Monday, September 17, 2012

My Visit to The Amityville Horror House

 The original Amityville Horror is one of my all time favorite films. Perhaps, growing up in New York, the true life murders committed at 112 Ocean Ave on the South Shore of Long Island, by the eldest son of the Defeo Family (owners of Defeo Cadillac), was my initial fascination - they were a traditional Italian America family, as was mine...who knows what gets a kid fascinated by creepy stuff -  anyway... 

The film definitely left an impact on me and my writing. Who can ever forget James Brolin running back to that house in the rain for Harry the dog, nevertheless...the flies...the hand smashing window, the fireplace, THE BABY SITTER LOCKED IN THE CLOSET!!! 

All of it great stuff! So of course, one of my fondest memories in life is of my brief visit to that feared and famed abode many years ago...

At the time I was still with my Ex, a rock musician. They tend to want big, outlandish toys and it was the very early 90's when the trend was for the MTV elite to buy spooky mansions...Trent Reznor was living in the Tate/Labianca house...I think Jimmy Page had the Alistair Crowley mansion...and so on. 

Having always been fascinated with The Amityville Horror lure, the true life DeFeo family murders and the supposed Lutz family haunting on Ocean Avenue, when I heard the house was for up for sale (and I happened to be selling a place in NY at the time myself) we decided to take a ride and have a look, and even potentially buy the place - we were young (I think I was 21 or 22 at the time). 

The Realtor agreed to meet us on a Sunday evening at something like 6pm. We arrived at the property early and at that time they had not yet built the giant wall/fences which hide the house today and it was still frequently visited by freaks and gawkers (the REAL reason no one ever lived there for long, I'm sure). 

The ornate Dutch Colonial is on a huge lot  and the back yard had a boat house that sits on the water. We walked around laughing and creeping each other out... he spent the better part of the tour trying to scare me, of course. So finally it's 6 and the Realtor isn't pulling up so we think maybe she's already inside and we go back around to the front and there's a note on the door saying the key is in the box and to have a look and call her if we're interested or have any questions. 

So right there, of course he starts with, she's afraid of the house and doesn't want to show it to know, like turning it into something scary, when in reality, it was Sunday night! She was probably with her family and sick and tired of idiots like us dragging her to this house most likely just to gawk. Anyway, we go in and the house is incredible! (In some ways it probably (unintentionally) serves as a subtle muse for the Kings Hollow house in my horror-thriller, WISHBONE). Ornate old wood, large staircase, intricate molding...a really cool old house. 

When you first walk in the stairs are in front of you and slightly to the right and the first room to your left is a dining room, to your right the living room, and past the staircase directly ahead of the front door is the kitchen. So we look around downstairs and continue with the giggling and spooky crap. He wanted to check out the basement but it turned in to one of those YOU GO FIRST...NO YOU GO...NO YOU! So I said let's go upstairs first. 

The second floor had a lot of small rooms and finally we get to one where I can see the boathouse from the window and I said, I think this is the room where the kid's hand supposedly got smashed by the window and... (He pipes in)...The Flies. As God is my if on cue...a FREAKIN FLY (loud as hell, in that empty, echo-y room) comes buzzing by my face and lands on the glass window which I'm standing beside. 

So half laughing, half freakin-the-hell-out, I'm like, I'm out'a here! And he's saying Nooo...don't be silly and trying to act all cool. I took off like a bat out'a hell and practically flew down the stairs to the front door (I don't think my boots even touched the ground), and when I went to turn and call back for him (as I'm opening the door) he slams in to the back of me (freakin, Mr. Macho was terrified to be left up there alone!). The two of us are  fumbling with the doorknob (more like an episode of Abbot & Costello than a horror flick!). We get the door open and scurry out of there at top speed. 

We sat in the car for like ten minutes before finding the balls to take the key back in and lock up (as the note instructed). We left, and of course, never bought the house. Now, I wish I the time it was dirt cheap, in need of some TLC, but exquisite, and is surely worth millions today. 

Can someone get Jimmy some cooler undies? 

As for the flies...I'm sure it was one solitary fly but once I saw that thing I was positive there would be hundreds of its friends on that glass seconds later and I was not about to wait around to find out. 

That visit was truly one of the greatest, most fun memories of my life! 
I will never forget that day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WISHBONE's Jerome...His Back Story (and Poor Excuse)

Readers often ask for more information about WISHBONE's manipulated (and volatile) manifestation, Jerome Grenier, father of Protagonist, Julien. 

Jerome haunts Julien's nightmares and is inevitably manifested to teach Julien a lesson or two (or three!), keeping him in line. Here is some back story on Jerome... Perhaps he is a bit misunderstood.

Jerome & Gabrielle

Jerome was a French Boxing Champion. He came from hard working farmers...a successful dairy farm, but not wealthy by any means. One could say...from the wrong side of the tracks

As a champ, Jerome met Gabrielle through a friend who had brought her to a boxing match (a popular Friday night event in mid-sixties Paris). Gabrielle was beautiful (He called her his Princess). For a beat up, aging boxer, he never would have dreamed a stunning angel like Gabrielle would look at him twice, but she had and she loved him dearly. 

Gabrielle was diminutive beside Jerome's hulking frame, yet one look from Gabrielle would bring Jerome jumping to her every command. At first, her family was not pleased by their union. Her father owned a chocolat shoppe in Paris and did well providing for his family. He wanted his daughter to meet an educated man who would care for her with equal or better means than she had been raised. Regardless, Jerome won Gabrielle's family over quickly. Jerome was gregarious and could tell a story that would hold the ears of even the loudest room. Most of all, Gabrielle's father quickly realized that no one would love, protect, and care for Gabrielle more than Jerome Grenier. They were married.

When Gabrielle became pregnant, it was the second happiest moment in Jerome's life (second only to the first moment his eyes met Gabrielle's). Jerome retired from boxing and moved Gabrielle to the dairy farm where he would be working alongside his father. Gabrielle took to the country immediately. She loved everything about it and especially long days of baking  and making cheese 
with her mother-in-law which reminded her of working with her father at the chocolat shoppe. 

At night, together in bed, Jerome would regularly ask her, "Are you happy here? We can live in Paris." Gabrielle would softly laugh, her tiny hand dwarfed by his calloused palm; she would press it to her belly, "Say goodnight to your son, Jerome." Jerome asked again and again how she knew the baby would be a boy, but she would only say she knew

A few months into her pregnancy she began referring to the baby as Julien and Jerome followed without question. The thought of having a son so overwhelmed Jerome and he couldn't wait to do all the things he had done with his own father, now with Julien.

One evening Jerome was out in the field repairing a fence at the end of a long work day when his father called to him, "Jerome! It's time." Jerome hurried back to the house where the mid-wife had already arrived. From the salon Jerome could hear his wife cry. He paced and paced and stepped outside to smoke hand rolled tobacco cringing at the sound of Gabrielle bringing their son into the world. It pained him to hear her and as her screams became more dire he left the porch. 

Pacing on the dirt pathway he could not escape Gabrielle's agony until everything ceased and stillness fell upon the farm. He stopped pacing and froze still, he looked back to the house and waited to hear his son's voice for the very first time when seconds later, he did. 

A missing toothed grin from ear to ear he bounded toward the porch steps but before he could reach them, his father stepped out with the baby swaddled in a soft white blanket held snug in his arms; his mother followed and dropped to her knees, genuflecting and sobbing as she gripped the chipped wood railing. 

Jerome was confused...he took a few steps closer and slowly came up the stairs. Through the screen door he saw the midwife in the middle of the salon, her face cupped in her hands as she bawled. His father reached up and placed one hand on Jerome's shoulder as if to stop him from entering the house. The baby began to wail in his grandfather's arms and Jerome knew his beautiful Gabrielle was gone forever.

...and READ about Jerome's revenge on his son for taking the life of Gabrielle in FIVE-STAR BEST SELLER WISHBONE, By Brooklyn Hudson...

A Manhattan power couple survive a tragedy and attempt a fresh start only to be plagued by unexplained and disastrous careful what you wish for.
Click The Book!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Almost everyday I'm asked about the various viral ads floating around for WISHBONE, and it seems everyone has their favorite. 

Here are some of the most frequently shared WISHBONE ads floating around the net...Which one is your favorite?

WISHBONE, by Brooklyn Hudson is currently 

Look for WISHBONE II...Thanksgiving 2012
...and The WISHBONE Companion Book Christmas!