That Girls Blog: A Glass of Wine By A Roaring Fire… OR: Amityville Went Up For Sale… OR: The Homeowners Zombie Survival Guide


I was informed this morning that the old Amityville house in New York is up for sale today… asking price $850,000… The current or RECENT owners apparently passed away. Huh.

Why is this interesting? Because just last night I had an Amityville Horror experience in my own house.

Let me give you a few details you may not know about me: First of all, I live alone. This is not an open invitation to terrorize me or for you to help yourself to things in my house when I am at work –there are 2 well-adjusted very large dogs that keep an eye on things for me when I am not around. Next, there are a few rooms in my house I rarely use. Finally, I may be crazy, but I am fun-silly-crazy, not insane.

This is what happened over the course of several hours yesterday afternoon:

I came home from work, as usual. Zorro and Mazzy greeted me at the kitchen door ready to race to the back yard for ball tossing and lounging in the sun. Normal. As I walked past the entrance to the living room, something caught my eye.

As I mentioned, there are rooms in my house I don’t use often. Since cancelling my subscription to one of the major utility companies, I don’t watch tv, so there is no need to sit on the couch in front of the big blank screen. I didn’t use the fireplace this winter, either, so the room has been neglected for several months… BUT –I would know if something had moved in!

So what caught my eye? There were flies. Not just a few gnats buzzing around as if I left a window open overnight…These were Amityville Horror House flies.  “WHAT THE FRENCH FROSTED TOAST CRUNCH IS THAT?!?!?!” (I cannot repeat the exact wording). I rushed to get the dogs outside; panicking as I tried to wrap my brain around what could possible cause such a scene in my home!

The mature, strong, self-sufficient voice in my head said there was an easy explanation: something fell down the chimney and has passed on to a better place, leaving behind its corporal self in order to support the circle of life. I lugged out the vacuum cleaner with the VERY long hose attachment, opened the windows and the front door and began to “remove” the flies.

Fireplace 1


Then the slightly less confident shrill voice in my head said: SOMETHING DIED IN THE CHIMNEY!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! Get it out! Get it OUT!  Wait… What if it’s only recently dead? What if it’s only PARTLY dead? What if it is actually a ZOMBIE living in my chimney!?!?

Let’s hit the pause button here: I was NOT drinking at this point. My next actions may have you questioning this fact. I did not, at any point, stick my head, hands, a stick, broom or flashlight into the chimney, either. Nope. Not gonna happen.

Since the most logical source for the invasion was, in fact, the fire place, my mind flipped to page 24 of the “Homeowners Zombie-Apocalypse Survival Manual”: ‘Close off any open entry points’. I grabbed the duct tape and began to seal the accordion glass doors to the fireplace. Then I sealed the frame. Then I sealed the hinges. Then I sealed around the bricks.

Fireplace 2

Then I realized the doors to my fireplace are, in fact, glass. I ran into the basement and found an old ceiling tile. I blocked the glass doors and lugged an old truck up onto the hearth to hold the ceiling tile in place and added a heavy brass fireplace insert on top of the trunk – just in case.

Fireplace 3

Yes, I still have my stocking from Christmas. Don’t judge me.

Now, throughout the time it took to fortify myself against whatever re-animated monster might have been lurking in my chimney, I was posting full call-outs on social media for help: Nuisance animal removal?  Chimney sweeps? US Marines? Wine delivery? Anyone? Help?

There were plenty of posts offering verbal support, including one friend who suggested calling a priest. But since there was nothing else I could do for the time being, I left my house for a quick trip to pick up supplies. Again, up until this point, I was NOT drinking!

When I returned with my bottle of wine, I carefully peered into the living room… The barricade was still in place, and nothing was buzzing. I grabbed a glass from the kitchen and headed out to the porch. As I pulled the curtain back to open the slider I looked out and screamed like Jamie Lee Curtis!!

OK – it was just my boyfriend, standing on my porch in camo pants wearing rubber gloves and holding a small trashcan with a lid. Yes, I did scream. No, I still did not get to drink any of the wine.

Fireplace 4

I am proud to say it took Shawn some time to dismantle the zombie defense wall I had carefully built. He peppered me with questions: Did you hear anything? Did you open the flue? When was the last time you had a fire in the fire place? Did you notice any odd smells? Was the dog trying to get in? Did you use the entire roll of duct tape? How much did you have to drink?


He played with the lever for the flue. It opened and closed: Nothing. He took the iron poker and stirred up the cobwebs: nothing but a really big spider came down. He crawled into the fireplace with a flashlight: He could see daylight at the top. There isn’t anything here, he said.

Are you sure?

Look for yourself.


After much debate and protest, trips into the attic and basement and laps around the outside of the house, Shawn filled the fireplace with kindling and set a fire and waited. Again, nothing. I finally sat down on the couch. Shawn left with instructions for me to let the fire burn for a few hours to be safe. My night ended with a glass of wine next to a roaring fire watching a rerun episode of Walking Dead… Just in case.

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.

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