Arts and Entertainment

Hordes run to, through Clinton zombie course

A psychotic-zombie-clown lays next to a fallen military-style escort at the zombie apocalypse course set up at Island Greens in Clinton. The Halloween-time attraction runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
A psychotic-zombie-clown lays next to a fallen military-style escort at the zombie apocalypse course set up at Island Greens in Clinton. The Halloween-time attraction runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Out in Clinton, it gets dark, really dark at night.

Through a misty fog at Island Greens last Friday, waves of people wove their way through the golf course. They tried to survive the “zombie apocalypse” there, a Halloween-time attraction that spring-boarded off the popularity of haunted houses and “The Walking Dead.”

In its second year, the zombie course still had some flubs on opening night last week. When the course requires more than a dozen zombie volunteers and a handful of military-garbed escorts, it’s easy for a few not to show and cause a bit of a script rewrite.

That wasn’t much of an issue for the first group of guests to walk the course, avoiding “infection” from zombies popping out from trees, bushes and even the greens.

“We haven’t done this so we decided to check it out,” said Oliver Passemard of Freeland, there with his son, Tristan, and friends Constance Wiseman and Antoine LaLonde.

“We really like zombie movies,” Wiseman said.

Anyone who dares brave the near pitch-black course is guided by a few fatigue-wearing escorts. They have flashlights, which they periodically turn on to check areas for any human-devouring wannabes, so stumbling around in the dark is made a bit safer.

Here’s a tip for any would-be survivors: wear boots. The course gets wet with dew as the evening wears on, and dry feet are a must in zombie survival.

A couple of teenagers waited eagerly for the first trip. Nick Weatherford of Coupeville and James Ogden of Clinton both toured the course last year. They could hardly wait to tackle it again, though one was a little more frightened by it than the other.

“This kid wasn’t used to zombies,” Weatherford, 17, said of his cousin, James. “I don’t think he slept the rest of the night.”

As guests wander from the staging area — a tent where the zombie outbreak is briefly explained — they wind through a few holes along the course. Even in the open areas like the fairway, don’t let your guard down. These zombies are of the “28 Days Later” and “World War Z” film variety in that they sprint and are not relegated to slow-as-molasses meandering.

Toward the end of the experience, plenty of scares lurk. Perhaps none were more terrifying than a psychotic-zombie-clown that, even after it was “put down” by the military guides, kept dragging itself toward a screaming crowd.

 

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