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How to Rock a Zombie Lurch

Updated on August 1, 2011
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Have you heard there's going to be a zombie lurch in your area but don't know how to prepare? 

Not to worry- attending a zombie lurch is both easy and fun.  Let's break it down!

What to Expect

Zombie lurches are a type of flash mob, so planning and coordination is traditionally minimal. Don't get caught up in the details or expect an embossed invitation. You'll be lucky if your lurch advertises itself on a rudimentary website. Don't worry though- this relative obscurity is what makes flash mobs so darn cool.

Because flash mobs are ephemeral affairs, it would be ridiculous to expect zombie lurches to be consistent in nature. Some will be larger than others. Some will be rowdier than others. And some will have more photographers present than zombies. Because there is no telling exactly how things will turn out, you'll have to be ready to go with the flow. But that's cool. Zombies can handle that. They don't think about all that much, really. Just brains.

Arrive early if you want extra makeup help- or are willing to give others a hand!
Arrive early if you want extra makeup help- or are willing to give others a hand!

When to Arrive

Early!  It's fun to watch everyone trickle in and feel the anticipation build.  If you brought makeup with you, you can apply it there.  If you're feeling altruistic, you can help out some newbies with your mad zombifying skills.  If you don't have the necessary makeup and don't know how to apply it, you just might find a friendly stranger willing to gore you up.

Just because the lurch hasn't started yet doesn't mean things don't happen pre-lurch.  At one lurch I attended in DC, arriving zombies engaged in some light 'Thriller' action to the tunes of a portable boom box.  Now who would want to miss that?

What to Wear

Obviously you'll want to come in torn and bloodied clothing.  If you like, you can bloody yourself up once you arrive for increased dramatic flare, but some people feel self-conscious about pouring fake blood over themselves in public, so feel free to come fully prepped.

Themed garb can add lovely variation and hospital scrubs are often an inexpensive alternative to more expensive apparel.
Themed garb can add lovely variation and hospital scrubs are often an inexpensive alternative to more expensive apparel.
Note the creative use of severed limb.
Note the creative use of severed limb.
Brilliant accessorizing.
Brilliant accessorizing.
Chewing on accessories is a very common practice.
Chewing on accessories is a very common practice.

How to Accessorize

Zombie lurches can be a lot like prom night- dressing up is important, but victory is in the accessories. 

When accessorizing, consider your location.  In the DC lurch I attended, political signs were a common accessory, which was perfect considering how similar the group looked to the common protesters clogging the streets on a daily basis.

There are, of course, the classic accessories: brains and hands for example.  These can be classically chic, but to make them really work, you've got to work it- and by that, I mean you should be chewing on the brains, and doing as many obscene things with body part accessories as you can.  Get creative!

Of course, the most effective accessories are those one cannot buy at a Halloween supply store.  The coolest accessory I ever saw was a piece of a broken motorcycle which was worn by the zombie and splattered with blood.  This gave the impression that our zombie comrade had been attacked on the road.  Now that's accessorizing, folks. 

Who to Bring

Your friends, of course!  Zombie lurches are great group activities- much more fun than hanging out at the mall or going to the movies.  You might also consider bringing along a spouse or boy/girlfriend.  Zombie couples are hilarious- even more so when they hungrily gnaw on each other. 

Zombie lurches also make for wonderful family affairs.  Bring your children!  Kids are already super cool with dressing up (unless they're in that short-lived stage were masks are a major no-no), and the mindless hordes will adore your stroller-bound minion in his adorable bloodied and bruised face makeup. 

That said, it's perfectly alright to lurch stag.  You'll meet a ton of cool people and feel like you're really part of something bigger than yourself... it's like a big, brains-hungry AA group.  Or something.

Friends can enjoy moving in mini zombie-packs and coordinating dress.
Friends can enjoy moving in mini zombie-packs and coordinating dress.
Face it.  Undead babies are adorable.
Face it. Undead babies are adorable.
Lurch like you mean it!
Lurch like you mean it!

How to Learch

One can easily spot a newbie at a zombie lurch by watching him or her at the beginning of the crawl.  Beginners just don't get it!  If you're new to lurching though, don't worry it is actually quite easy. 

First, you have to get over your inhibition.  A lot of people feel self-conscious about lurching, but consider this: you're already walking down the center of a public street in bloody and tattered clothing- you might as well move like you look.

Next, you must consider technique. Each zombie develops its own particular style of lurch, but if you have yet to find your own, here are some suggestions:

1. The classic foot-drag: My personal favorite; this style involves hopping forward on one foot and dragging an inert leg behind, preferably with the instep of your foot making contact with the pavement.
2. The wide-stance stagger: Involves a wide stance and slow, halting steps with shaky balance.  Try to visualize and emulate the gate of a baby learning to walk or a very old man whose adult diaper is chafing.
3. The feeding frenzy: For more adventurous zombies, this lurch involves aggressive movement and is best suited for more athletic zombies.  Common feeding frenzy moves include dashing about, jumping on victims, and climbing street poles and statues.

The classic 'Mummy Walk' is also widely utilized in lurches.
The classic 'Mummy Walk' is also widely utilized in lurches.
Note the 'Feeding Frenzy' technique in this photo.
Note the 'Feeding Frenzy' technique in this photo.

What to Say

Zombie lurches are not exactly Socratic seminars.  Feel free to be as inarticulate as you please.  Common sounds include moans and screams; if you prefer to use words, the most popular one in these situations is "BRAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIINSSSSSS." For the minimalist, a simple "BRAIN" will do.

Dramatic Flourishes

Some zombies will get involved with 'the living' by attacking cars, street vendors, and passers by.  Common flourishes involve smashing one's body and face against car, store, or restaurant windows.  Such actions should be considered, measured, and relatively gentle; it's one thing to make passers-by laugh or start in surprise, but a completely different issue altogether to incite road rage or arrest. 

To Sum it Up...

Zombie lurches are ridiculously fun.  If there is one coming up in your area, GO.  It doesn't matter who you are, where you're form, what supplies you have, or whether or not you've even seen a zombie film.  Zombie lurches are events that can be enjoyed by all types.

If there isn't a zombie lurch in your area, don't be sad- you can start your own!  Just get some friends together, set a time and place, and spread the word.  Even if your lurch is small, you'll have fun, and you just might start a local tradition.

Happy lurching! 


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    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      9 years ago from San Francisco

      BRRAAAAAIIII- er, thanks for reading!!

    • TripleP profile image


      9 years ago from Iowa

      Fun article. Zombie it up ;-)

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      Oooh- I do hope you'll have a chance to see one- and BE in one someday! They're a total riot. In many ways- hahaa.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      omg haha!!! :D

      one night last Fall, a big group of people was walking down the street and they were all dressed in sort of costumes and they started dancing like in the Thriller video. at first i was kind of shocked but i kept watching them until i had to drive away and later i found out it was a flash mob.

      i have yet to see any zombies though. ;)

      what a cool and unique hub!

    • california.steve profile image


      10 years ago from California

      Like "Prom night" indeed!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hahaa- I daresay zombie lurches are much more fun than computer viruses!! Too bad you have to miss out on them. I sincerely hope you'll get a chance to lurch someday!

    • equealla profile image


      10 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Oh my, when I first saw your title, I thought you were talking about a new computer virus. We do not "celebrate" this here in S.A., but it sounds like a lot of fun, though.

      Enjoy the run, while it last!

    • Deerwhisperer profile image

      Brenda K Krupnow 

      10 years ago from Ravenden, AR

      Sounds like fun!


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