Day of the Dead is the main holiday in Mazatlán this time of year. Children and young adults, however, also celebrate the import—Halloween. Young children dress up and go Trick-or-Treating to shopping centers, while young adults dress in sexier costumes and head to the clubs. In our blue-skied, beach side community, we are thus normally spared the dangerous threat of many of the Halloween monsters from up north, such as witches, werewolves, vampires, mummies, devils and—zombies. The key word is “normally.”
Due to the unrelenting passion of a small group of zealots, Mazatlán has had the misfortune to have fallen prey to a zombie invasion for the past four years.
I put on my anthropologist’s hat today, as well as my bravery, to risk life and limb in order to gain insight into these most mysterious and menacing of characters. Gratefully I’ve lived to tell the tale—barely. My life is owed to the one brave survivor who fought the zombies off and defended both my life and our fair port.
Below I will share with you five key insights I gained today during my perilous anthropological investigations. I trust they might better help us combat the zombie invasion should it happen again next year. Click on any photo to enlarge it, or to view a slideshow.
1. You may be deluded into thinking that there are no zombies in Mazatlán, that only catrinas frequent our fair city. No! Once a year, zombies roam the malecón! They’ve done so every Halloween for four years. It’s become an untenable menace! The leader of the Zombie Walk Mazatlán is Wert Lovehorror. His wife Yezil and their eldest son, Izack play key roles in the horrible happening. It is they who are responsible for this threat.
2. You may think of zombies as angry—grimacing, screaming, groaning and glaring. Mazatlecan zombies, however, smile—even their muerte se pasa sin llorar (their death passes without crying, playing on the Corrido de Mazatlán). They also pose for pictures and freely give interviews. Do not be misled! Despite their charms, they are highly treacherous!
3. When humans are in short supply, zombies eat ice cream! I feared for the ice cream vendor when he approached the invaders, but he was fearless. He assured me that zombies could be diverted away from human fare by playing upon their love of ice cream. And, sure enough, he knew what he was talking about! Our local zombies seem to have no clear preference regarding the type of ice cream they’ll go for, however—they devoured their frozen prey with gusto in all sorts of different flavors. If a zombie approaches you, get out the ice cream! They also talk on cell phones, so you can hand them one as a diversion.
4. Mazatlecan zombies are kind! They think of others and give to the needy. Every zombie or survivor who participates in the zombie walk is asked to bring despensas/food stuffs for Hambretón. Hambretón’s annual food drive, by the way, concludes next Saturday, November 5, in Sendero Plaza from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Join them there! And bring some canned goods or dry food! Do not let this kindness fool you…
5. Zombies apply makeup free of charge, and give out lessons and tips on how to make disgusting things. Need blood? Honey mixed with red food coloring; absolutely sickening. Need peeling skin? Mix white glue in with your face paint, and it’ll look like you have leprosy. Want to have no eyes? Cover them with tulle fabric. How about the ugliest, slimiest-looking intestine you might want to have falling out of your gashed-open stomach? Gelatin and pantyhose!
Will you fall for their tricks? Will you join the ranks of the zombies next year? Or will you be one of the survivors, and fight to defend Mazatlán?