When we first moved to Richmond, we hadn’t heard of the annual Zombie Walk. So, it came as something of a surprise one evening when driving through town to suddenly find ourselves surrounded by the walking dead. We were with friends on the way to an event and I remember our reaction was something along the lines of, “Hey guys? What the hell?” As it happened, we were with people who’d lived here for a while so they knew the deal. That particular year, I remember it was getting dark so they must have once held the Zombie Walk a little later than they do now. It definitely added a creepy dimension but I’m glad they’ve since started scheduling it earlier in the day. Mostly, for the sake of the zombies who a few times seemed in peril of getting struck by cars at intersections (I mean, I don’t think they’re real zombies).
Since that first time when we happened upon the event, we’ve made a point of going each year to watch the parade of zombies as they stagger along Cary Street in a part of Richmond known as Carytown. Carytown, by the way, is pretty cool. It’s basically the more trendy part of Richmond with lots of restaurants, shops, record stores and, of course, the historic Byrd Theatre (which is reputed to be haunted). Carytown is great place to spend the day. It’s even better, naturally, when zombies shuffle about.
The Richmond Zombie Walk is a fitting way to usher in Halloween and loads of people turn out to either watch or participate. Those taking on the role of zombie for the day generally aren’t messing around. Most of the costumes, as you can see here, are really well done. There are plenty of creepy, gory, more traditional zombies but there are many others who bring a touch of humor to the event. This year, we noticed one young man who even paid tribute to Doctor Who (sorry I didn’t get a better shot since people were crowing around him to take pictures). As Doctor Who fans (yep, there’s that theme again), we enjoyed seeing the Doctor represented (by the way, the boy was dressed as the eleventh doctor, zombified of course).
We also spotted a Game of Thrones character zombie, a squire zombie and Lego zombies, to name a few. The Zombie Walk is a family event, by the way, so there are a number of children and families taking part both as zombies and as spectators. Although, there was one young girl nearby who was clearly terrified and I couldn’t imagine why her father didn’t take her home. That poor kid will probably have nightmares for a month.
Those of you who stop by this blog may have noticed that it’s been straying from writing-related topics a little. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but my excuse for this post is that several of my YA novels involve characters in an afterlife setting while another involves, at least partly, continuing visits from a ghost. So, it seems to me there’s room for a few zombies here as well. Who knows, maybe I’ll write one of those books too. Actually, I started one and stopped when the movie Warm Bodies came out since it shared so many similarities. I wondered if people would think I’d ripped off the movie. I don’t know, maybe I’ll dust it off and take another look at it. It seems like zombies are here to stay.