Daily Archives: October 21, 2014

Zombies, Zombies Everywhere… Are You Scared of Them?

It is not that New Jersey lacks a place in the Guinness Book of World Records… no, not at all. The tallest sand castle… the most wooden train whistles blown at once… fastest time for carving 1 ton of Halloween pumpkins… largest group Stop, Drop & Roll demonstration, whatever that is…. New Jerseyans hold plenty of world records. But the one that was lost… the one that slipped through, that was the most precious of them all! Yes, I’m talking about the one for the Largest Gathering of Zombies!

 
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In October 2013, the Zombie Walk at Asbury Park boardwalk wrested the honour from the Twin Cities, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, with 9,295 zombies parading and partying till late. But alas, Asbury Park and New Jersey lost this year on October 12, when Minneapolis assembled 15,458 zombies! Come October 2015, it will be an interesting contest to watch. Of course, my money is on the Garden State! 🙂

 
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A Zombie Walk is an organized gathering of people who dress up as and pretend to be the ‘living dead’ or zombies. Usually, there is a parade where they get to flaunt their clever costumes and the fantastic makeup. And boy, is some of that makeup inspired!

 
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The general idea is to create a sense of horror and revulsion, often providing clues to how they met their ends.

 
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Looking at some of the getups, I was really wondering how it was achieved and how much time was spent in the effort.

 
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And blood… copious amounts of blood poured liberally all over. Often, free blood is advertised and distributed by the organizers to ensure that the lack thereof doesn’t make the gore any less scary!

 
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The lurching, stumbling, groping way a zombie is supposed to walk, with eyes skywards and arms extended, must definitely have originated with the zombie themed movies.

 
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And how some of them keep in character throughout the walk is amazing! But then, there are others who cannot resist the temptation to smile for the camera, forgetting that it is totally un-zombie like behaviour! 🙂

 
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Initially small zombie gatherings used to take place in the flash mob or improve style, mostly spur of the moment affairs.The first official zombie walk was in Toronto, in 2003. A small group of people, intent upon saving Halloween from commercialism and putting horror back in Halloween, dressed themselves up as the walking dead and shuffled through unsuspecting neighbourhoods.

 
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It became an annual affair, growing in size every year, with zombies in their thousands participating in the recent years.

 
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From Toronto, it spread to other cities. Currently most major cities, all over the world, have organised Zombie Walks, with the spirit of competition growing as well.

 
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In addition to run of the mill zombies, some participants represent characters from history or fiction.

 
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She must be the youngest participant this year!

 
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The Asbury Park Boardwalk where the annual New Jersey Zombie Walk takes place.

 
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The parade along the boardwalk.

 
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And maybe I haven’t seen enough zombie movies, I’m yet to understand why they hanker after ‘brains’!

 

~Ria

21 Oct 2014