By Ian Beabout, Online Editor
On Sunday, October 18, Valley Harley Davidson will host the 2nd Annual Zombie Ride at the Moundsville Penitentiary. For the event, riders and non riders are encouraged to ride to the Penitentiary and dress as zombies for a guided tour.
“The Zombie Ride was inspired by the recent infatuation with Zombies,” Valley Harley-Davidson Marketing and Event Coordinator Lindsey Utz said. “Melissa (Coffield), Marketing and Events Director, and I sat down and began brainstorming about how we could tie Zombies in with a motorcycle ride.”
“We knew that we wanted to incorporate Zombie costumes and make up but a destination had us puzzled,” Utz said. “That’s when we decided to reach out to the Moundsville Penitentiary because of their popular Haunted House and eerie history.”
The tour portion will involve a ‘Behind the Scenes look’ at the Penitentiary’s annual ‘Dungeon of Horrors Haunted House’ events, including the inspiration behind many of the characters and stories that it presents.
“The guided tour included information on the special effects, history of what inspired the theme for certain rooms and an occasional ‘hidden’ staff member,” Utz said. “The staff at the Pen was very informative on how the special effects functioned and history of the Moundsville Penitentiary.”
“This year, for the 2nd Annual Zombie Ride, the tour will visit the recreation yards, both visitation rooms, and the new cafeteria that resulted from the riot of 1986,” Utz said. “The tour will also take a walk through the facilities cellblocks; The Alamo, which once housed the most dangerous and violent inmates and New Wall.”
Registration for the event begins at 10 am and wraps up at noon, with the bikes setting out for the Penitentiary at 12:15. Riders and non-riders can register at either the Bethlehem, WV or Belmont, OH Valley Harley-Davidson location. Registration fee is $15 Single rider, $25 Double, and $25 a car.
“The registration fee includes the cost of the tour and for the first 100 riders at each store to register, a 2nd Annual “Team Zombie” t-shirt,” Utz said. “Both ride groups will take separate routes to the Penitentiary and meet in the courtyard at about 2:30. There is no age limit for the ride, but all participants must sign a waiver to participate.”