Next Saturday is about the only time screaming and running in the other direction is not necessary if you happen to come across thousands of people covered in blood, some with sharp instruments lodged in their head and body. Fear not, it’s the 7th Annual Toronto Zombie Walk, a movement that has spread globally.
“I hate how they confine all the zombies to the sidewalk. Zombies don’t walk on sidewalks!” bemoans founder and organizer Thea Munster with a laugh.
But try explaining that to our men in blue when an estimated 3,000 people show up to The Pit in Trinity Bellwoods Park (bordered by Queen St. W. and Dundas St. W) at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 24, all ghouled out in fake blood and other zombie accoutrements, and embark on a walk through the city that ends at Bathurst and Bloor, a.k.a. The Dead End.
“I guess it stops traffic,” Munster admits. “The police have been pretty good. They let me get up to the third or fourth Walk where we were getting 600 people, and then they said, ‘We’ve got to work together on this.’ Last year, with 3,000 zombies, the walk took like five hours because everyone had to stay on the friggin’ sidewalk. I guess it will be the same this year.”
There was also a little matter last year of some unruly brainless zombies thinking it was a good idea to bust into a funeral home — and there were three ceremonies going on. “I had to put out a big apology,” says Munster. “So that was not good. We’re not allowed to go by a funeral home again.”
For the most part, though, The Toronto Zombie Walk is harmless fun. Halloween supplier Creeped Out provides free fake blood for those who don’t keep a vat at home and you can get splattered by volunteers right before the walk begins. And Resident Evil: The Dark Side Chronicles is setting up a makeup tent at noon — get there early.
Munster says people from all walks of death are welcome to walk, even zombie spawn. “I’d say we get about 50 kids between the ages of 5 and 8, and some in strollers as well. It’s incredible. It’s definitely a family event.”
Correction – Oct. 16, 2009, 2:46 p.m. EST: A previous
version of this story gave the wrong date for the Zombie Walk. In fact, it is happening Saturday, Oct. 24, not Oct. 17. Metro regrets the error.