Students to host Zombie walk in DeKalb Saturday

DeKALB – Don't be surprised to see a few hundred decomposing zombies staggering around Northern Illinois University this weekend.

The DeKalb Zombie Walk 2011 Facebook page has garnered 600 responses from people saying they plan to participate in the march through town.

Meghan Barnett, an NIU sophomore who's one of the organizers, said she got the idea after she was unable to attend a similar event in her hometown of Bloomington last October. She was disappointed she couldn't be there, so she decided to organize an event in DeKalb.

"We'll be walking, or I guess I should say shambling, around," she said. "It's more for the onlookers to see all these undead people walking around."

Barnett and her friend, Tom Brown, have been coordinating the event with the NIU Horror Club. Barnett said she's always loved zombies and gory horror movies. Brown, a junior at NIU who's also from Bloomington, agreed.

Brown covered himself in fake blood and participated alongside a few hundred people in the Bloomington zombie walk that Barnett missed out on.

"It was definitely an experience," he said. "A crowd of about 400 people crawled past. It slowed traffic at times and it turned a lot of heads."

He said the DeKalb Zombie Walk 2011 Facebook page has a few videos posted that demonstrate different techniques for becoming the living dead. One such way is to use liquid latex for creating realistic-looking wounds. He said the baking gelatin can be found at most grocery stores and the liquid latex can be picked up at a party store.

People of all ages can participate, as long as they follow a few ground rules. The group is advising participants to dress as zombies, stay on the sidewalks and cross streets quickly, to not litter or destroy property, and avoid spilling any fake blood along the route.

Zombies are slated to meet at 5 p.m. at the Holmes Student Center at NIU, then walk along Lincoln Highway, Annie Glidden Road, Lucinda Avenue and along the DeKalb Nature Trail near the East Lagoon.

Brown said Saturday's walk is a test-run and he hopes to help organize another one closer to Halloween. He said he was surprised by the response and support the event has gotten not only from students, but from people in the community.

"When a lot of people show up, it can be really impressive," Brown said. "It can be pretty scary."

If you go

What: DeKalb Zombie Walk 2011

Where: Starting at the Holmes Student Center - MLK Commons at Northern Illinois University

When: Saturday at 5 p.m., with the walk starting at 5:30 p.m.