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Events: The Dublin Zombie Walk – A Survival Guide

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Posted August 8, 2012 by Ramp.ie in Ramp Specials

‘What do we want?’

‘Brains!’

‘When do we want them?’

‘…Brains!’

Horror enthusiasts and sci-fi fans united last Saturday to take part in what is thought to be the largest event of its kind. For three years now the dead have risen to walk the Earth – albeit for charitable purposes as opposed to the apocalypse they’re usually associated with. The Dublin Zombie Walk has exploded in popularity, this year boasting almost 10,000 blood-soaked zombies moaning and limping through the streets of Dublin to raise funds for Barnardos and the Irish Cancer Society, and I was one of them.

My sister informed me a few weeks ago that I had been signed up to take part, not that I was going to object – 88 days seemed far too long to wait for Halloween anyway!

We concluded, as self-defined experts, that the key to a good zombie is the two Ps – Preparation and Props.

Think of your theme. Sure you can zombify (it’s a word) anything, but you have to ask – why is this character a zombie, where have they come from, and how will this look with blood splattered all over it?

Having made a number of no-budget college films myself I was all too aware as to how expensive fake blood can be, but thankfully there are a great many things that resemble it. Enter, strawberry sauce! Add chocolate sauce to darken or thicken and you’ll have four times the amount of blood for a quarter of the price! Also, that’s dessert sorted.

My brother fashioned a way to make it appear that he had been impaled on a hurl. My sister ripped up an old bridesmaid dress and prepared the ‘bandages’. I saw it as an opportunity to wear my Harley Quinn costume I had bought on impulse months ago, seeing as it’s Batman season, and it was a perfect excuse to make a giant mallet out of cardboard and duct tape.

When the day arrived however, I wasn’t so prepared. Firstly, I had thought it was perfectly logical to go out the night before, for that authentic zombie look, then realized my old skinnies were a little too skinny and the top I had hoped to wear had been consumed into the void that is my bedroom floor. Spontaneous costume change 90minutes before we leave? Don’t mind if I do!

Thankfully I don’t throw anything out. Anything. That €5 tartain dress that’s a size too big? Perfect. Rip up some tights, empty a can of Claire’s Accessories hairspray over my head and the Harley Quinn costume was a thing of the past. Sure my duct tape mallet had to stay at home, but it will have its day. My sister managed, somehow, to get her white contacts in, but for the life of me I couldn’t get the hang of it. Sure, my saucer eyes catch everything from eyelashes to cardigan fluff but as soon as I tried to get the flimsy little thing near my eyes they went into attack mode! Feck it.

So we piled into the car, which then became our mobile make-up station and again, having never thrown anything out, my collection of old eyeshadows provided all the blacks, purples and greens we needed for our looks. Who knew contouring could be so much fun?

And the results?

I know, terrifying. We met up with our zombie brethren in Stephen’s Green for official photographs and comparing blood splatter. The overwhelming turnout had organisers recruiting last-minute stewards as the Z.E.R.O (Zombie Emergency Response Operations) crew patrolled dressed in black, complete with guns and menacing glares keeping the zombies in place while confused tourists made their way past. A number of official and unofficial photographers made their way around asking for photos; my sister’s contacts proved very popular. Me, jealous? … Very.

The walk was lead by a Dublin Tour Bus with a DJ playing, well, zombie music. The sun even came out. Once on the move we could really get a sense of just how many zombies there were. Chanting, moaning, roaring we made our way through the streets, and flanked by guards and ZERO agents it was a truly surreal experience; men, women and children (literally) of all ages all in full zombie-mode and all out for a good time.

If anything, it was over too quick. Before we knew it, we were turning into Temple Bar and dispersing to go on our own zombie ways. For the next few hours around town small clusters of zombies could be seen eating pizza, chatting in smoking areas and waiting for buses. Still, very surreal.

Lessons learned for next year? Practice putting in contacts, maybe don’t go out the night before – and learn the Thriller dance, for obvious reasons.

Fundraising is still on-going; details can be found on dublinzombiewalk.com.

Lisa Dunn

Lisa Dunn attempted to write two novels in her early pre-teen years in an effort to make it big and drop out of school. Best laid plans… Now she’s a monitor at MediaHub.ie and co-founded the Unofficial Apostrophe Awareness Association, doing her part in the fight against grocers’ apostrophes – manifesto to follow.

Front Page Featured Image by D. Meehan Photography

About the Author

Ramp.ie


  • GeorgeARomero

    Did you not think to proof-read before sending this in? Or maybe an editor could’ve caught the missing to words (“to be”) in the first line….? Glad you liked the walk, though!

    • Editor

      Either form would be correct but we’ve updated to include ‘to be’ for clarity.

      Thanks!

  • Zombiedude

    You’ve got a typo in your comment, genius! 

  • GeorgeARomero

    I just noticed that, too. But hey, at least mine is just a comment, not an article that was published on a website… 

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