The Guide to Memphis Zombie Massacre 2013: Who, What, When, Where and Howgahhahgbraiiiins

It’s lucky year number 7 for the 2013 Memphis Zombie Massacre, everyone! And to shake things up a little bit, we’re going to shake things up a little bit. But just a little. This year, we have a new starting location which will give you longer to shimmy and shamble your shuffly selves around downtown Memphis, and we’ll have a cleanup crew afterward to clean the streets (volunteers, anyone?). Details about that and a lot more info below.

Please read all the info below. It’s essential info for the walk and for how to have the most fun at it, and it’ll hopefully answer all of your questions while entertaining you a little too. If you have a question, please write us a comment on this post, or contact us on our Facebook page, our Twitter page, or at memphiszombies at gmail dot com.

See you May 31!!!

Big thanks to the awesome Jason Meserve for this rad flyer!


You! And your friends! And your kids! And your loved ones! The walk is open to everyone, whether you want to walk or watch. Free to all. Zombies of all ages, types, sizes, shapes, and pieces welcome.

The Memphis Zombie Massacre is a rain-or-shine walk. It’s a parade of sorts. An art event. A costume party. A scene from a horror movie (“Dude, this 3D is so realistic it’s like the zombies are RIGHT HERE.”). And most of all, it’s a celebration of all things undead. We’re in our 7th year of a creative and awesome horde of bloodied folks descending on downtown Memphis on a warm May day in search of brain food.

But these zombies know how to share their meals, too. For the third year, Memphis Zombies will collect non-perishable food items for the Mid-South Food Bank. Last year we collected over 750 pounds of food, and we really want to collect 1,000 this year! Help us reach our goals and help some very deserving people! We’re taking non-perishable food items (no glass containers, please) as well as cash or check donations. Please click here for full details about the food drive.

Jason Meserve’s killer handiwork again!


Want more details about the finer points of the walk? Keep scrollin’…

Friday, May 31! We will begin collecting food and offering makeup (more on that later) around 3:30 p.m., and the walk will step off at 6:30 p.m. sharp. Depending on how fast you walk/shuffle/drag along, it may take about 30 minutes to an hour to walk the route proper. And if you’re interested in volunteering after the walk (and we hope you are!), we’ll have a cleanup crew walk the route again armed with sponges and suds to soak up some of the craziest messes. If you want to be part of the cleanup crew, send us a line at memphiszombies at gmail dot com.

THIS YEAR IS NEW! STOP AND READ THIS! This year, we are staging and stepping off from Army-Navy Park, at the corner of South Second and G.E. Patterson. This is very close to the corner we’ve started from the last two years, but gives us a little more room to collect donations and more time to do your best zombie shuffle. See below for an updated route map!



And now, the meat of the situation….


Parking is up to you, so please arrive early. There’s lot of free/paid parking around (here’s a map of Downtown parking lots). If you want to park close to the beginning of the route, please remember it’s also Trolley Tour night (Great for zombie-watching, or people-watching, if you’re hungry). Also, please don’t park in private lots, including the MATA lot by the Farmers Market. If driving a car is no longer within your zombie faculties, or if you’re a green zombie (GET IT?!?!), you can walk, ride your bike, or take the trolley to South Main and GE Patterson.

Army-Navy Park is our new staging AND stepping-off point, which means donating canned goods will be even easier (no more hiking up the hill to the MATA lot to drop off a pallet of canned brains!) and we’ll be in a big ol’ horde right from the start. The park is also where we’ll have makeup help available on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting around 3:30 p.m. We’re pretty excited about the makeup folks this year (we always are!) but please remember that the line can get long and, sadly, we often can’t zombify everyone before the walk steps off. So, please arrive early or already zombified! We love seeing everyone’s creativity. A couple of other options, if standing in line and/or pre-zombifying aren’t your thing… we’ll have plenty of duct tape for X’s if you want to be turned by the crowd (more below) or you can bring your own supplies and zomb out in the staging area. It’s cool to watch zombie strangers helping each other out and transforming right before our bloodshot eyes.

Best, if you have spare blood, bring it along with you to help folks out. Check this Google page to make your own blood, or buy it at any local costume/party retailer. Keep in mind that some fake blood is really hard, if not impossible, to get out of clothes so be careful. Also, check the Facebook page and this website for more makeup tips.

If you are brave and strong and into the idea of getting turned into a zombie, you can leave your zombifying up to the crowd. Wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting splattered (and maybe even soaked) with fake blood, and put a big huge prominent duct tape X on yourself. We’ll have tape handy for you if you want to get marked on the spot. The X tells soon-to-be fellow zombies that you are OK with getting “attacked” by walkers! Once you’re turned, get into character and stagger along the rest of the route with us!

how to get eaten — a visual tutorial

Organizers will be in our famous (they’re famous, right?) yellow, yellow, bright bright yellow shirts. We are a small group but we are friendly. Please don’t hesitate to come to us to drop off donations, ask about makeup, or ask just about anything. We won’t bite. Well…we won’t bite you.

We might be an undead, unconscious herd, but we’re still on time. We will step off right at 6:30 p.m., walk from Army-Navy Park to the corner of Main and G.E. Patterson (where we’ve stepped off before), turn right onto Main, then right onto Beale. We’ll officially end around the New Daisy on Beale.

We like descending upon Beale in one big shuddering crowd, so again this year we’ll pause everyone at the corner of Beale and Main to let the herd grow as everyone catches up. Please don’t rage-zombie run in front of everyone. If you’re in the front of the crowd, you may end up waiting a few minutes here, but hey, more time to rest your aching rotting feet and moan and mumble! While you’re waiting, please be cool and don’t be bloody all over the Orpheum or other businesses/sidewalks/newspaper bins/etc as you chill out.

Once the crowd’s pretty much together, we’ll invade Beale en masse! The walk will officially end around the New Daisy, which is toward the east end of Beale Street. If past years hold true, some groups among you always plan some really cool stuff for Beale Street, stuff even we humble writers don’t know about, so be on the lookout for zombie performances at their finest! And if you’re planning something that you DO want us to know about, email us and we’ll include you in a post in the next few days detailing some of the other rad zombie events happening that night and around the time of the walk.

So, Memphis Zombies has a confession to make. Last year, we got some complaints about the blood left behind by the walkers. Even though sometimes we’re lucky enough that rain washes it away before too long, we have to admit it must be pretty freaking scary to not know the walk happened and wake up on Saturday morning to a Main Street covered in (fake) blood. So this year we are stepping up the post-walk cleanup efforts and organizing a cleanup crew to walk the route right after the zombies finish and clean up some of the messiest spots. We’ve had several people ask how they can volunteer with us, and this is definitely a way. We will have cleanup supplies on hand, but will gladly take more if you want to donate your supplies, your time, or your elbow grease. If you want to help us clean up, meet back at the staging area around 7 p.m. and we’ll equip you with a sponge and some soap!

Here’s some more info we really want you to know.

  • KIDS: They are welcome! Kids have great costumes and make great zombies. So, please bring the brood along if you think they will be into it but also please be aware and proactive about the fact that some zombies can be frightening.
  • WEAPONS: NO REAL WEAPONS, AND BETTER YET, NO WEAPONS THAT LOOK REAL. We know it’s a bummer if you have a super sweet outfit that’s perfectly complemented by a super-realistic zombie hunting weapon, but you and we can get into some very unwanted, very real trouble and cause some very real fear if you take the act too far with your realistic weapons Downtown. This also goes for when you’re walking to and from the walk, where people will not know you are part of a performance. We want your look to be as awesome as possible, but PLEASE keep this in mind. Which is a great way to bring up the next point…
  • BYSTANDERS / PEOPLE WHO AREN’T INTO IT: Remember that not everyone is into the zombie walk. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. PLEASE do not provoke / attack / run at / scare someone who does not look entertained. Do not get blood on someone if they don’t have a duct tape X. If someone looks scared or offended or annoyed, don’t be a jerk. Remember, this is a community event free and open to everyone, and visible to everyone. And if we get a reputation for being rude jerks, that hurts everyone.
  • RULES AND GUIDELINES / LEGAL: The walk is made possible and legal by a yearly assembly/parade permit issued by the City of Memphis. The organizers will all be carrying a copy. We have to follow these rules in order to convince the city to let us do this every year, so please help us out. Remember:
  1. Don’t provoke/harass/scare bystanders and kids.
  2. Don’t spray blood on anything but yourselves. And don’t throw trash on the ground. The organizers will be picking up trash and spot-cleaning the route after the walk, but please be kind to us and to our great city.
  3. No blocking traffic, walking in the street, setting up structures on the sidewalk. We know keeping to the sidewalks is kinda tough to do, what with the giant horde of us, but do your best. We have not had much of a problem with this before, but it is one of the most important parts of our permit verbiage.
  4. Be conscious of your alcohol consumption. Don’t drink underage, don’t drink and drive, and don’t get so sloshed that your zombie act stops being an act.
  5. No entering galleries or shops while all gored up. This is “don’t get blood on things” but the indoor version.
  6. Don’t break the law. This is a no-brainer.

Want to do your own makeup? YouTube is yo’ friend. Take a look.

Need some makeup supplies? Check these local places out:
The Fun Shop
Party City
Mr. Lincoln’s
Blow-N-Go (The Halloween Store/Trick-R-Treat)
and let us know if we forgot one!

We are all over the internet. Find us:

Facebook (the Facebook event page is here, so RSVP so we can know how many of you to expect! Shooting for 1,500!)
• Flickr (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
• E-mail us at memphiszombies at gmail dot com if you have any questions

Definitely follow us on Twitter for necessary updates the day of the walk!

The walk is not the walk without the walkers. This event is for Memphis, by Memphis, and totally Memphis. We love the city, our zombies, and the zombies who come from outside city limits to make this event bigger and better every year. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS. OUR NOT EXACTLY BEATING HEARTS.

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