The corner of Church Street and Tenney Avenue in Amherst never looked worse for a good cause.
Anyone walking or driving by the downtown intersection Saturday could have been forgiven for total befuddlement at what was going on.
Not to worry. All the “blood”-soaked souls walking around talking, eating food (not flesh) and generally having a good time despite their ghastly appearances were there for good cause: The second annual Lorain County Food Drive and Zombie Walk.
According to Don Nickeson, one of the event’s organizers, the “blood”-covered, scabby and scarred folks turned out to celebrate all things zombie while raising money, donations of food for Second Harvest Food Bank and giving real blood inside the LifeShare bloodmobile, which was affectionately dubbed the “Vaccination Zone” for the day.
Organizers hoped to match if not exceed last year’s inaugural collection of about 1,200 pounds of donated food, and enough money to purchase another 8,000 pounds.
A couple hundred people appeared to have shown up by early afternoon in plenty of time for the 3 p.m. Zombie Walk during which they walked, shuffled, or dragged feet around several blocks of the downtown area.
An appropriately disgusting-looking crowd wandered between vendor tents and stood in groups talking and laughing.
“We’ve got little kids up to grandparents,” Nickeson said.
Many looked as if they’d passed under a ladder just as an open can of red paint cascaded on them.
“I made my T-shirt (a torn white garment streaked with “blood”) and then paid the $5 to get made up here,” said Samantha Reynolds, 21.
A quality specialist for Technofab, an Avon firm that produces window seals for aircraft, the Elyria woman was clearly in her element as she munched on a hotdog.
“Everybody loves zombies and playing dead,” she said.
And planning for a zombie apocalypse, in which the undead would rule supreme “and get to eat brains.”
Reynolds agreed that she’d be running in stark terror if a horde if real zombies ever show up on her doorstep.
Many “zombies” that showed up already looked dreadful, while others paid an extra $5 to be “zombie-fied” on the spot, or have their “blood”-soaked clothes and limbs freshened up a bit.
Like Katie Burnsworth, 22, of Lorain, who admitted her head-to-toe “blood”-splattered look was starting to “feel a little sticky.”
Squirming a bit uncomfortably, she glanced at her “bloody” arms, neck and face.
The glistening, fairly realistic-looking make-up was a mixture of chocolate syrup and red food dye.
“I had my mom blooding me up (at home),” Burnsworth said.
But every woman wants to look her best, even if she has just returned from the dead.
“I have to get a touch-up here,” she said.
Maddie Delestathis, 23, admitted to buying makeup on clearance so she’d have plenty to work with.
The Sheffield Lake woman missed the inaugural event a year ago, but wasn’t about to miss this second zombie go-round.
“I had the weekend off so I made sure I got here,” she said. “It’s a way to make friends and meet people.”
So why are zombies all the rage?
“Vampires are kind of dying out and zombies are taking over,” Delestathis said.
“We had a zombie wedding cake with blood dripping down over the side and zombies crawling up it,” Delestathis said. “It was adorable.”
<strong>Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.</strong>