VIDEO: Zombies invade town for charity

HALLOWEEN came early to Hartlepool as hordes of zombies roamed the streets.

Dozens of walking dead appeared in the town centre drawing shocked looks from Saturday shoppers.

But it was all in a good cause, the gruesome-looking gang were all just people taking part in the first Hartlepool Zombie Walk.

The twist on the traditional sponsored walk is the brainchild of Hartlepool man Ellis Stewart and was in aid of the National Society for the Protection of Children (NSPCC).

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Around 60 horror fans, including several pint-sized monsters, joined in the event and many were covered in amazingly realistic gory make-up.

Ellis, 39, of the Bishop Cuthbert estate, is trying to raise £60,000 for the children’s charity through a series of events.

He said: “It went down well. We got a lot of toots from passing cars and generally people took it in good spirit.

“A lot of people who didn’t know about it were obviously shocked.

“There were a lot of double takes from people, on the second one they just laughed.”

The shuffling monsters completed a two-mile route around the town centre taking in Hartlepool Marina, Church Street, Victoria Road, York Road and through Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

They carried collection buckets and the event raised around £300.

The day was rounded off at Flix Movie Cafe, in Church Square.

And it could become an annual event.

Ellis, a dad of two, married to Tamara, a 33-year-old teacher, added: “It seemed to catch the public imagination. People were very complimentary, so maybe it could become an annual thing.

“It can only grow bigger.”

Ellis, who runs an online adventure clothing website, has pledged to try and raise £60,000 for the NSPCC in its 60th year.

He hopes to climb Mount Everest as part of his challenge which has raised about £1,600 so far.