The Original Walking Dead: How George Romero Created Zombies In 1968

By Kellar Ellsworth
S. William Hinzman in 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968). Source: IMDB

Zombies are everywhere these days, from The Walking Dead to Zombieland: Double Tap, but these horror and Halloween mainstays are not the age-old phenomenon you might think. The modern idea of the zombie as a back-from-the-dead brain-eater dates back to 1968, the year Night Of The Living Dead, by zombie auteur George A. Romero, shambled into movie theaters.

The word "zombie" doesn't occur in Romero's film, nor did the director think of his monsters as zombies -- he called them "ghouls." "There were a few Universal films about ghouls and that was what was in our minds," Romero told the Irish Times. "We thought up very few rules or powers for them. The idea was they are your neighbours in a different state."

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