28
$\begingroup$

What would be an effective zombie killing structure that an average person could put together in a typical suburban neighborhood? Previous discussion that touched on the topic often rely upon machinery like wood chippers that would break down after some number of zombies, serendipitous natural structures like rivers to wash away zombie body parts, or mil-spec Fort Knox/Cheyenne mountain type forts that an average person wouldn't have the resources to build.

Key features of the structure include:

  • Easy to construct by an average person
  • Able to handle being rushed by a horde of zombies
  • Method to easily dispose of many zombie bodies (without relying on a convenient river or ocean nearby)
  • Durable and low maintenance, ideally self-cleaning

A common answer is the pit or moat, optionally with spikes and alligators. While it's not a bad solution, the downsides of such a structure is it fills up over time and would need to be cleaned out manually, as well as requires a heck of a lot of digging. I'm sure there's a more clever solution out there.

Bonus points if the zombies can be put to work towards their own demise.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Have you seen the zombie trebuchet? worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/67826/… $\endgroup$ – apaul Jun 13 '17 at 23:00
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ That's a tough requirement. Any passive structure (like moat) would be overwhelmed at some point. Any active device (like wood chipper) would break down eventually. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 13 '17 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ To clarify, active devices can qualify as long as they're durable and low maintenance. $\endgroup$ – glyphin Jun 14 '17 at 0:37
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ "We don't go to Ravenholm anymore" $\endgroup$ – Grimm The Opiner Jun 14 '17 at 8:34
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ A bunch of treadmills. The zombies will try and reach you, but the moving platform will stop them getting closer while supplying you with electricity. It's a zombie friendly solution. $\endgroup$ – Darren Bartrup-Cook Jun 15 '17 at 7:55

15 Answers 15

59
$\begingroup$

A super low tech alternative approach.

Stairway to heaven.

Build a nice tall stair case going from ground level up a good 5 or 6 floors then hang a birdcage a good 6 or 7 feet off the edge of the top landing. Maybe even hang some shiny bells on the cage. Just need enough noise and motion to keep the zombies motivated.

How does it work?

Well... Zombies climb up the stairs in hopes of devouring whatever is in the cage, get to the top, reach out, and fall to their doom... Even if a zombie is reluctant to take the plunge the backlog of zombies pushing towards the treat will force them off the ledge. It'll take a good while for enough of a pile to form under the drop to cushion the fall, but even if/ when that happens the zombie will likely see the noisy critter in the cage and climb the stairs again.

You may not even need to build stairs. Consider tall buildings and elevator shafts.

$\endgroup$
  • 26
    $\begingroup$ This answer gives me a whole new perspective on Lemmings. +1 $\endgroup$ – Jonas Schäfer Jun 14 '17 at 8:06
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ A good way to keep the bottom clear is to have it on a hill. The bodies splats on the ground and bounces/rolls farther down keeping the landing zone clear of any obstructions. $\endgroup$ – Virusbomb Jun 14 '17 at 13:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why does this remind me of Life of Brian... $\endgroup$ – fabian Jun 14 '17 at 16:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is a special case of a buffalo jump, a very low tech structure used with great sophistication by North American Plains hunters for hundreds of years. $\endgroup$ – arp Jun 14 '17 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ I would argue that this has a variable degree of success as written for actually killing the zombies. The chances of multiple fractures from this, even spinal cord damage, is high. The chances of actually damaging the brain enough to kill the zombie, significantly lower. Without some post-processing (e.g. people occasionally poking heads with something pointy) you run the risk of turning your horde of walking dead into a horde of dragging dead. $\endgroup$ – Paul Jun 14 '17 at 19:29
25
$\begingroup$

Burn pit.

enter image description here image from npr.org

Not too creative but it would work fine. Burn pits are real. There is no reason you could not get zombies to stumble in. Set up a CD player with a solar charged battery and play New Jersey (Bon Jovi) over and over again. They will show up. Have a floor with a spring and a hinge that tilts down when they walk across and down they go. Or probably not even that - if they are smart enough to stop at the edge the ones behind them will push them in. Haw haw.

/Bonus points if the zombies can be put to work towards their own demise./

Gimme them bonus points. Corpses and therefore zombies are almost completely combustible - maybe a cup of ash remains. The burning zombies will keep it hot for later zombies who fall in.

Suppose a lot of zombies fall in. That is a lot of fuel. It will get hotter. A lot of zombies will burn.

The risk: maybe the fire will go out. Then zombies pile up, do not burn, and come out. The solution: the bottom of the pit is like a charcoal making pile, or one of those coal mine fires. Get a lot of tires (you have tires, I bet) and get them burning at the bottom. Then cover them with dirt. The fire will choke down but it will stay very hot.

from wikipedia Tire fire:

Tire fires, where tires are stored, dumped, or processed, exist in two forms: as fast-burning events, leading to almost immediate loss of control, and as slow-burning pyrolysis which can continue for over a decade.

Anything on top of that pile for any length of time will itself catch fire and there you go: zombie fire once again. The ash from the zombies will insulate the tires further and keep them from burning out.

$\endgroup$
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Burn pits don't work well for bodies - too much water. The Germans at the death camps discovered that you need to provide grates for airflow, and proper stacking technique to reuse fat as fuel. $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Jun 14 '17 at 0:19
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The Germans with their engineering solutions! I considered grates. If you made it high enough it would be easy to clean out underneath. Maybe you could just have cars at the bottom and the frames would allow adequate airflow. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jun 14 '17 at 0:33
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @whatroughbeast zombies are more dry than a living body. but I agree YMMV $\endgroup$ – Mindwin Jun 14 '17 at 13:09
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ While disturbing, the grate enhancement makes a lot of sense. Combined with the tires as a fuel source, this is starting to resemble a giant BBQ. In fact, why not include some gas lines? If the pile of (fresh, juicy) zombie bodies grows too quickly, turn up the gas to burn them down faster! If gas isn't available, you could always just toss in extra firewood. Further enhancement - add forced air intakes to accelerate combustion, like a furnace or kiln. The air intakes could be built to take advantage of prevailing winds. And bricks could be scavenged from nearby buildings to line the furnace. $\endgroup$ – glyphin Jun 14 '17 at 21:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ burn pits require a lot of fuel, which is going to be a limited resource. $\endgroup$ – John Jun 15 '17 at 16:28
17
$\begingroup$

Having given this more thought than a healthy person probably should... I would try to build a few of these:

enter image description here

For those that are unfamiliar this was the BattleBots reigning champ for a good while, Tombstone. The beauty of the design was in it's simplicity. Unapologetically just a 69lb remote controlled spinning slab of steel.

Perhaps I would have to go with a slightly larger gas powered version, post apocalypse and all, but I think the design has merit.

And yes it's RC and will probably break down eventually, but it's the zombie apocalypse... I suspect everyone's going to be looking for new hobbies.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you're worried about complexity, see my posts about the zombie catapult and cannon. $\endgroup$ – apaul Jun 14 '17 at 5:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As a massive robot combat fan, I am obliged to +1 this. A gas-powered version is definitely possible (see: Icewave or MechaVore). Just watch out for flying debris, that thing spins at 300mph and will hurl bits of zombie at you at lethal speed. (On the plus side, it will also hurl bits of zombie at the other zombies at lethal speed.) $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Jun 14 '17 at 8:24
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Exposed wheels? Wouldn't stand a chance against Carbide $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Jun 14 '17 at 10:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Separatrix it's gone up against other spinners before - it's suprisingly agile, or at least turns well, and the driver is good, good enough to keep his weapon to the enemy. $\endgroup$ – Baldrickk Jun 14 '17 at 12:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That chain looks like a massive weak point... $\endgroup$ – Pyritie Jun 15 '17 at 15:15
7
$\begingroup$

Zombie Turnstiles

How about a set of bladed zombie turnstiles? Bladed Zombie Turnstiles

At the opening of two diagonal walls place two bladed overlapping turnstiles. The zombie will push forward into the turnstiles and they will effectively slice themselves apart. The best part is that it would work even better under zombie horde conditions as they would push each other through even faster. Of course you will need watch our for ankle bitters and some clean up would be required, but you really couldn't get a much easier or effective zombie killer.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting but I imagine the body parts would pile up and block the path. $\endgroup$ – glyphin Jun 16 '17 at 5:49
6
$\begingroup$

Here is my current survival plan...

Find a two story brick building close to a building supply/hardware store, a liqour store and an unlooted supermarket. Fill up the bottom floor with canned and dry food stuffs from the supermarket, and the entire stock of the liqour store. Then brick up all the ground floor windows and doorways using bricks and concrete from the hardware store.

Also brick up all but one of the windows on the second floor which will now serve as the fortress's main gate. Also make sure that there is a doorway out onto the roof and install several good key-both-side deadbolts and a steel door in this hopefully never to be used escape hatch.

Access to the fortress is through the last remaining second floor window by means of a knotted climbing rope which can be lowered to street level by the building occupants, and hauled inside when not in use.

Now that we have a completely feasible fortress, let's get started killing zombies. This facility has three primary methods for zombie eradication...

  • Hitting the street level zombies in the head with empty beer bottles thrown from the fortress roof and last remaining window.
  • Missing street level zombies with those same empty beer bottles, which then hit the pavement and shatter, quickly filling the entire surrounding pavement with foot-destroying glass shards. Since all modern corpses are buried barefoot for some reason, this second line of defense should take out all of the first generation zombies.
  • The third eradication method is time. When the pile of corpses around your fortress start rising such that the zombies can almost reach your last remaining second floor window, brick that window up, and start living off your canned goods and hard liqour. Zombie apocalypses can't last forever... dead stuff rots. All you need to do is wait out the eventual decay of your enemy into motionless smelly heaps.

When it comes to zombie apocalypses apocali, the best offense is a good defense.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As entertaining as throwing bottles would be, you're unlikely to crack a skull with one. Totally valid recreational activity, but not really that effective. $\endgroup$ – apaul Jun 14 '17 at 5:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Also... Not all corpses are buried barefoot, more of a family decision in most cases. $\endgroup$ – apaul Jun 14 '17 at 5:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The problem you have is the same problem as castles so many years back. Water. The moment that your supply is contaminated, you lose - having that much bottled water isn't viable, which means you're somehow depending on water from the outside. Given that you don't know how the zombie outbreak started, a fortress sounds like a bad idea. $\endgroup$ – UKMonkey Jun 14 '17 at 9:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @UKMonkey Alcohol is mostly water anyways. And it's sanitary because of the alcohol. $\endgroup$ – AmiralPatate Jun 14 '17 at 11:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I see one fatal flaw with this plan: when you yourself fall off of the roof after having imbibed the contents of all of those beer bottles. :-) $\endgroup$ – DanK Jun 14 '17 at 17:00
3
$\begingroup$

There are ways and ways. There are a lot of good methods here, so lets put a few together and tweak them a bit.

Start with Some sort of structure that will give you a relatively narrow access point with the outside secured as well as you can. The zombies can only come at you one way. Set up a portcullis that can be closed and opened so you can control the flow of zombies somewhat.

Then dig a series of pits the full width of that narrow bottleneck. As part 2 of this, rig a system to dump quicklime onto both the horde and into the pit Leave some grating type room in the bottom to allow for at least a little airflow. Then get some other kind of combustible fuel source ready.

Rig a noise making lure past the series of pits and entice the horde to you.

As the Zombies advance through the bottlenecks they will fall into the pits after some fall in, drop a little Qucklime and some water, followed by some fuel (wood, cloth, whatever) The quicklime is very caustic and will do 2 things. It will react with the water and produce enough heat to ignite combustibles, and it will also act as an agent to chemically break down zombie remains.

Now you can, from a safe distance, regulate the flow of zombies in, let the quicklime/burn pit do it's work. You shouldn't need huge amounts of work to get it set up, and it will be mostly self cleaning. If one pit gets full you can rely on the second and third, just in case.

You use the portcullis to let only a dozen or so Z at a time, so that the quicklime will have time to do it;s thing :)

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Spring loaded Weight activated guillotine or smasher.

Something like this So the zombie walk over the platform, the blade or block or whatever goes up and then fall on zombie.

It's easy to build with almost everything (wood, metal, PCV)

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Stepping on and off a platform probably wouldn't generate enough energy to do that much damage. Combine with a treadmill system maybe. But then gets complicated. $\endgroup$ – glyphin Jun 16 '17 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ that depend on the height of the platform. I would need to be angled so when zombie step on the edge so it's more of a lever. $\endgroup$ – SZCZERZO KŁY Jun 16 '17 at 7:46
1
$\begingroup$

The main problem with any zombie killing method is getting rid of the bodies which pile up. The solution is to site the kill zone next to a fast flowing river.

For killing them you could use a system like a cattle corral with part of it overhanging the river. You can then kill them any way you see fit (pointy sticks to heads? depending on what you have to hand you might be able to make something which works faster, like a bit set of spikes which can be dropped and raised), drop them in the river, then let the next lot through. This method also provides an escape route for you (by boat) should anything get out of hand.

Not much help if you don't have a river nearby, but a cliff or very tall building might work too.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Per the OP, "Method to easily dispose of many zombie bodies (without relying on a convenient river or ocean nearby)". $\endgroup$ – bubbajake00 Jun 14 '17 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ @bubbajake00, ahh, ignored that part $\endgroup$ – crobar Jun 14 '17 at 21:43
1
$\begingroup$

What about a moat full of alligators? Better yet, a house on an island surrounded by swamp/lake anywhere in the South. Gators aren't picky eaters (their natural method of feeding is to kill something and then hide the body underwater so the corpse will soften up through decay). Gators are pretty much a natural, self-replenishing zombie disposal system.

A similar approach would be to find any large, gator infested body of water (river, lake, retention ponds, canals, etc) in the South and build a dwelling on the shores. Surround everything with high walls except your dock and boom, you have a self-replenishing zombie disposal system. You can have a gate for vehicles or come and go via boat.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The amount of alligators in a moat you can reasonably dig yourself would do nothing. Alligators eat very little and can go months without eating due to their slow metabolism. Even a huge gator might eat two or three people per year at most: adventureaquarium.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/… $\endgroup$ – user16107 Jun 16 '17 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ In many areas of the South, it's entirely unnecessary to dig anything, just build your anti-zombie fort near any decent sized river or lake. Gators will migrate up or downstream to take advantage of food. Once they get wise to the supply of fresh rotting meat, there will soon be more than enough of them. I'm not talking about filling a small ditch with gators, I'm talking about building a house near a preexisting body of water. Anywhere along the gulf coast you're guaranteed a ready supply of water + gators. $\endgroup$ – Jim W Jun 16 '17 at 18:18
1
$\begingroup$

Most proposed methods are complicated and will require lots of work to build and maintain, and are also stationary which is especially difficult if you are frequently relocating.

My (patent pending) zombie eradication method is easy to assemble from available resources and is 100% reusable. It consists of a cinder block (or other heavy, compact, durable material) tied to a length of rope.

Simply find an elevated location, and if needed make some noise. Once the group of zombies have predictably formed under you, drop the block on them. The block contacts a zombies head, utilizing gravity to crush their skull (some aiming may be needed for low numbers of zombies, but for a full hoard it would be hard to miss). Then using the attached rope, you lift the block back up and drop it again, allowing hours of zombie eradicating. Note: If block on rope gets stuck don't play tug of war with a zombie, this never ends well; just drop the rope and make a new one.

The beauty of this system is its simplicity and versatility. Key points:

  • Most zombie fortifications have elevated defensive points which could use this tool, but improvised elevated areas would also easily work; up a tree, a second story window, rooftops, on top of a semi-trailer, the applications are endless.
  • It can be assembled out of locally improvised materials, and is easily replaced if lost.
  • Not automated, but requires very little skill to use.
  • If concerned about the build up of corpses: stop dropping the block and relocate to another elevated location (this may involve some preplanning for large hordes).
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ What would be the energy source to raise the cinder block? $\endgroup$ – glyphin Dec 10 '17 at 8:54
0
$\begingroup$

My immediate approach would be something akin to Morgan's setup in the Walking Dead--something relying on wooden spikes--granted it's not self-cleaning.

Another approach may be reinforced windows and doors with openings that would allow easy penetration of sharpened objects, and outside, a trapdoor to a spiked pit (deep enough to poke the zombies in the head) for when too many bodies impede the path of the other zombies. Bodies would just have to be removed, and maybe also turned into a dead wall for a bit of extra defense/diversion some distance from the base; sometimes waste can be reduced by not wasting it. Chained zombies may also be of use.

I suspect a hardware store would have the tools necessary to build a ballista-like structure that could be used to launch zombie parts embedded with sharpened objects.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

A moat of acid.

Perhaps not so easy to construct, but it would be extremely low maintenance and extremely durable.

Zombies would just walk/rush in and melt away... Zombie problem gone...

Just have to make sure you don't fall into the moat of acid yourself...

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ 1) You'd have to line the moat with something the acid wouldn't eat, this is typically glass. 2) Getting that much high-strength acid. 3) Eventually the acid will decompose and not be effective. Have fun emptying and refilling it! $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jun 14 '17 at 14:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 1) hydrofluoric acid can be kept inside plastic - the moat would have to be wide enough to allow for the melting time - 2) I mentioned it wouldn't be easy to construct - 3) do you have any time scales on acid decomposition? it could well last long enough [also, there was no "reality-check" tag on this question, and its dealing with defending from...... Zombies, so I don't think a bit of bending the rules is out of the question here] $\endgroup$ – Jimmery Jun 14 '17 at 14:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ On #3, I meant from having dissolved stuff, not its natural rate of deciding not to be an acid any more. When acid does its work it stops being an acid. It's why baking soda and vinegar stops being baking soda and vinegar when it's done bubbling: all the free H- and HO- ions have combined and turned into water. $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jun 14 '17 at 14:57
0
$\begingroup$

Very thin and very strong wires strung horizontally at shoulder level.

Relying on pile-up effect to efficiently behead first row using the push from behind.

Several layers at various height to compensate for pile-up.

Carbon nanotube wires could behead without the zombie even noticing, without the need of help from friends.

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Fortunately everyone has spools of magic carbon nanotube wire just sitting around. $\endgroup$ – pluckedkiwi Jun 14 '17 at 16:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @pluckedkiwi: carbon nanotubes are one extreme (arguably far more realistic than zombie hordes), but (as said) any thin and strong wire (think piano strings for acute notes) would work given the push from onrushing rearguard. $\endgroup$ – ZioByte Jun 14 '17 at 16:18
0
$\begingroup$

A explosive bomb. Literally the simplest thing a person could do. Simply put, a person could just stack explosive canisters and a wire with a spark output. Then, when the # of zombies next to the canisters is appropriate (from a music player like mp3), then use a battery and BOOM! Instant results! However, this is obviously high maintenance due to explosion, so don't expect to use this unless such circumstances are appropriate.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Rat pits.

Not the cleanest solution, but it can get the job done. Dig a hole, bait it. Rats (and whatever else) shows up to eat. Then zombies fall in. At first you'll have to spear the first few zombie, but when they stop moving, the rats are going to feast. Rats also breed in proportion to the available food. With abundant rotting flesh, you will have hundreds if not thousands of rats eating any zombie that falls into the pit.

So now you have thousands and thousands of rats instead of zombies.....yay

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.