Zompocalypse: the Saturday before Halloween, 7pm – midnight
The Zombie Invasion at the Treinen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch, Lodi WI
What exactly is “Zompocalypse”?
The Zombie Apocalypse, of course.
Well, you see, the zombie virus has spread throughout the human population, resulting in hordes of the undead—-
I get that. I mean why at the Treinen Farm?
Oh. Umm, we just like zombies.
Ok. Got it. I guess that makes sense. So what’s going on that night?
Glad you asked! It’s an evening dedicated to all things zombie. Come in zombie costume and enjoy the simple pleasures of shambling around, moaning, and terrifying human survivors. (Or come in survivor costume and be the terrify-ee.) Music, zombie-themed entertainment, zombie costume parade, zombie trivia, zombie food, drawings for zombie-themed prizes, bonfires, getting lost in a zombie-infested cornfield, zombie horde-walk activity…
Hmm…now, that’s a thought.
Just kidding. It’s really just burgers fries and cheesy tots and steak sandwiches, those kinds of things. It just sounds cooler when you say “zombie food.”
All right. So, do you have to come in costume?
No. But here are some reasons to come in costume:
- It’s really fun to be a zombie.
- People want to take your picture.
- It’s easy to make a zombie costume (see below.)
- It’s even easier to make a survivor costume (below.)
- Zompocalypse at the Treinen Farm is a cosplay* event.
This event is an interactive event in which everyone is invited to participate and contribute to the experience. It’s an opportunity for us non-little kids to role-play and have fun being someone else. It’s not the kind of event where you passively enjoy the performances of others—you help to create the event.
Hmm…depends on your definition of “scary”. This is not a haunted house-style attraction, where you pass through gory scenes and jump-scares that are carefully crafted for maximum terror. Instead, you will be navigating a corn maze that has been invaded by hordes of the undead, and you never know what you will find around the next corner.
Some costumes are insanely gory. Some zombies are incredibly creepy as they slowly shuffle through the maze, come around a corner unexpectedly, or even crawl along the ground out of the darkness. The zombie moans and crunching sounds can be unnerving…
I’m a little freaked out just thinking about it. But I want to come—is that crazy?
Here’s a couple of things to consider:
It’s not nearly as scary if you are one of the zombies. You’ll be the one scaring other visitors.
The maze is the creepiest part (there are no lights, so bring a flashlight.) But other things are going on as well: music, zombies on the big screen, bonfires, food, dancing zombies…
Parents need to decide whether this is too intense for your kids. No one under fourteen is allowed on the farm (or in the maze) without a parent in tow.
ALL ZOMBIES ARE SLOW ZOMBIES*! This is a Zompocalypse rule. Which means that you not be chased by zombies.
Nope. And please don’t show up intoxicated and obnoxious—there are other venues for that kind of behavior.
Can I bring in coolers?
Not for this night.
Will you have bonfires throughout the farm to warm up at, no reservations needed?
Yes, of course. Zombies get cold, too.
Is there Zombie Paintball, Zombie Lasering, zombie-killing of any kind?
These are all worthy pursuits (and really, really fun) but we do not have those attractions at the Treinen Farm. Again, this is an entire evening of zombie apocalypse interactive fun, not a fifteen minute killing spree.
Speaking of which, what about weapons? My band of survivors needs protection.
Sorry, no weapons of any sort (toy or otherwise) will be allowed. [Violation of this will result in immediate ejection from the farm, no refunds, no second chances.]
That seems a little harsh.
Listen, this event is fun. No one is going to get hurt on our watch. Speaking of which we also do not tolerate vandalism or endangering other visitors (by throwing corn, cutting through the corn, removing map pieces from mailboxes, stealing the hole punches, etc.) So be on your best behavior.
Okay, okay. Scare each other. Look disgusting. But play nice.
I’m glad we understand each other on this.
Can I wear a non-zombie/non-survivor costume?
When should I arrive?
Most people arrive between 7 and 8 and head into the corn maze. Zombies will be in the maze from 7-10:30 pm. Zombie costume parade and zombie horde will be held at 10:30 pm. Music and big screen videos start around 7 and go until 11-ish, and the farm closes at midnight.
Team Survivor—plan your night
How to make a survivor costume: Think, dirt, grime, a little blood, maybe. Bandanas to keep back the sweat. The occasional survivor will have a zombie bite. REMEMBER: NO WEAPONS****
Survivors have been living by their wits for some time, trying to stay alive. They’re smart, pragmatic, and very tough.
Survivors look like crap, considering they’ve not showered in weeks to months, and zombie-killing tends to splatter you with gore.
Survivors never go anywhere without their band of other survivors. Successful groups have a range of skills. The bad-ass. The medic. The smart one. The one who still manages to have good hair despite the collapse of civilization. Bring your friends, assign roles, and take on the maze! (Consider bringing at least one person who can read a map…)
What’s your story? Where were you when the zombies attacked? How did your little band make it this far? We want to know!
Team Zombie— plan your night
Zombie costumes can be simple or elaborate. A little grey makeup, dark eye circles, perhaps some fake blood, and you’re in. Tear your clothes a little and roll around in the dirt. Instant undead.
Or, go all out and impress with your amazing transformation. There are tons of resources online for zombie makeup; below is a really good one.
Walking Dead Makeup Tutorial
Pinterest Boards — lots of good ideas
Special Zombies are always popular: in the past we’ve seen the Easter Bunny zombie; Zombie Santa Claus; the Zombie FEMA team. Lots of possibilities.
How should I prepare for this event?
Other than recruiting your friends and designing your costume, we strongly suggest you watch some zombie movies prior to attending. Not only will you be in the zombie spirit, but you’ll get great costume ideas.
Here is a small selection of zombie movies, books, TV, and other media to get you on the right track. Yes, we are missing tons, but these are some of our favorites.
Movies (varying levels of intensity and gore—see IMDB before watching for more info)
Shaun of the Dead
These are both incredibly funny, incredibly awesome, and the real inspiration (along with the novel World War Z by Max Brooks) behind the Treinen Farm zombie event.
Other zombie movies we feel are central to the canon
28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later (both very intense; caution—fast zombies!)
World War Z (Brad Pitt movie) Say what you will about script choices, there are incredible scenes in this movie…
Night of the Living Dead by George Romero This movie started it all…
Dead Snow (arguably worth including, yes; but so, so funny in a completely over-the-top way…)
The Walking Dead —duh…
World War Z by Max Brooks
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
More Resources and Links are on our Zompocalypse Page
*Technical Definition: Cosplay is short for “costume play”, which is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Commonly found at various fan conventions (like Geek-Kon, Comic-Con, etc.) and for one night, at the Treinen Farm.
***We fully acknowledge the pros and cons of both slow zombies and fast zombies. We love the Walking Dead but also love 28 Days Later. However, we don’t want anyone getting hurt, so no running, only shambling.
**** Yes, in case you were wondering, I did indeed interview myself for this post. — Angie