Aaron Allen firmly believes that the dead can still be fashionable.

That’s why he and other volunteers from the annual Hamilton zombie walk are hosting a zombie beauty pageant on Saturday afternoon at the Staircase Café.

“Decomposition can be beautiful. It’s part of nature,” he laughed. “Too many people think zombies are just ugly.”

The event is a free costume contest for men, women and children, complete with prizes. There are also raffle draws in support of the Hamilton zombie walk and food drive, which is coming in October.

Allen does have a host of beautification tips for prospective ghouls. “Being dead can do a number on your skin, so moisturize,” he said. “Pale is also in this year.”

“It’s also all in the eyes – try contact lenses, or staying up for five days so they’re bloodshot. Anything helps,” he laughed. “And don’t brush your teeth so you develop a nice grunge.”

The novel Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies is a pageant sponsor, and authors Victoria Higgins and Meghan Dunn will be judges.

There are prizes for best male zombie, best female zombie, best zombie couple, and the top honour of zombie grand supreme. “I think it’s going to be a wide-open selection,” he said.

Allen is no stranger to zombie-themed evenings. In fact, he and his wife Tina decided to tie the knot at Bayfront Park with close to 75 of their undead friends in full zombie regalia during last year’s zombie walk.

“Then we had a horror honeymoon in Las Vegas,” he said. “Most people go to Vegas to gamble, but we went to check out the Goreatorium made by Eli Roth.”

The zombie beauty pageant is happening at noon Saturday at the Staircase Café at 27 Dundurn Street. For more information, head over to Hamiltonzombiewalk.com.