Replica weapons cause fright at B.C. zombie event

The "undead" costumes at Vancouver's Zombie Walk were a little too real for some spectators this year.

Costumes at Vancouver's Zombie Walk were a little too real for some this year

It wasn't the gory makeup and creepy behaviour that had spectators concerned as a horde of 'zombies' staggered from the Vancouver Art Gallery to English Bay Saturday. Authorities say some of the costumes included replica weapons that looked very real. (CBC)

Some people in downtown Vancouver got a bit of a scare at an annual zombie parade this weekend — but it wasn't the gory-makeup or calls for "brains" that had them and authorities concerned.

Vancouver's annual Zombie Walk, first held back in 2005, has now grown into an event that attracts thousands of zombie enthusiasts to the city's downtown core.

Translink's Transit Police said that on Saturday afternoon they received numerous calls from concerned citizens who thought that some undead-looking travellers headed downtown on the SkyTrain were carrying weapons.

Const. Graham Walker said the "zombies" were only carrying replica weapons as part of their costumes, but officers had to respond to all calls as if they were the real thing.

"Ourselves, along with Vancouver Police, have responded to a couple calls where plastic guns were subject to the call," he said. "To the members of the public, they looked very real."

Officers made sure the apparent weapons were fakes, and asked the owners not to flash them around for the sake of everyone's safety.

"Most of the time people were allowed to keep them, but asked to store them in a more safe way that doesn't cause alarm."

Walker also said officers also recommend leaving scary-looking props at home.