The ‘Boston Zombie March’ Is Dead

And it's never coming back from the grave.

After nearly a decade of leading thousands of intricately painted, gruesomely costumed participants on a stroll through the city’s streets, the Boston Zombie March is now buried for good. And there’s no chance that it will return from the grave.

“The last march has come to an end,” said Scott Trano, who has been rallying together die-hard zombie fans for nine years, and bringing them on a weekend trek that goes from South Station, through the Pru, and toward Government Center. “A lot of people are saying you should pass the torch, and what that means is I should teach someone how to host it, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

On Sunday, May 17, the last and final Zombie March attracted around 800 participants, which was significantly lower than previous years. The event, which draws families, students, and area residents together—all decked out in costumes fit for a professionally made horror movie—has welcomed upward of 1,500 or more people in the past.

Trano said the lack of attendees this year might have had to do with the fact that he chose to skip hosting the march in 2013, because it would have happened just weeks after the Marathon bombings. Trano said although fans of the march urged him to still put on the event last year, he felt it would have been crass. “It would have been really tasteless to do that,” he said. “It wasn’t happening.”

He said people’s lack of appreciation for all the hard work that volunteers put into organizing the annual undead party also played a role in his decision to finally call it quits after this year. “We got death threats for cancelling the march in 2013, people saying things like we ‘let the terrorists win.’ That’s where I drew the line,” he said. “I’ve been doing it so many years and every year we count the people who say thanks for an event that’s free and take months to plan, and only six or so will come up to you out of the thousands that go. It’s not worth it anymore, especially with all the stuff that happened last year.”

Despite last year’s troubles, Trano felt he had a civic obligation as the event’s longtime organizer and founder to put the final nail in the Zombie March coffin. “I always wanted to have some kind of send-off. We were going to end on the 10th year—this should have been number 10—but it was nine because of last year’s cancellation,” he said. “This last one ran very nicely, mostly due to the cops and decreased volume of people. It really was the end of an era.”

While Trano won’t take on the duty of once again working with officials to make sure marchers are in safe hands as they drag their limbs down the streets in full costume, others have expressed interest in picking up where this year’s event left off.

But Trano isn’t going to be part of it due to the extensive planning that’s involved. “It is just kind of nightmare,” he said.

In a final message on the event’s Facebook page, Trano said farewell to fans—but not from hosting free activities for people in Boston. “I want to thank everyone who’s attended for many years and all the volunteers over that time,” he said. “Without all of you it wouldn’t have been possible. This will not be the end of events I do, just this one. I’m sure I’ll see you all again someplace, sometime.”