It was a grim scene on the Bangor Waterfront Saturday afternoon, as a ghoulish cast of zombies converged, covered in blood and tattered clothing, preparing for their descent on the Queen City’s downtown.
But don’t worry, the zombie brides and monsters promised they were just here for the good fun.
OK, and maybe some brains, too.
This is the seventh year that Mainers with a fascination for the undead have had the opportunity to take to the streets in the daylight as part of the Bangor Zombie Walk.
“It’s just for the love of it,” Zombie Walk organizer Jessie Jackson said. “The talent and the creativity that people put into it, it’s fun to see.”
The walk was originally started by Jackson’s friend, Phil Sacrifice Smith, but when Smith moved out of state, Jackson took over running the show. Jackson himself has become a staple of the event, wearing the same neon green wig and zombified clown mask year after year.
Last year, Jackson tried to change up his zombie attire because of the clown terror that swept the country. But he found that he was just not recognizable as the signature zombie he had become.
But his own love to dress up as a sinister brain-eating creature is second to his enjoyment of seeing the creativity of others who participate in the walk. Jackson said the walks have drawn as many as 200 people some years.
Some of his favorite zombified creatures of past walks? A zombie Snow White complete with each of the seven dwarfs.
“During the day more people get to see [the costumes]. You can actually see the creativity in it,” Jackson said. “In the dark [on Halloween] you don’t really get to see that details that are involved in a person’s costume.”
On Saturday, zombified brides, police officers and stormtroopers were some of the most admired costumes by those in attendance, with folks dressed up as zombies themselves stopping to take photos.
That’s what Heidi Henderson of Madison said brought her back for a fourth year: getting to look at other people’s zombie ideas.
“It’s fun coming here and getting to meet new people who have similar interests and like to dress up. It’s fun to see the interesting things that people do,” she said.
Henderson said her love of playing around with make-up paired with her love of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” fuels her costume inspiration every year. This year Henderson used a combination of tissue paper, red paint and liquid latex to make it look as though the skin on her face was peeling off. With her clothes taking an hour and a half the distress to zombie standards, Henderson invested another hour and a half in her face make-up alone.
Henderson was joined by Railene Griffin of Sanford, who ― on top of taking the time to do her makeup and burn her clothing ― drove three hours to participate in Saturday’s walk.
While other states have versions of the Zombie Walk, the Bangor walk is the only one in Maine, Jackson said.
Bangor being the host-city for the walk just made sense, he said.
“It’s the heart of Maine,” he said. “Or maybe I should say the brains of Maine.”
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