Watch out vampires and werewolves. In the age of Twilight obsessed fans, I predict that zombies are moving to the forefront of the monster trend.

Watch out vampires and werewolves. In the age of Twilight obsessed fans, I predict that zombies are moving to the forefront of the monster trend.

Saturday’s zombie walk in East Peoria mimicked a group activity that is sweeping across the nation — one that involves hundreds, sometimes thousands of people dressing up as reanimated corpses and walking, or dragging their feet, in public.

Being the horror movie buff that I am, I absolutely had to see what it was all about. And I was pleasantly surprised. About 75 zombies showed up for the city’s first zombie walk, which began in the old Shopko parking lot.

Moaning, slouching and covered with fake blood, these people walked the downtown streets for about an hour, stopping in front of businesses like Co-Op Records and Subway to pound on windows and scare those inside.

“Run, Jared, Run,” yelled one zombie as they approached Subway.

There were a few couples; some made it a family affair; one held a fake head; and others practiced their attacks on each other. Rarely did a zombie break character.

While many may find it odd or even a little dark, I totally understand the draw to these fictional creatures. And those who know me best remember my Halloween costume a few years back. When many collegiate females were stripping down to nothing, I spent hours creating gory wounds on my skin and tattering some old clothes. There may have even been a few practice sessions of my best zombie walk.

Christina Morris, member of the Legion of Daya, the organization that put on the event, further explained the appeal.

“It really does seem to be a growing trend,” she said. “Zombies are so much more fun in big groups. I just think zombies are so much easier. You can be a zombie from five minutes ago or one from 100 years ago.”

Watching the zombies Saturday put me in the Halloween spirit and got me doing some research about the history and different kinds of zombies out there.

Having origins in West African voodoo, today’s modern Hollywood zombies are brought about by the spreading of some kind of virus or plague. Zombie 101: Anyone who gets bit by a zombie becomes one. Of course there are more types of zombies than that, but those are the zombie basics.

“Night of the Living Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “28 Days Later,” “Zombieland” … the movie list goes on.

Some zombies are quick while some move at a sluggish pace. And for all those Michael Jackson fans out there, some zombies even dance. “Cause this is thriller, thriller night. And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about strike”

OK, I’ll stop.

Needless to say, it was fun to be a part of this walk, and for those want-to-be zombies out there, they are planning on making it an annual event.

Move over Edward Cullen and Twilight fans.

They may not have as strong of a romantic effect on the ladies — maybe it’s all that awkward groaning and
trying to eat people — but zombies deserve some monster recognition, too.

For more pictures, visit the photo gallery online.