Scarehouse Windsor will once again keep the undead alive for the third year in a row by taking Windsor Zombie Walk (WZW) back onto city streets, in support of the Downtown Mission and Windsor Youth Centre, on Sat. Oct. 16, 2021.
Last year, unable to hold the walk safely amid the global pandemic, WZW mutated into an indoor event giving rise to Scarehouse Windsor’s new Zombie Maze attraction. Small groups limited to their social bubble were booked to pass through at different time blocks. The main priority was following pandemic protocol to keep participants safe. While being vaccinated won’t protect participants from zombies, all participant’s safety is being given top priority again during the walk. This includes social distancing and following all mandated health and safety protocols and guidelines.
Long time walk mascot, zombie pirate Captain Hindgrinder who spent last year banished beneath the murky waters of the Detroit River with his sunken ship and undead marauding crew, may be returning to lead the zombie hoard. The role of Hindgrinder played flawlessly by Micheal Reeve is something participants can’t get enough of. With Hindgrinder banished last year and the creation of Zombie Maze, Reeve gave birth to a new event mascot, Big Bob, who he describes as, “a hillbilly redneck apocalypse survivor” who guides other survivors through a compound he has filled with zombies. Big Bob was such a hit that Scarehouse co-owner Shawn Lippert made him part of the Zombie Maze attraction for the whole season. In fact, he brought Big Bob back again this year and says, “there’s been lots of chatter about Big Bob and the Zombie Maze as people pass through. It was a huge hit last weekend.” Reeve says, “like last year, groups entering Zombie Maze are still asking to take pictures with Big Bob.” But on WZW night it might just be Captain Hindgrinder who once again takes on the ringleader role and photo opp spotlight.
WZW participants will not only have bloody photo ops but they will also get to enter the cataclysmic Zombie Maze for free. “Usually, you have to go into the main Scarehouse attraction (Scared Evil Haunted House) and then you can purchase admission to one or both of the add on attractions (Haunted Darkness and Zombie Maze),” explains Lippert. ”But like last year, on Windsor Zombie Walk night people can bring in at least two canned goods or make a monetary donation and they can go right into the Zombie Maze without having to go into Scared Evil first.”
A longtime part of WZW, a costume contest for both adults and children, will be a part of the festivities. Prizes and trophies generously provided by Rogues Gallery Comics and The Trophy Boys will be awarded. Categories include Best Zombie, Cutest Lil’ Zombie, Best Zombie Couple and Best Apocalypse Survivor or Survivor Team. Organizers encourage participants to put together their best zombie or survivor costumes because they will be observing participants during the walk with winners to be announced once the trek is complete.
WZW will begin outside Scarehouse Windsor located at the 110 year old creepy crumbling commercial building at 1441 McDougall Ave. (at Shepherd St. E.). Participants will gather at 5:30pm and at dusk head down Windsor Ave., through part of Jackson Park and back to Scarehouse Windsor.
Non-perishable food items and monetary donations to benefit the Downtown Mission and Windsor Youth Centre.
About Micheal Reeve (aka Captain Hindgrinder and Big Bob)
Micheal Reeve’s involvement with Windsor Zombie Walk took the event in a family friendly community based direction. “Although there was always a food drive element involved, the previous organizer was targeting mainly the college/university crowd and the walk sponsors were mainly bars and nightclubs,“ says Reeve. He has been successfully attracting people of all ages including families with children over the past few years. He also added the Windsor Youth Centre, now under the umbrella of the Downtown Mission, as a benefactor of the event.
“I was homeless in the past in Hamilton for about a year,” said Reeve. “I had a youth centre help me out so I wanted to give back to the community by giving to the Windsor Youth Centre. But now since the Windsor Youth Centre is married to the Downtown Mission it made things easier to focus everything towards one organization that envelops both. I owe a lot to a similar organization that helped keep me fed and clean, gave me what I needed to survive while I was in the situation that I was in, I wanted to give to an organization that does the same thing. One day there could be another Micheal out there who could need someone to help them out and get them on their feet in life.”
About Windsor Zombie Walk
Windsor Zombie Walk is a one-of-a-kind event founded in 2006 by Jakub Witalec. The popularity of the event grew to hundreds of participants by 2013. The original organizer decided not to hold the event in 2014 allegedly because of logistics and permits required to run a large event. Instead of letting this community event come to an end, Micheal Reeve created a mascot to be the spokesperson, or as he calls it, “the ringleader whose face people can associate with Windsor Zombie Walk, someone that can interact with them.” Reeve took on the role of cursed zombie pirate Captain Hindgrinder to keep the event alive that year!
In 2015 Reeve handed the event off to a new organizer who cancelled at the last minute citing a family emergency. In 2016, Reeve as Captain Hindgrinder and his undead crew rose from the depths of the Detroit River to lead the walk once again. The following year 2017, Reeve was not able to participate due to health reasons but passed the responsibility of organizing the walk to supporter Lori Deschaine. Unfortunately, in 2018 the event did not happen. Determined to keep this event going Eric Bonnici of Eyes On Windsor and his daughter Brianna Bonnici, longtime participants of the event, reached out to Reeve offering to help with the event in 2019. Reeve had already been approached by George Des Rosiers of Geekpool Windsor (a local Deadpool and Cosplay enthusiast community). Shortly after Shawn Lippert of Scarehouse Windsor reached out offering to help keep Windsor Zombie Walk alive for years to come. The walk location was moved from downtown Windsor to the Scarehouse area (1441 McDougall Ave. at Shepherd St. E.).
In 2020 the event was nearly cancelled due to the pandemic but, following government protocol, it was changed to an indoor event inside Scarehouse Windsor’s new Zombie Maze attraction. Reeve also felt the need to change the mascot and he created Big Bob, “a hillbilly redneck apocalypse survivor” who guides other survivors through a compound (Zombie Maze) that he filled with zombies. For 2021, again following pandemic safety protocol the event will once again be held outdoors on city streets.
The goal of Windsor Zombie Walk is to provide a family friendly and fun event for the Halloween Season and to give back to the community by collecting non-perishable food donations and monetary donations which go to support the Downtown Mission and Windsor Youth Centre.
For more information about Scarehouse Windsor’s hours of operation this season, their three main attractions (Scared Evil Haunted House, Haunted Darkness, and Zombie Maze) or the new 90 min.VIP private themed immersive dining experience catered by Nico Taverna please visit https://www.scarehousewindsor.com/