How do I always end up in cemeteries?
This time, it is in regards to the living. And the dead. In fact, this is in regards to George Romero’s low-budget, cult classic Night of the Living Dead. For some, this movie is a poorly acted and cheaply made piece of celluloid. For others, it is a cinematic masterpiece. Me? Well, zombies are, quite honestly, my least favorite horror creature, so this film did kind of depress me, but being a classic film fan (not to mention an avid so-bad-it’s-amazing movie watcher), I cannot help but admire this film and what it did for the horror film genre.
For those die hard (no pun intended… well, okay, maybe a little bit intended) fans, you will want to find your way to the east side of the country with your camera and a couple of friends. That way, you can chase each other around with a menacing “they’re coming to get you, Barbara!” at the filming location of the opening scene: EVANS CITY CEMETERY- 8600 Franklin Rd., Evans City, PA 16033
Original photo link: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=109722753
Mind you, this is a fairly large cemetery, but the significant sections and markers are actually towards the front of the cemetery (which I discovered after a half hour of searching!). First up is the chapel in the background of Barbara and… uh, that guy’s… car, as seen below.
Original photo link: http://night-of-the-living-dead-movie.wikia.com/wiki/File:Night-of-the-living-dead-brother-sister-cemetery.jpg
Her brother, I think he’s her brother. I apologize, it’s been a long time since I watched the movie and that guy doesn’t last very long, anyway.
… sorry, spoiler alert.
That chapel is actually the first part of the cemetery you will pass on your left when you drive in. In the picture above, the driveway would be exactly behind Barbara’a brother beyond the chapel. The picture below is taken from the cemetery facing out towards the long, winding driveway (which would be straight ahead of the SUV).
Original photo link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2067928/Campaign-way-save-zombie-movie-chapel-Night-Living-Dead.html
So, using the above pictures as reference, you figure you just pulled in and the chapel is on your left. That roadway you see going in front of the chapel is where you will want to turn.
The most prominent markers are only a couple sections ahead and on your right. In fact, something I just discovered while trying to look up the cemetery’s exact address again is that Google maps actually has a listing for “Night of the Living Dead marker.” The one it locates on the map is the one on the left side of this picture.
Original photo link: http://imgur.com/iXzMQW6
The tall gravestone, when fully pictured, says “Blair.” It still looks very similar today as it did in 1968.
Original photo link: http://imgur.com/a2vOqmc
Johnny. Barbara’s brother’s name is Johnny, I just checked.
I wish I had known about the Google map indicator before I went. I SCOURED this cemetery for these stones and now I find that Google had it marked all along. Story of my life.
Of course, the one headstone name that most NotLD fans know is Nicholas Kramer, the stone Barbara stumbles against when she is first attacked (shown below).
This tall memorial stone is merely yards to the north of the “Blair” stone. It is still fairly easy to read.
Original photo link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g52613-d6720387-Reviews-The_Living_Dead_Museum_and_Gift_Shop-Evans_City_Pennsylvania.html
Fun factoid: Nicholas Kramer was a Civil War veteran. And it’s very possible that his last name is actually spelled Cramer.
This should be enough information for you and your compadres to re-enact your favorite scenes. Be warned, though: I’ve heard the police regularly cruise through the cemetery looking for weirdo film buffs. In my long stroll through the cemetery, though, I encountered no one (living or dead or living dead). I must admit, while wandering alone in the NotLD cemetery, I could not help but often look warily over my shoulder and hope to not find roaming zombies.
Remember, movie makers and film fanatics, this IS a real cemetery and NOT simply a playground built for your enjoyment! Be respectful on your visit, and for the sake of all sanity do NOT vandalize, litter, or urinate anywhere in or around the cemetery. These are all apparently things that people do at notable landmarks and, to be perfectly frank, you are a simple-minded neanderthal if you do ANY of these things at such places!
Less than a mile away, on E Main nearer downtown, is the Night of the Living Dead Museum and Gift Shop, which would also be of interest to the fans of the series. Unfortunately, I was not aware of the museum until after I had visited the cemetery and subsequently left Evans City. That is an adventure you will have to embark upon yourselves and write to ME about!
Until next time, dahlings…