The Tab tries: Zombie Infection

We swapped keyboards for shotguns to take on one of the city’s latest crazes.

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One abandoned (and supposedly haunted) Victorian hospital, a pack of blood-thirsty zombies and two curious Tab editors armed with BB guns. How hard could it be?

Well, it certainly wasn’t easy. But it was fun, fast and also fiercely sweaty.

Zombie Infection is a survival game taking place on a monthly basis at Newsham Park Hospital – a vast derelict building boasting an eerie history of serving as both a hospital and orphanage during its lifespan. Classic.

The not at all creepy Newsham Park Hospital.

Chris Baker, one of the event organisers, spoke to us about the inspiration behind the idea.

“We believed there was an opportunity to offer a unique experience for half the price offered by other companies. I have been involved in quite similar things like ghost hunts so this was a challenge we really wanted to take on”.

“We launched at the start of the Summer having spent a much longer time in the planning stage. Something as big as this involves a hell of a lot of people – and that’s not just those you have seen today”.

Group photo with the walking dead.

So, on Sunday evening the site was overran with the living dead and we were tasked with the mission of finding a cure to the fictional infection led by a handful of serious men with guns.

Our leader was called Ben. He was remarkably chilled given the circumstances.

Armed with nothing more than a torch, UV light and a weapon each, we split into teams and braved the pitch-black corridors and once-upon-a-time wards in search of hidden clues for just over three hours.

The crew.

The venue was undeniably creepy whether you buy into the supernatural or not however, admittedly, the experience itself fell short of terrifying – it is not something that will have any students losing sleep at night. Saying this, a chap once urinated himself having been jumped out on by a zombie, so maybe it’s all down to one’s own fear threshhold.

With this in mind the Call Of Duty style element made the night much more than just the standard haunted house experience and we found ourselves shamelessly lost in the drama of it all – being a war-hero reincarnated I decided to start yell phrases such as “man down”, “give me some light down here” and “guns up”, naturally.

Limbering up before the big battle.

Having been strongly advised to turn up sporting old attire, Cristina and I were left pretty disappointed by the lack of blood and gore on offer. However presumably not everyone wanted to spend their Sunday evenings covered in wet stuff and a disused hospital is probably dirty enough in itself.

Although not quite as petrifying as those seen in 28 Days Later, the zombies were played pretty convincingly by a team of actors (bar one occasion when one was hit in the head by a BB bullet), while the guys impersonating military officials were especially impressive in their portrayal of no-nonsense army bullies.

No nonsense.

Having spent the evening lapping the hospital in search of secret codes and hidden objects we were treated to a piece of theater in the building’s basement, serving as a climax to the plot we had become part of.

There was a crazed doctor, a smelly laboratory and lots of screaming (I will say no more, I would’t want to spoil it for any of you guys).

The organisers left Cristina a little surprise in one of the bathrooms…

All in all, we spent our Sunday evening in an unusual way but one that left us with an appetite for much more running around with guns. It was really damn infectious (no pun intended, honest).

Chris informed us that the next big date in the Zombie Infection calendar will be a 12-hour survival challenge in the middle of Sherwood Forest… who fancies it?