Interview with the Zombies


Posted Sat, Oct 24, 2015

Zombies and spectators outside the Daniels & Fisher Tower. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

CREEPY CRAWLERS: Zombies and spectators outside the 16th Street Mall’s Daniels & Fisher Tower. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

DENVER – Groans, growls and blood-curdling screams rang out Oct. 17, over a 10-block radius of the 16th Street Mall. For one day in October, people from all walks of life dressed up as blood-soaked zombies to congregate the heart of downtown Denver for the 10th annual “Zombie Crawl.”

The popular event started in 2006 as a birthday party for zombie enthusiast Danny Newman, the “Zombie Crawl” founder and organizer. Newman originally got the concept from attending a similar event in San Francisco, and from there, Denver’s Crawl has grown to over 20,000 Walkers who attend each year. The Zombie Crawl showcases the most gruesome costume creations of zombie-themed Halloween horror genre — definitely not for the squeamish.

One creature creation strolling down 16th Street Mall. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

WALK THIS WAY: One creature creation strolling down 16th Street Mall. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

Activities at Zombie Crawl

Separate activities are scheduled throughout the day, providing a variety of entertainment for all age groups. The “Zombie Crawl” parade travels down the 16th Street Mall consisting of anyone who came dressed as a zombie to create a visual experience of horrific magnitude. Skyline Park located in the heart of Denver, held costume contests for the more elaborate, original costumes to take center-stage.

Even zombies found it difficult to fight the urge to dance as a live DJ spun dubstep music from loud speakers throughout 16th Street. Numerous vendor tents were lined up with zombie apparel, makeup stations, appetizing snacks, beverages and “brains.”

Umbrella Corp. Denver

Umbrella Corp. Denver security force [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

PROTECT AND SERVE: Umbrella Corp. Denver security force. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

The Crawl also attracts organizations such as the Umbrella Corp. Denver, a non-profit charity group, focusing on supporting the local community and military veterans by raising money for donation and volunteering for charities. However, more than just a charity group, the members also emphasize on having fun while helping people. They attend the “Zombie Crawl” and other events dressed as the security force from the “Resident Evil” series, a classic survival/horror videogame by Capcom. They enjoy a little Cosplay fun while raising money for various charity organizations.

“Our group, the Umbrella Corp. Denver, has been here for the past five years, and our members actually started and all met each other because of this event,” explained Robert Schuman, founder and event coordinator since 2011. “We now have over 30 members.”

Danielle and Peter Brehm went with a roaring 20s theme. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

OLD SCHOOL GHOULS: Danielle and Peter Brehm went with a Roaring 20s theme. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

Conversing with Zombies

With pale peeled-back skin, blood-stained wounds and torn clothing as a major characteristic of the zombie look, one would have to put aside the intimidation to ask how they pulled it off. Peter and Danielle Brehm, a cute pair of matching zombie crawlers, put their costumes together themselves in a couple of hours to attend the event.

“We just looked up some pictures of google images,” Peter explained.

“This is our third year,” Danielle added. “Seems like there are less people dressed up than last year. I think our first year, two years ago, was our favorite.”

Peter added, “There are a lot more people but less of them are dressed up.”

Bridget Schierburg as a zombie-version of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

OFF TO EAT THE WIZARD: Bridget Schierburg as a zombie-version of Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

Bridget Schierburg, a former student of Metropolitan State University, was dressed as a zombie-version of the classic character Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” Through an online tutorial from Youtube, her elaborate costume was put together to perfection in a few hours.

“I bought the dress and the wig at Spirit store,” Schierburg said, “and I did the rest with latex and Kleenex. We’ve been coming to the Zombie Crawl for a few years now, and this is my third year. It’s even busier than last year’s, so it’s awesome.”

A substantial trend of the “Zombie Crawl” is the continuously growing population each year. More and more Coloradoans are attending this event to experience the frights firsthand, filling businesses and restaurants to the brim in the 16th Street Mall. Not only does this event boost downtown Denver’s economy, the donations also help support those less fortunate.

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Kavann Tok

About Kavann Tok

Kavann Tok is a freelance Denver-area journalist. Website:

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