Living Among the Walking Dead: 1984 Alumnus Evan Stitt’s Neighborhood
Written by Josephine Von Dohlen
Evan Stitt, ’84, hasn’t mowed his grass or trimmed the trees on his lawn for more than three years. That’s because his house in Senoia, Georgia, is on the set of the AMC hit-television series The Walking Dead. Stitt is living in a zombie apocalypse.
Stitt and his wife, Susan, purchased the house in 2012. The home had been remodeled by Southern Living as the 2012 Idea House, which is an annual shophouse built for showing. “We fell in love with it,” Stitt says.
The Stitts’ home has a remarkable history as well. Most of the wood interior is from the 1830s, and the house is a stop on the list of Senoia’s Historic Homes.
Much of the surrounding area in Senoia was designed with filming in mind by a local production company. Stitt explains that they developed the town to make it a potential place for filming.
“It’s in our neighborhood covenant that the area had the potential to be used for filming,” he says.
By the time the Stitts moved in, The Walking Dead was already on season 4. At that time, most of the filming was taking place in the surrounding town, but when the show needed a specific neighborhood, theirs was just the right fit.
Living on set means that a 15-foot wall surrounds the neighborhood, as well as a 24-7 security team. Back alleys allow the Stitts to go in and out without driving on the main road, in case they are being used for filming.
“Some people say it is not very attractive, but we do live in a very unique situation on an active filming site,” Stitt says.
While it may seem like an inconvenience, Stitt says they are allowed to sit on their porches and watch the filming when not in sight or in range of voice, as microphones could pick up their voices. Stitt admits that he sometimes works from home on days when there might be an exciting scene being filmed. “It is interesting to see a series unfold before you,” he says. “Sometimes what you’re seeing doesn’t look like what is on the show.”
Driving home in the evening might include a few zombies laying on the blood-covered road, but Stitt says they simply just drive around it.
Stitt says he has followed the show since moving there, and that he also reads the graphic novels. “We’re just enjoying the ride,” he says.
Josephine Von Dohlen ’19
Published in July 2019