Zombies, ghouls and freaks in costumes will soon run amok in the streets this weekend. As one of these monsters lurch towards you, will you become the hunter or the hunted? While this may sound a bit nerve-wracking, fortunately for Santa Monicans, this scenario will play out in a much less terrifying way.

The Sixth Annual Zombie Crawl returns to Santa Monica this Saturday, a costumed pub crawl in which participants roam downtown as zombies or victims between eight downtown restaurants and bars.

“We thought it would be a fun twist on a regular Halloween pub crawl,” Kim Koury, founder of the event said. “We did it as an experiment to see how many people would come … We had over 900 people the first year.”

Event goers can choose to be either a victim or zombie, with zombie-choosers given free makeup applied to them to look the part as well as act the part, being required to lurch around with arms extended while moaning and groaning in tattered clothes.

It’s a sight that may initially seem startling but has ultimately been a boon to local business.

Ye Olde King’s Head, one of the yearly participants of the event, enjoys the zombie-filled relationship.

“It’s a surreal thing to see,” Lisa Powers, Ye Olde King’s Head operations manager said. She said the event typically brings in over at least 100+ unique visitors from the event. And, you know, some funny looks. “You can imagine if you’re a tourist visiting, it might be a bit of an interesting sight to see.”

This year’s event will add a game-like element with participants plotting against each other to search for search for wristbands throughout the crawl. The first three groups that are able to get five wristbands will get a free drink at the event’s afterparty.

A Santa Monica Police Department says while a bunch of potentially drunk zombies might sound more terrifying than the real thing, locals shouldn’t worry as the police department has an increased presence downtown during events such as this.

“Anytime you have alcohol and young folks involved, we try to add as much security and safety as possible,” Saul Rodriguez, SMPD’s public information officer said. “We recommend using shared driving services such as Uber, Lyft, and taxis. Just don’t overdrink.”

Koury lauds the event as a fun and immersive community event that you won’t regret going to over something like a house party.

“You don’t have to go through all the hassle of finding a costume. Just show up and have a good time.”

The 6th Annual Zombie Crawl takes place Saturday, October 27, 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of. For more information, visit https://zombiecrawl2018.eventbrite.com


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