The Amityville Gingerbread House
Originally from 2014
Hello all and welcome to another long-awaited entry to the Holiday Hell Show. This weekend I decided to step outside of both my comfort zone and my man card zone to construct a gingerbread house. I am not very crafty but when inspiration strikes, I try not to ignore it because who knows when or if it will strike again. On Saturday, I listened. Here’s what happened.
For the longest time I have been a huge fan of Ray Keim and the website, Haunted Dimensions. All you need is thick weight paper, a color printer, some glue and scissors and with a little kindergarten recollection, you will have a 3-D model of your favorite horror setting. It’s the nerd in me that makes me want to stand on street corners and shout the website url over and over until the government wraps me in blankets and leads me into a padded van.
So, on Friday I was in my office struggling for something different to cover for the website because, that is what I should be doing at work, right?! Then it hit me. Kinda like this. Why don’t I use Haunted Dimensions as the model for a gingerbread house? It had to work. It just had to! And what better design than the famous 1975 horror classic, The Amityville Horror. It was a movie that terrified me as a child and fascinates me as an adult.
HOOOOKAY! Now, I have never successfully constructed a gingerbread house. The last time I attempted was in Tiger Scouts back when Ronald Reagan was in his first term so it has been awhile. I still remember it today. We had to cover an orange juice container with icing and stick gram crackers to the sides to make it look like a house. I can’t remember the details but I do remember having to be hosed off in the driveway of the scout parking lot. So, this project manager doesn’t have a very good legacy of success.
Here’s the plan: I have the layout of the Amityville House and in my mind, all I had to do was cut out the pieces, build the model, find gingerbread flat sheets, paste them on top and decorate as I desire. Seems easy, right? Yeah, no way. The first problem was the fact that no one sells flat sheets of gingerbread. I don’t know if I made this up in my mind but I could have sworn that’s a thing. It is not.
So, I had to bake the sheets from mother furkin’ scratch. I’m not lying, I had the iPad on the counter with YouTube guiding me through the basics of gingerbread making. There were eggs and warm butter and flour. It was Hell.
"WHEN YOU SAY BAKING I SAY DAMNIT!
But, I made it and it actually came out okay. The size was right and using the model for shapes worked out surprisingly well. I only burned myself four times which is as rare as getting hit by a meteorite especially when 350 degree pans are involved.
So, while waiting for the building materials to cool I set out to construct the model. I figured it would be easy to just glue the gingerbread pieces to the model rather than thinking silly thoughts like making this 100% edible. I was going for looks here. Plus, if people knew what went into my baking procedures, they wouldn’t dream of eating this.
The model is very easy to build but unfortunately, I fail at scissor. I always have because it is half patience and it is half skill, both of which I neither have nor desire. So, not all pieces fit perfectly. There were some jamming and cursing that went into the skeleton but eventually it did come together. After all, it would be covered by gingerbread, frosting and Satanism.
Funny story, while I was finishing the model I heard a ruckus right outside the house. Immediately I went in search of my cat because she isn’t fixed and has been desperately trying to escape to find a male suitor. Well, somehow she succeeded. I don’t know how she did it but she did and was having loud cat sex in the driveway. Let me lend you advice, my friends. Never break up cat sex. There will be blood. And there was.
A bit later after bandaging both hands and placing my cat in solitary confinement, I was back to proceed with construction. I figured the best way to glue the walls of the house was to keep constant pressure and no better way to do so than place four brake rotors around the structure because they can at least do something until I put them on my car. That’s for another project.
It worked so freaking well I can’t even say more. Things like this never work well for me. Usually I get this far only to place kick the project in the backyard and go back to the couch to sulk in the warm glow of cable cooking shows. Maybe my crafty ways are coming back? I mean, my Christmas Sweater article from 2008 still gets like 600 hits a day thanks to Pintrest.
Oh the roof was the part I was having the most anxiety about. It’s an odd New England style home and that type of roof doesn’t translate in Candy Land. I baked four gingerbread strips and glued them to the model roof. Thank God I didn’t already add the model roof because there was no way for the strips to stick at that angle. So I placed them on the roof model and pressed them for an hour. This project came together like lamb and tuna fish. I don’t get it. This never happens!
Now that the glue was dry and the structure sound, it was fun time. The decorating. I’ll be honest with you, after the long process I had just building this, I gave decorating a half-hearted effort. I used Twizzlers for the roof, vanilla icing for sticky spackle, pretzels for storm gutters, caramel squares to build the chimney, Tootsie Rolls for the logs to keep George warm and cut marshmallows in half to give a snowy appearance. All-in-all, kinda shitty. Completely forgot the bleeding walls that Edie suggested. That would have been awesome.
So here you are. The house George Lutz claimed to be haunted by the same demonic forces which drove Ronny DeFeo to murder his family. Not exactly the Christmas spirit but I am not sure anyone has attempted to turn this iconic house into a jolly gingerbread house. But I have!
Oh yeah, and cat? Eat ass.
And thanks to Dinosaur Dracula who does this stuff one million times better and funnier. This was inspired by my long love of that site and X-E. Thanks for reminding us it is okay to be a kid and enjoy the little things. Cheers!