A Clemson University professor credited today's obsession with zombies to being a part of a historical trend that mirrors cultural dissatisfaction.
English Professor Sarah Lauro studied zombies while working on her doctoral degree at the University of California at Davis. She kept track of zombie-related movies, shows and video games, but focused more on "zombie walks," according to Independent Mail. She said, "We are more interested in the zombie at times when as a culture we feel disempowered.".
Lauro documented that as of 2012, Zombie walks, which are mass gatherings of people dressed like the undead, have occurred in over 20 countries. The Guinness World Record for largest zombie walk was in New Jersey in 2010 and had more than 4,000 people.
Zombie walks became popular in 2003 and 2005 in Toronto when people became angry over the Iraq War, according to United Press International.
"And the facts are there that, when we are experiencing economic crises, the vast population is feeling disempowered," Lauro said. "Either playing dead themselves ... or watching a show like 'Walking Dead' provides a great variety of outlets for people."
The Walking Dead has been considered the most watched drama in basic cable history, according to AMC's site. The show is in its third season and will move on to season four with a new showrunner, Scott Gimple.