- Associated Press - Sunday, October 2, 2016

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (AP) - Despite the threat of rain and an occasional drizzle, the undead could not be stopped from entertaining the living on the Asbury Park Boardwalk for the ninth annual Zombie Walk.

While there were plenty of terrifying and just disgusting corpses in various states of decay wandering about, a number of the zombies came dressed Saturday as fictional characters from pop culture.

A group of participants were made up as characters from the hit HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones” - including Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, Arya Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Melisandre and Margaery Tyrell.

Cassandra Otten, 26, of Red Bank, was dressed as Margarery Tyrell - spoiler alert - after she perished in the explosion at the Great Sept of Baelor this past season. Otten was enjoying her fifth year at the Zombie Walk.

“I’ve done Ursula (from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”), Little Bo Peep and a couple others,” Otten told the Asbury Park Press (http://on.app.com/2d6amtI)..

Otten had just met the other zombies dressed as Game of Thrones characters by pure happenstance.

“We literally just met, we had the same concept, so we were like, ‘let’s just walk together.’ “

Chris Ciavatta, 47, of Neptune, came dressed as a Viking who did not survive his most recent battle, even as he insisted that the rest of his brethren were ultimately victorious in their conquest. The “bloodied” bathroom rugs draped over his shoulders suggested that there was some Bed Bath & Beyond out there in suburbia that was now under Nordic rule.

He had been with his family on a trip this summer to Bergen, Norway, and the experience had obviously left an impression, he said.

“I married into it (the Scandinavian side of the family),” Ciavatta quipped.

A member of his extended family, Jeanne Ferguson of Port Richey, Florida, was visiting New Jersey for the Zombie Walk.

“We’ve never been to a zombie walk,” Ferguson said, who was also dressed as a deceased Viking and said she was enjoying herself.

The world-renowned Asbury Park Zombie Walk is one of the biggest gatherings of the undead on the planet. Those who took part in the event could either apply their own ghoulish makeup or utilize the professional makeup artists on scene for a fee.

The Central Jersey Blood Center used the occasion to host a blood drive outside of the Paramount Theatre.

The zombies started their shuffle at 4 p.m. in front of Convention Hall, proceeded south along the Boardwalk toward the Carousel House, before they turned west and headed downtown toward the official after-party at Johnny Mac House of Spirits on Main Street, where music from cover band Big Bang Baby and DJs Rob Bush and Kirk Lopez were featured.

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Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com

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