For kids of the 1980s, they got to know the fear of zombies with the Halloween special The Midnight Hour, starring Levar Burton and Shari Belafonte.
This two hour tv movie, focusing on how a small New England town becomes overrun with witches, zombies, vampires and other horifying creatures also starred Lee Montgomery, Peter DeLuise and Deedee Pfeiffer.
Written by Bill Bleich and directed by Jack Bender, this 95 minute tv movie plotline was this: five highschool friends in Pitchford Cove want to make Halloween memorable.
They break into the local museum and steal clothing and artifacts, including a historic scroll which has ancient curse. As one of the friends recites the curse in the graveyard, it raises the dead, including Lucinda, the great,great,great grandmother of one of the girls, a woman put to death because she was a witch 300 years earlier.
As the friends crash a local costume party, Lucinda starts transforming guests into vampires and the undead. The friends soon realize they need to reverse the curse as the town battles the relentless actions of zombies on All Hallow’s Eve.
Airing on ABC TV in November 1985, the special also featured the music of Three Dog Night, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Smiths and The Guess Who.
Although not a big hit when it aired, it was a fun romp and certainly an easy way to spend Halloween while the trick or treaters keep showing up at the door.