Evans City Cemetery - Evans City, PA USA - Night of the Living Dead 1968
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Rivers End
N 40° 45.747 W 080° 03.832
17T E 579012 N 4512808
Quick Description: Evans City Cemetery - Filming location for the beginning scenes in George Romero's Night of the Living Dead 1968
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/17/2014 5:37:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMMGHF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bill&ben
Views: 6

Long Description:
Night of the Living Dead
The scene in the default photo is Barbara (Judith O'Dea) who is running away from the zombie (Bill Hinzman) who was wrestling on the ground with her brother Johnny (Russ Streiner). She grabs the headstone and the camera shot pans to her closeup.

In 1967, Evan's City became the shooting location for a horror film being produced by a group of aspiring filmmakers from Pittsburgh that called themselves Image Ten. The newly formed production company was an amalgamation of The Latent Image and Hardman Associates (two local companies that produced industrial films and commercials for television and radio) with the addition of a few other investors. The filmmakers chose to make a horror movie because they thought it would be easy to sell. The film they created, Night of the Living Dead, is often cited as being the dividing line between the classical age of horror films and modern horror cinema. It also formed a new sub-genre of horror, that of the flesh-eating zombies (despite the creatures in the film being referred to as "ghouls" and there being no mention of voodoo in the dialogue).

While most of the low-budget production was shot at an old farmhouse nearby, a cemetery was needed for the film's beginning. The opening cemetery scene was the last footage to be shot for the film. The scene has a pair of siblings, Barbara (actress Judith O'Dea) and Johnny (producer/actor Russel "Russ" Streiner), visiting the cemetery to place a memorial wreath on their father's grave. Johnny teases his sister over an incident from their childhood that left her still scared of the place, meanwhile unaware that there is an actual monster about to attack them.

Barbara (mistakenly listed in the credits as Barbra) and Johnny haven't heard the news that the dead are re-animating and attacking the living. What they think is just another person visiting the graveyard is actually one of the recently risen dead, with a hunger for human flesh. In moment that evokes the classic Gothic age of horror Johnny mimics the voice of Boris Karloff, teasing his sister that "They're coming to get you, Barbara." Johnny finds himself to be an unlikely and unfortunate prophet as his sister is attacked by the stranger (cameraman/actor S. William "Bill" Hinzman as the cemetery ghoul) only a moment later. Johnny comes to his sister's rescue only to die when his head strikes a gravestone while wrestling with her attacker.

Barbara is left to fend for herself, fleeing to her brother's car only to find it to be useless as both a means to escape (due to her dead brother having the keys) and a defense from attack (as the ghoul smashes in a car window to get at her). She escapes the car and still pursued by the cemetery ghoul, seeks shelter at a nearby farmhouse where the remainder of the story takes place.

The cemetery scene was shot over the course of two days in November of 1967. The actors had to breathe shallowly to keep their breath vapor from being visible in the chilly air due to the scene in the film taking place in spring (Barbara mentions that it is daylight savings time to Johnny). The large number of conifer trees in the cemetery helped mask the time of year it was filmed, though some bare-branched deciduous trees can be seen at times, especially during the car's drive up Franklin Road to the cemetery.

The 1967 Pontiac LeMans driven by the character of Johnny belonged to Russ Streiner's mother Josephine. In between the days of shooting, the car was struck and damaged on the driver's side near the front by another veVisiting the Cemetery
For fans of Night of the Living Dead, the sightseeing begins before the Evans City Cemetery is even reached. As mentioned earlier, Franklin Road was also used in the opening scene of the movie. Despite changes in the landscape, sections of the road leading to the cemetery can be identified from the footage of Johnny and Barbara's car driving along in the first five shots used in the film.

The bullet hole-ridden road sign that simply read "Cemetery" that Johnny and Barbara drive past shortly after pulling into the graveyard is no longer there. Two shots of the car driving through sections of the cemetery make it falsely appear that the chapel is father from the entrance when it is actually encountered as soon as you enter the cemetery proper.

The first shot of the car in the cemetery was actually taken near the back of the cemetery. A visitor can locate this spot by heading down the dirt road that runs along the front of the chapel and taking the third dirt road on the right and following that with another right on the next dirt road. A tall gravestone with an orb on top will be on the East side of the road and is identifiable from the shot in the movie.

The second shot, which features a small American flag flapping in the foreground, was shot near the gravestone bearing the last name "Stokey." The flag obscures the name on the stone as the car drives past and the camera pans to follow it.

The graves seen after Johnny and Barbara leave their car can all be found across the road from the chapel and down a short ways to the North. A family grave marker bearing the name "Blair" is seen in the film. It is the stone that Barbara stands next to when she tells Johnny to "stop it" after he teases her with the famous line "They're coming to get you, Barbara." Johnny continues teasing his sister "They're coming for you, Barbara" as he clutches the top of the gravestone in a mock-menacing manner. The name Blair is visible from the dirt road, making the marker a good landmark for fans trying to locate the spot.

The Blair family marker sits next to the gravestone used as the fictional grave marker of Johnny and Barbara's deceased father in the movie. The gravestone used for the father is actually a shared gravestone, belonging to George H. Cole (1882 - 1943) and Grace Cole (1872 - 1949). Another larger grave marker bearing the Cole family name can be seen when the cemetery ghoul chases Barbara. The cemetery ghoul (Hinzman) is first seen in the film, approaching from among the graves to the East of this spot.

Nearby to the slight Northeast is the tall coped gravestone of Civil War veteran Nicholas Kramer (February 18, 1842 - March 17, 1917). This is the grave marker Barbara clutches in panic as her brother wrestles with the cemetery ghoul. The gravestone of Clyde Lewis Myers (1903-1966) is the one that Johnny's head strikes when his fight comes to a fatal end.

A gravestone bearing the name Lucas sits across from the chapel. It is next to this marker that Barbara falls to the ground and loses her shoes. The name was mostly obscured by shrubs in the movie. The spot where she fell is now occupied by another grave.

Many of the trees seen during these shots and the trees along the road when Barbara crashes the car were wiped out by the tornado in 1985. If any fans of the 30th Anniversary Edition edit of Night of the Living Dead exist, they will need to visit the Highland Cemetery in Midland, Pennsylvania (where the new cemetery footage was shot in the 1990s) instead. They are not permitted to visit the Evans City Cemetery (just kidding).

Visitors to the cemetery are encouraged to be respectful and to observe any hours of operation. The cemetery's caretaker was interviewed for the 10th episode of the Corpse o' Clock News Web series on YouTube. In the interview he stated that he'd had no trouble with fans visiting the cemetery and that he enjoyed their visits.
Movie or TV Show: Night of the Living Dead

Year Released or First Aired: 1,968.00

IMDB Link: [Web Link]

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