It's bound to happen—the inevitable zombie holocaust—and once you make it clear of whatever place you call home, you're going to need someplace to hole up for what could be the rest of your life.
Here, for the 26th in our series of 31 posts for the 31 days of Halloween—and to remind you to check out Syfy's original movie Zombie Apocalypse on Oct. 29 at 9/8C—are 10 real, actual places that could make for wonderfully defensible zombie fortresses.
The Science Barge, Hudson River, New York
UPSIDE: A completely self-sufficient floating farm, capable of growing all the food you'd need, reclaiming and purifying rainwater and desalinating salt water. Plus, it's on the water—making it a potentially moving target.
DOWNSIDE: It doesn't have any working defenses. You'd be relying entirely on whatever you bring on board—and hope that the waterborne mobility works. Also, barges aren't known for their horsepower: You'd need to upgrade those engines.
Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
UPSIDE: It does have that whole remote-castle-on-a-cliff thing going for it, which is nice. Sheer rock faces on three sides and a single narrow road to the front door make for a good place to make a stand.
DOWNSIDE: It's not much for modern conveniences. Or, potentially, roofs, as it's a 14th-century structure.
World War II Monument, Yugoslavia
UPSIDE: There ain't no getting up into this ark-like structure unless the people inside want you in.
DOWNSIDE: How do you get up in the first place? Also, you've got to leave your fortress for supplies.
Thule Air Base, Air Force Space Command, Thule, Greenland
UPSIDE: As postulated by Max Brooks in World War Z, cold-weather climates might be entirely free of roaming zombie nastiness—their bodies would freeze, since they wouldn't look for shelter. So long as there was no real chance for a thaw, you'd be zombie-free!
DOWNSIDE: You'll need a steady, renewable power source to keep from freezing yourself. And there's no working that frozen land, so unless you build a greenhouse, you're down to foraging for supplies.
Abandoned coal mine in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
UPSIDE: You're in what looks like a skyscraper on stilts. Should keep you above the maddening crowds.
DOWNSIDE: Looks like a decent amount of work will have to be done to weatherize the place. Also, those lattices could prove problematic if it turns out that zombies can negotiate ladders. Or human pyramids.
Royal Sovereign Lighthouse, off the coast of Eastbourne
UPSIDE: For the survivalist who wants to get away from it all. Literally. The currents would make it impossible for a zombie to accidentally make the underwater trek. And you might be able to build a nice little garden to break up the all-fish diet.
DOWNSIDE: Not many, as far as we can see. Aside from what'll undoubtedly develop into a crippling case of the stir-crazies.
Castle in the Center of Lake Bled, Slovenia
UPSIDE: Well, it's clearly remote, which is good. And it's got a giant lake for a moat.
DOWNSIDE: Unless you cut down some of that mini-forest, there doesn't seem to be a lot of arable land for farming, which means you're counting on fishing for most of your food—or trips to the mainland, which could be dodgy.
Fort Sumter, South Carolina
UPSIDE: It's a Civil War-era fort, complete with walls and defensive positions. It's surrounded on three sides by water—and the fourth side allows you to see exactly what's approaching the front door. It's got a nice patch of land for growing.
DOWNSIDE: It's gonna be hot as balls in South Carolina.
Greenbrier Hotel, West Virginia
UPSIDE: There's a cement bunker beneath the hotel that was, until the mid-'90s, one of the United States government's Continuity of Command locations. Basically, this is where Congress was to be assembled in the case of a nuclear attack, and, before it was decommissioned, it had everything you'd need to support 200-plus people for an indefinite amount of time.
DOWNSIDE: The hotel above would surely be full of zombies. And, while the hotel would have plenty of provisions, you'll have to raid those above-bunker freezers to get 'em.
UPSIDE: Yes, it's cheating a little bit, choosing a spiffed-up RV. But if you're going to hit the road instead of holing up, this is the ride you want. It's built on a Ford chassis with a Caterpillar engine, so parts can be scavenged almost anywhere. It's got a 75-mile range and room for four in a yacht-like interior with a massive freezer, washer-dryer combo, water-purification system and wifi. And there are solar panels on the roof that can power almost all of that. (For more on the EcoRoamer, head over here.)
DOWNSIDE: It is a gas guzzler that gets about 6.5 miles per gallon. Then again, with so much of the population desiring brains and not petrol, filling up shouldn't be that much of a problem.