Grantville, a small Georgia town that has become a ghost town since a local cotton mill closed, has found new life among zombies in the AMC series "The Walking Dead."
Grantsville's fading storefronts and rural buildings provide the backdrop for the battle between humans and "walkers" for the popular cable series now in its fourth season, according to the Associated Press.
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The rural town, 45 miles outside of Atlanta, gleefully awaits the season four premiere on Oct. 13.
Grantville Mayor Jim Sells said "The Walking Dead" and other movies filmed in the area have revived interest in the town. Sells said last month actor Jim Carrey signed autographs and posed for pictures in the town after filming scenes for "Dumb and Dumber To."
Sells hopes the tourist attention stimulates the local economy.
"We could use a grocery store, a drug store, a daycare," Sells told the Associated Press.
More than 3,600 visitors took a free tour of Grantville last summer, led by Sells, who explained where each scene from the "Clear" episode was filmed. In "The Walking Dead" episode, character Morgan makes it his mission to "clear" walkers by killing them.
Tourists from Australia, Singapore and Brazil took part in the tour, Sells told the Associated Press.
"We don't understand it," Sells said. "Nobody came after they filmed (the movies) 'Lawless' and 'Broken Bridges' here. But once this episode aired from 'The Walking Dead,' people started showing up from all over."
Grantville is just one of the small Georgia towns that has benefitted from "The Walking Dead." The historic downtown of nearby Senoia was transformed into the fictional town of Woodbury for the show.
In another town, Haralson, weekend tours are offered at a barn that was the scene of an ambush.
There could be more traffic for these towns in the future. "The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman announced a spin-off
series last month.
"We look forward to working with Robert, Gale and Dave again as we develop an entirely new story and cast of characters," said AMC president and general manager Charlie Collier said in a statement. "It's a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse."
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