CONTRIBUTED BY H. ERNST
“So, how do you feel about joining me on Zombie walk for our date night?” This was the question I posed my husband last week when as he walked through the door. Used to my crazy ideas by now, and probably suspecting that I had already planned out the whole thing down to minute details, my husband didn’t even pause before replying with “Sure, where and when?”
This was how we found ourselves sitting in a make-up artist’s chair, two days later, getting ready to go slightly (Okay, more than slightly) outside of my comfort zone.
Zombie Walks have been gaining popularity in the past few years, taking place in most major cities including Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich as well as smaller cities across the country. Participants, dressed as either zombies or zombie hunters, gather at an appointment place and time to begin a peaceful but fun invasion of section of downtown.
For Stuttgart, the meeting point was at the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof train station, Königstrasse exit (address: 1 Königstrasse). We arrived around 5:30 PM, right at the meeting time (the walk was scheduled to begin at 6:00 PM). Although we didn’t know where exactly the meeting spot was, it was easy to find our way—we simply followed all the other zombies!
Being an amateur photography hobbyist, I REALLY wanted to bring along my camera but the desire to participate rather than observing from the sidelines won out. Still, I managed to sneak a few pictures during the walk. Here were some of my favorites, taken discreetly from my phone to stay in character.
The biggest question as a parent of two kids, ages 9 and 11, was whether we were going to bring the kids. We didn’t this time because it was our date night, our kids really weren’t interested in going, and most importantly because we weren’t sure what the atmosphere was going to be like.
Having participated once though, here’s my take. While it is not an event meant for kids per se, I found the atmosphere to be laid-back, fun, and very friendly. We saw several little ones dressed up as zombies and participating in the walk, as well as many children observing with their parents on the sidelines. It’s really up to the parents to decide if this event is appropriate for their child. From what I observed, very few zombies went out of their way to scare or interact with passersby. Most were simply walking, stopping to take pictures, or posing for photos. There were a few that jumped out at the audience, their targets were often people their age and not children.
As for the walk itself, I found it to be faster than I had expected. It was definitely not the slow jerky gait I had expected from a mob of zombies, just a normal walking pace for us. Figuring out where to go was easy—we just followed the music! The walk in downtown Stuttgart took place between the Hauptbahnhof Station and Stadtmitte station. The entire event took a little over an hour.
I had a lot of fun looking at all the creative costumes, and plan on going back next year. I think I have it all worked out—I’ll go as a zombie bride and my husband can go as a zombie photographer. We can blend-in AND take our time photographing this fun event!
My advice for this event are:
- Dress up! Get creative and go all out.
- Wear comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothing. We got lucky with the weather, but this is Germany and you never know!
- Eat BEFORE putting on your make-up.
- Bring friends.
- Have fun and take lots of pictures!
Interested in joining the undead for just a couple of hours? Here are some links that might help you find one in your local area: