As a life-long horror fan, we all know that Halloween is one of the few times when we seem like normal people. Or maybe it is because the ‘normal’ society is celebrating something that we do every day. But when I heard about this recent event that happened in a small town in Pennsylvania, it brought a smile to my face and a little tear to my eye. Evans City, Pennsylvania is the little place where the movie Night of the Living Dead was filmed, almost 50 years ago. Many horror fans have made the trip out to their, especially the cemetery where the famous opening sequence was filmed, myself included.
Now, most of society, at least in my experience, would want to shy away from the exposure their town might have because of some horror movie that was made there. God forbid that it would draw those crazy fans that would loiter around, and destroy and vandalize the area. But it seems that not only does Evans City not have that attitude, they actually embrace the fact their little town is known for this historical film.
This past weekend, the city held their annual Living Dead Weekend, a weekend long festival celebrating the zombie genre that really started there back in 1968. But what impressed me the most was that the city revealed a historical marker to commemorate what started in their city all those years ago. Not trying to hide this fact, but embracing it. With the hard work from Gary Streiner who saved the cemetery chapel from the film a few years ago, as well as others like Terry Callen (who designed the marker), I can’t tell you how much it thrills me to see Evans City relish in the fact that they are known as the “birth place for the modern zombie”.
One of these days, we’ll be making the trip back out to their to visit their fair city, pay our respects at the cemetery, and show them something that they already know: that us horror fans are not the rabid psychopaths that the rest of society thinks we are.