More than just a wacky way to get a major hit of adrenaline, Clarksville Zombie Hunters is an annual event that brings people of all ages out to play—and indulge in their inner thrill-seeker—as they hunt and shoot zombies with glow-in-the-dark paintball guns, navigate their way through challenging mazes, ride through fields infested with the undead, and challenge themselves to escape from locked rooms. It’s an unforgettable experience for everyone—and one very cool way to kick off the fall season with a scream (or two…or more. We don’t judge).
“We saw a need in Clarksville for some exciting things to do going into the fall season, and a zombie-themed park seemed like an ideal way to create something fun and totally different for the whole family to do together,” says Clarksville Zombie Hunters mastermind Eric Yow, who started CZH in 2014 with business partner Matt Cole. An attorney with Goble & Yow, PLLC, and a local builder and owner of Persimmon Creek Farms respectively, Yow and Cole put their brains together to create a truly unique experience for the Clarksville community that would also draw people from the surrounding areas to join in the fun, using the popularity of these brain-craving members of the undead as inspiration for the theme of their massive seasonal endeavor.
But taking a field and bringing zombies into the mix wasn’t quite big enough for Yow and Cole. They knew that they would have to do more to keep the thrills coming, so they came up with eight experiences that would bring people back night after night, year after year. Now in its fifth year, CZH is even bigger and freakier than ever. “We’re excited for this season and can’t wait to see everyone’s reactions to this year’s new twists,” says General Manager Chuck Waller.
Speaking of twists, hayrides are a staple at most fall festivals, but the Zombie Paintball Hayride Experience takes it to a whole new extreme, taking everyone on a zombie-hunting experience through the woods on a Zombie Assault Truck/Trailer equipped with a turret-mounted paintball gun. Add in some black lights and glow-in-the-dark ammunition, along with a variety of well-crafted scenes, fog, and pyrotechnics, and this is one unforgettably intense ride.
No leisurely walks through the woods here as participants in the Zombie Mission Haunted Trail are armed with pump-action zombie assault weapons outfitted with a rail-mounted flashlight as they navigate a half-mile trail and shoot down every zombie in sight. A tactical assault like no other, the trail is hardly for the faint of heart.
Lovers of a good maze will scream over the “Pitch Black” Dark Maze, a navigational challenge for even the most directionally-skilled. It requires maze-goers to find their way through thick fog and pitch darkness as they work through a series of seemingly endless hallways and doors to make their way to the end.
A mental feat not for the weak-willed, the “Death’s Door” Escape Game is a race against the clock that challenges teams to work together and follow a series of clues and puzzles until they figure out how to escape. With two unique versions, “Death’s Door” is sure to keep everyone on their toes. And keeping toes—and brains—in motion, the “Speed Bus” Escape Game is set at a high speed that gives teams less time on the clock as they try to escape from being locked in a blacked-out school bus that’s stranded on the side of the road.
It’s wise advice to always be prepared, and the Shooting Gallery provides zombie hunters in the making a place to test their shooting skills and practice before heading out on the Zombie Paintball Hayride or the Zombie Mission Haunted Trail.
Need a zombie-free speed rush? Pedal Kart Racing gives everyone ages six and above the chance to break out their inner speed demon and burn some rubber in a three-lap race in the park’s oversized pedal karts.
As an ideal way to enjoy some down time between all the thrills, the park offers free admission to watch the outdoor movies on the big screen, sit by the bonfire, climb the kid’s rock wall, or grab some great grub from some of the local food trucks who come out to feed the hungry crowds (brains are not on the menu).
Beyond creating a thrill ride of every type imaginable, one of Yow and Cole’s biggest thrills in bringing CZH to Clarksville each year is the chance to give back—and they do it in a big way. Yow and Cole partner with charitable organizations and community programs to raise money for their various needs as well as offering free Zombie Paintball Hayrides to the friends and families of charitable organizations such as Clarksville Association for Down Syndrome and Camp Rainbow on the first night of the season. “It’s a way for us to give back to the community and provide a special blessing to people,” Yow said. And that’s one goal that’s definitely got heart.
For event dates, admission prices, and more information on Clarksville Zombie Hunters, visit www.clarksvillezombiehunters.com