Ogden beware! Hoards of zombies are coming and they all have one thing on their minds: hunger.
The second Ogden Zombie Crawl is Oct. 21 in downtown Ogden. Donated food and winter clothing, as well as proceeds from the after-party, will go to St. Anne's Center in Ogden.
"We want to bring about awareness to the plight of the hungry. But yes, it's an excuse to dress up like a zombie and go out in public," said event creator Tyler Deamer, 33, of West Haven.
The zombie parade starts at 6 p.m. in front of Ogden's Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave., and runs through downtown.
"It's a 10-block-long crawl, shimmy, shake -- whatever you want to call it," Deamer said. "We go right downtown in Ogden, on the sidewalks, and interact with the unsuspecting public."
Professional special-effects makeup artists will set up booths beginning at 4 p.m. to help transform people into zombies -- for donations. The post-crawl party begins at 9 p.m. at Union Station.
The Ogden Zombie Crawl is kind of a "flash mob" event -- but with advertising. A flash mob is a group of people who assemble secretly in a public place, blending in with others and remaining covert until launching into song or dance. People walking downtown or dining in restaurants are apt to stop and stare at the spectacle of the zombie crawl, according to Deamer.
"People will stop their cars and take pictures of us," he said.
Participants can have fun with the zombie crawl by being a zombie, a protestor of zombies, a fake victim of zombies, or a member of the cleanup crew.
The zombies generally dress up as the "undead," with fake blood and tattered clothing. (Think: "Night of the Living Dead.") Zombie rules are: no running, no touching or biting people, no zombie pets, no alcohol, stick to the route, dress family-friendly, and don't play in the street.
Fake victims, who will be wearing white T-shirts marked with a black X, will be planted in the crowds and will pretend the zombies are attacking them.
"The victims are staged along the course, doing normal day-to-day things," Deamer said.
Picking up body parts
One man last year sat at Great Harvest Bread Company in downtown Ogden, eating a scone and drinking coffee. When the zombies reached him, he screamed, spilled his drink and pretended like he was trying to get away. He had fake blood in his pocket, and the zombies surrounded him and turned him into one of the undead. "It's kind of a street show," Deamer said.
The zombie protestors hold up signs with slogans such as "Brains are for thinking -- not eating!" or political statements like "No zombies on Obamacare."
A group called "ERT Ghostbusters" will be doing crowd control. They have the costumes and car to replicate the characters from the "Ghostbusters" movie. Their job is to ensure safety at the intersections for the zombie parade.
Finally, there is the cleanup crew, led by Deamer's mother. The team cleans the fake blood off of store windows and picks up any remaining body parts.
Following the Ogden Zombie Crawl, an after-party, called Fear Fest, is a celebration for age 21 and older. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Half of the proceeds will go to the Ogden Union Station Foundation and the other half to St. Anne's Center.
"It's fun to dress up and be someone different. People come out of their shell if they are something other than themselves," said Fear Fest director Kevin Foutz, 39, of Ogden.
Tyler's wife, Tiffany Deamer, 31, of West Haven, said she isn't thrilled that this year's event also happens to be their wedding anniversary, but she's still excited about the event.
"This doesn't count for our anniversary party," she said. "I get a redo."
Tiffany Deamer says she likes dressing up a bit scary and helping behind the scenes for the zombie crawl. She is excited to help raise funds for the hungry.
"It's good to set an example for our kids and let them know there are things that are important other than yourself," she said.
The Deamers have three children, age 14, 9 and 6. The children help plan the event and come up with new ideas.
"It's like Christmas for them. They look forward to it all year," Tiffany Deamer said.
The couple came up with the zombie crawl idea after seeing a similar event three years ago in downtown Denver. They saw a commotion in the street, then a person jumped out of the crowd, covered in blood.
"We realized we were surrounded by zombies," Tyler Deamer said. "There were hundreds of people dressed like zombies -- little kids, old ladies -- and they were all coming down the street."
The first Ogden Zombie Crawl, last year, attracted about 300 participants and raised $1,500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
"We had a great time last year. No one got hurt. Everyone had a lot of fun," Tyler Deamer said.