To us zombie movie fans, "Night of the Living Dead" is "patient zero" in the zombie film outbreak that was to follow. Any horror buff worth their salt knows this, but to any of those new to the subgenre, "Night of the Living Dead" changed everything. Before this zombies in movies were usually slave labor, toiling away in fields on Caribbean Islands, or the product of mad scientists' experiments--few in number, somewhat dangerous, but in a limited way. But George Romero's living dead were something far more sinister--uncontrolled, hungry for living human flesh, and in sufficient numbers to (eventually) destroy all civilization as we know it. Zombie films, and the horror genre in general were never the same.
And it all began here, in a cemetery located just outside a small (population of about 2,000) western Pennsylvania town, Evans City. Evans City is located about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. Directions are easy--googlemaps, or the like, will give them to you if you type in "Evans City Cemetery." So I'll assume potential visitors will do this, and will find the cemetery, off of Franklin Road. I'll include both my photos (in color) and some from the movie itself (in black and white, clearly).
After that, the geography gets a little confusing. Evidently the filmmakers used cuts to disguise the exact locations. Barbra appears to steer the car out the cemetery exit, and down the hill toward the road before she crashes against the tree. Then she of course flees on foot, and runs for awhile before she reaches the farmhouse, which is apparently located some distance away, to the northeast of Evans City (while the cemetery is actually south of Evans City). The farmhouse was destroyed right after the film was shot, to make a sod farm. I couldn't tell exactly where it was, and obviously I couldn't check it out even if I could, as it's private property. (Also, presumably there's nothing of the house left to see, anyway.) I did find it amusing to see that if she'd reached Franklin Road again, and turned right (north), she would have hit "downtown" Evans City in only .2 or .3 miles, shown below.
As for the other locations, the basement of the farmhouse was too small and run down, so the basement in the building of the filmmakers' Latent Image office in Pittsburgh was used. Karl Hardman's ("Harry Cooper") Pittsburgh office was used as the "newsroom" seen on the television. Both are private, so I couldn't see these, either. The upstairs scenes in the farmhouse were actually shot in a house that still stands in Evans City, but this of course is private property once again. Otherwise, the bridge where Bill "Chilly Bill" Cardille (a local Pittsburgh horror host) is talking to the Sheriff and the search and destroy team of armed men, is still there, as is, clearly, the Capitol building area in Washington, D.C.
So I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. This was obviously a low-rent version of "Horrors Hallowed Grounds" and I recommend you check out that website for more extensive/competently done revisits of horror movie locations. Please excuse the technical crudity--I'm still quite the Luddite. Thanks to Ricky for doing what he could with my outdated computer and lack of graphics knowledge.
And it probably goes without saying, but bear in mind that Evans City Cemetery is a real cemetery, and those folks buried there, and their families, were not directly involved in the movie in any way. Obviously I don't see a problem with touring a cemetery open to the public, and taking photos, but if you do visit, show the appropriate amount of respect. I certainly don't approve of or condone any trespassing or vandalism. On a similar note, I've included the still photos from the film as comparison shots, to help people see the still existing landmarks and to observe how these locations have changed over more than 40 years. No copyright infringement of "Night of the Living Dead" is intended.
And if you do see any weird, disheveled, shambling figures in the Evans City Cemetery...............probably don't shoot them in the head, since in all likelihood they're just other overzealous fans of the movie, trying to scare people.