Eating & Drinking

THE INSIDER: The zombies are back! 20 questions with Jim Dean, manager of The Haunted Walk’s zombie adventure at the Diefenbunker

This interview is part of our October issue, which is on newsstands and can be ordered online here.

Truly terrifying! Photography by Jonathan Hobin.
Truly terrifying! The Haunted Walk and Diefenbunker bring a zombie film to life to create an immersive, frightening, and memorable experience. Photography by Jonathan Hobin.

What are you most excited for with The Haunted Walk’s Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure?
We have built upon the great success of last year and have improved and added to the experience. Most notably, a lot more zombies!

What are you most proud of?
By combining the skills and talents of the Haunted Walk, the Diefenbunker and all our zombie volunteers, we are able to bring a zombie film to life and create a truly immersive, frightening and memorable experience.

Five words to describe the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker:
Unforgettable, Terrifying, Once-A-Year, Fun, BRAAAAAAAAAAINS!

How do you describe the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker to your grandmother?
Grandma do you remember that time Papi cut the head off the chicken and it ran around for a while even though it was already dead? Zombies are like that, but also very hungry for human flesh. So, hopefully none of our groups will run into them.

Best kept secret to making the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker run smoothly:
The spirit and dedication of our zombie volunteers who donate their time and energy in the never-ending pursuit as terrifying people in dark and, of course, eating brains. Perhaps surprisingly, zombie enthusiasts tend to be a really great bunch of people.

What should I bring?
Courage. You will certainly need some courage.

Who should I bring?
Anyone you wish to be consumed by a mindless horde. We can’t guarantee it (zombies are fickle that way), but you never know till you try.

What should I leave at home?
A cynical attitude. Zombies always feast first on the humourless in the group.

Who should I leave at home?
The Diefenubnker can be a little claustrophobic at times, even more so when a marauding mass of undead are looking for you, so those who are especially sensitive to enclosed or dark places may wish to stay safely at home.

What should I wear?
Clothes. The more layers between you and “them” the better.

What if it rains?
The adventure takes place in an underground bunker. You won’t even know it is raining.

What if I’m late?
Tickets are purchased for a particular time slot, so best to give yourself a little extra time to arrive early and enjoy a leisurely trip to Carp.

Who do you expect to see at the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker?
Those who enjoy the zombie genre will be out in full force, as well as fans of The Haunted Walk and the Diefenbunker.

Who are you surprised to see at the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker?
The number of young kids! Many of whom are much braver than their parents.

Where do you see the zombie adventure at the Diefenbunker in five years?
It is only going to get more popular over time as we continue to make refinements and changes. The possibilities for future development are endless! The creativity of The Haunted Walk, combined with the uniqueness of the Diefenbunker itself, is a formidable combination.

If money was no object, how would you change the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker?
Advanced computer-generated special effects and explosions. Really, anything that could be done to make the experience more immersive and unforgettable.

How did the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker change your life?
There is nothing more rewarding than doing the hard work to bring a concept to life and then seeing an overwhelming positive response from the pubic to both the idea and the execution. The success of this event is only making me and The Haunted Walk, more ambitious, creative, and daring.

How will you gauge success?
Last year we sold every single ticket. This year we have added more departures and hope to sell out again.

Why do you do this?
The Haunted Walk exists to make the cities we operate in more interesting and fun places to live or visit.  I am also a filmmaker and film scholar.  To be able to tie together the performance and best aspects of the Haunted Walk with the concept of bringing a zombie film to life has been extremely fun, fruitful, and rewarding.

Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure takes place at the Diefenbunker on Oct. 16, 19, 26, 27, and Nov. 2. Pre-book tickets.