Residents of Georgia Town Where ‘The Walking Dead’ Is Filmed Aren’t All Happy

“It has not come without challenges,” Senoia mayor Larry Owens said.

ByABC News
March 14, 2016, 8:26 AM

— -- “The Walking Dead,” the TV series that shows people coping with life in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by zombies, is a ratings hit, but in the small town where filming takes place, feelings are mixed.

With as many as 14 million Americans tuning in to the AMC show on Sunday nights, the show has become so popular that fans known as "Walker Stalkers” are now flocking to Senoia, Georgia, which has served as the setting for the show's Alexandria and Woodbury.

While many of the town’s residents are happy about the influx of tourists and the money they spend, others aren't so happy about the tourists, or the show's security.

“You walk along and people tell you not to stop and take pictures, but it's, like, this is my community,” Tracy Boyle told ABC News.

Another resident, Fred Morris, said Senoia was a quiet place to live before the construction of sets and a large wall surrounding an entire neighborhood.

Morris, who lives just outside the wall, says he can’t escape the sounds of explosions during filming in the middle of the night. He even says producers once called the police on him when he tried to trim his trees during a scene.

“They come out of there saying I need to stop because they're filming. I said, ‘Well, no, you just carry your happy butt right behind the wall, that's where you do your stuff. This is my home,’” Morris says, recalling his reply.

ABC News heard a different perspective from other residents, including Scott Tigchelaar, who says he’s been able to open new businesses and build new housing in the town because of its popularity.

“Even Andy Lincoln, who plays the star of the show ... I met him on my front porch steps one day and he said, ‘Thank you so much for letting us film here,’ and I’m like, ‘Thank you for filming here.’ But they're that polite,” Tigchelaar said.

Christine Fiorini, a 12-year-resident of Senoia, is among the many residents who think “The Walking Dead” has been “great” for the community.

“The people that come here -- it's so good for the local economy and people stay in the hotels, eat at the restaurants, shop at the stores,” she said “A lot of these downtown businesses are run by our neighbors ... it's, you know, become our livelihood and it’s thriving."

The show pays many of the town’s families $400 a month for their inconvenience and their silence; they don’t want any plot twists or storylines leaking.

Larry Owens, the town’s mayor, acknowledged that show’s presence “has not come without challenges,” adding, “but we’ve been able to ... make everything work, not only for the production folks but, most importantly, for the citizens of Senoia.”

ABC News contacted AMC for comment but has not heard back from the network.