06/18/2014 2:13 PM -
It was an eerie Friday the 13th at Oil City Stadium as the Oilmen defeated the Joliet Admirals in an impressive 2-1 victory to extend their winning streak to three games. It was Zombie Apocalypse Night at the ballpark and fans were welcomed to the sounds of “Ghostbusters” and deep organ music that one would only expect to hear in Frankenstein’s laboratory. The Zombie Apocalypse theme also went hand in hand with a celebration of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the fans and the Oilmen did not disappoint on that end. Jackson, a Gary native himself, may be best known for his spooky “Thriller” song that brought out many fans’ inner zombies at the game.
Face painter and artist Evelyn Garcia stole the show with her impressive Zombie creations on many of the fans that entered the game. While many young fans got their faces painted as their favorite zombie-like creatures, it was four teenagers who went all out, looking as if they had been plucked straight from the TV Show “Walking Dead.” With hours of work, coats of paint and cotton balls, Garcia made Neely Abegg, Tyler Bender, Kyrie Vanderlugt and Krysten Vanderlugt look like real-life zombies, scaring both fans and players with their likeness.
Kyrie Vanderlugt, disguised as one of Garcia’s creations, seemed to take on the real role of a zombie for the evening.
“I haven’t eaten all day, unless you don’t mind ripping your face off for me to eat,” she said.
While she was talking about the face paint, she painted a clear and gruesome picture of life as a Zombie, encompassing the theme for the night.
During the middle the game, Krysten Vanderlugt snuck into the Oilmen Dugout and stood at the entrance for a few minutes before beginning to do a backbend Crabwalk through the dugout, just as she had done all night throughout the stadium. Once she was noticed, the Oilmen were quickly startled, and began to migrate to the other end of the dugout. While they players appear to be fearless on the diamond, a zombie appears to have the power to scare just about anyone.
Garcia learned and mastered her craft from her work at Reapers Realm, and her love for special effects peaked her interest in creating Zombie-like creatures.
“I’m really into zombies, or anything spooky really,” she said.
She said that she based her work on what she has seen from both the “Walking Dead” and “Zombie Island” and said that in reference to events like these, “Anything Zombie, I’m there.”
As the sun began to set at Oil City Stadium, a full moon came into full effect, as the bright Orange moon rose over the scoreboard in left field, punctuating the great evening. The next time there will be a full moon on Friday the 13th will be in 2049, 35 years from now. Zombie Apocalypse Night was a success for the Oilmen and their fans, and it was only fitting that the backdrop for the evening was the Oil Refinery columns with flames pouring out of both ends, and the ghostly full moon in the shadows of the Friday the 13th Night.