666 by Jay Anson

(Part II of my investigative series covering fictional works about Satan).

Ever since Satan incited Nero to scapegoat the Christians for Rome's burning, and then ordered them massacred in the most barbaric means possible, Satan, so the premise goes, in Jay Anson's, 666, has been operating out of a Victorian mansion framed with the very blood splattered wood of those long ago martyrs.

Why did Satan have his Victorian mansion framed with such gore? Because, according to one of the self-styled satanists in 666, a young man named Lawrence, who's also a bunny and bird sacrificing bozo pretending to be a wholesome church boy on Sundays, Satan's in terrible pain and angst. Agony. And since Satan is in such terrible pain, angst and agony, he feels more at home in his two-story Victorian knowing that his house was literally built, beam by beam -- every blood stained beam of it - drenched in the ancient gore of innocent victims. Supposedly, such architectural accoutrements help to ameliorate Satan's awful anguish, if we're to believe Lawrence, who obeys the commands of an interior infernal voice named "Damon." Damon sure sounds an awful lot like Daemon or even (gasp!) Damien! from The Omen! Remember Damien? He was the anti-Christ! Satan, obviously, is very shrewd and subtle in masking his real identity in the world of 666, by giving such non-dead-giveaway names to the voices he uses to command his adherents. In fact, take the "a" out of "Damon" and insert an "e" in its place, and what does that spell? Not "angel," that's for sure!

Satan also goes by the name of "Mr. Coste," which is close, phonetically, to Costco. Though I don't think Costco is satanic. Nevertheless, should a Mr. Coste ever call me up out of nowhere, like he did David Carmichael, an antiques dealer, informing Mr. Carmichael that his Victorian mansion was available for rent at a ridiculously reduced rate, I hope to God I wouldn't take the bait and rent it. Because, if I did, after having read 666, I'm convinced I'd never see the light of day (let alone my deposit) ever again!

Satan only lives at the street address of 666, no matter what street or what city he lives in. Satan moves his house around about once every three years or so, and the address is always 666 (insert street name). In 666, it's 666 Sunset Brook Lane, but before that, back in 1973, when the first mysterious murders occurred in his unholy house (only nobody knew at the time that it was an unholy house paid for in cash by Satan), it was 666 Bremerton Road. Note how "Bremerton" starts with a "B," like "Beelzebub".

Satan's not in his house all the time, however. He's not omnipresent like God. Which means he can't exist everywhere all the time. That's why he's got his spiritual spies out there, demons. I don't know why God has angels, since He's omnipresent. But, whenever Satan is in that house, whether it's Bremerton or Sunset Brook Lane, look out! Look out especially if you live across the street from that house like poor Keith and Jennifer Olsen! And if, God forbid, the six-sided conservatory of the house, the hexagonal sided room facing the west, with its leaded windows etched with human faces, begins casting a red glow for no rational reason around sundown, and then if the glowing not only glows but starts to pulsate like an eerie satanic strobe light (get me out of here!), that means for certain that Satan is presently occupying the house, luring hapless people -- and pigeons -- to their doom.

Why these characters in this surprisingly fun read -- 666 -- don't get that; why they don't get that they should always stay away from any house whenever it begins pulsating in any color, is beyond me! Didn't they read Jay Anson's first bestseller, The Amityville Horror, and know what was going to happen if they went back inside the literally godforsaken house? Hadn't they seen Halloween? Or He Knows You're Alone? Stay out of the goddamned house, People! Because once you step inside ... nice knowing you.

Sadly, the Olsen's stepped back inside Satan's house at 666 Sunset Brook Lane one too many times, and met their fates. But at least they got to meet Satan face to face too, before they died, which must have been a real treat for them. Satan stands about nine feet tall, according to Jay Anson. He's got the head of an overgrown goat (like maybe the goat got too close to a nuclear reactor perhaps?), and in place of horns, Satan's got a nice head of antlers, like an elk. His legs are furry, but his arms have scales. He's one ugly, evil looking, evil entity, for sure.

Did I mention that in Satan's house, there's a thirty foot long lightning rod made out of iron running up alongside the chimney (presumably dating back to the Iron Age, lettered in ornate lines of Latin?) That way, lightning, even though it serves no purpose to further the plot of 666, will nevertheless routinely strike Satan's house, and thereby create an even more spooky ambiance of menace. As if a house with a creepy conservatory that throbs redredred every goddamn night weren't spooky or menacing enough!

Jay Anson died in 1980, just before 666 was published. A coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe Satan didn't like the idea of his house being an open house for the whole world to traipse through (it was like Jay Anson publicly outed Satan by writing 666), and so Satan iced Jay Anson in retaliation just like he iced everybody who ever had anything to do with his house. Could be. But we'll probably never know for sure.

For novels about the devil, 666 is probably not as good as, say, Mikhail Bulgakov's classic, The Master and Margarita, but then Mikhail Bulgakov's Satan probably didn't know how to exquisitely design the interior of a Victorian mansion either.


  1. This novel 666 by Jay Anson is scary indeed. The scariest thing in the book is a picture of Satan as a goat headed or a ramheaded monster with scales. I dont know if all copies of this book has this picture but its one of the scariest pictures of Satan I have seen.


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