Zombies Defined: Halloween vs. Zombie Walks vs. Real Thing

Editor's Note: David P. Murphy, author of Ace Your Zombie Exam! has put together a short study to illustrate the differences between real zombies and the fake variety you may encounter at a zombie walk or on Halloween. Please carefully study this time-sensitive study in the interest of public safety.


I'm the author of the new book, Ace Your Zombie Exam—The Official Ph.Z. Study Guide, as well as being someone who has obtained that advanced degree. Because of my expert status, I can't tell you the number of times people approach me with this question: "Dave, how the heck do I tell a 'zombie-walk zombie' or a ‘Halloween zombie’ from the real thing? They look so similar what with the fake blood and all. What's a person to do?" Well, I think I've got the answer. Here's your chart:

Behavior of Zombie-Walk Zombie
Behavior of Genuine Zombie
On the morning of the walk
Drives self to event and/or is seen exiting a vehicle at the appropriate hour. Or possibly participant is dropped off by Mom and psychologically scarred for life. Either way, participant arrives like a normal human being.
Just shows up all willy-nilly at any old time and thinks it shouldn't have to register. Pushy and, like, has a real icky sense of entitlement. Mumbles to the volunteers and displays major issues regarding his hygiene.
Prior to the walk
Chats amiably with friends and acquaintances. Shows off bitchin' lookin' hole in his head to friends. Gets into brief fist fight with stranger over which Romero film is the most awesome.
Is confused by the number of creatures gathered there who resemble him. Grunts and snarls at those who appear to be his kin. Tries to sniff a zombie nun.
During the walk
Groans, shambles, laughs and says the word "brains" a lot. Poses for pictures with kids along with the zombie stripper and her massive ta-tas. Gets winded by the third block.
Groans, shambles, does not laugh and doesn't say the word "brains" because his larynx was ripped out when he was first bitten. Bummer. Oh, and the dude sweats like a Sumo.
Directly following the walk
Begins to consume beer and macabre snacks provided by that bar where the post-walk festivities are. Like ladyfingers that look like lady fingers. You know—that kind of stuff. Gets chattier as the beer bottles accumulate on the table.
Appears to have no interest in liquor and won't buy a raffle ticket. Howls at the sight of a Bloody Mary and lunges at the bartender. Not chatty at all; nearly sullen. In general, behaves like an uncouth ruffian.
During the evening's festivities
Strong likelihood participant has a few too many cocktails and then looks to hook-up with that cutie in the cop outfit. Dances later to Monster Mash in a very stiff manner and then claims he was doing it "in character." Sure.
Scans room repeatedly looking for the best target. Can smell the weakness emanating from the one that goes to the rest room. Corners him and bites off part of his right ear before he's thrown out by the bouncers.
After the big day is over
Stays up way too late chatting online with the zombie cop girl. Plays XBOX until 4 and then goes to IHOP in full zombie regalia with his peeps. Waitress gets annoyed and nearly refuses to serve them. What's her deal?
Returns to the woods and waits for the next walk or passerby.