THE undead are set to roam the streets of Hartlepool!
But don’t be afraid - the sight of decaying flesh and “soul-less” eyes is all in the name of charity.
Hartlepool’s first-ever zombie walk takes place this Saturday and people are urged to join in by donning fake blood and ripped-up clothes to roam around the town centre.
Bystanders should look out for the zombies as they head out on the two-mile walk from 3pm, starting at Hartlepool Maritime Experience Car Park, taking in Middleton Road, Navigation Point, Victoria Terrace, Church Street, Victoria Road, York Road and Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, before ending with a zombie-themed movie at Flix Movie Cafe, in Church Square.
The event, set to echo scenes in film classics like Dawn of the Dead, is the brain-child of town man Ellis Stewart, who thought up something different from the usual sponsored walks.
Proceeds will go towards the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), a cause close to Ellis’s heart.
“Nobody’s done anything like this around here,” said the dad-of-two, who has made Hartlepool Borough Council and Cleveland Police aware that the walk is taking place.
“If it works it could potentially be a yearly thing.”
Ellis, who runs an online adventure clothing website and is married to Tamara, a 33-year-old teacher, has carefully crafted a list of rules for the zombies.
● No walking out into the road or traffic...stay on the pavements, zombies!;
● Participants are asked not to enter any shops in role! If you feel the need to do a spot of shopping, please come out of character. You can always catch up to the walk later on;
● Don’t touch anyone! Avoid little children if possible (they don’t know it’s fake) and if the police stop you, be courteous and polite.
● Ham it up! You’re wearing fake blood and ripped up clothes and walking around moaning in public, doing that louder will not be any more embarrassing. This doesn’t look stupid if we’re all playing;
● Walk like a zombie – This is not a speed-walking event, zombies lurch, crawl, limp, slither, etc.
Ellis, who is dad to Lara, four, and three-year-old Isla and lives on the Bishop Cuthbert estate, told the Mail participants need to be “up for a laugh” and “willing to play the part and stay in character”.
He is looking at having make-up artists there on the day so people can get converted into zombies in exchange for a donation to the charity.
There will be collection buckets and sales of official zombie t-shirt sales going to the NSPCC.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to turn up on the day”, said Ellis, who appeared in the Mail on Monday describing how he hopes to climb Everest while raising money for the NSPCC.
“And to those not able to take part I say ‘don’t be scared’.”
For information visit www.hartlepoolzombiewalk.co.uk.