A zombie walk (also known as a zombie mob, zombie march, zombie horde, zombie lurch, zombie shamble, zombie shuffle or zombie pub crawl) is an organized public gathering of people who dress up in zombie costumes.
Zombie walks have become relatively common in large cities, especially in North America, often becoming annual traditions, though some are also spontaneous "flash mob" event.
Primarily promoted through word of mouth and online message boards, usually taking place in an urban centre, the participants make their way around the city streets and through shopping malls in a somewhat orderly fashion and often limping their way towards a local cemetery or other public space (a series of taverns in the case of a zombie pub crawl).
During the event participants are encouraged to remain in character as zombies and to communicate only in a manner consistent with zombie behavior. This may include grunting, groaning and slurred, moaning calls for ‘brains’. Some participants stand along the route, appearing as an otherwise ordinary human.
As the zombies surround the new victim to loudly feed, the latter conceals him or her from witnesses’ view, tear clothes and quickly apply makeup and fake blood, to reborn as zombie, who then shambles along with the ever-expanding pack to find new victims. Usually they are arranged as a sort of surrealist performance art but they are occasionally put on as part of a unique political protest. Some zombie fans continue the George Romero tradition of using zombies as a social commentary.
On Buy Nothing Day, November 25, 2006, in Montreal, a crowd of Zombies invaded the downtown core to take part in a "Shopping Spree of the Dead" and ridicule the compulsive aspect of Christmas shopping The earliest zombie walk on record was held in August, 2001 in Sacramento, California. Close to 50 cities worldwide participated in World Zombie Day on October 26, 2008 with 7,500 zombies participated in the event created and coordinated by The It’s Alive Show, a weekly television program broadcast in Pittsburgh, PA.
On October 30, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the largest site of zombies anywhere in the world. Even though the official tally was at 3,370 zombies, well over 4,000+ zombies showed up to this event. They were also asked to donated canned goods to a local food bank.
On 3 July 2009, a zombie walk in the Fremont neighboorhood of Seattle broke the previous record set by Grand Rapids. Appropriately perhaps, the zombie walk took place at the foot of the famous Statue of Lenin. Guinness World Records officially recorded 3,894 zombies, though local news claimed 4,277 participants.
On October 30th 2009, Grand Rapids broke the record of Seattle with more than 8000 zombies participating in the walk. Rob Bliss, the organizer of the event, estimated to local news stations that nearly 10,000 participants were there and participating; he said it could even possibly be closer to 12,000.