|'The Amityville Horror' (2005) was one of Chloe Grace Moretz's first movies
In 1974, a family murder took place in Amityville, a village in the US. Supposedly the next family to own the house that the murders took place in after moving in, saying that they had been terrorised by paranormal activity while living in the house. Author Jay Anson immortalised these events in his book 'The Amityville Horror: A True Story' in 1977, which he said was based on these "true" events. While there is much doubt as to how factual the book actually is, it has captured the imagination of many and been the inspiration behind several movies. The most well known movie was the original 'The Amityville Horror', which was released in 1979 and became a cult horror hit. It was remade in 2005, this time starring Melissa George (another great Aussie actress) and Ryan Reynolds (*swoon*).
Besides these two movies, a quick search on imdb.com shows that at least another 18 horror movies have the word Amityville in their title - it's a town that will forever be remembered for these events. And if you need still more horror cred, the setting for the 1975 classic 'Jaws' was called Amity Island!
Amity is one of my favourite virtue girls names. Grace and Faith definitely have their charms, but Amity just sounds - well - perkier somehow. It has the familiarity of Amy, but with a slight twist that gives it a "vintage gem" quality. Amity (pronounced AM-ih-tee) is the Latin word for friendship and harmony, which are lovely meanings for a girl. Just the thought of these concepts brings a smile to people's faces, which is how I think people would react to someone named Amity in real life.
While a very likable name, Amity has never been wildly popular. She first appeared in the US in 1960, when she was given to just five baby girls. The name slowly climbed until peaking in 1979 with 119 uses. As this would have been when the first 'The Amityville Horror' was released at the cinemas, it would appear that people were not at all deterred by it's horror movie connections. Amity slowed considerably in the next few years after that, and has been given to an average of 25 girls a year since 1983.
Even though Amityville will always be associated with the gruesome and controversial happenings of the 70's, I don't think the name Amity has suffered at all because of it. Amity is just too pretty not to be used more often. This is one name that would stand out in a class full of Isabella's and Lily's, in good way.