When you ask me if I would rather haunt a race course as a “Walker” or dash through it as a “Survivor” it’s really a no brainer for me. In April we shambled our way through The Walking Dead Escape in Houston as “Walkers.” The course was set up as an “evacuation center” through Reliant Stadium. We were evacuated in the middle of a slumber party, so we wore our pajamas to the event.
Part of the “Walker” package is that your zombie look is completed by a professional make-up artist so that you come out looking as horribly undead as possible. Everyone gets a quick make-up job, and I mean five minutes tops, but it’s surprising what these people can pull together that quick. You're then off for blood splatter and to have your clothes ripped and disheveled.
We, however, opted to do a little pre-work and distressed our outfits ahead of time. I tea-stained a nightgown and then made it a little extra grimy with some paint smears to make it look greasy and dirty. We ordered zombie contacts for our eyes because we are the kind of fangirls who go the extra mile. Since zombie mouths are never pretty and pink we blackened out mouths and teeth. Our overall looks were very well received. We ended up getting our photo taken for Houston Press online and Channel 2 in Houston.
Everyone received a quick “Walker 101” spiel to instruct us on how to walk and behave and to make sure that we stayed in character always. This is to ensure there are no zombies smoking a cig or Snapchatting their boyfriend. I was hoping for a little more guidance, because being a convincing and terrifying “Walker” is totally a life goal of mine, but that would have been impossible given the size of the horde and the amount of time we had. Ultimately the basics of “Walker-dom” and our natural talents were enough because we were killer “Walkers.”
Our haunt was at the very top of one of the outdoor ramps into Reliant Stadium. At first glance we thought this area sucked because there weren't any severed limbs or apocalyptic decor aside from our bodies. Ultimately, this was probably the best location ever because we had access to cool breezes, air conditioning, a restroom and water fountain. The best part though was that the “Survivors” approaching our turf were exhausted by the time they ran up the ramp to us and we were often able to really catch them off guard and scare the living shit out of them.
One of the things I read a lot of complaints about after the event, and unfortunately we encountered as well, was lack of communication. We were told we would be relieved with fresh meat to takeover our spots after an hour and a half, but unfortunately no one ever came to relieve us or let us know if a replacement would be coming at all. It’s funny because originally we thought an hour and half was a short shift, but after lurching at screaming runners for two and half hours we were dead on our feet!
We are the kind of girls who make our own fun though, so after we had been scaring “Survivors” for well over our allotted time we dismissed ourselves and stayed in character to shuffle the rest of the way through the course. It was great because then we had the opportunity to scare some people in different areas and check out the rest of the course since we had really only seen one small area for most of the race.
We had a killer time and would definitely do it again. Loved everything about it, because after all, WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD.