Wednesday, October 26, 2011

They're Coming to Get You...

Pittsburgh can claim it is the home of a variety of things:
  • The (modern) World Series
  • The Banana Split (I've met the grandson of the inventor!)
  • The Big Mac
  • BINGO!
And... Zombies. Yes, the walking dead. The undead. Reanimated corpses. Brain eaters.

They have a home right here, in the Steel City.

So, on a Sunday evening after watching the Steelers come close to letting the Jaguars beat them in the final seconds of the game, Allie and I embarked on a Pittsburgh zombie field trip. First stop: the Monroeville Mall, where George Romero's Dawn of the Dead was filmed.

The sky above the mall was slightly foreboding. A good sign when making a zombie pilgrimage?

Somewhere in the mall, we knew we would find Monroeville Zombies, a zombie museum and gift shop with mini golf and an arcade (for those of your friends who aren't into looking at creepy stuff for kicks). But we walked a couple loops before we found it (for those interested: it looks like an arcade from the outside, with no signage about zombies unless you look inside!), which brought us to the mall's police station.

Happy to see even the police at the Monroeville Mall get into the Halloween spirit.

Full disclosure: I have never seen Dawn of the Dead. I swear I will make this happen before the fall is over. Hopefully before this even posts, but October is a busy busy busy month. Anyways. This is what the Monroeville Mall looks like today. Allie, my buddy for this trip, has seen the movie and claims that you can definitely tell this is the place.

Finally we found Monroeville Zombies. They looked like they were closing up for the night, but the person working let us in to look around. (I also bought an awesome Pittsburgh-themed zombie t-shirt. So many Pittsburgh t-shirts, so little time.)

We had to make our way through the museum quickly, so I wasn't able to really take it in the way I had hoped. But, here are some of the awesomely creepy things we saw. A couple of these actually made me jump when I saw them after turning a corner.

We left the mall and got back into the car for the drive out to Evans City. It was a straight shot down I-79; the trees were all starting to turn, so it was a beautiful ride out to an incredibly creepy place. We had hoped to get to the cemetery before night fell, but those plans quickly collapsed when we couldn't find the cemetery without having to stop and ask at a gas station. Once there, it was dark. However, I now think that complete darkness was the best way to see the cemetery. The Evans City Cemetery is the cemetery from the beginning of Night of the Living Dead.

What it looks like to drive up to the cemetery in complete darkness. Not terrifying at all.

Allie and I drove back to the city, made dinner, and watched Night of the Living Dead to round out the zombie pilgrimage/field trip. One of my Halloween costumes this year might have to have something to do with zombies. Luckily, I had the opportunity to travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba, over Memorial Day (who says that for serious?), and I think going as a citizen of Winnipeg is about the equivalent of going as a modern-day zombie. Glad I bought that Jets shirt after all!

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