Benson zombie walk reanimates Nebraska Halloween spirits

Thousands showed up Saturday to participate in the 2013 Omaha Zombie Walk.

Thousands showed up Saturday to participate in the 2013 Omaha Zombie Walk.

Story and photos by Haley Whisennand, NewsNetNebraska

Moans and groans could be heard inside Burke’s Pub as groups of bodies gathered outside their doors Saturday. The intersection of Maple Street and Military Avenue in downtown Benson, Neb., however, was not filled with your typical human figures. Hundreds of hunched and misshapen figures gathered in the intersection, grunting in recognition as they passed each other. When the clock hit 6 p.m., the entire street was filled to capacity with disfigured bodies.

1382541659639The undead rose from their graves and limped to Benson for the sixth-annual Omaha Zombie Walk. The event featured a walk that was free to the public, as well as carnival games, professional makeup artists and zombie-worthy festival food. Event staff and organizers made sure that people knew the proceeds from the event would go to the Siena/Francis House, the region’s largest homeless shelter.

Pre-walk visitation

Before the walk started, participants gathered and interacted with each other. Spectators mingled in the crowd of costumed people, stopping to take pictures with their favorite characters along the way.

Some participants got in character even before the walk began, scaring small children and chasing them around. Parents would watch and laugh as their child began to smile as they ran away from some of the scariest figures in Omaha.

The chants begin

Once the walk began, participants limped and groaned for just over one mile, completing the walk in a little over an hour. When they weren’t confined to the sidewalks, the masses of zombies were forced to travel through parking lots filled with spectators and zombie hunters.

20131019_170441Hunters marked themselves with a duct tape X on their shirts and shot at zombies with Nerf guns and toy pistols. If they were shot, zombie walkers fell to the ground in a dramatic death before reanimating and continuing on the walk. A majority of the hunters were younger kids. However, some older hunters sported full-out military gear, complete with ammo straps filled with Nerf missiles.

The end for the undead

The walk ended where it started at about 7:15 p.m. Participants and spectators of all ages were invited to the Zombie Ball after party at The Waiting Room in downtown Benson. The third-annual Zombikini contest,  a sexy yet family-friendly bikini contest, took place at The Waiting Room after the walk as well


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