The Salem Cheerleaders were not immune from zombification
'Euuuuggghhh' the zombie. AKA Richard Rudy.
It was a spooky good time as the dead rose from their graves to walk the streets of Downtown Salem during the first annual Zombie Walk to benefit the Salem Area Foundation. Starting at IGA, the living dead made their way past the trick-or-treaters enjoying downtown Halloween Festivities, and shuffled all the way to the Salem Elk's Lodge, where the zombies were judged.
Richard Rudy stayed in character, dressed as a zombie groom, during the entire walk. It paid off--he took first place overall in the contest. Rudy says he came out to support the foundation.
"I was just thinking it would be nice to support the charity" moaned Rudy, introducing himself as "brrruuuuuuuhhhhgggg".
Even Salem's top brass got into the spirit of things. Former Mayor and current Chamber of Commerce Director Leonard Ferguson, who came up with the event with the Salem Rotary, also led the walk and won the award for "oldest zombie". He hopes the walk can become an annual event.
"This is the first, and we hope it will happen from year to year" Ferguson said, "It's just a lot of fun. And once you do it, it takes a while, but people realize how much fun they can have."
Current Mayor John Raymer was also stricken with the zombie plague. Despite rotting flesh and an exposed ribcage, he called the event a huge success.
"I thought it was a really good idea that the rotary came up with...the people seem like they're really having a lot of fun for a first time event. And that's what it's really all about...getting out and having some fun on Halloween" Raymer told WJBD.
Zombies both young and old joined the zombified Salem High School Cheerleaders, a cadre of Zombie Hunters, a Zombie Photographer, a Zombie Prisoner and several just-married Zombie Brides whose weddings clearly did not go as planned.
In the world of the living, Halloween Festivities were as popular as ever in Salem despite temperatures getting down into the thirties. Downtown was crowded with trick or treaters on the hunt from candy passed out by downtown businesses while the Salem High School band played a spooky medley for "Frozen" Princesses and the Living Dead alike.