Original Zombie Town, Evans City PA

What is it about zombies?

Zombie Farmer
Farmer to Fork seen at Wolf Hills Brewery, Abindgon VA

Last week, I tweeted out this photo, taken at Wolf Hills Brewery in Abingdon VA, of a zombie chasing a tractor. Someone had added an “s” to Eat Local, so the result was both a sarcastic commentary on that over-ripe concept and a witty nod to dead flesh-eating humans. It was retweeted more than any other picture I’ve ever posted.

Zombie Big Bang
Flesh-Eating Zombie “Patient Zero”

Before 1968, when George A. Romero made a low-budget gory movie set in a rural cemetery about 30 miles from Pittsburg, PA, zombie flicks were all about evil scientists and mind control. Night of the Living Dead changed all that. Every subsequent movie that Romero made (Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, etc) and every movie and TV show about flesh-eating zombies, including Walking Dead and World War Z, can be traced back to that one independent black and white film set, for the most part, in Evans City Cemetery.

Zombie Town- Evans City Cemetery
Zombie Town- Evans City Cemetery, PA

Yes, there is a Living Dead Museum. It is where it should be: in Evans City PA, less than a mile from the cemetery. Evans City is not much of a city. Outside of Pittsburgh, in Butler County, PA (Pennsylvania’s Quirkiest Region) its population is less than 2,000.

Zombie Movie; Night of Living Dead
Epic backdrop of Night of the Living Dead, Evans City Cemetery, PA

But every year Romero fans inundate the town for The Night of the Living Dead Festival. They go out to the cemetery.

Helicopter Zombie
Jim Krut, “Helicopter Zombie”

They meet and greet favorite characters from the film series (photo shows Jim Krut – “Helicopter Zombie” from Dawn of the Dead, who gets the upper half of his head chopped off by a chopper blade).

Maul of Fame
Maul of Fame, Living Dead Museum, Evans City PA

And they watch said favorites add his or her handprints to the “Maul of Fame.”

But you don’t have to wait for the annual festival (held in early October). The Living Dead Museum is open year round, as is the Evans City Cemetery. For Zombie aficionados, it makes for one hell of a Halloween Getaway. Museum open Wed-Sun Noon-5. Saturdays opens at 10am.


Evans City PA Pin


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine, Shape.com, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

1 thought on “Original Zombie Town, Evans City PA”

  1. Love your newsletter – you share my love for the unique and quirky! A few weeks ago we rode the RR in Boyertown and visited Goggleworks in Reading.

    I’m an event planner in Howard County, MD; I live in Columbia, just a few minutes from Ellicott City. I know you’ve been down this way in the past, but if you’re here again, please join me for lunch. In addition to mostly nonprofit events, I also run bus trips to Broadway (just for fun) several times a year. Maybe there’s something we can do collaboratively.

    With warmest regards,
    Laurie Diener, 410.591.2603

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