In the last couple years, zombies have experienced a surge in popularity. Shows like The Walking Dead and movies such as Resident Evil have made the living dead one of the more popular monster genres along with vampires and werewolves. The internet abounds with articles advising what to do in the event of a zombie apocalypse, yet the articles are most tongue in cheek, as everyone knows that zombies aren’t real. Right?
Recent events Sheridan, Illinois, a small town located outside of Chicago have some people wondering whether we are on the brink of a zombie outbreak. Earlier in the week, the town was placed under quarantine, ostensibly to control the spread of an infectious skin disease which had broken out amongst the residents. No media is allowed beyond the barricade which has been erected a half a mile outside town, therefore it is next to impossible to tell what is really going on inside.
Maria Ortiz (17) was the last resident to make it out of Sheridan before the barriers went up. According to Ortiz, the reason for the town’s quarantine does not have to do with a skin disease, but rather an outbreak in extreme aggression amongst the residents. “I left really early in the morning to get to work,” says Ortiz, who works at a retail store in Chicago.
“As I was driving down the road, I saw Mr. James standing by the side of the road, just staring. I pulled over and asked him if he was ok, and he turned around and ran at my car. I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do, I kept trying to roll the window up, and he was trying to get inside, scratching at me and chomping his teeth like he was going to bite me. He had blood all over his face. I finally got away and drove as fast as I could. When I looked in the rearview mirror, he was following me.”
“I know it sounds crazy,” Ortiz states. “But I’m telling you, Sheridan is full of zombies, that’s the best word I can think of to describe what I saw. All the people I passed that morning, their eyes were just vacant, and they wanted to hurt me. We saw one lady attacking her own dog in the front yard. I don’t know what caused this to happen. I hate thinking of my parents in there, but at the same time, I’m so glad I got out.”