Zombie Awareness Month

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Gray ribbon

Zombie Awareness Month is a campaign to bring awareness about zombies and the possibility of a future zombie apocalypse.[1] The campaign was introduced and is predominantly funded by The Zombie Research Society (ZRS), an organization dedicated to the historic, cultural and scientific study of the living dead that was founded in 2007.[2] According to the ZRS, the main objective of Zombie Awareness Month is to educate people about causes, prevention and preparation for a supposed future zombie pandemic.


Zombies as portrayed in the movie Night of the Living Dead

The campaign runs every year from May 1 to May 31 [3] The month of May was chosen because a number of notable zombie films are set in May, such as the classic George A. Romero zombie film, Night of the Living Dead.[3] In addition, the sense of hope, renewal and optimism that the spring season brings gives a contrast to the darkness of a zombie apocalypse.[4] Despite cultural trends, zombies are not related to the Pagan-based traditions of Halloween involving witches, ghouls, and vampires, which is why Zombie Awareness Month does not take place in October.[3] However, in 2012, the US Center for Disease Control promoted a Zombie Awareness Month in October.[5]


A 2012 zombie walk in Toronto

Supporters of the movement wear gray ribbons to spread awareness.[6] The gray ribbon signifies the shadows that lurk behind the light of day.[3] The gray ribbon is associated with other causes such as brain cancer awareness, diabetes awareness and asthma awareness, however Zombie Awareness Month is not associated with any other supportive movement. Many supporters use the opportunity to host charitable events such as Zombie Runs, Zombie Walks and Zombie Food Drives [4]

There is some discrepancy over the seriousness to which Zombie Awareness Month should be taken. Matt Mogk, the founder of the Zombie Research Society, takes a more serious approach to the month. While he encourages the support and exposure that comes along with Zombie Walks, he does not view the time as a celebration, and should instead be used to educate and prepare people for what is coming.[7]

Other groups are more focused on the culture behind zombies, and view the time as a chance to show their support to zombie films and television shows.[8] Arnold Blumberg, a professor at the University of Baltimore who specializes in zombie culture, states that zombies can reflect society’s fears of terrorism, biological infection, and societal collapse and that playing out zombie apocalypses can help people process their feelings and release some of the fear they may have. In addition, the process of "preparing" for a zombie apocalypse by gathering supplies, nonperishable food, firearms, ammo and water can help people prepare for any type of disaster.[7]


  1. ^ Carissa DiMargo (May 19, 2011). "CDC Observes Zombie Awareness Month". NBC Washington. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  2. ^ Zombie Research Society. "Zombie Research Society". Our Experts. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Zombie Research Society. "Zombie Research Society". Zombie Awareness Month. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b Hotaling, Matthew. "Festival Collections". The Origin of National Zombie Awareness Month. Festival Collections. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  5. ^ Bob Holt (September 10, 2012). "Zombie Awareness Month set for October: Are you prepared?". New Jersey Newsroom. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  6. ^ "Zombie Awareness Month Wear Your Gray Ribbon!". Zombie Research Society. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Moye, David. "Huffington Post". May Is Zombie Awareness Month. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  8. ^ Deconinck, Tony. "AOL News". College Course Preps Pupils for Zombie Apocalypse. AOL News. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2014.

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