Zombies to get another bite of Seoul

SEOUL - After he and 70 others spent a September evening freaking out the locals in Hongdae dressed as ghoulish zombies, Kim Minwoo did not want to take the subway home.

But unfortunately finding a taxi while covered in fake blood and festering wounds was harder than he had bargained for.

"It was really hard to take a taxi. There was a really nice taxi driver who was really interested in what we were doing," he said. "I didn't want to take the subway, but I think I will have to this year."

He was the organizer of Zombie Walk Seoul, one of two zombie walks last year. This year the walk is returning to Hongdae on Sept. 28.

Kim was inspired to start Zombie Walk Seoul after attending the massive Toronto Zombie Walk in 2011, in which 4,000 people participated.

"I joined the Toronto Zombie Walk and it was really fun. I've never experienced that kind of unique and noncommercial event. I really had fun and I wanted to do something that not many Koreans know," he said.

Kim said he had been contacted by some companies for promotion, but had decided against it as the noncommercial aspect was one of the things he liked most about the Zombie Walk.

He also concedes he irked a rival group by mistakenly advertising it as the first zombie walk in Seoul. There was another one in 2008, and a regular Halloween walk has taken place for three years.

But he was happy that his walk was different enough to the other Seoul zombie walk. While that walk takes place after dark around Halloween, and involves taking the subway across Seoul, he says his is more conventional, with a walk around Hongdae, followed by an after-party in a bar.

But he underestimated the time it would take to complete the route.

"I didn't think it was that long, but people were doing lots of things, scaring people, having fun on the street, making zombie sounds dancing and doing silly things, so we started about 5:30 and ended almost 7 o'clock."

He said that by the end of the walk some people had begun to flag, so he was planning to take a slightly shorter route this time, aiming for an hour-long walk.

He hopes to see an increase in numbers, too. Last year 70 people showed up as zombies, with a few photographers, but this year he is aiming to attract at least 100 people, with more Koreans involved.

This year's Zombie Walk Seoul will walk round the Hongdae area, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Witjandari Park near Hongdae Station, Exit 8. For more information, visit the Zombie Walk Seoul Facebook event page.