You can never be too prepared for an imminent zombie attack. So it's probably a good thing that there's a range of experience days where you can learn armed combat skills to defend yourself should these creepy creatures attack civilisation as we know it.
Brace yourself for a psychological thrill like no other. This certainly isn't for the faint-hearted. If you tend to watch Harry Potter from behind the sofa, this is not for you. However, if you like the odd horror film and you're up for a bit of a scare, this will be right up your alley.
Here's the cream of the crop.
Abandoned shopping mall zombie experience
Your first thought might not be bloodthirsty zombies when you picture Reading in Berkshire. It's home to an abandoned shopping centre where a virus outbreak is taking grip. You and your adversaries will be briefed and armed with realistic weaponry, before being let loose.
The deserted retail site sets a spooky tone, and the movie quality props and special effects just add to the surreal experience. Head up and down the escalators moving around the abandoned shops in this 250,000 square foot abandoned shopping precinct.
This immersive two-hour zombie experience is constantly raved about in the press, and is most definitely the king of zombie themed activities. It receives many 5-star reviews from customers. It even scooped ScareCon’s 2016 "UK Best Zombie Experience" award.
Still not sure what to expect? Take a look at this similar experience:
Ultimate zombie experience
Get a taste of both sides of the action in this split-personality experience. Spend half your time duelling scary zombies and the remainder of your time as a zombie.
This combines the Zombie Boot Camp experience (see below) with the Zombie School experience. In the boot camp you'll be armed with riot gear and after some training, you'll be sent in with your team to defeat the onslaught of flesh-eating monsters.
Then, in the school, after a spot of work from a make-up team, you'll be taught how to rock the ways of the living dead. Watch out as a squad of zombie hunters is on its way to take you on.
Zombie infection experience
Join up to 36 fellow eager saviours keen to save civilisation from an outbreak of zombies. Here you'll deal with a zombie infection situation which you and your team will eradicate to stop the spread of the walking dead.
You'll have limited resources available so need to work as a team to make clear decisions to complete missions along the way. Your survival depends on that hapless lot.
Several locations around the country host this event and each is picked based on its authenticity to the storyline.
Zombie courthouse experience
Zombies have no respect for the law, and in this experience you'll storm an abandoned courthouse in West Bromwich in the West Midlands in search of the undead.
You'll be armed with a real imitation firearm where you and your team will destroy the infected and undead in your path. Your objective is to complete missions in order to secure the building, ensuring the rest of us civilians can sleep easy at night. Your country thanks you.
Zombie battle experiences
The zombie themed weaponry training experience focuses mostly on weapons training albeit with a zombie twist. If you want terrifying graphic action, best look at another experience. However, if you want to learn the ins and outs of weapons training, this is ideal.
Planning a trip to London? Have you set time aside to become a zombie for the day (what do you mean you haven't?). The London Bridge Experience and Tombs offers an experience where you become part of the show. Go behind-the-scenes of this gruesome attraction and become a frightening zombie as a professional artist works their magic on you. Then scare unsuspecting tourists in the live show.
Zombie boot camp is much like riot training on steroids. Decked up in all the protective gear and equipment you can imagine, you'll be put through your paces as you clear an abandoned facility of these horrifying monsters.
Each experience may differ, but here's one such boot-camp in action:
A boot-camp is also available after dark to make it just that little bit extra terrifying.
Zombie battle bunker sees willing volunteers take on zombies beneath the streets of Greenwich, London.
Prepare yourself for the zombie attack - What You Need To Know
- WHEN: Events take place on selected dates across the year. These are usually weekends, although it varies between experiences. Expect a group of fellow zombie hunters to join you which only adds to the excitement.
- WHERE: Zombie experiences usually take place in creepy abandoned venues or purpose-built training facilities. Historically, they have taken place in London, Reading (Berkshire), Droitwich (Worcestershire), Sheffield (Yorkshire), Rutland (Leicestershire), Heywood (Lancashire), Liverpool (Merseyside), Nottingham (Nottinghamshire), and Birmingham (West Midlands).
- WHO: This is aimed squarely at those obsessed with zombie culture or those who live in daily fear of an impending apocalypse. Either type of person would be over the moon receiving a thrilling and downright scary experience like this. It's certainly not one for the squeamish.
- OCCASIONS: This has 'birthday present' written all over it. It would also suit as a Christmas present for a zombie fan, although lacks a festive vibe.
- PRICES: Expect to pay around £65 per person for an entry-level experience or around £110 per person for something more immersive. Buy a ticket for two to share the experience with a mate, or buy several to share the experience as a group. (correct at the time of writing)
- QUESTIONS: Need help? Ask questions here and I'll try to help as best I can
- TRIED THIS?: Would you recommend it? Share your thoughts here
RIP zombie experiences
Even zombie experiences can't survive an apocalypse. Some have bitten the dust. These are some of the more memorable losses in recent years.
In gloomy 1940s Britain, you’ll find yourself trapped in a series of murky forgotten tunnels underneath the streets of Waterloo, London. There are plenty of decisions to make and each one brings a new twist; there’s not much in the way of a script – instead, you decide how the story ends. You’ll find plenty of dark corners, shadows and strange goings-on during your mysterious journey. Use your wit and cunning and try to keep your head as you move from one tunnel to another, dodging the undead and seeking out the route to safety. You’ll be with a group of characters, some of whom are there to help you, while others are not quite what they seem…
Zombie Manor House
Set in a 65-acre manor house estate in Warrington, near Manchester, you'll need to clear the land of zombies in a 3-hour search-and-rescue style experience. The manor is a haunting backdrop to this experience.
Wilderness survival training meets zombie apocalypse preparation training in this experience in Ambleside, Cumbria. It's perhaps an odd combination of experiences but you'll certainly pick up some practical survival skills here as they are put to the test.
Become a zombie school
While most zombie themed experiences base themselves on you saving the world from an infestation of flesh-eating creatures, this experience takes a completely different angle. Here you become a zombie yourself, complete with detailed make-up and props. Undertake vital training on how to act the part now you certainly look it. All that's left to do is find a job where you can dress as a zombie Monday to Friday!
(Photo credit to Wish.co.uk)