The Zombie Apocalypse

zombies in Appalachia

Have you ever watched a tv show or movie about the zombie apocalypse? I don’t watch much tv so I can’t really say I’m up on the whole zombie phenomenon, but it is a subject I’ve had fun discussing with the folks at work.

For the last few years we’ve teased each other about our survival plan for the coming zombies. Those of us that have worked there longest say we’ll trip the newer employee to give us more time to get away. My boss seems to think if you have an aliment of some sort zombies will overlook you so she plans to scream out that she has a disease. We have a small kitchen in our area so if we’re locked in for a while we could cook…if we had any food. Then there’s the huge bank of windows-seems like a zombie would just break right through, but some folks think their reflection in the glass will confuse them causing them to pass up our building for another one. Silly I know, but an ongoing bit of fun that makes the work place more enjoyable.

In the last few years our county has been besieged by drug problems which have caused all sorts of problems we’ve never had to worry about.

Problems like people stealing every thing that’s not tied down while folks aren’t at home and even people trying to steal things when people are at home!

Pretty much every day the sheriffs department arrests a new string of people for having drugs in their possession, making drugs, or stealing to buy drugs.

I’ve taken to saying the ever increasing segment of people who’ve become so addicted that they’ve lost their own lives are the true zombie apocalypse.

We live in such an isolated area we’ve never given much thought or worry about any of those addicted folks bothering our home. Our house is at the end of the road with nothing behind it but woods in all directions. In all the years I’ve lived in this holler there has never been a stranger wandering around…until last week.

Chitter was home alone one morning. As she sat on her bed, working on a piece of jewelry, she noticed someone walk directly by her window. She jumped up and looked out the other bedroom window as the man went on around the back of the house. He was dirty, barefoot, and looked like he’d had the same clothes on for several weeks. He was also sneaking along. Chitter knew the doors were locked so she got one of her Daddy’s guns and immediately called him. As Chitter stood in the back of the hallway praying her Daddy would hurry and praying she wouldn’t have to do more than hold the gun she heard the man come up on the porch and try to get in the front door.

By the time The Deer Hunter came flying up the driveway the man was gone leaving nothing but two half eaten apples in the fire pit that he’d picked off one of my trees.

We reported the incident, but when the deputy came out all he saw was a blacksnake in the greenhouse, the stranger was long gone. The deputy said there’d been an increase in drug related break-ins lately and advised us to keep things locked up tight.

Even though nothing was harmed or taken, other than the apples, we have all been rattled by the incident. Especially Chitter. I guess we feel like we’ve been violated even though we haven’t really.

Maybe it’s that our safety has been violated.

We’ve taken for granted that our remote location surrounded by family would protect us from the assault of those who would do us harm. I’ve never given one thought to going out after dark to lock up the chickens when The Deer Hunter is off hunting, now I find myself reluctant to even go outside during the day and it makes me mad at myself and at the man who tried to get into our home.

Even though we don’t live by the side of a busy road it’s been made clear we too are vulnerable to the assault of the increasing drug problem facing our county and much of Appalachia.



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  • Reply
    Walter Holokai
    March 25, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    A big dog might be the answer. They’re a lot of trouble to take care of though. A big dog barking would have stopped that intruder in his tracks.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Wow!!! That would be scary.
    When we moved from the city to the country up in PA, we never locked doors or were afraid to go out into the yard after dark. Then they put in I-90, and I remember Dad locking the doors at night and Mom having a talk with us about not talking to strangers, that if we saw one on the property or coming down the road, we were to run into the house.
    In the blink of an eye (almost) naivete about a safe life was gone, and it’s just plain sad the way good people are having to live nowadays. It’s said “God will protect” and I believe He does, but I also believe He expects us to use our good old common sense and not invite trouble too.
    As for the Zombie Apocalypse, I don’t watch the show, but I haven’t really trusted our government since serving in the USMC a few decades ago, so I don’t pshaw at the belief some have that the government might try to use some of us for an experiment that would go awry. We DO know from historical records that the US government’s done it before with LSD and with nicotine on the unsuspecting, and that too is sad – very sad!!!
    God bless.
    <>< P.S. - You might want to put locks on your animal pens too, cause if someone's hungry enough, your outside animals aren't safe either.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Tell the Deer Hunter to use his game cameras around the house when your not around, make sure it’s well lite on back side of camera to reduce glare. I caught a girl trying to get into our house at 3am in the morning while we were asleep, not smart, I sleep with a 40cal by my bed, I notified my Brother who happens to be the Police Chief and he knew who she was because he had several other complaints. Don’t under estimate the zombies, they’re good at what they do.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 12:34 am

    I’m so sorry to read that your isolation has been invaded. I guess any place that has a wooded area is a prime target for druggie campers these days. Even the shrubs around our church are used for camping, etc. One must be so careful about needles, etc. It is so sad. Please be very, very careful.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    It’s a sad commentary isn’t it…the “walking dead”, folks strung out; stealing and conniving.
    I personally don’t have a fire arm in my home, BUT I have 5 very loud, large hounds that have no fear. I highly recommend y’all go to your local shelter and adopt a hound-the pounds are full of them! The best friend you’ll ever have!
    Y’all be safe!

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    July 19, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    SORRY the girls were scared and seems lucky, maybe, they were inside. You never know, so many possibilities.
    We thought we were safe up here in this neighborhood, where most of us have at least two acres plus it isn’t easy place to see or find. However, we had a scare with a neighbor being ‘cased’ but as soon as security camera ‘lit up’ he looked up at it and ran. He had three more accomplices waiting in street with a vehicle and they left. All in 20s. they were looking for things to sell for drugs.
    The neighbor kept on with sheriff till they put pic on local news and soon the guy was identified . Most of us are armed and I also have inside watch dogs that hear everything but no one is 100% safe anywhere. -(
    Security cameras are great and you just can’t let your guard down at any time.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Betty-We like to make kraut when the signs are in the head-they will be back in the head August 11-12. My husbands aunt swears by the making kraut in the heart. The signs will be in the heart July 23-24. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    I’m so sorry Chitter had that scare, but good for her keeping her head and doing all the right things! I know it’s an awful shock to your system when something like that happens, and I expect Chitter – and probably all of you – will feel it for a time.
    I’m a lone woman (and getting to be an old woman) living in a little house that most people don’t even know is here. I’ve had some trouble in the past with trespassers, but I’ve not yet needed to show anyone my rifle and I hope I never do. I have to remind myself that some people are just Up To No Good, and be aware of that, but when there’s some kind of ruckus by the barns in the middle of the night, it’s still me that goes out to investigate. These days I make sure to have a powerful flashlight always on a charger by the door – I used to just trust my night vision, but now I think a bright light can be a pretty comfortable thing to wave around.
    Take care.

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    July 19, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Oh my goodness, I am so happy Chitter is safe! KEEP THOSE DOORS LOCKED HONEY!!! We used to live in Waynesville and our next door neighbors granddaughter used to like to come over and visit me, I always kept the door locked so, she would have to knock. She asked her granny one day why we kept our door locked and she told her because we were from Florida and we had to keep doors locked down there (they kept their door unlocked). I think the drug problem up here may be surpassing Florida, both prescription and illegal drugs! How sad.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    This is very disturbing and a real wake-up call! I’m so thankful all is well with Chitter, your family and the precautionary measures you have taken. Substance abusers can become soul-less. Zombies.
    Our safety is in the Lord, our Rock.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I am so sorry Chitter had such a scare. It’s sad when you don’t feel safe any more. We live in the suburbs and we have had things happen in our area. It’s everywhere and it’s sad.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    July 19, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I have never heard the drug epidemic described as the Zombie apocalypse, but it is very appropriate. Everyone living in the country needs to be prepared for the invasion as the zombie hoard has realized it is easier pickings when no one is close.

  • Reply
    wanda Devers
    July 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I’m glad Chitter is ok. It’s so sad that we’re not safe anywhere anymore.
    When we moved here many years ago it was a pretty isolated area but we were broken into right away. My husband came home from work (I was out of town visiting Mama) and ran to get in the shower so he could go buy our dog some food. Little did he know the culprits were still in our trailer hiding in the far end. When he got out of the shower, he heard strange noises and ran to get a gun. All his guns were gone–the first thing the thieves carried out. Finally the intruders fled out the back door. The police brought their dogs out and finally lost the trail but most of our belongings were recovered later. It was a terrifying experience and it turned out to be two teenage boys who robbed us.
    I am a fanatic door locker and worry about my mother in law who will open her door to anyone. We live on a private road with lots of signs posted but till have trespassers way too often. Had one yesterday while I was picking beans. They don’t seem to understand what private means.
    Mama used to tell us a story about her childhood where a man towing a stolen car came to their house and demanded a light for his cigarette from her sister who finally rolled up a paper and lit it in the stove. They were terrified and one ran out the back to get help. that was in the 1920’s or early 30’s and they always lived out in the country so I guess it’s always been a problem–just worse now.

  • Reply
    jim keller
    July 19, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    We also live in a remote house site, there are days that if I don’t go to town we don’t see anybody.
    In the past few years the meth cook houses seem more common and nearer to our community when you read the paper. For the first 36 years neither of us had key to our house, but that has changed in the last year. We have cameras located on the property, the game cameras have revealed unannounced visitors a couple of times (but after asking around we were able to identify their names). The house cameras are nice because they can notify your smart phones instantly when there is movement around your house. It does not take long for word to spread that your picture is being taken after the first instances of asking the neighbors if they can ID a picture. Our pound puppies (smallest one weighs 60+ lbs) also discourage unexpected visitors. Our neighbor’s 80 year old grandmother was broken in on and beating this past week. I do miss the past when we left the keys in the truck and the house unlocked, but I fear they are gone forever.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    July 19, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Four words: Free Range Pit Bull!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 19, 2017 at 11:48 am

    The major reason I have not gotten a concealed carry permit is because of what Paula wrote and what David wrote centuries ago;
    PSA4:08 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. KJV
    Yet we consider house, car and health insurance just common sense precautions.
    I know that for a Christian neither the extreme of doing nothing for myself or the extreme of doing everything for myself is correct. My dilemma is deciding just what, in a life of faith, is that place in each decision that is where my part ends and His begins. In the end, as near as I can understand thus far, we each have to find our own answer and we will not all agree. Events, such as Chitter’s, forces these choices on us when we would be quite happy never to have had to decide.
    It is, I think, useful to remember that in pioneer days and again during the Civil War, our ancestors had to struggle with the same things.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 19, 2017 at 11:44 am

    That’s Chatter in the picture, ain’t it? Not Chitter?

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 19, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Is that the same fire pit you featured in one of your posts a few years ago? The one that I conjectured was a zombie trap? See there, I was right as I always am, sometimes, well once in a while.
    It worked! It didn’t catch the zombie but it scared him off. All’s well that ends well!
    I think I know why he ate two half apples instead of a whole one. See, zombies don’t like apples, but they do like worms. Those two apples must have had worms in them. He just ate the good part. I hope the rest of your apples don’t have worms cause he’ll be back with his friends when he gets hungry.
    Seriously, the availability of firearms is a necessity. Knowing how to safely use firearms is a necessity. Our ancestors owned them and protected themselves with them. The world is, if anything, less safe now than then. Every child should be required to learn weapons safety in school and at home. Every home should have a plan for what to do if invaded just like fire safety plans. Every child five and above should know what weapons are for and what they can do if mishandled. Proper training for older children can assure the ability of stopping an assailant without killing him.
    One more bit of humor. I am considering putting a sign outside my door that says:
    “Come on in, the door’s not locked.
    My guns are! And loaded!
    I’m tired of shooting paper targets!”

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Several years ago Stacey Ass Dills broke into my home and sold about $9,000 dollars worth of my guns. It took me 3 years to get that bastard in Jail. If I had been there, he wouldn’t be with us anymore! I paid other “dope heads” to tell on him and found that he sold all my guns to Bill somebody for $300. to get his daily fix. I still haven’t got all my guns back. Anyway, Stacey spent 2 years in Prison and they turned him out. These “dope heads” are just thick here in our beloved Mountains. I was told that Stacey used one of his little girls, put her through a window and told to go open the door. His wife (at the time) was guilty as he was, she’d use her Cell Phone to let him know when it was safe. I’m telling you, that was a bad family. And to beat it all, our Sheriff, nicknamed Bumper, never returned any of my calls. It makes me sick of all the problems in our area. …Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 19, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Have you ever heard an old-timer from the mountains say something like……”Humph, he’d a’better be keerful a’sneakin’ up on me, why I’d knock ’em in the haeid ‘fore he knew whot happened and he’d be shore to flop ’round worsen’ that mean old rooster I kilt!
    I know that is why my momma had hand size rocks setting around her house…She hated guns even though Dad had left her with three pistols and a couple of shotguns…Ha
    But let me tell you something, that woman could wield a rock like nobodies business! I know she loved mountain rocks, but that wasn’t the only reason she had those palm sized rocks and stones laying around…
    One time, (she was 85 then) she went in the living room from the kitchen thinking she heard one of us pull up outside…To her astonishment there stood a man! We asked what in the world did you do?
    “Well”, I said….what in the hell are you doin’ and what do you want?” She could tell that the confrontation startled him as much as It did her…even though he mumbled that he wondered if she wanted her yard mowed? ha
    She reached for her rock…and said…”You get out of my house right now, just like you come in, before I knock you in the head!” He took off to the sun porch and out to the deck and over the deck railing and down the corner support pole!
    Yep, he had climbed up the pole, over the railing on to her deck through the open screen door to the sun porch leading into her living room.She loved just sitting there going free from the inside sun porch and outside to the deck watching her birds and flowers…The main street door she kept locked if she didn’t forget! She said that after she knew he was gone, she quit shaking long enough to call the law! ha
    I’m telling you if you ever heard “my little old white headed Mother”, which was mostly soft spoken in her old age, get “scared and angry”…whooeee! On top of that getting “riled and cornered” when her “fright or flight response” kicked in…you better get the “hell” outta there or you’d be laying there with birds n’ bells a’ringin’ in yore ears whilst swirling ore’ the giant “pump knot” on your head!
    True as rain…
    I too think it is the “blank minded, engorged, pupated drug addicts” living all around us! Going to “hell in a stolen prescription bottle” or worse making it themselves that is causing the Zombie apocalypse!
    I am prepared, as you should be on a dead end road with woods all around! Know your firearms or “smokers” as I call them! I keep two dogs, a very “skeeridy” cat that warns of two-legged poltergeist and Zombies…So if you are not the Mormon guys/gals knockin’…the mail/Fed-Ex person…or toot your horn, stay in your car while askin’ lost directions….then you don’t belong in this picture…Lord help you if you wander down or around in my woods onto my porch….
    ‘Cause I sure can’t help it if one of the ‘smokers’ gets you or worst the “Booger” gets you!
    Yes, my big scary dog is named “BOOGER” and you know there is nothing worse for mankind than a scared booger!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…the best chance we have is to pray for change in the morals of our youth and adults…

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    July 19, 2017 at 9:45 am

    It saddened me to read this post. Like you, I am on a secluded road by myself, although another house is finally going in. Gone are the days of my childhood where, even in the suburbs of Washington, DC, we didn’t lock doors and neighbors were all friends, or at least we all trusted one another. We had a theft during building our home two years ago that cost $31,000, so I understand the feeling of violation. I wish you all continued safety and a regained peace of mind.

  • Reply
    Betty Richards
    July 19, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Can you give me the dates for making sauerkraut? Thanks.
    I don’t know how to read the signs.
    Betty Richards

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    July 19, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Glad Chitter was prepared. I received my concealed carry permit a few years ago and have felt a lot safer ever since.
    We had a similar situation where folks who did not belong in our area were parking along our roads.
    We began taking license numbers and they stopped coming.
    Guess we made them nervous.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Seems some of these unsavory characters are looking for the isolated home with “no prying eyes” to see them. Motion sensor lights are somewhat of a deterrent for when you’re not home.
    Poor Chitter must have been very scared, but what a composed young woman to do what she did. Maybe if it, God forbid, happens again, taking a picture or a video of the culprit would aide the law in catching him.
    Sometimes it is good to have neighbors that are home most the time that can have eyes on the homes around them just in case something like this happens.
    I know here in Union and Towns county GA they have rounded up a huge drug ring that was brought in by outsiders, but was using locals to distribute. So proud of our law enforcement officers that they have arrested a good number of them and warrants out for many others. So sad that this is such a growing problem in our little towns 🙁

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 19, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Dear Tipper, I am so sorry Chitter had such a frightening experience. Probably every one of your readers has had something similar happen. I really liked Ron’s post because it is so true, we’ve lost something precious – the ability to feel safe in our neighborhoods. I agree with all the suggestions; how to use a gun, guard dogs, etc., but at the end of the day I must put my trust in God. He has promised to care for me every step of the way and I know that doesn’t always mean removing me from dangerous circumstances but He can care for me in the midst of them. In my neighborhood there are a lot of older folks who live alone, they can’t hear well, see well or walk well. If their safety totally depended on their ability to shoot a gun or physically defend themselves, I am sure most of them would not survive. We also need to take care of each other; the strong and the weak.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    July 19, 2017 at 9:06 am

    The drug epidemic is rampant in our county as well. From opiates to methamphetamine. I feel so bad for people addicted because they didn’t set out to be an addict. I also get very angry at them because of the crimes they commit to fuel their addiction.
    I do not live in fear but I do believe in being aware and being able to defend your family and home. I am very glad that the person who came to your house chose to move on because I do not think he would have liked what was waiting on him on the other side of the door.
    Hats off to your husband for teaching his family how to defend themselves.
    I’m also sorry Chitter had to go through that but thankful it turned out well.

  • Reply
    Rosamary Christiansen
    July 19, 2017 at 8:49 am

    We had bought a new house, and our teenage son was home alone. Two men came around and demanded to be let in. Our German Shephard, Moe was barking his head off in back yard. Our son let Moe in thru back door and Moe charged like a freight train thru to the front door, barking, growling, and showing his teeth at the window. The men left. No one ever bothered us after that. Other houses around us had break-ins, robberies of all sorts. Not us. Ever. Get a watchdog. Moe was friendly with all friends coming in, but he could spot a “rotten apple” a mile away.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Thank God Chitter had the doors locked! My heart was ponding as I finished reading the story, especially when he tried to open the front door. It would be hard for me to stay alone without my dogs. You need a good barking dog. Maybe a mean guard dog would be best considering you don’t have to worry about it bothering neighbors. I have read that dogs scare thieves almost as much as a loaded gun. We don’t have much of a problem with intruders where I live, but I know the drugs are everywhere and I never let my guard down.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I’m sorry. There was a time when the relative isolation of rural areas provided safety. We who experienced it are reluctant to accept that has changed. I have been inching toward concealed carry for several years, very reluctant to consider it necessary but ever more convinced it is just reasonable and prudent.
    It does force us to an emotional adjustment when crime or the spectre of it touches us. You have lost at least part of something that was precious and would like to get it back. I call it ‘Mayberry America’. It is a grief to me that my kids never knew that kinder and gentler time.
    Thankfully Chitter is safe. Good for her for being prepared to defend herself.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    July 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

    That’s a frightening story. Worse than any zombie movie. I was home two weeks and it is about the same there. My parents and my brothers live in a pretty secluded area running right up to the Hocking Hills. My middle brother went to his mailbox and found a used needle in the road. He called the sheriff who said that users liked to get high in isolated areas. So, that’s comforting.
    I live west of Cleveland where it seems everybody is on one thing or another. I’m afraid to let my kids play out front. Up til a few weeks ago, I thought moving back would be a safe solution. It seems like nowhere is safe anymore.
    I’m like you…angry.
    I’m glad that Chitter is ok. I wish I had an answer. Not having one makes me feel even more angry and frustrated.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 19, 2017 at 8:17 am

    It hurts my heart to see this happening is this remote area. I really don’t like to have to look around and be sure everything is ok in my back yard before I go there and lock my door whether I’m in or out.
    Times are changing, indeed! I am really glad that I know how to defend myself!
    Seems that the Zombie apocalypse is here, I mean, right here!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 19, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Tipper–Drug abuse is at epidemic proportions in the mountains (and beyond) and it obviously is a problem for which there are no easy answers. Too often there are revolving doors in jails, but the flip side of that is how society can afford to incarcerate what would be an appreciable percentage (maybe as high as 10 percent) of the population.
    I have a couple of thoughts. First of all, scary though the whole scenario is, the fact that the girls have been raised knowing how to use firearms and have them available in the case of an emergency is a real plus. if you don’t have the same familiarity I hope that Matt will be forthwith enrolling you in a crash course. Beyond that, about all any of us can do is be vigilant, take all possible precautions, and know what to do should a situation arise. It sounds like Chitter handled it as well as one could ask.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I’m sorry to hear about that episode. It’s another sad comment on the state of our world. I’m sure safety was also a concern at other times in the past. However, I was fortunate to grow up in a place and time where locking doors wasn’t necessary, and we knew all our neighbors for miles around.

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