You find yourself in the woods in Limestone County late one night. You hear something shambling through the brush in the distance. Out into the light walks a mindless zombie bent on making you its late-night snack. But don't panic.
This is all part of the experience at Grace Hill Farms annual Zombie Paintball event, and you have the means to fight back.
Participants man a “zombie assault vehicle” featuring multiple paintball guns attached to the side of a truck/trailer. For $25, participants get 100 glow-in-the-dark paintballs to launch at members of the zombie horde. The course is 2.5 miles with trips lasting about 30 minutes.
Grace Hill Farms is in its second year hosting the event, which runs each weekend from October through the first Saturday in November. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with the first ride beginning at dark. The last ZAV runs around 10:30 p.m.
“This is a ride,” said Heather Green with Grace Hill Farms. “You will not be shot at — you are the one doing the shooting. The guns are positioned so that no one can get shot but the zombies.”
Grace Hill Farms has two different ZAVs. One holds 44 people, the other 28. Which one is used depends on the size of the crowd for that particular trip.
Green said the number of people participating has doubled since last year, and people ages 3 to 78 have taken part.
“It's awesome,” she said. “It makes us hopeful that this can keep growing, and hopefully we can add new things or keep changing it up.”
Green said the farm was looking for an activity to do in the fall that was fun for all ages.
“We had a 78-year-old lady who did this to celebrate her birthday,” Green said. “They drove from over an hour away to do it. She loved it.”
Due to current COVID-19 guidelines, Green said riders must wear masks at all times during the event, and staff are sanitizing guns between each use.
Concessions are available for those waiting on their Zombie Paintball trip. There is also a shooting range participants can use which costs $5 per 60 paintballs, and some other free activities.
Green said some of the funds raised from Zombie Paintball is given back to local charities.
Grace Hill Farms hosts movie nights playing Halloween-themed films during the month. Visit gracehillfarmsal.com or the Zombie Paintball — Grace Hill Farms Facebook page for more information or to purchase tickets.
Green said once gates open, paintball trips are first-come, first-served, but buying a ticket online for a specific date ensures you will get to be on a ride that night.
Grace Hill Farms is located in western Limestone County at 22611 Grace Hill Lane, Athens.