A BLOOD-CURDLING screech of terror suddenly rips through the peaceful and dark Manchester evening. As the clock strikes six, a blood-thirsty crowd of around 2,000 zombies, splattered with their victims’ blood, and covered with gashes, makes its way through the former print works building. Heading towards the Town center, it’s hungry for more…

The scene described above does not come out of a horror movie or series. This was the reality of the 26th of October, when Manchester’s most gory Zombie Walk took place.

This hair-raising event was organised as a fundraiser for Mencap, an organisation that supports people with learning disabilities. A representative of the charity at the Zombie Walk was Julie Steers, a regional youth coordinator on Mencap’s Inspire me program.

‘We have come along today to have a really exciting and scary zombie time, and also to be marshals on the Zombie Walk’, announced Steers.

‘We are hoping to raise lots of money for the Inspire me program, which is to aid young people, aged 14-25, with learning disabilities.

‘The purpose behind Inspire me is to help young people gain confidence and to give them the opportunity to make great progress for their future.

‘Today with us, we have one of our young ambassadors, Adam, who is dressed up as a zombie’. Adam is from Yorkshire. He told us that he is here today “to have lots of fun and to help out”‘.

The funds for Mencap were raised by charging a small entrance fee for the participation in the zombie parade.

Make-up artists were on location to aid in the creation of more ‘members of the undead’. A most prominent feature of this event, was the makeup stall of Shaun Harrison. Harrison is a make-up artist, and the owner of Shaun Harrison Academy, a makeup school which specialises in prosthetics for films and television. He has lived in Manchester since May.

Shaun Harrison has been in the makeup industry for 25 years. Harrison started to experiment with different makeup techniques at the age of 12. He taught himself everything he knows; he has never received any professional training.

Harrison has worked on some of the biggest blockbusters of our time, including all of the Harry Potter series; the Star Wars prequels; season four of Game of Thrones; and, most recently, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. His favourite project was Sleepy Hollow.

‘The scale of everything was insane’, recalls Harrison. ‘I had to do [the makeup of] all of the bodies and the heads of the cast. Also, working with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp was pretty cool’.

Another famous project Harrison has done the makeup for, is World War Z. ‘When I worked on that movie, I remember wanting to stick prosthetic on all of the zombie cast. But at the same time, I wanted to have them [the prosthetic] painted. It took two hours just to do this… Doing the makeup for this movie took quite a lot of time and lots of blood. I stuck wads of blood on the actors, as well’.

Harrison was very kind to give us a few tips on how to dress for Halloween: ‘If you are going to be dressed as a zombie, go for it, but remember to watch a few zombie movies beforehand… For their zombie makeup, everyone usually looks white, which I don’t get. They should be a bit more greyish. Also, make sure to perfect your zombie walk – don’t walk with your hands stuck out. Don’t ever do that!… The best zombie series to look at is The Walking Dead. They have some of the best zombies ever’.

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