo shot and killed six members of his family.  A year later, the Lutz family moved in, but after 28 days they left, claiming all sorts of supernatural manifestations.  The novelization by Jay Anson may have exaggerated things slightly.

There have been no manifestations since.  It's a private home, and visitors are not allowed.  Amityville does not mention the house in any of its official publications.

They want you to visit for other reasons, like its beaches and swim team.

I suggest driving through Babylon without stopping, but if you must stop, try something nice and safe and wholesome, like the South Shore Theatre in Lindenhurst.  This month they're presenting...um...

Charming, Darling, Deadly, by Christopher Hackert.  Two women buy a house that conceals...um...a murderer.

Never mind.  Keep on driving.


  1. There are also a few Sodoms. One might even say a lot of them. *rimshot*

    Social media have actually introduced a whole new side of bodybuilding: Natural and not competitive. They still try to pretend gay men aren't disproportionately represented among their fans.

  2. I live on the North Shore of Long Island. Once, my next door neighbor told me where he was from. It was some town on the South Shore. He was a bit surprised why I didn't know where it was. I replied "What need do I have to go there?"


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