By Sophia Ricco
A road that goes far back in Huntington’s history with a few stories of its own, sets the scene for a new, independent horror film, “Amityville: Mt. Misery Road” that is set for release this May.
Growing up in Old Bethpage, Chuck Morrongiello recalls hearing rumors and legends throughout his years at school of the haunted road and woods of Mount Misery in West Hills. As avid horror enthusiasts, Morrongiello and his wife Karolina ventured into the forest during a trip to visit his family and came out with the idea for their first horror film.
“I grew up in this area and had always heard about Mt. Misery Road. We basically got enthused by the history of Mt. Misery Road,” Chuck said. “I went online and started reading story after story.”
The myths of Mt. Misery Road are familiar to generations of Huntington residents. Grandparents and teenagers alike have their own tales of the location. As directors, actors and musicians, the Morrongiellos wanted to be the first to bring these stories into the genre of horror. Chuck wrote the movie’s entire screenplay in just three days.
“Nobody has really touched this area,” Karolina said. “We thought it was a really cool subject, that many people talked about from generation to generation.”
The couple play Charlie and Buzi, Floridian ghost-enthusiasts who are intrigued by Mt. Misery Road after their friend shows them photographs he took of floating orbs in the woods. The pair venture into the woods to see if the stories of the Hellhound, Mothman and Mary are true.
“Our film is about the story of Mary, the asylum and a couple that’s not taking any direction from people that are warning them to stay away,” Chuck said.
Legend has it the plot of land was sold to settlers by Native American tribes with a warning.
“The settlers were warned ... to stay away from that area because it was cursed,” Chuck said. “There have been sightings in the sky of strange lights, the settlers noticed that nothing grew on the hill slopes and it was very difficult to navigate through the rocky terrain. They also had seen a Hellhound-like creature with bright red glowing eyes and their livestock was disappearing or found mutilated throughout the woods. People would go missing as well.”
In the movie, 150 years later an asylum is built in the woods to keep the mentally ill away from society.
“The asylum was burned down, as the story goes, by a deranged patient named Mary, and she basically killed everyone in the building,” Chuck said. “There’s been sightings of ghosts walking in the woods, and people still hear moans and groans coming from the woods today.”
During Chuck’s time in high school, Mt. Misery Road was a hotspot for teenagers on Halloween night. Teens would congregate together and go off in search of a spirit or creature. There wasn’t a street light in sight in the woods of Mount Misery, and the darkness contributed to the eerie feeling.
“Everybody knows about Mt. Misery Road,” Chuck said. “The other day we were at a local get together and heard grandparents talking about it, their kids discussed it and even their grandchildren knew about it.”
“Amityville: Mt. Misery Road” will be released by ITN Studios in May. The film has already received praise at movie festivals, like the International Horror Hotel Festival in Ohio.