ZOMBIE fanatic Dan Hatton is living the nightmare with his booming business.
The 33-year-old from Gloucester gives thrillseekers the chance to fight zombie armies in terrifying urban and rural settings.
His business – Zombiexperience – launched three months ago in Gloucester but it has already expanded to Sheffield and Coventry.
Dan has also secured support from a Government-backed business scheme to help him capitalise on his booming order book.
He has won support from Transmit Start-Ups with a loan of £6,000 and business mentoring from the experienced directors.
When Dan launched an online advert for his latest zombie experience in Sheffield a week ago, it went viral and at one stage was receiving more than 300,000 hits an hour.
Dan said: “Right from day one the interest in my business has been quite extraordinary, off the scale really. There seems to be a huge thirst for my events and hundreds of people who want to be scared for fun.
“I am really grateful for the help from Transmit Start-Ups. The demand has been so great they have helped me massively on my steep self-employment learning curve and the loan has enabled me to buy some vital kit for the scenarios I produce.”
Rich Myers, director of Transmit Start-Ups said: “Dan’s business is definitely a case of right place, right time, as the interest in zombies through films like Dawn of the Dead and the series The Waking Dead is huge at present.
“He has a clear idea of where he wants his business to go and the right team of support workers, or zombies, if you like, to take him to the next level of success.”
Despite only being a few months old Zombiexperience has already organised a number of events around Gloucestershire where everyone from stag and hen parties to team building colleagues have fought to survive post-apocalyptic scenarios.
The events are called ‘outbreaks’ and in Gloucester take place on a 12 acre site in Longhope.
The site contains outbuildings, woodland and open fields – the perfect environment for a night time battle with flesh eating zombies.
People taking part in the ‘outbreaks’ fight with airsoft weapons to ensure Dan's team of 60 zombies do not take over the world.
The cost of a three-house zombie fest is £50 per person and there are also plans to stage a 12 hour overnight apocalypse in the future.
Zombie culture is a growing global phenomenon with films, events, zombie walks and online sites dedicated to the gruesome characters.
They shot to fame in the 1960s and 70s in films by celebrated horror film director George A Romero.
His most famous films – Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead – depicted nightmare scenarios where zombies try to take over the world.
In Gloucester there is also an annual zombie walk which sees people dressing up as the undead and walking through the city centre.