Project Haunted House's Guide to Zombie Survival  — Return to Home

Screenshot from the 1968 film "Night of the Living Dead"
zombie in field
So, you're head to drooling head with one or more of the brain-seeking mindless undead — or you badly need to research them to figure out your next plan of attack. No worries; we here at Project Haunted House have anticipated your concerns and have performed the necessary research into zombie extermination and removal to take you by the clammy, sweaty hand and drag you through the steps involved. This guide to zombie survival is broken up into several parts, to ease reading and to help you get the information you need.

  • If you need to know what tools/implements you'll need to successfully defeat one or more zombies, hop to the "Arm Yourself — What You Will Need" section.

  • If you need immediate tips on how to kill and remove one or more zombies, or how to escape them altogether and leave the dirty work to someone else (*cough*coward*cough*), jump to "Defeat the Zombies — How to" section.

  • If it's a history you seek, and you've got the time and you're in no immediate danger, bounce over to the History section.

Arm Yourself — What You Will Need:
Item How to Use It Where to Find It Lethal/Not What It Looks Like Notes
Knife/axe/choppy sharp instrument Stabbing, swinging, slashing, jabbing, decapitation Hardware store Lethal
Keep it clean and sharp.
Food Eat it Grocery store, Ma's kitchen, neighbor's house, fridge ... Shouldn't be.
If it smells oddly or is a disturbing shade of green and shouldn't be, chuck it at zombies instead.
Water Drink it Kitchen tap, grocery store, drinking fountain, vending machines, fire hydrants ... Hopefully not.
If large living things are floating in your water, throw them at zombies. DO NOT drink water from: sewage plant, puddle, toilet bowl.
Emergency radio Listen for news on escaping/killing/etc zombies (also, good to know what the weather's like) Hardware store, electronics store, possibly a car parts store If you can bean a zombie with it, then yes. Otherwise, no.
Make sure you know a decent news station in advance; also good to have batteries on hand, unless your radio is one of the cool hand-cranky kind.
Flashlight Turn on switch to see in the dark; use to bash in zombie brains. Hardware store Maybe, if you can use it as a blunt object. Gotta be a heavy flashlight for that, though.
You'll need batteries, unless this flashlight is, like your radio, a nifty hand-cranky sort.
Batteries To make things work, like your radio and flashlight General retail store, hardware store, kitchen junk drawer Only if you can somehow convince the zombies to consume them in bulk.
BUY IN BULK. In this case, it would be akin to failure if you don't. Trust us. We know.
Firearm Shoot, bludgeon Gun shop, some retail stores, outdoor/sports stores Oh yes, especially if you shoot 'em in the head.
DO NOT AIM AT SELF, even if you're just "checking it out." Also, you'll need bullets.
Bullets For shooting from the firearm Gun supply shop, outdoors/sports stores Yes, if shot from firearm; possibly, if consumed
BUY IN BULK. And make sure they're the right type for the gun.
Blunt instrument For beating zombie heads Sports store, kitchen, garage Possibly
cricket bat
Aim isn't as important as getting a decent grip on your bat and swinging well.
Chainsaw Swinging and chopping, sawing, severing Hardware store Oh, most definitely
It may kick and/or buck about a bit; hang on tight and DO NOT SWING AT YOUR BUDDIES

Defeat the Zombies — How to
What to do in the event that you are being attacked by zombies (note: these instructions apply for both the older, classic, slow-moving, shambling zombies and the newer, smarter, more swiftly-moving breed):
  2. Put distance between yourself and the zombies — as much distance as possible and as quickly as possible. This shouldn't really be a huge task; most zombies won't be moving as swiftly as you will be (plus you have the element of fear on your side, which should result in a nice little jolt — feel that? Yeah, isn't adrenalin great?).
  3. If you cannot do step 2, then use your sharp object to decapitate and/or cause other damage to the zombie(s)' head: most zombies cannot live through much brain damage, and as of yet, none have survived decapitation (if this is not the case, please contact the webmaster immediately, as there may be a very unpleasant emergency occurring very quickly).
  4. Gather a large supply of food, water, an emergency radio, flashlights, batteries, and weapons (see: Tools section) and run off to a safe place. Your best bets include: shopping mall, general retail store, or grocery store — pretty much any place where you'll have access to food and supplies, depending upon how creative you think you can be (if, when you panic, all you can think of is needing a gun, you probably shouldn't put yourself in a situation where all you have are bananas and fishing line. Just a thought.).
  5. Try to avoid areas with high population density, since these areas are likely to be the most infested.
  6. Secure all possible openings to your comfy hideaway: barricade with boards, furniture, cement, whatever's available, just as long as no one can get in who shouldn't be able to get in.
  7. Closed spaces are good (see previous step), but DO NOT GET SURROUNDED IN THEM. Only barricade your hidey-hole after you're absolutely certain there's no chance of zombies surrounding you.
  8. NOTE: anyone in your party who has been bitten by a zombie is a liability, at best, and a threat, at worst, since there's a great chance that they themselves will become zombies.
  9. Wait patiently in your bunker until help arrives, and in the meantime, make plans for long-term survival, in the case that you may have to wait until all (or the vast majority) of the zombies conk out before you emerge to resume a "normal" life.
  • Try to hide in a vehicle the keys to which are not in the possession of you or anyone in your party.
  • Leave weapons around for zombies to find and then use to beat you and your comrades to death. BAD DOG.
  • Teach zombies to use guns. Again, we repeat, BAD DOG.
  • Let any hysterical person handle weaponry — this will negate the possibility that the hyperventilating nervous wreck is not the only person in your party with a weapon.
  • Hide without supplies. You'll either stay put and starve, or leave and risk getting killed by the mindless horde.
  • Become an emotional mess. This can only result in bad things, like a huge angry fight getting in the way of your (and your party's) survival.

Questions, comments, criticism, praise — make a suggestion or contact the author at: meghan[dot]armes[at]gmail[dot]com.