THE LIVING DEAD MUSEUM & GIFT SHOP
DATE(S) VISITED: FEB 4, 2022
LOCATION: MONROEVILLE, PA
Team H descended on Monroeville Mall to pay pilgrimage and see where the iconic movie Dawn of the Dead had been filmed, and whilst we were here we had to visit The Living Dead Museum & Gift Shop... it would have been rude not too, lets be honest!
The museum is a celebration of all things zombie and horror related, and the themed attraction takes fans through a visual history of zombies in cinema and pop-culture. Displays of props and memorabilia are woven into a presentation featuring interactive experiences, and of course, zombie gift shopping.
Once located in Evans City, where Night of the Living Dead and The Crazies was filmed, there were plans to open the Monroeville Mall location as well as keeping the Evans City location open too, but due to the pandemic hitting in 2020 that changed things. There was no tourism during that whole summer and by the time they made it through they realized that it was not worth maintaining anymore, what with renting a space that was not able to pay for itself. The decision was made to merge everything into the Monroeville Mall space, which opened on June 12, 2020. This was probably a wise move as keeping all these awesome pieces of memorabilia together just seems appropriate, and better business sense.
Always being polite, we asked if it was OK to take photo's whilst inside the museum and be able to share them online. We were given permission, so, here are a few pictures from our visit to tease you with, and hopefully give all you horror fans an incentive to go check this place out for yourselves!
On entering the exhibits, it starts where Romero began, Night of the Living Dead. The movie that spawned a boom in the zombie genre and into popular culture.
"They're coming to get you Team H"
Moving on you then find yourself immersed in all things from Dawn of the Dead. Screen props, movie posters, autographs, and even bits of iconic parts of the mall which were saved after renovations.
In the main corridor of the museum you will find the Maul of Fame. This is a wall where actors and crew, from various horror films, have visited the museum over the years and have left a fake, bloody handprint with an autograph beside it.
This George A. Romero puppet was just too cute!!! And yes, we couldn't believe it either, George did work on the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood TV show! The more you know eh?
Another film of George A. Romero's that featured on display was The Crazies. The story see's a biological weapon gone awry, but that is only the start of the problems, bouts of insanity in the populace are leading to murder and rioting, until the US Army turns up, then things really start going to hell.
This movie was not only based in Evans City but was also filmed there, and like Night of the Living Dead a lot of the local townspeople were involved as extra's, several of the white suited soldiers were actually high school students.
Some set pieces from the Netflix TV series Mindhunter. The series story is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1970's and centers around two FBI agents who expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder, and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters.
Stepping into this room certainly got us excited, especially Elizabeth. The museum has acquired the cabin and work shed set exteriors from the 1987 movie, Evil Dead 2. Even though this blood spraying gore fest horror comedy was not made in Pittsburgh (it was shot in North Carolina) it certainly embodies the independent spirit and influences of Romero and his fellow collaborators, who made Night of the Living Dead on a low budget ($100,000. USD.).
On exiting the museum it was time to peruse the gift shop. We were so happy to be able to purchase some little pieces of movie history, as well as some great threads. We would also like to thank Dave who was on duty at the museum and store that day. He was such a friendly and knowledgeable guy who gave us some great guidance on navigating the mall. A true gent.
And for even more photo's that we took at The Living Dead Museum, check them out via our Facebook page.