Keep the undead out of Folkestone: Unlikely zombie row infects seaside town

Residents split on charity zombie march

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If you happen to be walking the streets of Folkestone tomorrow and see the dead rising and marching through the centre of the town, do not be alarmed. They are not hungry for human flesh and they haven’t been turned by rage-infected monkeys; they are simply raising money for a local children’s hospital by dressing up as zombies.

That hasn’t stopped an unlikely row breaking out, though, with local politicians and letter writers objecting to the good-spirited and temporary zombie apocalypse, which they claim is “morbid” and “mocks human suffering and death”.

The town’s former mayor, councillor Rodica Wheeler, led the anti-zombie attack with a letter to the local paper, which labelled the event “offensive”, despite its aims to raise £500 for a local hospital.

She said: “What kind of warped society do we live in where people dress up as half-dead, gory creatures and parade through the streets all in the name of fun and entertainment?"

The event will see hundreds of locals dress up – using elaborate costumes and spray-on latex – to become zombies for the afternoon, but it could be too scary for many residents of the aging seaside town, who seem to object to the notion death itself.


“It’s in bad taste to start. With everything going in the world, pretending to be half-dead is not necessary,” Ms Wheeler told the Independent, seemingly missing a point well known to all apocalypse aficionados - that zombies are traditionally undead, rather than half dead.

She added: “I saw someone with a half-decomposed mouth, which is absolutely hideous. This isn’t kids’ stuff, it’s adult with elaborate make-up. It scares me.”

With the town seemingly overtaken with zombie fear and hysteria, the local paper has been inundated with letters objecting to the walk, which is expected to be attended by as many as 500 zombie enthusiasts and their children. This prompted actor Kevin Wilson, who played a zombie in comedy the Shaun of the Dead, to weigh in, labelling the anti-zombie agitators “brainless”.

In a letter to the Folkestone Herald, he wrote: “I played one of the zombies in the Shaun of the Dead movie and I, along with fellow cast members of the undead, was often swamped by hordes of curious and excited children during filming, none of whom were traumatised in the slightest.

“Without wishing to resort to an old zombie stereotype, the critics of this fun event would have nothing to fear from the living dead on the streets of Folkestone as they only go after brains.”

Vix Gladwin, one the event’s volunteer organisers from community group Planet Folkestone, said: “To be honest we don’t know why it’s upset people, but even though people are writing to complain, we are just getting more publicity for our cause. It’s just meant to be a fun and safe way to enjoy Halloween and raise money without knocking on the doors of strangers.”