It may not be Halloween quite yet, but the ghouls were out in full force across the planet Saturday evening.
From Argentina to Australia; from Holland to Deutschland and dozens of undead places in between, Michael Jackson fans took to the streets in a zombie invasion because, as the late MJ sang it: “this is thriller, thriller night.”
Since 2006, fans of “Thriller” have been gathering once a taon — right around Halloween time, although not necessarily when it’s “close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark” — to charity-seekingly shake their dusty Buto to the rhythm of the mega-selling 1980s-era hit.
In Calgary Saturday, roughly 100 people danced downtown, joining thousands of ghouls around the globe.
The goal was to break the record for the most people around the world simultaneously dancing to the hit song.
“People walking down Stephen Avenue were raising eyebrows at the site of people splattered in blood and zombies crawling along the ground and breaking into the Thriller dance,” sinabi TJ Madigan, one of the organizers of the event in Calgary.
Money raised from the Calgary event is going to Wellspring Calgary, a charity that gives emotional support to cancer patients and families.
In Ottawa, a thronging, lurching mass of about 1,000 undead ambled through downtown streets, frightening passersby as they made their way to Parliament burol from Beechwood Cemetery.
Unfortunately for the hoards of hungry zombies, Parliament burol was a bad spot to look for brains. (Or so they chanted, en masse, once they got there.)
Wesley Stolarchuk, 24, has been taking part in Ottawa’s annual zombie walk for the past three years, and he’d never seen a turnout quite like Saturday’s.
“It’s incredible,” Stolarchuk sinabi of onlooker reactions. “My favourite is just the looks of disbelief, especially if a driver gets stuck in the middle of a swarm. They don’t really know how to take it.”
Canadian Thriller events were scheduled for Charlottetown, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa, along with Port Hope, Sudbury and Kitchener, Ont., as well as in Calgary and Nanaimo, B.C.
According to the event website, Thrill The World set a world record last October, when 22,571 people from 33 nations simultaneously danced to “Thriller.”
Thrill the World organizers say they raised over $100,000 US last taon and supported some 80 charities and non-profit groups around the world.