Latex. Never before had I thought I would wear latex. Luckily for me, however, the Bristol Zombie Walk didn’t mean the kind of latex women squeeze and shimmy their way into, but latex of the make-up variety.
Equipped with three bottles of the stuff, tissue paper, a woolly hat and a litre of fake blood, I got started. After an hour of sticking, peeling and painting, I was ready; a decrepit, flaky, oozing, Where’s Wally zombie.
Joined by four others, we marched through the streets of Bristol to the official meeting point where thousands of grotty, bloody zombies met us: traffic wardens with blood stained high-vis jackets, skiers with poles through their backs and DJs with vinyls in their skulls.
Founded in 2008, the annual Zombie Walk attracts fancy dress enthusiasts from all over the country. Publicised in advance, hoards of the undead congregate together before marching (well, it’s more like plodding with a gammy leg or swinging dead arm) through the city, following a pre-planned route.
The group, in full zombie swing, groans its way through the on-looking crowds. Some, taking it more seriously than others, never break character, approaching spectators to grab at their faces and drooling for their ‘braaaaaiiiiiins’ while others giggle and wave at passers-by. Unsuspecting victims scatter within seconds, a look of sheer horror on their faces.
Originally set up as a peaceful demonstration against the brain-dead consumerist economy, the Bristol Zombie Walk has become an essential date in the diary where anyone is welcome. Even after last year, where hooligans caused trouble by letting off fireworks and clashing with a police van, the event was back by popular demand. With numbers growing each year, the event is a unique and novel way to spend a Saturday afternoon, not to mention a Halloween weekend.
Lasting only a couple of hours, the undead are loathe to end the fun, filling Bristol’s bars and clubs and marching till the early hours.
Embracing its very own zombie nation, Bristol has, on occasion, set up a zombie themed chase game. During 2.8 Hours Later, players follow a map from one destination to the next. Dotted along the route and hidden in the shadows are zombies who chase the oncoming victims. At each location they make it to, a ‘survivour’ tells them their next destination. At the end of the route is the survivour’s camp, where players are scanned for infection. If cleared, they may enter freely, if infected, they are taken to the ‘treatment room’, where they’ll don zombie makeup and enter the camp with the undead crowd.
Walk this way for details of Bristol’s deadly day.