LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Halloween is almost here and people in Lansing were in fear as zombies filled the streets. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a real apocalypse. People were dressed up for a good cause.

12 years ago, Steven Ware wanted to raise food to help those in need, so he decided to combine this idea with his love for Halloween and force the dead to rise.

“It’s just an opportunity to flip the script on its head,” Ware, the founder of the Downtown Lansing Zombie Walk, said. “Instead of zombies eating people, it’s zombies feeding people.”

Ware said he was unable to keep the event going by himself in the past, and after the event had to be canceled one year due to COVID-19, he was thankful others stepped in to help.

“It’s mostly just glad that it’s still going around and it’s still helping people because that was the purpose from the beginning, just to help people,” Ware added.

Throughout the many years of the event, Ware said they have raised more than 9,000 pounds of food and more than $5,000 for the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

“It started because of my undergraduate thesis and I was examining food insecurity in Lansing and trying to help out the Greater Lansing Food Bank to increase their budget,” Ware said.

For Emily Emerson Rich, who is also known as the zombie bride, her journey with the Downtown Lansing Zombie Walk started 10 years ago.

“This is a way for me to play around on the dark side and just have a lot of fun,” Rich said.

She said this event not only helps those in need, but it also builds the community up in a positive way.

“I didn’t realize the impact that the zombie bride had on other people and how they look forward to me,” Rich said.

Every year, organizers said the zombie horde grows, including people joining the Lansing walk for the first time.

“I just love to see everybody have a great time,” Dorothy Richardson, who is a first-time participant at the Downtown Lansing Zombie Walk, said. “We all need that in this world, right? Just having a wonderful time.”

As the zombies climbed the Capitol steps, spectators watched and took pictures.

“Cameras come out to take pictures, so that’s always a lot of fun, and then afterwards, they ask us about it and they show up the next year,” Rich said.

Every year they show up to help people and celebrate their love for Halloween.

“I love Halloween,” Rich exclaimed. “I love everything about Halloween.”

Wade says if you missed this years event, don’t worry. There will hold another event around this time next year.