Here Are the 22 Largest Zombie Walks and How You Can Play Dead, Too

A Zombie Walk is the chance for friends to transform into zombies and lurch around in a public setting, surprising (and even delighting) unsuspecting onlookers. It’s as much a performance art as it is an excuse to get out and become your favorite undead with hundreds of others.

Zombie Walk
Image: Pedro fait de la Photo via Flickr
Thinking of joining an undead horde? Find some inspiration in the 22 largest Zombie Walks since the event’s first walk in 2003. Then read on for our tips on being a zombie in a zombie walk.

Pittsburgh Zombie Walk

Date: October 29, 2006
Size: 894 zombies
Location: Monroeville Mall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Zombie Walk 2006 world record
The first-ever record-setting zombie gathering was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. As a hat-tip to the father of modern zombies, the Monroeville Mall was the setting for a zombie rampage in George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.

And these zombies are socially responsible: they brought enough food donations to fill 57 boxes for the local food bank!

Date: October 28, 2007
Size: 1,028 zombies
Location: Monroeville Mall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Zombie Walk outdid itself again and beat its original record with 15% more zombies. The walk’s creators were committed to outperforming its competition that built up over the previous year with flying colors. (And this time they raised over one ton of food bank donations.

Toronto Zombie Walk

Date: October 21, 2007
Size: 1,100 zombies
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date: October 22, 2011
Size: 7,000 zombies
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Toronto Zombie Walk has a long history of successful annual events since 2003. Completely volunteer organized, the group teamed up with the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in 2006 to satiate the hungry horde with zombie-themed films after the walk.

Sadly, the Toronto Zombie Walk has been cancelled this year due to lack of funds.

Nottingham Zombie Walk

Date: June 21, 2008
Size: 1,227 zombies
Location: Old Market Square, Nottingham, England

The locale best known as Robin Hood’s ‘hood was overrun by zombies dancing a large group THRILLER, DISTURBIA, and GHOSTBUSTERS. Not to be outdone, Pittsburgh’s famed Monroeville Mall moaners won back the cup on October 26, 2008.

Brisbane Zombie Walk

Date: May 25, 2008
Size: 1,500 zombies
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Date: October 25, 2009
Size: 5,000 zombies
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Date: October 24, 2010
Size: 10,000 zombies
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Date: October 23, 2011
Size: 12,000 zombies
Location: Brisbane, Australia

The cool thing about the Brisbane Zombie Walk isn’t just their fun-dead attitude. The organization partners with nonprofit The Brain Foundation of Australia where event ticket sales go to support brain health. (Because healthy brains make tasty zombie snacks.)

Red, White, and Dead Zombie Walk

Date: July 3, 2009
Size: 3,894 zombies
Location: Fremont, Seattle, Washington

Date: July 2, 2011
Size: 4,522 zombies
Location: Fremont, Seattle, Washington

Seattle obliterated every standing record of zombie walks with this patriotic-themed event. Fremont Outdoor Movies is a fixture of Seattle summers and they were able to round up nearly 4K undead to participate. (Considering Seattle is home to Big Fish Games, maybe a few of our own were in attendance, too. Go Seattle! Yes, we’re a little biased.)

Big Chill Festival Zombie Walk

Date: August 6, 2009
Size: 4,026 zombies
Location: Herefordshire, Ledbury, England

The Big Chill Music Festival draws thousands of attendees from around the United Kingdom every year. One festival goer capitalized on its popularity by encouraging attendees to dress as zombies for his independent film I Spit On Your Rave.

The plot line is as campy as you’d expect: following a zombie outbreak at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the King of the Zombies hosts a music festival eight years later to satiate the zombie horde. So OF COURSE everyone came dressed to play the part at The Big Chill Music Festival 2009–and broke a world record in the process.

New Jersey Zombie Walk

Date: October 30, 2010
Size: 4,093 zombies
Location: Asbury Park Boardwalk, Asbury Park, New Jersey

Set against the peaceful and scenic Asbury Park Boardwalk, the New Jersey Zombie Walk 2010 was the largest certified zombie walk of its kind to date. Sadly, the NJZW’s organizers shut its doors this year, citing skyrocketing costs to support the explosive popularity.

Dublin Zombie Walk

Date: July 23, 2011
Size: 8,000 zombies
Location: St. Stephens Green, Dublin, Ireland

The Dublin Zombie Walk isn’t just big, it’s big-hearted. This large organization raises money for the Irish Cancer Society and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which saves lives at sea.

Grand Rapids Zombie Walk

Date: October 30, 2009
Size: 8,000 zombies
Location: Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids, Michigan

A massive 8,000 zombies descended upon Grand Rapids thanks to organizer Rob Bliss. He felt indebted to the Grand Rapids zombies of 2008 (an estimated 3,370 of them) to try again as he didn’t apply for the Guinness Book of World Records in time to make the cut. And as a thank-you to 2009’s attendees, there was a volunteer-led post-walk after party with live music.

Denver Zombie Crawl

Date: October 23, 2010
Size: 7,300 zombies
Location: 16th Street Mall, Denver, Colorado

Date: October 22, 2011
Size: 12,000 zombies
Location: 16th Street Mall, Denver, Colorado

So technically, the 2009 Denver Zombie Crawl beats out the Grand Rapids Zombie Walk because its numbers were verified by the Guinness Book of World Records. And for a cool $10 zombies can attend a prom-themed afterparty! Let the zombie dance begin in Denver!

Mexico City Zombie Walk

Date: November 26, 2011
Size: 9,860 zombies
Location: Mexico City, Mexico

No one celebrates the dead quite like Mexico. Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a culturally significant holiday held at the beginning of November as a day to connect with those departed. It’s not a stretch to understand how they can enthusiastically embrace a zombie walk.

Zombie Walk Chile

Date: October 20, 2012
Size: 12,000 zombies
Location: Santiago, Chile, South America

From maligned baseball players to incredibly realistic rotting effects, Santiago is home to some crazy-creative zombies. Even AMC television, the home of The Walking Dead, organized the event to get in on promoting the series.

Long Beach Zombie Walk

Date: October 29, 2011
Size: 14,000 zombies
Location: Long Beach, California

One of the world’s largest zombie walks to date, the Long Beach Zombie Walk broke sales records for local businesses and shut down traffic. And thanks to partnering with the flash mob Thrill the World, the zombie walk was able to host a massive “Thriller” flash mob.

Zombie Walk Argentina

Date: October 28, 2012
Size: 25,000
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America

The massive collection of zombies attracted the attention of the International zombie walk stage as well as collecting over 33,000 pounds of food bank donations. Despite shutting down major streets, the atmosphere was friendly and supportive. A large special effects booth helped zombies paint up while flash mob instructors demonstrated the “Thriller” dance.

However, Zombie Walk Argentina has not submitted for an official world record title from Guinness so the true attendance count is unconfirmed.

Minneapolis Zombie Pub Crawl

Date: October 11, 2014
Size: 15,458 zombies
Location: Warehouse District, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Though the Guinness Book of World Records recognized around 15,000 zombies in attendance, the event attracted over 25K total. It’s become so popular that the Minneapolis Zombie Pub Crawl attracts corporate sponsors, several music stages, and food trucks galore.

Minneapolis is the current recognized record holder for the Largest Gathering of Zombies.

How to Be A Zombie in a Zombie Walk

Did all these zombie walks get you in the mood? Here’s how to get in on the action with your own zombie.

1. Find a Zombie Walk near you

No need to wait until Halloween–there are zombie walks hosted all over the world at all times of the year!

Look to your local metropolitan area to see where and when a zombie walk will be hosted. Check out this listing of zombie walks around the world to find one near you.

2. Make your zombie costume

Zombie walks are quite forgiving when it comes to the level and depth of your zombie character. You can spend as little or as much time as you prefer on your costume–but those with the most thought and detail will get the most attention.

Get started early on your zombie costume. There’s no reason to stress with last-minute planning when you can take your time and think about it.

Zombie clothing
And most importantly: make your zombie costume comfortable. You will be walking on cement for a few hours: shoeless zombies will eventually become miserable and high-heeled zombies will be done with the walk too early. Be sure to wear clothing and special effects that are appropriate for the season. Avoid wool sweaters in the summer or gross prosthetics that will wash away in an autumn rain.

Get all the help you need in creating your perfect zombie with our zombie costume guide.

3. Round up your friends

Sure, you could probably make friends at the zombie walk but it’s more fun to be dead with those you already know. Consider going in a themed group. (One year I went as Zombie Hunter Velma with my friend who went as Zombie Hunter Daphne. Jinkies, it was fun!)

Don’t twist arms over getting friends to go, though: you only want those who are willing to have a silly good time with you, and friends who don’t really want to be there will just rain on your zombie parade.

4. Take care of logistics ahead of time

Do you need to buy tickets? Will you be bringing food donations? Will your friends and you want to carpool? Plan this stuff out in advance so you’re not scrambling.

Zombie Survival Poster
Image: Luke Robers via Flickr
Pack a zombie survival bag: if you’re planning on being out a few hours, bring snacks and water to stay hydrated. Also, bring backup supplies to repair any costume defects that might occur on the walk. If you have special effects blood, bring extra. Bring a cloth you can use to clean up blood smears (because they will happen). Bring extra safety pins to secure parts of your zombie clothing that might be falling off of you.

5. At the Zombie Walk

Are you attending a zombie walk that is hoping to break the world record? All participants will need to check in and sign their name; get there at last a half hour early so that you can get signed in properly and be counted.

Silent Hill nurses
Remember to be a polite zombie: play the part but don’t go invading the personal bubbles of non-participants. It only looks cool in the movies. In reality, it just makes people feel uncomfortable.

And remember to be a good citizen: many small businesses reside near the Zombie Walk route. Be respectful of their property, even if that means not dragging your bloodied arm along their shop window.

And most of all: HAVE FUN! This is a great time to get in character with others and surprise unsuspecting onlookers.

Which Zombie Walk are you planning on participating in?

About Lauren Hall-Stigerts

Lauren is a lifelong gaming fan. She expresses her love of strong female pop-culture characters by costuming at conventions. Lauren's a sucker for a game with a great story. Internet marketing consulting keeps her busy the rest of the time. Find more of her shenanigans on Twitter @hallstigerts and Google+!